February 11, 2012

"The bishops note that the Obama administration never even bothered to contact them to discover what their true objections are, and what would satisfy them."

"The White House simply presumed to know church business better than the bishops and offered an 'accommodation' that is anything but.  In fact, that sounds a lot like the process that produced this mandate in the first place."

Writes Ed Morrissey, flailing in the trap Obama set.

Note to conservatives: When you get people thinking about abortion, you may very well win. If the liberals drag you back over the line before conception — your when-life-begins line — and make the subject contraception, you'll probably lose.

106 comments:

Andy R. said...

If they drag you back over the line before conception — your when-life-begins line — and make the subject contraception, you'll probably lose.

Republicans hate the idea of women having sex free from punishment even more than they love winning elections.

Patrick said...

I thank Andy R for explaining the things about which he has no idea.

Parker Smith said...

Especially since the contraception will be 'free'!

And Andy R., can you come to our next meeting? Our projector is broken, and you seem good at it...

Jay said...

Andy R. said...
Republicans hate the idea of women having sex


What would a gay little boy who has sex with other gay little boys know about women having sex?

Patrick said...

I'm not so sure about the whole "flailing" idea. I think even a lot of Catholics (and non-Catholics) who are comfortable with using contraception still appreciate the idea of religious freedom, even if Andy and The Government have decided to limit such freedom.

Saint Croix said...

Note to conservatives: When you get people thinking about abortion, you may very well win. If they drag you back over the line before conception — your when-life-begins line — and make the subject contraception, you'll probably lose.

Boy, you're really being dense on this.

If the Catholics were trying to outlaw birth control, you would have a point.

But since Obama is trying to jam birth control down the throat of the Catholic church, you do not have a point.

Original Mike said...

My respect for the left drops with every post by Andy.

Saint Croix said...

Republicans hate the idea of women having sex free from punishment

Yeah, because having a baby is this awful punishment we like to inflict on the evil.

Andy R. said...

I thought conservatives wanted to make this election about the economy.

Are they focusing on social issues because they know Americans don't want to vote for Scrooge McDuck to help create jobs?

Bob Ellison said...

I don't like the "thread-winner" concept, but Parker Smith posted a doozy just twelve minutes in!

shiloh said...

Althouse, the Catholic Bishops put out a letter to their priests/congregations, stating categorically what "they" were upset about re: the contraception mandate.

No need for discussion!

take care

ricpic said...

Ooh, we're so clever, we anointed ones. Meanwhile millions of the benighted have been just handed one more reason not to trust your clever boy Barry.

Andy R. said...

Also, at this point is the argument over the contraceptions being free, or being offered under the insurance plans at all?

Is the Catholic position that they should be allowed to offer health insurance that does not cover contraception at all?

People keep going on about the "free" thing, but that seems irrelevant to the Catholic position about birth control, which isn't merely about haggling over the price.

Pogo said...

The left is desperate to spin this as a decision about contraception or abortion, when it is really and only about religious freedom.

But I have little doubt more than 50% of voters no longer give a shit about religious freedom, or any freedoms, save the free toys and cash the gubmint doles out.

At least, when you count fake votes, there are more than half.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Do you mean, Althouse, that just having the word "contraception" in the discussion--getting everyone riled up, and it has something to do with contraception--is enough to make Obama look good to women? Like someone said on the other thread, do they think we are stupid?

There is no problem with access to contraceptives now. There are contraceptives available over the counter in every grocery, pharmacy, and dollar store. You can even buy contraceptives in a lot of restrooms. This was not a "problem" that needed a fix. There is no movement to prevent access to contraceptives.

The only things being actively discussed about contraceptives, up to now, have been providing them to minors without parental approval, and conscience laws for medical professionals who don't want to distribute them.

I think Marcotte is just spinning. If the media are to believed, Biden and some others were very opposed to this policy. It's just another way for Obama to try to get votes by promising one group free stuff at the expense of everyone else.

Toy

Christopher said...

I think our hostess is flailing in the trap of believing that this is just about "contraception".

From the very beginning this has been about religious organizations being forced to pay for and facilitate that which conflicts with their beliefs.

As i said in the previous thread, even Chris Matthews didn't fall for that line.

Bill said...

Bah. All this Machiavellian, briar patch, Obama-planned-it twisting and turning is just so much obfuscation.

Obama made a morally reprehensible decision. It was so extreme that it even ticked off much of his Catholic-left base who had been solidly in his corner. He 'backtracked' and 'accommodated' enough to give them some cover and it just might work.

But I don't care if he's two steps ahead of me or behind me or whatever can we please just be outraged enough to vote this SCOAMF out of office?

edutcher said...

The issue is paying for it, not banning it (maybe Steffi saw this coming, but I don't think he's that bright), and even the Demos (who seem to be bailing on this one) aren't saying that.

