It’s been a topic of speculation as to why Obama is pushing the contraceptive mandate on Catholic institutions. Why pick this fight? There’s one school of thought that says President Obama is like the scorpion riding on top of the frog. He knows that killing the frog dooms him but he can’t help it, he’s a scorpion. I think there’s some truth to that. Liberals believe in the magical healing powers of contraception. They think it cures everything including overpopulation, deficits, and education.
But there’s another line of thinking as well that says Obama picked this fight with Catholics simply because he thinks it will help him win the election. To look at the last few weeks of media spin, you’d have to say that he might just be right.
Or is he?
Up in Massachusetts, Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has pushed all chips into the middle of the table on the contraception issue.
The Weekly Standard reports:
Ever since President Obama’s announced a so-called “accommodation” to Obamacare’s new contraception and abortifacient mandate on February 10, Democrats have believed the issue is a surefire winner for them–especially in liberal Massachusetts. In radio ads, op-eds, and interviews, Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren cast Republican senator Scott Brown as an extremist for supporting a conscience exemption to the mandate. “She revamped her entire campaign for the last three weeks to orient it around this issue and took on the mold of a social warrior,” a Brown campaign official tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD.
The mandate dominated news for the month of February, but polls show that Warren’s contraception war hasn’t worked out as planned.
Brown still leads in polls. Is is possible that folks are seeing through this charade by the Obama administration and seeing it for the drastic government overreach that it is? I’ve seen polls that show mutually exclusive results so I honestly don’t know what to believe.
But if the framing of this issue in people’s minds is the religious liberty angle and not “mean ol’ Republicans denying women access to reproductive healthcare” angle then it’s due to one thing. Let’s face it, the Republican presidential candidates haven’t really broken through the media cloud on this issue. So you’d have to say, it’s been the bishops’ efforts to frame this issue despite the media’s best efforts in concert with the Democratic party. This might just be a hopeful sign for the bishops that they don’t have to go through the filter of the Obama friendly mainstream media.
I’ve got to admit I have this secret dream that many of the bishops finally realize that cheering on the expansion of government, no matter the good intentions, eventually and inevitably threatens the Church. We’ll see what happens.
March 9, 2012 at 11:30 am
I hope so.
But they've still got the Rick Santorum/Mitt Romney/GOP in general will ban birth control entirely card they're going to play. HARD. Before the election.
Which is B.S. because my "enlightened" friends said the same thing re: Bush in 2000 (and called me stupid for wanting to vote for Bush, even though I wasn't 18 yet and couldn't).
March 9, 2012 at 11:40 am
Matt: When the state becomes truly concerned about the common good and realizes that it is the servant of the people not their master, the state will have come into its own. When statesmen upholding our founding principles replace politicians with the philosophy of: "Take as much as you can as fast as you can" (Obama and Saul Alinsky) citizenship will have become a truly rewarding experience. Many people will quote: ”Render unto Caesar, what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.” to explain the principle of separation of church and state. Jesus was telling the Pharisees that Caesar was head of the state and that the state and Caesar both belong to God, our Creator.
March 9, 2012 at 11:47 am
Amy: All the Republicans want to do is ban the bill for contraceptives. Why should the state pay for contraceptives, except that it thinks (it thinks?)contraception will enable its agenda. The state is still using the people. The people do not know that they are being manipulated because of the frenzy brought about by the outright lies, half truths and spins put on the reality of what is being perpetrated in the name of ugly power. UGLY POWER as opposed to the Holy Spirit and brotherly love.
March 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm
Before you can ascertain the effect of the HHS mandate, you need to ask a couple of basic questions:
1) How many "undecideds" does this mandate draw to your side? How many does it drive to the other side? I'd say the answers to these questions is probably a slight net loss of votes for BHO. Unfortunately, just a slight loss.
2) Does this energize your base more or the other base? Without a doubt, it energized the opposite more, but they were more energized anyway after 3 years of statism.
3) Does it help you raise funds? Does it help your opponents raise funds more? Probably neutral. Most people have chosen which side of the line they're on and independents don't contribute anyway.
4) Does this help or hurt your case in the Supreme Court in 2 weeks? Incredibly damaging, which is why it's so weird to do now. How can the Solicitor General argue that the law is constitutional even though it gives a bureaucrat the power to ignore enumerated rights?
The frog and scorpion analogy may be apt, but there is something more going on here. Even if the dems and the MSM wanted to ignite the culture war to drag the republicans down in the polls, this may prove to be a losing gambit if SCOTUS kills Obamacare.
March 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm
I really tire of those Catholics who tell us that Jesus demands big government. I checked the Gospels and I didn't see this…
"The King will say to those on his left, 'Enter the Kingdom prepared for you since before the foundation of the world, for when I was hungry, you paid taxes for a government program to feed the poor; when I was thirsty you, through forced taxation, supported a government program to dig wells. I was naked and your taxes provided a bureaucracy to give used clothes to the naked, alone and in prison and you provided cable TV through your government.
"But to those on his left he will say, depart from me, because you opposed these important programs through the government."
As Catholics, our obligations to the poor are not something we can abdicate to government programs and think we have done our Christian duty, and it tires me when people think they can.
Those who think this is possible are, I believe, like the goats on the King's left. They will say, we did all these things through government bureaucracy and the King will respond, "acting under penalty of law is not the same as giving from a generous heart,"