Posted by: mutantpoodle | February 10, 2012


I admit…this morning, as I heard that the Obama Administration would propose an “accommodation” on its contraception mandate as it related to religious organizations, I feared the worst.

No so.

The “accommodation” is that women still get access to contraceptive coverage with no copay, and the cost wioll be picked up by the insurance companies, who are happy to do this because, well, contraception is cheaper than pregnancy taken to term or abortion.

Meanwhile, virtually the entire Republican party has gone on record, in one form or another, against access to contraception – access which north of 98% of women take advantage of, no matter what their faith.  Or, as ABL says at Balloon Juice:

[Republicans demonstrated] to Democratic and Republican women alike (as well as those crucial independents) that what Republicans really want to do is install a tiny government in to every women’s vagina and arrogate complete control over women’s sexuality and health.

(Which reminds me of the West Wing episode where Josh Lyman scolds a gay GOP Representative for wanting to shrink government so it’s …”just small enough to fit in our bedrooms.”)

Amanda Marcotte thinks the GOP got punked.

He drew this out for two weeks, letting Republicans work themselves into a frenzy of anti-contraception rhetoric, all thinly disguised as concern for religious liberty, and then created a compromise that addressed their purported concerns but without actually reducing women’s access to contraception, which is what this has always been about. (As Dana Goldstein reported in 2010, before the religious liberty gambit was brought up, the Catholic bishops were just demanding that women be denied access and told to abstain from sex instead.) With the fig leaf of religious liberty removed, Republicans are in a bad situation. They can either drop this and slink away knowing they’ve been punked, or they can double down. But in order to do so, they’ll have to be more blatantly anti-contraception, a politically toxic move in a country where 99% of women have used contraception.

Marcotte thinks the GOP will fold, but I’m not sure their survival instincts on this count are that good.*

At the end of the clip above, a reporter shouts out, “What did Archbishop Dolan say, sir?”, but Obama walked off without answering.  Probably the best move; I’d have been tempted to say “I don’t give a flying fuck what Archbishop Dolan says, because we’ve addressed his concern and it’s none of his business what women choose to do with respect to their reproductive health.  He can keep complaining, if he likes, but we’re done here.”

Which is just one of several million reasons I am not, and never will be, President of these United States.

UPDATE: ThinkProgress points out that the vast majority of those bloviating about this on the teevee weren’t going to be, you know, affected at all by whatever the President decided to do.  I’m sure that’s because women would be biased, and only straight white men can pass judgment on matters that might affect them.

*UPDATE II: The GOP is, as TPM says, going all-in on this fight.


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