And not even talking to the bishops after his first boo boo shows again the pettiness of GodZero. He was going to show them what it meant to mess with him.

Too bad the mob doesn't have his back this time.

PS Hatman merely shows he's the unserious, joke commenter.

caseym54 said...

Imagine that it is possible to not only practice birth control, but to believe that others should be free to choose.

The Catholic Church is quite clear on their spiritual reasons for not interfering with reproduction. To require their service organizations to pay for contraceptives violates their religious beliefs.

The same government that asserts that a display of the Ten Commandments as "law" is impermissible should maintain the same wall of separation going the other way.

Mark O said...

The Republicans will lose if they let Obama frame this argument as one about women's health. It's about the overwhelming intrustion of government irrespective of long-held rights, including, of course, the First Amendment.

After the Republicans lose, so will everyone else.

In exactly the same way he held back the oceans, Obama will make things "free." You , however, will not be.

shiloh said...

Damn Althouse, your flock is totally consumed w/Obama hatred as you keep posting 100% negative Obama articles. Go figure!

G Joubert said...

If they drag you back over the line before conception — your when-life-begins line — and make the subject contraception, you'll probably lose.

That's a false dichotomy. It really isn't anywhere near so much a birth control-abortion issue as much as it is a religious freedom issue. Even to non-Catholics.

The Drill SGT said...

OK,

In the Marcotte post, Althouse was wrong.

Now that she has read the Bishops, she realizes that the net fell on O'bama and he's flailing. The Ed flailing in the trap was sarc....

The Bishops, the GOP and the right will succeed in staying on message with the First Amend. The internets will beat the MSM BC meme no matter how well talking heads read the WH script.

Main Street is not pleased....

Jay said...

Note to conservatives: When you get people thinking about abortion, you may very well win. If they drag you back over the line before conception — your when-life-begins line — and make the subject contraception, you'll probably lose.

I guess that is why Rick Santorum, "right wing crazy who wants to ban contraception" is tied with Obama in Ohio and 4 points behind him nationally in the latest polling.

Balfegor said...

I'm not so sure about the whole "flailing" idea. I think even a lot of Catholics (and non-Catholics) who are comfortable with using contraception still appreciate the idea of religious freedom, even if Andy and The Government have decided to limit such freedom.

Yes . . . I think Obama is doing a great job of rallying elements of his base by sticking it to the Church.

But (a) his administration has already engaged in one climbdown on this issue, and (b) as you say, many people who don't necessarily agree with the Church's position also think it's outrageous that the Church should be forced to pay for something they think is morally wrong.

So while I think that, if the administration deliberately set out to stick their thumb in the eye of Catholic institutions, they might reasonably have done so to get that pop in enthusiasm from people in their base (like Marcotte), they've already shown weakness by backing down, and I'm not sure the cost in terms of goodwill from people who believe in religious liberty was worth it. I think it's more likely they really just didn't anticipate the backlash. They didn't consult anyone, not because they were planning to poke them in the eye, but because they didn't even realise it would be an issue.

That said, the recent proposal may be sufficiently obscure that people will quiet down, since the government is no longer directly forcing them to subsidise, just indirectly forcing them to do so. So I suppose there may be people, either in his base or the administration, chuckling about those stupid rubes who don't understand that the Catholic institutions' insurance premiums are going to be subsidising contraception and abortifacients anyway, because of math.

rcommal said...

Republicans hate the idea of women having sex free from punishment even more than they love winning elections.

I really hate the "Republicans want to punish women for having sex" meme. It's SO dishonest, not to mention so old. Fingernails on a chalkboard--but then, I suspect that's why Andy and others take joy in saying it.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Obama will continue to put bait into the social issues trap. He can't run on the economy so he has to change the subject.

If Republicans were smart, they would not blunder into the trap at all. They should simply say over and over that Obama is too extreme and we need to focus on getting the country back to work.

Paddy O said...

"If the Catholics were trying to outlaw birth control, you would have a point.

But since Obama is trying to jam birth control down the throat of the Catholic church, you do not have a point."

More so... the point isn't contraceptives.

As far as I know, only Catholics have a problem with pre-conception contraceptives. I'm a social conservative and I certainly don't have a religious problem with them.

I have a personal problem with anything that mucks around with hormones, but that's only one kind of contraceptive, and that is, I think, a personal choice.

Which means I heartily disagree with the Catholic Church's position on this issue--politically, socially, Biblically and theologically.

But I still would agree with the RCC on their stance against Obama's policy. This was, and still is for that matter, an end run around religious freedom and religious policy. Obama thinks he knows best for the Catholic Church, and those working for it, so he will do what he can to undermine its authority through legislative and executive fiat.

That's dangerous, and not because the issue is contraceptives.

Christopher said...

