The Obama Administration is clearly not backing down from its HHS mandate that Catholic institutions violate their consciences and fund evil.
Below is a post from the Catholic Register in toto:
UPDATED: Sure enough, Obama NOT looking to compromiseby Steven D. Greydanus Wednesday, February 08, 2012 2:28 PM Comments (25)Hat tip: The Anchoress.
Sure enough, in a press conference this afternoon, press secretary Jay Carney reaffirmed Obama’s commitment to the HHS mandate as it stands, though he declined to comment on whether the president would override a veto promised by Republican leadership.
We are committed, the president is committed, to ensuring that woman have access to contraception without any extra cost, regardless of where they work.
So, there you have it. When Axelrod says “we need to lower our voices,” he doesn’t mean “both sides,” It’s a soft version of “Shut up, he explained.”
“The art of saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a rock” is how Will Rogers famously defined diplomacy. Often enough, it’s an apt definition for politics too.
Strangely, some dogs seem to be buying it. A NewsMax story picked up by Fox News solemnly reported, “Obama Signals He May Back Down on Contraception Mandate,” and opened with the lede, “Roman Catholic pressure to get the Obama administration to back down from its insistence that they provide free contraceptives in their healthcare plans appeared to be paying off on Tuesday.”
Really? Is that what Obama is signaling?
The story quotes David Axelrod, a top adviser to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “I think we need to lower our voices and get together.”
“Lower our voices.” And whose voices have been raised? Why, the president’s critics—a broad coalition representing a wide range of religious (or non-religious) and political perspectives, all concerned about the administration’s blithe disregard for first amendment protections of religious freedom.
The clamor of critical opinion is loud and growing. It’s been suggested that it could cost Obama reelection. I’m sure Axelrod would like “us” to lower “our” voices—at least until November. Note that this statement didn’t come from the press secretary or a top policy adviser, but an adviser to the president’s reelection campaign.
Axelrod also said:
We have great respect for the work that these institutions do, and we certainly don’t want to abridge anyone’s religious freedoms, so we’re going to look for a way to move forward that both provides women with the preventative care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions.
Well, that sounds not entirely unpromising, in theory. But then the story goes on:
Axelrod said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had already given churches an exemption to the mandate, against the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine. “The question now is about these extended affiliated institutions … and there are tens of thousands – hundreds of thousands – of women who work in these hospitals and universities who are not Catholic or they may be Catholic and they use birth control. The question is whether they are going to have the same package that every other woman in the country has to the same right and access to basic preventive care.”
Catch that? Just look at how generous Sebelius has already been with churches: It’s not like she’s making the Church pay for contraceptive and abortifacient coverage for employees of actual parishes and dioceses! Even though the Institute of Medicine thought she should! What more do you want?
And the last sentence gives it all away: In the eyes of the administration, coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortifacients is “basic preventive care.” It’s a question of whether all women have the “same rights.”
That’s not something this administration is looking to back down from. Anyone who thinks otherwise is asking for a rock upside the head by year’s end.
What do you think?