Here is your brain on Koolaid


Amanda Marcotte:

Obama Punks the GOP on Contraception

That’s the nitty-gritty. The fun part of this is that Obama just pulled a fast one on Republicans. He drew this out for two weeks, letting Republicans work themselves into a frenzy of anti-contraception rhetoric, all thinly disguised as concern for religious liberty, and then created a compromise that addressed their purported concerns but without actually reducing women’s access to contraception, which is what this has always been about. (As Dana Goldstein reported in 2010, before the religious liberty gambit was brought up, the Catholic bishops were just demanding that women be denied access and told to abstain from sex instead.) With the fig leaf of religious liberty removed, Republicans are in a bad situation. They can either drop this and slink away knowing they’ve been punked, or they can double down. But in order to do so, they’ll have to be more blatantly anti-contraception, a politically toxic move in a country where 99% of women have used contraception.

My guess is that they’ll take their knocks and go home, but a lot of the damage has already been done. Romney was provoked repeatedly to go on the record saying negative things about contraception. Sure, it was in the frame of concern about religious liberty, but as this incident fades into memory, what most people will remember is that Republicans picked a fight with Obama over contraception coverage and lost. This also gave Obama a chance to highlight this benefit and take full credit for it. Obama needs young female voters to turn out at the polls in November, and hijacking two weeks of the news cycle to send the message that he’s going to get you your birth control for free is a big win for him in that department. I expect to see some ads in the fall showing Romney saying hostile things about contraception and health care reform, with the message that free birth control is going away if he’s elected. It’s all so perfect that I’m inclined to think this was Obama’s plan all along.


Anyone scoring this as an Obama victory hasn’t been paying attention.

First he picks a fight he didn’t need to pick (it was already the law.) Then having picked the fight he gives the appearance of a retreat with a compromise that basically did not affect the status quo. He may have made the Conference of Catholic Bishops look bad, but they ain’t running for reelection.


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15 Responses to Here is your brain on Koolaid

  1. Lulu says:

    If this was one of Obama’s genius eleventy dimensional chess moves why was the White House trying to blame the recently departed COS Daley. Yesterday this story was up: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/72713.html The quote that blew me away was “Obama, a person close to him tells POLITICO, hadn’t made any final decision, hadn’t fully analyzed the dueling arguments, hadn’t expressed a strong policy preference, and felt “mildly uncomfortable” being put on the spot.” So Obama is meeting with bishops and doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about and is unhappy that he has to meet with someone. Then the bishop calls him a liar in the press after Obama tells him what he wants to hear to get rid of him.

    This story from Politico yesterday clearly shows that they knew exactly what they were doing and deliberately set the policy they wanted. Then they would not stand up for it and tried to smear other people. Today the Sun-Times clearly explains that it was a political calculation argued by Jarrett and Michelle’s chief of staff. http://www.suntimes.com/news/sweet/10569936-452/why-obama-backed-down-on-birth-control.html

  2. 1539days says:

    This backtrack is absurd on its face. The idea is that religious organizations will pay for a policy with no family planning, but the insurance companies will be taxed (for all intents and purposes) into paying for the add on to this policy with no co-pay required. If the organizations have to pay a higher rate, they are de facto paying for these add ons anyway. If they don’t pay more, every other customers.

    Then there are groups like the Baptists. They self-insure with their own insurance plans and structures. If they keep insuring through a Christian medical plan, they will be directly required to provide morally objectionable services as a matter of law.

    This has nothing to do with coverage. The most likely result is that women will lose coverage for other health problems instead of gaining anything. The government has already granted waivers for McDonalds and Wal-Mart to allow their sub-par mini med plans. This is the death panel.

    People always misunderstand Sarah Palin’s death panel remarks. Here’s how it works.

    1. The government makes private insurance cover more and more services.
    2. Insurance companies raise their rates.
    3. The government dictates maximum rates and insurance companies start to go out of business,
    4. The government sets up exchanges then makes their costs “reasonable” for the poor and uninsured.
    5. Employers drop plans when the government stops offering tax breaks.
    6. When private insurance drops below 10% of Americans, it will be declared obsolete and illegal.
    7. Medical costs will go up and the government will be unable to pay to fund it.
    8. If your care isn’t worth the money, you’re gonna die.

    • JeanLouise says:

      Pishtosh. Insurance companies have always had death panels. I was denied coverage for life saving treatment because it was deemed “” last year. Luckily, I managed to come up with the money to pay for it myself. For many people, that’s just not possible and they die.

      The only reasonable alternative is to have single payer healthcare with rules in place that prevent pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies from gouging the government on meds and tests.

      • 1539days says:

        You can’t regulate a business into unprofitability. If you do, they declare bankruptcy and get bailed out anyway.

        The difference with a private insurer is that there are alternatives to the. If there is only one insurance company, (the government) what they decide is the law. There is no alternative.

  3. yttik says:

    I don’t understand the power of that blue kool aid. Obama’s “capitulation” was so bizarre and irrational, I couldn’t tell WTH he was talking about.

    Employees won’t pay for contraception and Catholic employers won’t pay for contraception, insurance companies will. Okay, so who pays for insurance companies? Employees and employers. Wait, what?

    Also, this has absolutely nothing to do with womens rights or access to contraception. 28 states already mandate contraceptive coverage. The vast majority of Catholic employers already provide policies that cover contraception. Most women working for Catholic orgs already have access to contraception. Of course by the time Obama is finished poking them with a stick, they may all take a giant step backwards. Why pretend to fix something that isn’t broken? Not for women’s benefit, that’s for sure.

  4. JeanLouise says:

    Amanda Marcotte is nothing more than an Obama contortionist and Obama is the, perhaps, the least competent politician to ever occupy the Oval Office. I don’t pay much attention to political cartoons but if they’re not liberally littered with drawings of Obama talking out of both sides of his mouth or otherwise flip-flopping, they must be in the bag for him.

    Access to reproductive health care is a national health issue. If tests and treatment for diabetes should be provided for free for the good of the country, then so should birth control. Both have been shown to lower health care costs and, therefore, benefit the insurance companies.

  5. foxyladi14 says:

    watch the rates go up. 🙄

  6. DandyTiger says:

    And it’s not just this church-state fiasco, the thing Obama signed about banks and foreclosures has something interesting included, immunity for the banks. Which of course is the only reason the wall-street/bank president did it for his backers.

    And yet, with both of these moves that are cynical and political only, the blue kool-aid drinkers are all as happy as bivalve mollusks.

    • 1539days says:

      The bank funds are part of a settlement. As such, the banks are going to start home seizures again. They were playing nice during the negotiations to smooth things over. Ironically, this is a good thing. Once the banks have a backlog of homes, they will have to write mortgages to unload them.

      • DandyTiger says:

        What’s good for the banks is good for America. 🙂 I’m not surprised that with the banks in better and well protected shape, things could actually do better in some ways. But the point here is that there was serious wrongdoing amongst some of these activities, and no one will be punished for it.

        • 1539days says:

          The most that would have happened is that some executive would get a perp walk because he was the most egregious lender in a corrupt system. You fix corruption by taking the government money out. Otherwise, you just get new and different corruption 10 years from now.

  7. HELENK says:

    koolaide is the LSD of the 21st century

  8. HELENK says:

    this is a just because video. Sometimes we need some beauty

  9. propertius says:

    Guys in dresses beat Obama up and stole his lunch money. On what planet could that possibly be viewed as a win?

  10. HELENK says:

    David Burge
    You know what else restricts your access to free contraceptives? The shoplifting cameras at Walgreens.

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