What trap? This post and the previous one reminds me of all the "rope-a-dope" defenses when President Bush blundered in one way or another and the right (my peeps) said, oh, you don't understand, he's playing the long game.

The original policy required Catholic employers (and others) to offer insurance plans that provide drugs whose use violated the conscience of the institution. So does the new policy. I guess it's a trap if you believe most people are too stupid to realize that, and granted the jury is out. At least the Catholic bishops haven't been duped.

I think your radar is off this week, Professor. The Pentagon opens thousands of new combat-related positions to women and your takeaway is the Administration wanted to shift attention from "limiting women in the military." Uh huh.

pm317 said...

This reminds me of a comment I made early 90s, 91 I think, during a lunch hour striking up a conversation with the person sitting next to me -- it was an election year then too and abortion was the hot button issue. My comment was when will they make contraception a problem. So, it has come to this. They are falling right into Obama's trap. The optics are bad whatever the depth the issue may have.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

MarkO said much better what I was trying to say.

" It's about the overwhelming intrustion of government irrespective of long-held rights, including, of course, the First Amendment"

Beta Rube said...

This is not about contraception. It is about the hubris and elitism of Obama and his minions. It is about their disregard for the Constitution and their willingness to tell The Church, insurance companies, and the rest of us how to live. This of course after his wife tells us what we may be allowed to eat.

God I am sick of these people.

David Gray said...

Ann,

Nobody is trying to ban contraception. Nobody is trying to say contraception can't be covered by insurance. People are simply saying you shouldn't be able to force people to pay for other people's contraception out of their own pocket.

Patrick said...

"Here's a pointer: If you start out with a premise that Amanda Marcotte is correct about anything, and particularly that she is correct about matters concerning the Catholic Church, you need to give the matter a great deal more thought."

I posted this on the previous thread. It strikes me that it would be just as correct if you substituted Andy R for Marcotte.

Mark O said...

Steyn.

Let's have a discussion on the merits. Start here:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/290806/church-obama-mark-steyn

Carnifex said...

Speaking as a lapsed Catholic and ex-altar boy, I'd say that a lot of posters don't understand Catholic Doctrine. A lot of the liberal progressives like to project their own motives without even trying to understand that Doctrine. They like to point to Terry Schiavo as the religious interferring in family matters without even trying to understand that the sanctity of life is one of the paramount rules of Catholicism, of most Judeo/Christian sects.

This is one of the reasons I am against coporeal punishment. I would much rather our government imprisoned a murderer for life, than to execute them. And by life, I mean life, not get out for good behavior.

I also don't agree with someone getting an abortion, and in fact my wife and I convinced her son to not have his wife, that got pregnant by another man, get an abortion as a condition of returning to him. And now we have the sweetest little grandson you could ever hope to have.

I wouldn't outlaw abortions as such because I believe it is every persons choice, but I think the choice itself is horrible.

And so it is with contraception. If you want to use them, fine,pay for them. Do not ask someone who has a religious objection to pay for it. And I won't ask you to stop having abortions, if you want to pay for it.

Wow, Now THAT is a compromise! Not at all the shell game the pres...I started to call him the president but I can't, the angry sock monkey, and the liberal progressives, should consider.

Instead of trying to define what the definition of "is" is.

Mark O said...

One thing to remember about Obama is that he thought his own typical white grandmother had too much health care.

What a guy.

Palladian said...

Andy R, expert on women's reproductive issues!

snicker

Synova said...

"I thought conservatives wanted to make this election about the economy.

Are they focusing on social issues because they know Americans don't want to vote for Scrooge McDuck to help create jobs?
"

So what are people supposed to do? Let their constitutional rights be consumed while they talk about the economy?

The 1st Amendment is *the* primary Right, is it not? It's 1st, after all.

I'm absolutely pro-birth control, though I recognize Sanger's racism and the fact that young ladies of a particular social class view having babies and baby-daddies and living with their single-parent mother with the grandchildren the entirely normal way of going about family. I worked alongside these girls and a fine young man in the same situation for the last year or so. I'm not projecting to some supposed stereotype I don't know.

Those who view contraception and abortion (both!) as a way to stop poor minorities from reproducing are doomed to fail, have failed, and will forever fail.

But none of that is relevant to the fact that, economy or not, constitutional protections are important for their own sake and do not depend on *my* personal feelings or emotions.

Bender said...

Note to Althouse: This has nothing to do with the fucking conservatives.

Why do you refuse to understand that?

MadisonMan said...

If Republicans were smart

If the sky were purple.

If Palm trees grew in Wisconsin.

If Democrats were smart.

But they/it isn't/aren't.

Saint Croix said...

I heartily disagree with the Catholic Church's position on this issue--politically, socially, Biblically and theologically.

Yeah, me too. Although my position has shifted from outright opposition ("it's just stupid to be opposed to birth control") to a more nuanced view.

