I don’t have a lot to add to Dr. Paul Rahe’s latest, on the abortifacient mandate:
On the face of it, President Obama would appear to be shooting himself in the foot. Why would he risk losing the Catholic vote? One could, of course, argue that his aim was to excite the feminists and give them a reason to turn out in November. As a rationale, however, even this seems a bit lame. The benefit that the President proposes to provide is insubstantial. The administration’s claim to the contrary notwithstanding, the pill and other birth control devices are not free. But the expense involved is not great. Among those who are employed and have healthcare insurance, no one is hard put to come up with the paltry sum required.
This suggests that 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.
Read the whole thing. The mandate isn’t about contraception, that’s just the proximate issue used as a wedge. The mandate is about power, and ultimately about Obama fulfilling his promise/threat to bring about “fundamental transformation” in these United States.
During testimony today, one of those opposing the mandate testified to his willingness to go to jail rather than comply with the mandate. That sentiment, overwhelmed by the pre-planned boycott of the hearing by leftist Democrats, echoes the reaction of powerful Protestant Rev. Rick Warren last week. It may come to that. It may come to pastors and bishops and lay members of religious organizations going to jail rather than allow themselves to become morally complicit in acts that they find unconscionable. Think that can’t happen? Think again.
Chillingly, that may be exactly what this president wants. He may want to marginalize religious leaders by jailing a few of them over what he and the media will sell as a fight over the pill. What better way than to paint religious authorities as out-of-touch?
My modest proposal looks less radical as each day passes.