When you play poker, and you’re not very good, there invariably comes a time when your chips are getting low, the blinds are getting higher, and you need to go all in with a bad hand. That seems to be what the GOP is about to do on birth control:
Republicans are doubling down in their assault on President Obama’s birth control requirement, insisting that his accommodation of religious nonprofits does not address religious concerns. But by attempting to keep the heat on Obama, the GOP might be diving head-first into a culture war over contraception that social conservatives lost long ago in the minds of the public.
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said the House will push to repeal the rule entirely, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Republicans will force a vote on legislation permitting any employer to deny birth control coverage in their health insurance plan by claiming a moral or religious objection. “This issue will not go away until the administration simply backs down,” McConnell said Sunday on CBS’ Face The Nation.
Perhaps concerned that the economy is on the rebound and not the weapon against Obama that it was even 6 months ago, and increasingly aware that they’ve fielded a very weak field of presidential candidates, the GOP is going all in with a pair of 4’s. The funny thing about it (if it can fairly be said that there’s anything funny about this craven attempt to walk back decades of advances regarding women’s rights and public health) is that the GOP went all in AFTER Obama called their bluff by addressing the main concern raised by religious groups.
Republicans have been left to argue not only that religious organizations/hospitals/schools need not provide insurance that includes birth control, but that ANY employer be allowed to refuse such coverage. Under the GOP’s proposal, you might find that birth control is no longer available under your insurance because your boss thinks it’s a sin. The claim of “religious liberty” we heard over the past week has quickly evolved into a demand for american theocracy – where church governs in place of state. The problem for the GOP is that an overwhelming majority of women and men don’t want religious groups telling them they can’t have access to birth control. If the GOP tries to push this legislation through, it will make the backlash over the payroll tax look mild by comparison.
For people who so clearly despise the President and whatever he stands for, the Republicans sure seem to be doing everything they can to ensure his reelection.