On Tuesday night, Gov. Kay Ivey delivered a traditional state of the state speech to a room full of legislators newly returned to Montgomery. The 2022 Alabama legislative session officially kicked off earlier that same day.
Ivey delivered a pre-written, rosy-toned speech about where the state is economically in various industries and state efforts. Let’s be abundantly clear here: I don’t begrudge the governor for seeking to focus on the good things happening in the state, for there is certainly a lot of that to be had. I don’t begrudge the governor for seeking to set a tone of encouragement and positivity for the upcoming year, for both the state legislators and citizens watching.
That is all well and good and needed from a leader. It’s part of creating unity of purpose and goodwill for those who love living in Alabama, the equivalent of a coach’s pep talk in the locker room, or a “hoorah” while the troops march. I don’t question the intent of Ivey’s overall message.
However, I do question its accuracy in one particular area, and I want to call that out for blatant hypocrisy.
Ivey’s speech brought up the Biden administration’s federal vaccine mandate. At this point, she said, “Speaking of D.C. politics … from the moment the White House rolled out their scare tactic plans to try to force the COVID 19 vaccine on Americans, I assured the people of Alabama that we were standing firmly against it. And I will call this nonsense for what it is, that is an Un-American outrageous breach of our federal law.”
Ivey continued, “While the legislature has stood with me in opposing these federal mandates, we have also been fortunate to have a strong leader in Attorney General Steve Marshall who has not shied away from the fight one bit. Attorney General Marshall, thank you for standing tall for Alabamians. Momentum is on our side, and as I have said all along, the courts is where we will win this battle.”
Ivey rightly gave credit to state attorney general Steve Marshall for launching legal action against the federal government. She should have stopped there. She should have humbly removed the sentence that portrayed her as the one leading the charge. Or maybe her speechwriters should have. But they couldn’t resist an attempt to slyly insert Ivey, the incumbent seeking re-election, into the pathway of the spotlight. They couldn’t resist piggybacking their revised version of what happened on the back of a highly covered media event. The political version of killing two birds with one stone — governor’s speech and campaign ad.
But the truth is, not only was Ivey not in the forefront of this battle a mere six months ago, she was squarely on the back end of the marching ranks dilly-dallying and pretending there was no war. Far from leading the charge, she was actually fraternizing with the enemy.
Lest we forget, in this era of information overload on any given hour or day, in July of 2021, in an unguarded and unscripted moment, Ivey let loose on those refusing the vaccine, revealing what appears to be her true view of those exercising their right of choice and autonomy for their own health. She shamed them, she blamed them, she insulted, and then circled back around to kick them in the shins and shame some more.
“The new cases in COVID,” Ivey said, “are because of unvaccinated folks, almost one 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks, and the deaths are certainly occurring with unvaccinated folks. These people are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”
To which a reporter asked, ‘’What is it going to take to get people to get these shots?’’
“I don’t know, you tell me,” Ivey said. “Folks [are] supposed to have common sense, but it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks, it’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”
Governor Meemaw was big mad, and not afraid to show it. Or maybe she was scared about losing some federal grant money that was being dangled in front of her, only to be doled out if she pushed more Alabamians towards the needle. Either way, her words were intended to influence people to take a singular course of action, motivated by fear and shame. She did not allow for the well-founded skepticism many had of an experimental injection or underlying concerns of preserving conservative principles of proper self-governance (which have been methodically pushed towards the chopping block through COVID).
Looks and sounds like a scare tactic to me.
These are the same scare and shame tactics used by the Biden regime to round up the least resistant and easily influenced, before launching a more aggressive round of abuse through federal mandates. Ivey has stopped short of joining Biden in that effort, but her expressed disdain certainly lines up with the liberal elite view that those who refuse vaccine mandates are simply “resistant redneck peons.” Ivey called the kettle black during her recent speech, then tried to rewrite history about her own actions.
Do not forget, the state legislators brought up several bills to negate the federal vaccine mandate by passing a state law to fight back. They saw the problem looming and sought a solution for the immediate welfare of Alabamians, rather than hunkering down in silence and waiting for the singular avenue of a court decision to provide relief.
Ivey couldn’t even muster enough strength as governor to initiate a twofold way to battle this Constitutional war. She did not even place the issue on the call of the twice-held special sessions in the Fall of 2021. So much for thinking outside the box to take on nonsense.
Remember, Attorney General Steve Marshall called the federal infringement for what it was from the get-go and took legal action within the scope of his office and authority.
Ivey, on the other hand, did not seize any opportunity to use her office, position or influence to advocate for freedom, choice, or differing opinions or solutions to this problem. Instead, she either went radio silent or used her bully pulpit just as other power-crazed liberal radicals do to their subjects … albeit just not as frequently, for what little comfort that provides.
The fact that Ivey’s handlers and speechwriters felt the need to do a little rewrite of history in this battle over mandates, tells me two things.
First, they have not grasped the concept that when making a big mistake, it’s best to own it, admit it, learn from it and move on, whereas cover-up is the kiss of death. Alabamians will forgive much faster than being asked to deny their own lying eyes and ears through revisionist words just to preserve one person’s political career and aspirations.
Just look to Ivey’s predecessor, Robert Bentley, for confirmation on that. Was it Bentley’s penchant for coming up behind and placing his hands on someone who wasn’t his wife (and talking in a creepy voice)? Or was it his abuse of office and authority to cover up this penchant that got him booted out of the Governor’s mansion?
Second, Ivey’s handlers are completely tone-deaf to a nation that is dead tired of two-faced leadership that says one thing, does another, and revises, rebukes, gaslights, or cancels anyone questioning the disparity. If a person is consistently acting and leading in line with their heartfelt core convictions, it will emerge with zero variation in whatever capacity, whether it be in a pre-written speech or a spontaneous interview.
Regardless of what poking or prodding may occur to test those core beliefs, the undeniable truth is this: a person will not respond in a way that negates their already established character on the inside. Character doesn’t take a day off or fail to show up when buttons are pressed.
When it doesn’t line up in a moment of truth and honesty, when there is a contradiction of words compared to past actions, then voters must be reminded to take note, to not forget what that truly reveals, no matter how much Ivey’s personal history revisionists start typing on their keyboards.
Andrea Tice is a producer and reporter for 1819 News, specifically responsible for the Daily Detail and the Daily Truth Newsletter. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to: commentary@1819News.com.