March 11, 2012

"White House Works to Shape Debate Over Health Law"... with a prayer vigil.

The quote in the post title is the headline of this NYT article by Robert Pear, which begins by telling us that the White House is undertaking "an aggressive campaign" to milk maximum political advantage out of the upcoming 3 days of Supreme Court oral argument over the Affordable Care Act.
On Wednesday, White House officials summoned dozens of leaders of nonprofit organizations that strongly back the health law to help them coordinate plans for a prayer vigil, press conferences and other events outside the court when justices hear arguments for three days beginning March 26.
Coordinate plans for a prayer vigil?!

That's one way to shape debate, showing people praying to keep Obamacare alive. But why would the White House want to create the impression that they believe that God, influenced by prayer, might sway the Supreme Court? Or is it that they believe that some Supreme Court Justices might be swayed by the spectacle of people praying for a statute to be held constitutional? They can't want us to believe they believe that. Presumably, they just want to promote the belief that Obamacare is terribly important and people desperately want it preserved. Personally, I think Obama is better off politically if the Supreme Court strikes down the law, so for maximum political advantage what he ought to want is simply to impress the electorate with the desperate need for Obamacare, so if its taken away we'll feel outraged instead of relieved.

42 comments:

Pogo said...

I advise burying a potato in the back yard.

rhhardin said...

It's the swarm of narratives strategy, all aimed at women.

Pogo said...

Wait, that's for warts.

They should instead use paper mâché heads and ask the Justices what they will do when they are attcked.

dbp said...

There was a time when I would have thought the Obama administration was playing a long game with this move. It would be really smart to make a big show of defending the law if you expect it to be struck down.

Now, I just assume they are stupid enough to think this bit of theatrics will persuade the Supreme Court to uphold the law.

Am I becoming cynical?

Chuck66 said...

Well, he made the doctors wear the white lab coats at one event, so I wonder if he will make all the preachers wear clerical collars for this event.

I know of a ocuple of left wing preachers who always wear their collars when making political statements about things like gay marriage They are pro-gay marriage and want to make the impression that religious leaders support gay marriage.

It is all theater

Pogo said...

They said if I voted for John McCain that we would get a theocracy, and they were right!

sydney said...

I no longer recognize my country.

Calypso Facto said...

Are Catholics invited? I thought they were Teh Evil Ones from the mandatory contraception debate?

YoungHegelian said...

Two or three weeks ago Obama gave a speech at a local black church where he said he wanted the parishes to appoint captains to get out the vote for him.

Obama has decided that his re-election strategy involves mobilizing his base rather than reaching out to independents. So, put together two facts:

1) 95% of blacks supported Obama last time.

2) Blacks are the most religious ethnic group in the US.

and you have the reason for the prayer vigil.

I'll also take a bet with anyone that there will be no support for SSM marriage in the Democratic Party platform in 2012, in spite of support from folks like Villaraigosa. The black wing of the party will kill it.

Michael McNeil said...

Ah, the joys of a single-payer government monopoly on health care…: “More than half of elderly and disabled people in [UK] care homes are being denied basic health services while staff are failing to to do enough to preserve their dignity, according to an official review.”

EDH said...

In advance of the Supreme Court ruling and the election, would it be shrewd for Republicans to pass legislation for Obama's signature that would insert a severability clause in Obamacare?

Obama would then have to defend how the mandate is essential to his plan.

Otherwise, Obama gets to talk about everything about Obamacare except the mandate.

Michael The Magnificent said...

I don't doubt they are praying to maintain the law so that Sandra Fluke can continue to get her freak-on (adultery) at someone else's expense (stealing).

My question is, which God are they praying to?

Chuck66 said...

"They said if I voted for John McCain that we would get a theocracy, and they were right!"

There are variations of that joke from 1965-66. A quick internet search finds:

They told me that if I voted for Goldwater, we would have riots in the cities and half a million troops in Vietman. They were right; I did and we do.

"They told me if I voted for Goldwater we'd end up in a land war in Asia.
I voted for Goldwater, and, sure enough, we ended up in a land war in Asia."


