Mad Libs: Dems Search for Words to Describe Outrage
If you wanted to see fireworks in D.C., you didn't have to wait for July 4th. Yesterday's decision on the HHS mandate exploded on the media scene, lighting a fuse under the radicals of the Left. While most Americans watched with pleasure as a pillar of ObamaCare fell, liberals sulked at another loss for lawlessness. Democrats couldn't fire off their press releases fast enough as they vowed to push their assault on faith in the marketplace by ending justices' opt-out. Promising a legislative fix, Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) insisted that Americans' "right" to sex-on-demand trumps a company's deeply held beliefs on contraception and abortifacients.
As out of touch as liberals are with the law, it turns out that they're even more out of touch with voters. While the Left trotted out its tired "war on women" line, FRC's Cathy Ruse pointed out that the majority of women opposed the mandate -- including 60% of the lower court female judges who voted to stop it!
Our own survey, which helped shape the messaging for the entire movement, confirmed the trend. Back in May, WPA Opinion Research found in an FRC-commissioned poll that 53% of voters (including 50% of women!) disapproved of the idea that employers' should have to pay for workers' sexual decisions. So if there is a war, it's on the facts.
While the Twitter world ignites with threats of burning down Hobby Lobby stores (and a record number of profane comments), most of the outrage is entirely unfounded. As Sean Davis explained, "The truth of the matter is that the case was about abortion, specifically four types of contraception that can result in the destruction of a fertilized egg. Hobby Lobby paid for 16 different types of non-abortive contraceptive coverage for its employees."
As liberals try to spin this into a debate about denying women free "reproductive care," the reality is that the federal government already gives out free birth control and abortion drugs at Title X clinics all across America. What the Court said was that it's not right to order conscientious objectors to provide it, under threat of crippling fines, when there are other ways to get it to them. Plus, the Federalist jabs, there's no such thing as "denying access" to birth control if these businesses are paying employees wages they can then use to buy whatever they want. But unfortunately, the Left never lets the truth get in the way of a convenient sound bite.
Meanwhile, the political debate goes on. House Speaker John Boehner, like more than two dozen other members, praised Monday's ruling. "Today's decision is a victory for religious freedom and another defeat for an administration that has repeatedly crossed constitutional lines in pursuit of its Big Government objectives. The mandate overturned today would have required for-profit companies to choose between violating their constitutionally-protected faith or paying crippling fines, which would have forced them to lay off employees or close their doors."
For now, the President, who's been on the losing end of a number of major Supreme Court decisions, is resorting to a childish response, warning that he'll try another end-run around the Court to get his way. "They're acting like the town bully," Cathy Ruse said. "'Hey Mother Angelica, you don't wanna provide free birth control pills to all of these people? Well, then, you pay us $100 every day for every person you refuse to supply... until you change your mind.' There's an easier way, and the Court gave them a map: If the White House wants to give free birth control and abortion drugs to every woman in America, they should pay for it, themselves."
Of course, the irony in all this is that Democrats are suddenly jumping on the transparency bandwagon, which might be funny if it weren't so offensive. Senate Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said yesterday that he would "I will introduce legislation that requires all corporations using this Supreme Court decision to deny or limit contraception services to disclose this policy to all employed and applicants for employment. Workers have a right to know if their employers are restricting the availability of a whole range of family planning coverage." This from a party that created an ObamaCare "secrecy clause" to stop Americans from finding out whether their plans cover abortion!
If the President's party is demanding clarity, we're all for it. In the meantime, one thing is clear: the days of the HHS mandate may be numbered. In the last 24 hours, seven more religious institutions won emergency injunctions against the order (including EWTN and Wheaton College), setting up phase two of the mandate takedown. As dozens of nonprofits fight on, the Becket Fund predicted "the death knell is sounding for the HHS mandate." Thank goodness. One vote the other way in the Supreme Court, and the death knell would have been for the First Amendment.
The Wait of the World Falls on Sudan
While Americans get ready to enjoy the long weekend, there's one family overseas wishing they could join the 4th of July celebration here in the U.S. Meriam Ibrahim, her husband Daniel, and their two tiny children still wait in Khartoum for the green light to come to the states. Today, I again spoke with Sudanese officials, along with Members of Congress, and there is no substantial change in Meriam's case. The fact that "administrative matters" continue to block her departure from Sudan is a reason for concern. The longer she's detained in the country, the more dangerous it is for her and her family.
Knowing that she's not yet left Sudan raises serious concerns about her safety and future fate. Please join me in lifting up Meriam, Daniel, Martin, and Maya in prayer -- and continue to use your social media platforms to keep the pressure on U.S. officials to act. Meriam can't afford for us to abandon her now!
Mark Levin and Michelle Malkin to Star at VVS!
Have you confirmed your spot at this year's Values Voter Summit? Mark Levin and Michelle Malkin have. The two conservative superstars are the latest to join the VVS line-up this September 26-28. Called "one of the conservative movement's marquee events" by CNN, the Summit draws thousands of grassroots activists, leaders, and students to the nation's capital to rally the movement to greater engagement in the culture. And this year, less than 60 days from an historic election, the stakes have never been higher.
Don't miss your chance to hear from Mark, Michelle, Sen. Rick Santorum, Erick Erickson, Star Parker, the Benham Brothers, the Duggars, congressional leaders, and many more! Tickets start at just $99 for adults and $50 for students (scholarships are available). Click over to ValuesVoterSummit.org and register today!
** FRC's Travis Weber was invited to post his response to yesterday's Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood ruling on the esteemed SCOTUS Blog. Check out his analysis, "Hobby Lobby Symposium: the Exercise of Religion Is Inseparable from Human Activity - including Supporting One's Family." Also, Cathy Ruse, whose press conference video took the internet by storm, had the number one op-ed on the Daily Caller website. Read her column, "ObamaCare Drug Mandate Loses Women Win" here. Then, watch her follow up on her piece with this morning's interview on Fox News's "America's Newsroom" below.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.