Dick Morris has an interesting theory about Obama’s true motivation for the contraception mandate in his latest Lunch Alert!. Obama always has an ulterior motive, he notes – you have to read it to know how to defeat the guy. Morris says that for Obama, the issue is not about infringing upon religious liberty – he thinks Obama’s trying to replace abortion with contraception in the left/right social divide because they’re losing the abortion debate. He wants to polarize the nation to profit his reelection chances over the issue of contraception. Watch the video, here.
Everyone, at least on our side of the aisle, shook their heads in disbelief as to why Stephanopoulos was bringing up the issue. There was no active controversy over contraception, it wasn’t in the news, and there were far more pressing political issues, yet what seemed like an eternity of debate time was devoted to the subject at the insistence of Stephanopoulos.
Morris cites that debate as the primary reason he came to the conclusion that Obama was engaging in this “sneaky move”.
The problem with Morris’ theory, though, is that Obama hasn’t backed off on his contraception requirement. His “compromise” is no compromise at all.
So allow me to apply this to the current situation: You (Obama) told Catholic institutions that they must provide for free contraceptives and sterilizations in their insurance plans. They said, and I quote, “No.”
To accommodate them you said the “insurance company — not the hospital, not the charity — will be required to reach out and offer the woman contraceptive care free of charge.”
Obama, who — precisely — is buying the insurance companies’ free-contraceptive coverage? Who but the Catholic institutions, the institutions morally opposed to providing contraception to their employees? All you’ve done is forced morally opposed institutions to pay for other institutions that will provide contraception. Yes, this is akin to forcing those morally opposed to murder to hire hitmen. Not only is it immoral, unconstitutional and arrogant, it’s also painfully unintellectual.
Thank you, Bad Catholic - (totally adding him to my blogroll.)
Just because 98% of the American people support contraception, doesn’t mean that they support the government forcing religious institutions into paying for it.
Today, Rasmussen has a poll out that shows Obama job disapproval 59% among Catholics. In 2008, he won the Catholic vote by nine points.
This is no “win” for the Obama administration no matter how you slice it.
Video at Legal Insurrection:
Potluck Bloggers: A World Without Catholic Charities
Just to be clear:
I agree with Morris and Jacobson that there is a connection between the ABC debate focus on contraception and Obama’s contraception mandate that came later. I’m just not sure that Obama’s new focus on contraception is for the reason Morris cited. Obama and his media toadies may simply have been trying to get a pro-contraception narrative going ahead of the decision on the contraception mandate.
If it is some kind of an attempt to shift the left/right social divide from abortion to contraception, Obama has badly misjudged how American people view the relationship between Church and State.
…there can be only one reason why Sebelius, Pelosi, and Obama decided to proceed. They wanted to show the bishops and the Catholic laity who is boss. They wanted to make those who think contraception wrong and abortion a species of murder complicit in both. They wanted to rub the noses of their opponents in it. They wanted to marginalize them. Humiliation was, in fact, their only aim, and malice, their motive.Last week, when, in response to the fierce resistance he had deliberately stirred up, the President offered the bishops what he called “an accommodation,” what he proffered was nothing more than a fig leaf. His maneuver was, in fact, a gesture of contempt, and I believe that it was Barack Obama’s final offer. From his perspective and from that of Sebelius and Pelosi, the genuine Catholics still within the Democratic coalition are no more than what Vladimir Lenin called “useful idiots,” and, now that the progressive project is near completion, they are expendable – for there is no longer any need to curry their favor.
In his piece in The Washington Examiner, which I link above, Michael Barone mentioned Obama’s decree with regard to contraception and abortifacients in tandem with a brief discussion of the President’s decision to reject the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. He was, I think, right to do so – for there is no good reason that any student of public policy can cite for doing what the President did. Cancelling the pipeline will not delay or stop the extraction of oil from the tar sands in Alberta, and the pipeline itself would pose no environmental threat. If the President’s decision had any purpose, it was symbolic – an indication to all that he cared not one whit about the plight of the white working class and that he was capable of punishing those whom he does not like and more than willing to do so.