House Republicans who featured posters and quotations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., deployed "Stalinist-like tactics" against the contraception mandate today, according to a Democratic legislator who was scolding the religious leaders testifying against the mandate.
"This is a panel designed, with your conscious participation or not, to try one more time to embarrass the President of the United States and his Administration by overstating an issue which is sacred to all Americans -- religious freedom," Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said this morning during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. "But, of course, in order to do it, we have to -- in an almost Stalinist-like fashion -- have signs of Democratic icons to rub Democratic faces in it, as if those icons would be on the same side of this dispute today," he said.
Rabbi Meir Soloveichik disputed the Democrats' exlusive claim to the legacies of Kennedy and King. "The notion that we're here to push a political agenda could not be more untrue," Soloveichik said, recalling the complaint about "Democratic icons" in the room. "I just want to say as a religious American, as an American, and as an American clergyman, that someone like Martin Luther King, Jr. is not a Democratic icon or a Republican icon; he is an American icon," he said. "And that is because we all as Americans care about liberty and equality as the two great pillars of what America is all about."