The point of the Catholic rule, I think, is that sex should always involve lovemaking. You should love your partner, and love any baby you create. Thus sex is not sport.

Birth control gives us this James Bond fantasy that sex doesn't involve baby-making.

But it does, often.

1.2 million abortions a year is a profound indictment of a society that proclaims we are controlling birth. No, we're not.

Every person who loudly shouts "pro-choice!" should wear a "Birth Control Incompetent" bumper sticker on their forehead.

"I can't use a condom. I can't swallow a pill. I can't work the IUD."

I do not think it's a sin to try to control reproduction. But I do think it's a sin to assume we have this power and to assume that love is unncessary. And I think there's no question that birth control has given us illusions about sex, illusions that are shattered on a daily basis.

Synova said...

" This of course after his wife tells us what we may be allowed to eat."

I wonder what the military is supposed to do different. IME military cafeterias are great places to eat. Considering that mostly they're feeding barely post-adolescent and highly physical young men, high calorie is a feature, not a bug. Military "cooks" these days are nearly professional dietitians anyhow.

Bender said...

The Catholic Church is not Republican. It is not Democrat.

The Catholic Church is not conservative. It is not liberal.

The Church is, simply and precisely, CATHOLIC. Period.

Synova said...

"Note to Althouse: This has nothing to do with the fucking conservatives."

Because fucking conservatives feel capable of fucking without Daddy's supervision?

rcommal said...

I think Catholics are justifiably angered by what I do think is government overreach (Note: I am not Catholic, and I am emphatically pro-birth control). I think the Obama administration was corrupt on this one, whether or not it turns out to "work" among a sufficient chunk of the electorate.
---
That said, this whole thing blows my mind in another way. I just did some research on what, for example, the pill costs these days. Adjusted for current dollars, it has gotten cheaper! The last time I was on them was about 16 years ago, and my last prescription cost me something like $22 bucks a month (non-sliding scale). Which is in the range of what they cost now (actually, they appear to be a few dollars less, on average, again, non-sliding scale), based on the sources I looked at. Heck, I can remember the first time I went on the pill, at the start of the 1980s, they cost $6 to $8 a month if I got them through Planned Parenthood, which offered a sliding scale (I was a student and didn't have any money at the time, to speak of). What is $6 circa early '80s compared to $20 bucks now?

I'm really not buying the "birth control is too expensive these days" meme. Of all the things to make a big deal about, these days financially speaking! (There are, after all, sliding scale options.)
It's just ridiculous to me.

If I were less tempted to just go with the Occam's Razor explanation, I might very well be inclined to think there's a larger strategy behind causing this whole kerfuffle... .

; )

Damon said...

Althouse knows how to get people commenting and thinking. She plays law professor so well. I can't begin to think that she thinks this debate is about the when-life-begins question. It is quite the red-herring.

MayBee said...

"I thought conservatives wanted to make this election about the economy.

This issue is about Constitutional rights, but its about the economy too.

Imagine the power a president has over the economy if he can subvert the constitution AND simply order companies to start providing his donors with free goods.
Add to that the apparent right Congress and the president have granted themselves to command citizens to buy products.

You think an economy is going to zip along under that kind of system?

rcommal said...

We're thinking of going to a matinee this afternoon (2 adults, 1 child). Even if we spend not a single penny on drinks, popcorn and candy, the price for that two hours will be about the same cost of an entire month of birth control pills. If just one of us went and bought snacks, it'd be close to the same thing.

Hot damn!

write_effort said...

People only need one strong, simple phrase in their minds to motivate them to vote. Right now for women it is becoming, "Republicans are against birth control." Simple. Scary. Devastating up and down the ticket.

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcommal said...

Can you tell the very premise "birth control is too expensive" is bugging the hell out of me?

; )

Bender said...

I know that the pro-Obamaites want to politicize this, to see this in terms of partisan politics, including suggesting that the Catholic Church proceeds from purely political motives, but their tactics of divide and conquer will not succeed.

But it is entlightening to see that, despite all her postings suggesting the contrary over the last few years, once a kneejerk lib, always a kneejerk lib.

Synova said...

"Every person who loudly shouts "pro-choice!" should wear a "Birth Control Incompetent" bumper sticker on their forehead."

*snicker*

rcommal said...

People only need one strong, simple phrase in their minds to motivate them to vote. Right now for women it is becoming, "Republicans are against birth control." Simple. Scary. Devastating up and down the ticket.

Alas, this analysis may very well be true.

bagoh20 said...

I favor contraception. In fact, I wish it was used a lot more, and I'm definitely not religious, but this is still offensive to me on freedom versus intrusion grounds and that's how it's being argued on the right. It's the left who wants to talk about contraception. I don't think that's working, because everyone knows contraception is widely available and that it's not in danger.

