“I was struck looking at this,” Washington Post columnist and former foreign editor David Ignatius expressed on ABC’s This Week in admiring how Barack Obama on Friday adjusted the contraception mandate, hailing “the ability to do a do-over quickly” since the administration was not “done deaf” and “they did make changes and this is now a policy that you can defend.”
Unaddressed, how it’s just an accounting gimmick and Catholic institutions would still be required to cover what they morally oppose, to say nothing of what gives the government the right to require private insurers to offer a service for “free.”
Over on NBC’s Meet the Press, when Peggy Noonan noted how Obama picked the leftist position over the First Amendment, another Washington Post columnist and former reporter, E.J. Dionne Jr. fired back: “Barack Obama is a moderate progressive with the emphasis on moderate. Most socialists are insulted when Barack Obama is called a socialist.”
George Will, on This Week pointed out “this is an accounting gimmick that they’ve done that in no way ends the complicity of Catholic institutions and individuals in delivering services they consider morally abhorrent.”
He also zinged the Catholic bishops as he explained this is the liberalism in action which they supported: “The Catholic bishops, it serves them right. They're the ones who were really hot for ObamaCare, with a few exceptions. But they were all in favor and this is what it looks like when the government decides it's going to make your health care choices for you.”
David Ignatius, a former Assistant Managing Editor for business news at the Washington Post and Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune, praised Obama’s nimbleness:
The White House argues that this is a net cost reducer, avoiding pregnancy, women choosing to do that, it’s less costly to insurance companies and to society than all of the services associated with pregnancy. I was struck looking at this, yes, the White House probably made a mistake in the initial policy. But the ability to do a do-over quickly, to – you can make a mistake, but you really get in trouble in politics when you’re tone deaf, you don’t listen to criticism and make changes – and they did make changes and this is now a policy that you can defend. You say, we understand the objections of Catholics that they shouldn't be forced to pay-
Peggy Noonan, on NBC’s Meet the Press, observed:
As a conservative, as I look at the administration: here’s one thing that I think is kind of new for the past few years, the leftists, if you will, part of the President’s base seems to me to be, (a) more leftist and (b) more powerful. When you have a White House in the past month E.J. that says NARAL – National Abortion Rights Action League – and Planned Parenthood are here, the Catholic church and I would argue the First Amendment are here, who wins? NARAL and Planned Parenthood. That to me is the kind of kind political calculation, just politics that is kind of mad, and that suggests a certain sort of -- I hate to say extremism, but something rather extreme. May I say Bill Clinton wouldn’t have done it. This is not a traditional Democratic Party thing.
To which, E.J. Dionne Jr., a correspondent for the New York Times and Washington Post before taking up column writing, retorted:
We agree there was overreach on this contraception rule. But I know the Left. The Left is not to the left of where it was. That’s number one. Number two, Barack Obama is a moderate progressive with the emphasis on moderate. Most socialists are insulted when Barack Obama is called a socialist. It’s absurd that this man is a socialist.
Back to the February 12 This Week, George Will zinged the Catholic bishops as he explained this is the liberalism in action which they supported:
Three points, as Paul Ryan said to you, this is an accounting gimmick that they’ve done that in no way ends the complicity of Catholic institutions and individuals in delivering services they consider morally abhorrent. Second, you asked the question how did this come about, George [Stephanopoulos], this is what liberalism looks like, this is what the progressive state does. It tries to break all the institutions of civil society, all the institutions that mediate between the individual and the state. They have to break them to the saddle of the state. Third, the Catholic bishops, it serves them right. They’re the ones who were really hot for ObamaCare, with a few exceptions. But they were all in favor and this is what it looks like when the government decides it’s going to make your health care choices for you.