Daily Contraception Mandate Lie: Who started it?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney


[Apologies for not posting the Daily Contraception Mandate Lie last Thursday and Friday, a family medical emergency – now all cleared up, it seems – interfered.]

Defense of the contraception mandate has rested on not merely speaking falsely, but actually inverting the truth – saying the exact opposite of what is true. For instance, defending a government mandate that employers provide birth-control coverage by saying government and employers shouldn’t get involved in birth control is kind of like defending TARP by saying government shouldn’t get involved in banking.

One interesting inversion is the claim that the Right picked this fight.

  • Chuck Schumer, according to The Hill, said “Republicans are ginning up a debate over social issues to distract from the improving economy.”
  • Bob Schieffer made it sound like the GOP had picked this fight, too: “we’ve spent the last couple of weeks here talking about running against birth control for goodness sake”
  • “If Republicans would stop all this ridiculous talk about contraception, I’d consider voting in November,” said one woman in the New York Times.
  • And here, right-leaning blogger Tom Dougherty tells Republicans to drop the issue of the contraception mandate.

But this isn’t a war of choice for orthodox Catholics. The Obama administration wants to make us all buy contraception coverage. They say we’re trying to make it illegal to buy contraception while they’re trying to make it illegal to not buy contraception – whether we use it is still up to us, but whether we pay for it through our employer-sponsored plan is not.

So conservatives did not pick this fight. Obama’s HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius picked the fight by introducing government into a question that used to be private, thus infringing on individual liberty in a way that many Americans find violates their conscience.

We’re fighting back. Maybe you think that’s a losing political thing to do, but that doesn’t mean (a) we shouldn’t fight, or (b) that we started the fight.

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