Althouse, your opinion is a low one of the electorate.

Synova said...

""Republicans are against birth control." Simple. Scary. Devastating up and down the ticket."

I don't know about devastating, but in any case it's nothing new.

McCain wasn't even anti-abortion, IIRC, and I got piles of glossy ads in my mail box declaring (and it's against the law to lie, right?) that McCain was against women's rights and would deny women medical care.

So how is this going to make any difference at all? Is it different because the campaign directors are saying to themselves "Hey! We don't have to lie as much this time!"

What is going to be in the political ads is exactly the same as before.

The thing about stink is, a person gets used to it and doesn't smell it any more.

Freeman Hunt said...

How are they going to lose? It's not about contraception. It's about religious freedom.

MayBee said...

Right now for women it is becoming, "Republicans are against birth control." Simple. Scary. Devastating up and down the ticket.

Oh, women are so simple. I wish women could learn to think, or at least one or two of them would be able to form their own opinions!
But no, there is a national opinion for women, and it is the one they are allowed, and they will all vote alike because of it.

Palladian said...

"What is $6 circa early '80s compared to $20 bucks now?"

$6 in 1980 is equivalent to $15.67 in 2010 (the lastest year for which inflation data is available).'

$20 in 1980 is the equivalent of $52.22 in 2010.

MayBee said...

Men, on the other hand, understand nuance and may form different opinions. Men don't have health and they don't need health. Men also don't need free birth control. That allows them to think and vote as individuals.

rcommal said...

MayBee: No, of course they won't *all.* But a significant amount might--I said might--very well do so.

But then, I could justly be accused of having a low opinion of the electorate, in some respects, under some circumstances. : )

Synova said...

"but this is still offensive to me on freedom versus intrusion grounds and that's how it's being argued on the right. It's the left who wants to talk about contraception."

That's why Marcotte talked about "thinly veiled" right?

Conservatives can say, "First Amendment!" and the left says that's just an excuse for their real motivation.

Conservatives can say, "Don't kill babies!" and the left says that's just an excuse for their real motivation.

Conservatives can say anything and the left will kindly explain what is really meant by those code words, or even without code words, the secret motivation of conservatives is the real truth.

And generally the secret motivation of conservatives is that they're mean and like to pick on people.

write_effort said...

Does anyone think a majority of women care more about the Bishops than their own access to birth control? It's called a hot button issue. Women, like men, will vote in their best interests -- as they perceive them.

MayBee said...

And generally the secret motivation of conservatives is that they're mean and like to pick on people.

It's interesting, though, how often the discussion about birth control and abortion turns into a discussion about American men being irresponsible at best and violent rapists at worst.
Why should that be a winning argument with men?

Japan has a devastatingly low birth rate, but hardly any women take the pill. It is considered a better policy to make men take responsibility by using condoms.
Abortions are legal, but married women are supposed to get permission from the father of the baby.

Christopher said...

Catholic Bishops: Don’t Revise, Rescind (George Weigel at NRO. Sorry for messing up the coding last time--this will be my last attempt)

MayBee said...

Does anyone think a majority of women care more about the Bishops than their own access to birth control?

Does anyone think our country can afford to run on the idea that having access to something means you get that thing for "free" (aka at someone else's expense)?

I don't.

edutcher said...

write_effort said...

Does anyone think a majority of women care more about the Bishops than their own access to birth control? It's called a hot button issue. Women, like men, will vote in their best interests -- as they perceive them.

This is about any church being forced into doing what the State wants.

Supposedly, we have an Amendment to the Constitution to protect us, but the Demos have been making war on the Constitution since that old unreconstructed Confederate, Woody Wilson.

In sum, if the Feds can trash the First Amendment for those churches that want to stand on principle, they can trash it for individual citizens, too.

LarsPorsena said...

'write_effort said...
Does anyone think a majority of women care more about the Bishops than their own access to birth control? It's called a hot button issue. Women, like men, will vote in their best interests -- as they perceive them.'

I'm sure Axelrod has already told Obama this

MayBee said...

MayBee: No, of course they won't *all.* But a significant amount might--I said might--very well do so.

rcommal- just the very idea of women being a cohesive group, or women having some Very Special Health requirements that must be free really irks me.

I like to think of myself having every much a right to be an individual as a man. I like to think that the health of the men in my life is as important as my own health.

So it isn't you I'm irked at.

bagoh20 said...

There is no hot button here, that button is worn out, but for a lot of people this reminds them that the health care law is too big, scary, and intrusive, and nobody really knows how far it goes and when it's gonna step on them.

That's the message to at least half the people. It reinforces one of the best arguments against Obama, and as Synova points out, the other side against the Repubs is automatic, unavoidable and already priced in, in other words, it has no additional impact. Win - Repubs.

Synova said...

