There are actually a few examples of double-track thinking going on regarding the left’s freakout over the Hobby Lobby decision; Jonah Goldberg charts several of them in his latest column:
Hobby Lobby never objected to covering birth control per se. It already covers 16 kinds of birth control for its employees. But it objected to paying for what it considers to be abortifacients, which don’t prevent a pregnancy but terminate one. The pro-abortion-rights lobby can argue that “abortion” and “birth control” are synonymous terms, but that doesn’t make it true. One lesson here is that overreaching can have unintended consequences. We saw that last week when the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the White House had overplayed its hand when it comes to the president’s ability to make recess appointments. By abusing a presidential prerogative, Obama invited the court to address the issue. As a result, presidential power — at least in this regard — is now more curtailed.
Similarly, the Hobby Lobby decision opens the door for closely held companies to deny coverage of all forms of birth control if they can plausibly argue that doing so would violate their conscience. The decision doesn’t apply to large, publicly held corporations, but even if it did, it is unlikely that many companies would go down that path. And even if they did, birth control would not be “banned” – employees simply would have to pay for it themselves. The notion that denying a subsidy for a product is equivalent to banning that product is one of the odder tenets of contemporary liberalism.
Yes, as Stacy McCain recently explored in his Existential Theory of Liberalism, “To a liberal, nothing exists unless it is mandated, subsidized and/or regulated by the federal government.”
This massively retweeted quote from Sean Davis of the Federalist sums up the paradoxical worldview of America’s far left today:
“Get your politics out of my bedroom!” “Not a problem. I’m just going to grab my wallet before I leave.” “The wallet stays, bigot.”
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) June 30, 2014