They told me if I voted for Barry Goldwater we would end up in a land war in Asia. We'd have Americans dying in jungles we never heard of for countries we knew nothing about. Well they were right, I voted for Goldwater and ended up in Vietnam.


They told me if I voted for Goldwater, we'd get into a war. I voted for him, and by God, they were right.


“They told me if I voted for Goldwater we’d be at war in Vietnam in six months — and I did and we were.”

madAsHell said...

Prayer vigil??...... Were they facing Mecca??

Rialby said...

Remember that Progressives, Blacks and Muslims can be religious or "spiritual". White Christian conservatives, not so much. That's "scary".

edutcher said...

A Commie prayer vigil.

Chairman Mao and Father Karl must be spinning.

I wonder what Anita Dunn says.

YoungHegelian said...

Two or three weeks ago Obama gave a speech at a local black church where he said he wanted the parishes to appoint captains to get out the vote for him.

Obama has decided that his re-election strategy involves mobilizing his base rather than reaching out to independents. So, put together two facts:

1) 95% of blacks supported Obama last time.

2) Blacks are the most religious ethnic group in the US.

and you have the reason for the prayer vigil.

I'll also take a bet with anyone that there will be no support for SSM marriage in the Democratic Party platform in 2012, in spite of support from folks like Villaraigosa. The black wing of the party will kill it.


Unless inflation is cut in half in the next 8 months, won't do 'em any good.

Mark O said...

Here's the problem. Instead of debating whether there should be any mandate, order, command, dictate, fiat, or dispensation, we are debating what should go into it.

Framed like this, the Dems win and we can argue about the minutiae.

SGT Ted said...

The prayer vigils were a hit during the civil rights days. "We shall Overcome" and all that. Very moving.


They think forcing some people to pay for other peoples doctors bills is a civil right.

Thats what going on here. It is the conflation of European Socialism/Marxist class societies, with authoritarians harvesting tax dollars from other private entities to pay somebody elses bills is some sort of "human right", with US style civil liberties, which are restrictions on government.

Thats how they roll. Thats how the commies have always rolled.

Chuck66 said...

Mark O......conservative pundits predicted this before the bill passed.

That once it passed, there was no going back. You could only fight about the details.

Basically we already lost.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sydney said...

If the White House organizes a prayer vigil, or the President asks churches to organize voters for him - is that a violation of the Constitution?
Also, if churches organize votes for a particular politician, don't they give up their tax exempt status?

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

The Obamoids are counting on their wholly-owned subsidiaries in the media to focus on the 'crowds' so manufactured and bussed-in to their 'prayer' meetings. This is merely chapter 2 of the Occupier videos.

It's also cynicism on stilts, with intent to punish the religious citizens of flyover country with views of the faithful 'praying' in favor of the government takeover of their healthcare.

Obama must think the merging of church and state is a winning tactic for him - on such occasions he's not beating up the churches for clinging to their principles and beliefs.

Roger J. said...

I noted the WH trotted out the Koch brothers again--man, those must be some nasty mofos--somehow I suspect that shelling out 5$ a gallon for gas every time you fill up, is going to be much more cutting issue. But who knows. As for prayer vigils they have them all the time at executions, but dont appear to do much good for the person being executed. Dont believe prayer vigils will resonate with the supremes.

edutcher said...

No idea what Mark and Chuck (with whom I often agree) are talking about.

Nobody's debating what should be in it. I hear everybody talking about what's wrong with it and why it's another reason why it should be repealed.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Message: I care about religion."

Roger J. said...

Somehow I think the WH advisors and the president really dont understand predominately black churches--the black churches I attend from time to time are very much social conservatives. How their world view will play out in prayer vigils, Obamacare, and the like, I think will remain to be seen.

Steve Koch said...

Obama wants to strong arm (Chicago style) the supreme court (not the first time he has done that) and put public pressure on them via the demonstrations that he is organizing.

It is unseemly that the prez is applying physical pressure on the supreme court. Seriously, has a prez ever before organized demonstrations at the supreme court to influence their decision? It is shameful. Obama softens the image of the demonstration by calling it a prayer vigil in the hope that dumb asses won't notice that he is trying to physically intimidate the justices.