"Does anyone think a majority of women care more about the Bishops than their own access to birth control?"

At what point is access to birth control in jeopardy? What women would *honestly* believe that her access to birth control was at risk?

It's one thing for the feminist political spinners to howl that someone wants women to be coerced into functioning as brood animals, in a sense that's their *job*.

But do the non-professionals buy into it?

Now, I'm with MayBee on this. She's being far more focused than myself, and is a model of clarity.

I'm a woman. Do I care more about my access to birth control than about the Constitution and encroaching government? As no one, NO ONE, is suggesting that myself or my children, daughters and son, be denied easy access to birth control, the only issue remaining is the very grown-up one of the Constitution and government encroaching on my liberty.

I do not have narrow interests by virtue of my vagina.

I get to care profoundly about freedom, the Constitution, and the economic consequences of allowing the government to decide who has to buy what and who has to provide it.

MayBee said...

but for a lot of people this reminds them that the health care law is too big, scary, and intrusive, and nobody really knows how far it goes and when it's gonna step on them.


Exactly exactly.

This also highlights the utter falsehood about Obama's 2008 candidacy, that he was the guy with a magic ability to listen to all sides and solve problems.

He didn't talk to either the Bishops or the insurance companies before he came up with this magical solution. It soooo demonstrates who he really is.

rcommal said...

Who's "The Decider" now?!

; )

rcommal said...

He will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, baby!

---

If clutter, I'll understand. But man, this overreach is bugging the hell out of me, including its dumb premises.

Bender said...

"Does anyone think a majority of women care more about the Bishops than their own access to birth control?"

Does anyone think that a majority of women can, with the prompting and power of government, tell the bishops what to do and how to do it?

Does anyone think that it is the place of government to interject itself in any disputes between Catholic women and the Catholic Church?

Does anyone think that it is the province of government to be the judge of who is and is not sufficiently religious so as to qualify for the arbitrary and narrow exemption, an exemption that is so narrow in the extreme that even Jesus and the Apostles would not qualify?

Mark O said...

Wow. Am I now to be forced to believe that women have no principles and would prefer free pills (which are already available) to freedom?

I don't know those women. Where are they. Stand up, if you are here.

rcommal said...

Bender:

Alas, yes, technically someone[s] do, at least with regard to your latter two paragraphs. (They're wrong, but there it is.) Manifestly, that's how we got into this mess to begin.

traditionalguy said...

This is not about $30 per month contraceptives. The issue is can Obama's Government order the Church to pay the blood money and thereby lower itself to Killer Obama's level.

It is about an impeachable offense.

Death Panels, partial birth abortions, the death of capitalism to a redistribution scheme, are all acts of killer Obama's life dedicated to revenge against the USA that is now coming from within our own captured White House.

The Church has guts enough to say no. Therefore the Church will overcome the killer.

rcommal said...

Mark O:

Pauline Kael once said, "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken.... "

(And nope, this does not constitute standing up, as I already made my own position clear.)

DaveW said...

I suppose if the left can spin this the way Althouse does it could work for them. That is, if it is seen as conservatives that want to argue about contraception.

Of course that is utterly false. A false construct I first heard of from Stephy as a "moderator" at a debate. There is no "conservative" effort to deny, or lessen, or alter, or fool in any way with anyone's access to contraception. None, zero, zip, nada.

There *is* an issue of the government bullying the church into paying for what it believes to be a grave evil. But I guess that's too complicated a thought for some to work their way through.

Michael said...

Andy R typed "Republicans hate the idea of women having sex free from punishment even more than they love"

Democrats hate the idea of babies even more than they love winning

Bruce Hayden said...

Should be interesting.

I do find it interesting that so many on the left are trying to revise this from a dispute between Obama and the Roman Catholic Church, to one between reproductive freedom and Republicans. Ignoring, that more likely than not, a lot of their clergy probably tend to vote Democratic. Or, at least used to before this, making this election be one of conscience.

It is subtle, with so many unreconstructed feminists (like maybe Ann?) unthinkingly taking Obama's bait here. But it never really was about reproductive freedom, and always about religious freedom. Despite the desperate attempt to spin this and use it to energize the feminists to their cause.

But, in the end, it may have some fallout. I think that Santorum may have jumped to energetically into this, and that Romney may ultimately benefit from it. This is a peculiarly Catholic thing, and most of the rest of us just can't get motivated, except that this is just one more example of Obama and his people not respecting the views, religious or not, of anyone whom they disagree.

I, for one, don't really care that insurance pays for this sort of thing, except that it is plain silly to require mandatory coverage of such a minor, ongoing, voluntary, expense, and, that those who do feel strongly on this matter on religious grounds, are being forced to fund it any way.

Bender said...

Apparently it is already a done deal. Case closed. Shut up and go home.

