Rightbloggers Go to Holy War for Hobby Lobby, Against Abortion Pills, Lady Judges
As typically happens when birth control is mentioned in their presence (see Fluke, Sandra) rightbloggers portrayed the case as one in which sluts forced the innocent to buy them slut pills.They also promoted stranger ideas -- for instance, that liberals were trying not just to enforce their so-called "law" but also to destroy religion, using health care coverage to that purpose (because what other purpose could it possibly have?).
Briefly: Under the Affordable Care Act employers have to provide their full-time employees with health insurance. Also under the ACA, health insurance coverage must include birth control if the insured needs and wants it. Jesus Christ told the owners of Hobby Lobby that to allow their employees to get contraceptives through their health insurance would be a great sin. Thus, this case.
Conservative legal authorities had their own game going, usually involving angels, pinheads, and dancing; for example, when the government asked why Hobby Lobby et alia didn't just opt out of providing health insurance and pay the $2,000-a-head fine, Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy ah-ha'd, this "demonstrates that the government actually does not view it as essential that people receive insurance through their employers as opposed to from other sources." Maybe Volokh favors single payer.
Volokh also proposed alternative remedies: e.g., "Employers with conscientious objections could compensate for not providing contraceptive coverage by adding other valuable coverage to the employees' plans, thus ensuring that the employer receives no financial benefit from the objection and that the employees bear no net burden." Come on, now -- Obama put changes like that in the contraceptive mandate already, and look where that got us. Satisfying logical concerns only works if your opponents are using logic.
Hold on, we thought liberals were all sissies. Maybe he's lisping? Is that why the word balloons are pink? (Via.)
Regular rightbloggers didn't bother with this, endeavoring instead to clear up a theological matter: That birth control and abortion are the same thing, at least for purposes of religious liberty litigation.
Ed Whelan at National Review reported that when the White House went to the Institute of Medicine (a liberal fascist "scientific" organization) for recommendations on health insurance requirements, IOM told them to include "among other things, all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that can kill an embryo." The embryo-killer he refers to is Plan B, which prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall -- which, though it does not generate bloody photos suitable for waving at terrified women at Planned Parenthood, is still an abortion to such as Whelan.
"Hobby Lobby is an abortion case," agreed Whelan's colleague Matthew J. Franck. The Obama Administration was "citing a brief filed by some medical professionals that 'explains' that no abortions are caused by any of the mandated drugs and devices" but, Franck insisted, "that 'explanation' rests on wordplay about 'pregnancy' and 'implantation.'" Franck had an explanation -- scare-quotes presumably missing -- from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other such groups, and they see it as he does: Once that sperm fertilizes that egg, all rights are transferred from the female body surrounding it to the speck itself.
The more disciplined among the brethren made a point of referring to the birth control requirements strictly as "the Obamacare abortion-drug, contraception, and sterilization mandate," which mellifluous usage is apparently meant to sway people who wonder why Hobby Lobby doesn't just cough up the pills already. Others just brassed it out in their own way, e.g. Jill Stanek: "The mandate would require employers - despite their religious objections - to cover abortifacient drugs in employees' insurance plans, or pay heavy penalties." Not only aborty, but also facient, which sounds like "fascist," right?
Not everyone was so strategic. Some of the rightblogger arguments took the form of simple abuse, e.g., "Leftards Going The Extra Mile For Stupidity... Hobby Lobby Case Sends The Left Spiraling Towards Psychotic Dementia!!!" "To me, the outcome of this case should be obvious," declared Frank Camp of Reading The Score. "...I think liberals know this, so they have begun to set up straw man arguments -- many of which are comically stupid." Camp gave as an example Senator Barbara Boxer's comparison of Hobby Lobby's objection to birth control with a theoretical objection to Viagra. Explained Camp: "Barbara 'off with their heads' Boxer has set up a straw man which she believes will distract people from the real argument at hand. Boxer has shifted the debate to women's rights... Boxer is being intellectually dishonest if she thinks that what she is claiming is remotely believable. Either that, or she's just not that bright." OK, perhaps "explained" wasn't the best word for what Camp did here. (Later: "Barbara Boxer is a liar. She is an intellectually, and morally bankrupt woman who seems to have nothing better to do than lie repeatedly on national television." The title of Camp's post is "LIAR ALERT! SENATOR BARBARA BOXER DECEIVES IN HOBBY LOBBY CASE." Somebody prank-call this guy and tell him you need a character reference for Barbara Boxer.)
The religious-right bloggers were about what you'd expect. One assiduous follower of the case was National Review editor and devout Catholic Kathryn J. Lopez. "Do people who run businesses have a right to religious liberty on the job?" she asked, referring to, you guessed it, "the Department of Health and Human Services's Obamacare abortion-drug, contraception, and sterilization mandate." Lopez also attended demonstrations outside the Supreme Court and concluded from these that "what the Hobby Lobby case is about" is "sexual revolutionary values trumping freedom."
When President Obama visited the Pope, Lopez saw all sorts of Hobby Lobby visions. "The pope - who is not unknown for exuberant embraces - seemed to display a fatherly concern in his body language as he greeted the president," she said, and provided a photo just in case we thought she was kidding. Lopez exulted in what she perceived as the dwindling popularity of Obama -- "long gone are the days since the president has been heralded on the likes of the cover of Time and Rolling Stone" -- and the unstoppable power of the pontiff ("even Barack Obama wants something of what this Pope Francis has. Which is not a winning political agenda, but an eternal one: Christ"). But Lopez bristled when MSNBC referred to Obama and Francis as "champions of income equality." "Don't tell me President Obama is a champion of income equality," seethed Lopez, "when the Little Sisters of the Poor - women religious who serve the elderly poor -- are in court seeking the religious freedom that is our God-given right, and once a herald of our country." But what does that -- ah, forget it, she's rolling.
When Obama left the Vatican, Lopez summed up: "During Hobby Lobby week, is there a prayer our president left the Vatican willing to consider the un-American choice he's forced on the Little Sisters of the Poor?"
A number of the brethren had no such prayer, being convinced that the Obamacare defenders were not merely mistaken -- they were actively seeking to destroy America and/or God.