"Personally, I think Obama is better off politically if the Supreme Court strikes down the law"

Althouse's complete misunderstanding of the DNC political process is hilarious. ObamaCare is the shining accomplishment of the dnc/Obama. The dnc would gladly choose to sacrifice Obama's reelection to preserve ObamaCare. Relentlessly ratcheting forward the expansion of government size, power, and cost and taking over and politicizing private industry is what the dnc/left is all about. Preserving ObamaCare is muuuuch more important to the dems than reelecting Obama.

BTW, you would think that a constitutional lawyer like Althouse would be outraged that a prez would organize demonstrations at the supreme court to influence a critical decision by the justices.

Bruce Hayden said...

Are Catholics invited? I thought they were The Evil Ones from the mandatory contraception debate?

Well, we have a problem then. They need to pick off at least two of the Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court in order to win. This may not be the best way. Assuming that this sort of praying doesn't adversely affect the votes of any of the three Jews on the Court who are thought more likely to support the legislation.

If the legislation is overturned, it will almost assuredly be by at least five Roman Catholic Justices. My question then would be whether the timing for the HHS rules, that essentially requires that religiously affiliated and/or managed organizations essentially provide free contraception to their employees, could maybe have been better.

I do think that dbp above has a point that maybe the Obama Administration is just not as smart as we all give it credit for, and really is more reacting than playing any sort of long game. A long game might not have tied ObamaCare as closely to requiring Catholic charities and the like to provide free contraception, right before being heard by a Supreme Court having six Roman Catholics sitting on it. And, pushing praying for the survival of the legislation just makes the religious aspect here that much more obvious.

Michael The Magnificent said...

"Message: I care about religion."

Message 2: Religious people support me and this legislation.

Ralph L said...

Basically we already lost.
Can 40 Dem senators stop its repeal?

PatCA said...

Appealing to the deity for free birth control, so that the faithful can shag like bunnies?

Oh, the irony.

traditionalguy said...

The new 23rd Psalm: Obama is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green places in free Hospital beds. He extends my unemployment benefits.

Yea, though I walk through Texas after crossing the border, I will fear no Arapaio.

He serveth me benefits in the presence of evil GOP enemies.

Surely Obama and Pelossi shall follow me with new entitlements all the days of my life.

LilyBart said...

Honestly, when I read they were having a prayer vigil for their healthcare law - I laughed out loud. Hey, lets all get together to pray for the law that's latest victim appears to be religious liberty. Oh, the irony.

LilyBart said...

"Message: I care about religion."

Anyone who thinks Obama cares about religion, or God, should read about the theology of the church he attended for 20 year - Liberation Theology. It seem to me that the people who founded this sect (James Coan et al) used the framework of Christianity as a basis for "Community Organizing".

neomom said...

Where are all the usual suspects screeching about the separation of church and state?

Michael The Magnificent said...

Where are all the usual suspects screeching about the separation of church and state?

If it weren't for double-standards, the left wouldn't have any standards at all.

Jean said...

To Steve Koch. I agree. Obamacare gives the progressives carte blanche as it is slowly developing. There were few specifics in the law. Others are to be added as Pelosi stated, we have to find out what's in it. My humble guess is that the number of pages that contain the so called health care law has doubled in size as more and more regulations are added. I agree with Steve that all involved would throw the magic negro under the bus as easily as he has thrown his "friends" under the bus. All they can see are dollar bills flowing enlessly into their pockets with the permission of the carte blanche passage.

hoyden said...

If the Obama White House really wants to put the dash of panache to this Prayer Vigil, they need to pull out those Styrofoam Greek columns from his Denver rally. Nothing says authenticity with respect to Obama and Prayer, like Greek gStyrofoam columns.

Penny said...

"Non-Profit Leaders"

Possible?

Of course.

Penny said...

Bill Gates or Al Sharpton?

Pick one!

JAL said...

Say what?

Steve Koch said...

I wouldn't say "magic negro" since that isn't the way I talk or think and since Obama's race has nothing to do with the issue.