Despite Obama's fraud of a press conference talking about seeking compromises and trying to work things out, the door has been slammed shut.

The original plan now has the force of law.

Rabel said...

From the HHS fact sheet:

"Contraception coverage will be offered to women by their employers’ insurance companies directly, with no role for religious employers who oppose contraception.

Insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge."

I'm still hung up on the legal justification for this requirement. Late last night, yoobee(I think) traced it back to the commerce clause.

If so, doesn't this strengthen the constitutional argument against the individual mandate. That is, "If the government can force you to buy insurance under the commerce clause, it can force you to perform any commercial activity it chooses."

Bender said...

If so, doesn't this strengthen the constitutional argument against the individual mandate.

Don't think that the Justices of the Supreme Court aren't paying attention to what's going on here and that they won't remember when the ObamaCare case comes up for argument (or forget the Obama SJ's argument in the minster case that the government can do whatever it wants).

DaveW said...

I've wondered ever since this came up why the Church doesn't just self-insure, and I wonder if they (we) could dodge it (dodge becoming complicit in a grave evil) that way.

Bender said...

I've wondered ever since this came up why the Church doesn't just self-insure

Many Catholic organizations DO self-insure. And the Obama mandate requires them to include contraceptive coverage as well.

That is what is so evil about this -- it is TOTALITARIAN in its scope.

Saint Croix said...

the trap Obama set.

For your "trap" thesis to work, there have to be people who voted Republican four years ago, but now are convinced that the condom will be outlawed in a Romney administration.

I'm going with "bonehead move," because there are lots of liberal Catholics who are now convinced that his administration is hostile to the Roman Catholic church.

They will be joined, by the way, by many liberal Jews who have noticed that Obama seems hostile to a Jewish state.

Obama is a secular leftist, a socialist, a wannabe European. You know how France dictated that Muslim women could no longer wear a veil? That's Barry.

But not even the most pig-headed French socialist would attempt to impose birth control on the Catholic church.

I mean, can he not count? Lot of Catholics. Lots and lots of Catholic voters.

X said...

Don't think that the Justices of the Supreme Court aren't paying attention to what's going on here


truly a master stroke by political geniuses in the Obama administration to do this before the case is heard.

MayBee said...

Shall we take bets on whether Obama knew there was such a thing as an employer self-insuring?

David R. Graham said...

The issue is not reproduction and not economics and not directly first amend. It is political: are there lines across which a government, any government, may not push or pull any group or any individual? Do citizens and their associations have enforceable protection from any government? That's the gut of this thing. BC is merely the occasion and fortunately we have a government and it's propaganda hands resolved to make the issue very clear.

Despite the bishops' response late yesterday, I maintain they will knuckle under and make a language to declare that victory. They will not forego their wine cellars and prominences and will not go underground. Someone else will raise the sword and prevail on this one.

Bruce Hayden said...

Don't think that the Justices of the Supreme Court aren't paying attention to what's going on here and that they won't remember when the ObamaCare case comes up for argument (or forget the Obama SJ's argument in the minster case that the government can do whatever it wants).

And, keep in mind that the Court is split now 6-3 Catholics/Jews, and 5-4 conservatives/liberals, with all 5 conservatives being Roman Catholics (or at least attend Roman Catholic churches).

Yes, they are not supposed to take the teachings of their church into account when making decisions. BUT, if it is close in their minds? We shall see.

chuck b. said...

Regardless of threats to religious freedom, what I think many people will take away from this week is some vague sense that Republicans oppose contraception.

Rick Santorum primed the pump last year talking about how birth control let's you "do things in a sexual realm that are counter to how things are supposed to be". (paraphrasing) Now he's the apparent front-runner.

I think Obama knew from the start he'd have to walk back the contraception funding requirement. How long was it even out there for, just a week or two? He was goading the other side.

The election is still months away. This is a good time to mess with people's minds.

chuck b. said...

Was it Anderson Cooper who asked Romney about contraception at the GOP debate a few weeks ago? I don't think that was an accident either. Someone pointed him at that. I'm sure of it.


And now I am taking off my tinfoil hat to go clean the garage.

Chip S. said...

Obama's trap is so clever that he himself has fallen into it.

With Romney struggling to differentiate himself from Obama on the issue of insurance mandates, we're now primed to ask about this precise issue. And here's what we find out:

When Romney was shaping his 2006 health care overhaul, he wanted to allow insurance plans that offered coverage only for hospitalization and catastrophic illness, without other mandated benefits. But the Legislature rejected his proposal.

IOW, the meme that "Romneycare=Obamacare" is total bullshit.

Oh, it's a cunning plan, indeed.

MayBee said...

Was it Anderson Cooper who asked Romney about contraception at the GOP debate a few weeks ago? I don't think that was an accident either. Someone pointed him at that. I'm sure of it.

