Despite the obfuscations of charlatan pundits such as Odious Joan Walsh, the consensus is rapidly forming that Sebelius and Obama made a gross miscalculation when they decided to try to impose the HHS mandate on the Catholic Church. The Wall Street Journal:
The political furor over President Obama’s birth-control mandate continues to grow, even among those for whom contraception poses no moral qualms, and one needn’t be a theologian to understand why. The country is being exposed to the raw political control that is the core of the Obama health-care plan, and Americans are seeing clearly for the first time how this will violate pluralism and liberty.
Democrat legislators are now jumping ship, saying that they were duped into supporting ObamaCare and attempting to distance themselves in particular from this latest secular hegemony. In fact, it’s reported that Cracked Head Club Member and VP of the United States Joe Biden warned Obama not to make this move, and the Anchoress is speculating that Sebelius’ insistence on moving forward with this mandate was one of the principal reasons for Daley’s abandoning ship.
There is burgeoning speculation as well that Obama is considering making Hillary Clinton his running mate this go ’round, and moving Biden to Secretary of State in order that our embarrassment can go international. And yet . . . .
And yet Crazy Uncle Joe seems far more politically astute at this moment than the Universal Genius of the Perfectly Creased Trousers whom we elected to the White House. Ain’t that a bitch?
Further on the subject of obfuscation comes from this excellent post at Mediaite on Citizens United:
Let me say at the outset that I don’t entirely agree with the position my dad took in the case. He sought and got a broad ruling striking down major parts of the statute. In my view, the Court could and should have decided the case on far narrower grounds, thereby avoiding the need overturn some past Supreme Court rulings (On a personal note, I have also been amazed at the vitriol directed at my civil libertarian dad from the left over his defense of a constitutional principle he firmly believes in. Defend a Nazi’s right to march? No problem. Defend the most repugnant members of our society’s right to speak? Absolutely. Defend a corporation’s right to engage in the political process? Inexcusable). But my personal view on the nuances of the ruling is beside the point. This is about what the ruling said and didn’t say, what it did and didn’t do. And about how so many in the media keep getting the ruling and its impact dead wrong.
There are two media myths and inventions that are most commonly cited.
Myth 1: The Court invalidated disclosure requirements in political advertising, thereby allowing donors to remain anonymous.
Wrong. The Court ruled just the opposite and upheld, by an 8-1 vote, the McCain-Feingold requirement of identifying donors.
Myth 2: That the Court’s ruling in Citizens United opened the door to wealthy individuals like Sheldon Adelson to pour millions of dollars into PACs.
Wrong again. The Citizens United ruling had NOTHING to do with the ability of individuals to spend their money to support candidates. That had been decided back in 1976, when the Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment protected the right of individuals to make unlimited independent expenditures supporting or opposing candidates for federal office. In Citizens United, the Court ruled that corporations and unions were entitled to the same rights. It wasn’t that long ago, after all, that the Swift Boat ads, legally paid for by individuals, soiled John Kerry during the 2004 campaign.
But reading the New York Times, Washington Post and watching MSNBC in particular, it is hardly surprising that the public would be confused. On January 9, in a front-page piece on the influence of Newt Gingrich supporter Sheldon Adelson, the Times inaccurately reported that Adelson’s $5 million donation to a pro-Gingrich SuperPAC “underscores” how the Citizens United case, “has made it possible for a wealthy individual to influence an election.” On January 14th, a column by Gail Collins asserted that, “all these billionaires would not be so worrisome if the Supreme Court had not totally unleashed their donation-making power in the Citizens United case.” The opinion, in fact, did nothing of the sort. I don’t know if it’s sad or just troubling that the Times issued two corrections on the earlier piece, including the year Citizens United was decided, but none on its repeated and major error about the ruling itself.
The Washington Post has done no better. On January 11th, Dana Milbank, writing of Adelson’s $5 million donation to a pro-Gingrich SuperPAC, asserted that it was, “the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision which made such unlimited contributions possible.” And on February 5th, E.J. Dionne Jr. blamed Citizens United for permitting, “the brute force of millionaires and billionaires … to have their way.” The Post published a letter from Floyd Abrams today highlighting the error, but without a formal correction.
Just as Democrat Representatives tried to turn Holder’s last Fast and Furious grilling into a debate about gun laws, they tried to turn Oversight’s hearing today on union dues and forced political donation to campaigns that members don’t support into a hearing on the awfulness of Citizen’s United.