Opinion | Presidential impatience with covid doesn’t excuse wielding extra-constitutional power

Shortly before the pandemic unleashed by World War I killed him, Randolph Bourne wrote: “War is the health of the state.” This truism explains why the political class is so fond of martial rhetoric, waging “war” on poverty, drugs, cancer, terrorism, climate change, covid-19, etc. Today, some argue that Biden can mandate vaccinations because George Washington mandated them for soldiers under his command — as though Americans are situated as soldiers are.

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