Chuck b- it was George Stephanopolous who is obviously quite tapped into Democratic political circles.

It doesn't even take a tinfoil hat. The ruling that "women's health" items like birth control pills and breast pumps were mandated to be insured with zero-out of pocket expense had already been made and announced by Sebelius.
So questioning the idea of bc being made illegal was the exact opposite of what changes are taking place in this country.
That can't have been an accident.

grackle said...

I think it's more likely they really just didn't anticipate the backlash.

Obama was advised by some in his administration to not do this but did it anyway. I think he knew that a backlash would ensue but did not anticipate the magnitude of the backlash. He also knew that he could count on the MSM to spin the controversy into an anti-conservative meme, which has already occurred and which this post has neatly illustrated.

He may have even given the MSM its talking points, as he has done before. A Democrat President doesn’t have to fear controversy very much since the MSM will always cover for him as much as they can. It’s a huge advantage for Obama.

He can't run on the economy so he has to change the subject.

The economy? Why, the economy is doing well, according to the MSM. A little sluggish but headed in the right direction, according to Obama, the Democrats and the MSM. If the economy gets so bad that it can’t be denied the MSM will spin it as having been caused by the conservatives, just as they have convinced the majority of citizens that Bush caused our present economic woes.

Ultimately, in our society, the MSM mostly determines opinion and therefore elections, especially general elections. It’s called propaganda, it’s ancient, and it is effectively controlled by the MSM. Occasional break-outs, such as the 2008 elections, are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Rusty said...

Freeman Hunt said...
How are they going to lose? It's not about contraception. It's about religious freedom



Ah, but you see, the progressive left even as evidenced here are convinced that it is all about contraception. Whether conscience of it or not their greatest fear is to debate the issue from a constitutional standpoint. G*d forbid that the it isn't a living document and those individual rights it sets aside are not awarded by the state.

Browndog said...

It's not about "birth control"

somebody might started asking 'birth of what?'

It's not about "contraception"

That's simply a mechanism..a tool

It's about women's preventative healthcare rights

And that my friends, makes it Constitutional-

So Constitutional, it trumps all other 'Constitutional' considerations.

God, do I love lib word games-

Henry said...

I'm sorry, but among my political connected friends, the only one who's even noticed this contretemps is the reliable socialist. Even my feminist friends who got all bent out of shape about the Susan G. Komen foundation didn't notice.

This is a ripple in a teapot. It's already yesterday's news.

Speaking of the Susan G. Komen foundation, I went to a kids bowling birthday today and most of the lanes were occupied by people in pink shirts participating in a fundraiser. Looked like a big turnout to me. Apparently the bowling-in-crowds folks aren't worrying about the politics of the thing.

grackle said...

It's already[been deemed by the MSM as] yesterday's news.

Fixed that up.

n.n said...

It required a civil war and the loss of several hundred thousand lives before Americans succeeded in assigning universal dignity. This time, their challenge is to determine not to whom, but when dignity should be assigned to human life. The current standard is arbitrary and even perverse.

As for contraceptives and dreams of physical instant gratification, let them accept moral and fiscal responsibility for their actions. Unfortunately, for them, the establishment of a common moral code is well within the purview of societal responsibility. However, their desire to realize their dreams through redistributive change (i.e. involuntary exploitation) is antithetical to the principle of individual dignity which underlies the universal moral code.

The prerequisite for liberty is for individuals to be capable of self-moderating behavior. The people who vote for redistributive and retributive change implicitly restrict liberty as they denigrate individual dignity and devalue human life.

We may have acquired technology and a primitive insight into our environment, but the human condition has not fundamentally changed. The dreamers continue to pursue instant gratification and with that are sponsors of progressive corruption.

Václav Patrik Šulik said...

It should be noted that, despite the announcement by the President, there has been no change in the regulations. Specifically, the HHS rule which will be published in the Federal Register was uploaded yesterday at 3:44 p.m. and states, in relevant part, “These regulations finalize, without change, interim final regulations authorizing the exemption of group health plans and group health insurance coverage sponsored by certain religious employers from having to cover certain preventive health services under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” (emphasis added) This belies the claim put forth by the administration yesterday that there has been a change, a compromise. See the document here (time of upload is in the document properties):

http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-03547_PI.pdf

Rob said...

I can only hope that the the American people are smarter than Ms. Althouse believes. This is not about contraception to me- it is about government control. In addition, it is about whether anyone can recognize a distinction without a difference. The supposed compromise is Orwellian politics supreme.

Rob said...

Doesn't a lot of this discussion lead to this: People like food. Heck, people NEED food. Wouldn't it be great if the Federal Government supplied all of our food? If you are not in favor of the Federal Government supplying all of our food, you must be against someone (minority groups, women, poor people)having ACCESS to food. You must be a heartless conservative.