Politico's Evan Thomas on Friday made perhaps the best observation about the Obama administration's edict requiring the Catholic Church to provide contraception for its employees.
Appearing on PBS's Inside Washington, Thomas said, "It seems crazy to me what they are doing" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GORDON PETERSON, HOST: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." First sixteen words of the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States. When the Obama administration orders Catholic universities and colleges, Catholic hospitals, Catholic charitable institutions to offer birth control under their healthcare plans, when the administration does so in spite of the Catholic Church's teaching that birth control is morally wrong, is the administration prohibiting the free exercise of religion? Evan, you are a historian, a graduate of a fine law school. How about it?
EVAN THOMAS, POLITICO: I’m sure they polled this. They must have focus grouped this to death, because it seems crazy to me what they are doing. Sure to infuriate the Church, I think the Church does have a point here. I don’t know what the finer points in the law here. I think this is more about politics than law. But all I can say is the White House sure must think that women are going to lap this up because they’ve really irritated and rightly so the Catholic Church.
The craziness on display is twofold.
First, this was guaranteed to offend all but the most jaded Obama sycophants. Those with any regard for the Constitution were sure to be riled by this.
But to do it in an election year when the economy was appearing to improve and the President's poll numbers are moving up indicates either an arrogance or ignorance at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that should scare the heck out of voters of all political and religious persuasions.
What the White House has incompetently done with this startling misstep is put social issues front and center this election, and that's not something anyone would have imagined just two weeks ago.
This should have been a week when the administration and their media minions did a victory lap over the stronger than expected headline numbers in January's unemployment report.
Instead the nation spent the week discussing contraception and the first amendment.
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