Oh Mitt!

Rick Santorum doesn’t think any insurance should cover contraception.  Wanta join the crazy train?  Good, I knew you would…


Santorum, of course, isn’t the type of person that the president is likely to persuade on topics of contraception coverage. The former Pennsylvania senator is a renowned culture warrior, who has risen back to the top of the Republican primary polls by appealing to social issues. Elaborating on why he opposed the revised version of the Obama contraception rule, he explained that he didn’t believe insurance companies should cover contraception at all.

“This has nothing to do with access,” he said. “This is having someone pay for it, pay for something that shouldn’t even be in an insurance plan anyway because it is not, really an insurable item. This is something that is affordable, available. You don’t need insurance for these types of relatively small expenditures. This is simply someone trying to impose their values on somebody else, with the arm of the government doing so. That should offend everybody, people of faith and no faith that the government could get on a roll that is that aggressive.”


That’s Not A Compromise on Birth Control Coverage

It’s a total victory.


That’s the nitty-gritty. The fun part of this is that Obama just pulled a fast one on Republicans. 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.

More Like Quigley Please

Missed this the other day.  He addresses the contraception issue well:


Protection of religious freedom means considering the faiths and beliefs of everyone involved. Just as the beliefs of Catholics at Catholic institutions must be respected, so too must we respect the beliefs of other religious and non-religious followers. Take for example a Catholic university where Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and followers of other faiths work – should these individuals be denied access to contraception even though their religions do not oppose contraception use? If we expand the religious exemption too far, and allow religiously-affiliated institutions to deny contraception to their employees regardless of their religious beliefs, we begin to see the beliefs and rights of those who support and require contraception infringed upon.

A balance must be struck between protecting the rights of religious followers and others who may be impacted by a religious exemption. The Supreme Court, in Texas Monthly, Inc. v. Bullock, explained that religious exemptions should be tailored so they do not “impose substantial burdens on nonbeneficiaries.” Denial of contraception to women without the financial means to afford it could cause substantial economic burdens, and even greater burdens if the lack of contraception results in an unintended pregnancy. Further, a lack of access to contraception could also be a substantial burden for women who rely on oral contraception for noncontraceptive benefits such as reduced pain and severity of symptoms.

Quigley quoted on Talking Points Memo

Quigley cautioned his pro-choice colleagues against that.

“Look, this is the right thing to do, and it’s the politically correct thing to do,” he told me. “Rarely do you get both of those on the same page.”

It’s not hard and only old white guys seem to not get it.

CREDO Targets Walsh

Aaron has the full story:


CREDO Mobile’s Super PAC will set its sights on ten tea party Congressman this November according to a press release. Illinois’ own self-proclaimed “crazy Tea Party freshman,” Joe Walsh heads the list of the six named so far by the group.

Walsh faces a tough reelection fight in the redrawn 8th Congressional District that spans from O’Hare to Elgin. His Democratic opponent is not yet known as two heavyweights, Tammy Duckworth and Raja Krishnamoorthi, fight it out until the March 20 primary.

CREDO aims to support local organizing in all ten targeted districts through a volunteer based grassroots initiative. The newly formed SuperPAC claims to have the second most donors, trailing only satirist Stephen Colbert’s foray into politics, and will spend millions of dollars around the nation.

“We’re talking about some of the most odious members of Congress. Even for Republicans these guys are low,” said Campaign Manager Matthew “Mudcat” Arnold in a statement. “We’re going to empower local activists to organize their friends and neighbors to lay out the truth about their representatives in the most basic terms: They are anti-woman. They are anti-science. They are hypocritical, bigoted, and have said and done things that are downright crazy. They’ve done more to embarrass their constituents then they have to govern or work toward solutions. They are unfit for Congress, and we’re going to help their constituents hold them accountable.”

Walsh is toast, but it’s probably a good fundraising tool given he always attracts attention.  Imagine how awesome it must be for the trackers on Duckworth and Raja’s campaign following around a truly crazy person all day.

The Ignorance of The Pundits

Catholic Bishops whine and Chris Matthews and EJ Dionne think the end of the world is coming.  The amazing thing about watching pundits on television is how little they know.  Listening to Mathews, Dionne, or Chuck Todd talk about how mandating contraceptive coverage in religiously affiliated institutions is going to lead to Catholics voting against Obama in huge numbers, one has to wonder if they know anything about actual Catholic voters.

As has been pointed out repeatedly around the internets, huge majorities of Catholics support Obama’s position on the issue.  Also, despite the caterwauling by Bishops, many of the Catholic affiliated institutions already provide contraceptive care in their health care plans.  One might think they are being disingenuous or something.  But the great intelligentsia is convinced the Bishops equal Catholic opinion and repeat  stupid claims about how this will hurt the President while there is no evidence it will and some evidence it might even help.

But more than anything what stuns me about this whole deal is that similar coverage is already mandated in 28 states.    The Bishops have started a fight over an issue they lost years ago and pundits have gone along for the ride.  I long ago gave up any hope that television pundits knew anything about public policy, but the annoying thing is their stubbornness in staying ignorant while pontificating on it for weeks.

As I have been railing about for 8 years, this is another battle in the war on making anything sexual icky and tut tutting about slutty women who do nothing more than act like normal human beings.  Mature human beings understand that sex is a normal part of life and sexual health is like any other health care issue.  However, our chattering classes constantly cave to a bunch of ninnies who treat the entire subject as somehow strange and dangerous.

People, those average people on the street pundits like to claim to understand, use contraception and not only is that okay, it’s a good thing.  Planning being a parent is a very good thing–it’s what a responsible adult does.

Santorum, the Bishops, and other scolds want to deny reality on sex and adults because  they think they know better what women should be doing with their bodies.   It’s time to tell them to grow up and act like mature adults.

It’s Not a New Schtick










While Romney is the likely nominee for the Republicans, a Barack – Newt match-up would be hysterical to watch.  Kind of like some race in 2004.  Lots of bold claims about how Newt’s brilliance will wipe the floor with Obama only to have it turn into caterwauling about how anyone thought Newt would be anything, but a disaster while runs a campaign based on repeated proclamations of how brilliant he is.


Any pics of Newt in a cowboy hat or videos of him singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow are greatly appreciated.


BTW, Eric has made similar cases that Newt and Keyes are similar.