Hobby Lobby and Propaganda Exhaustion

by Carl Eric Scott

The latest from the always-great Ashley McGuire, “Sorry, Libs: The War on Women Is a Complete Fiction,” provides a good rebuttal to the left-oid talking-points against the Hobby Lobby decision.  Sure, religious liberty can be a tough issue to fully think through, so that sane citizens might disagree about whether Congress’s passage of RFRA was a wise move, but obviously under it the HHS requirements that these closely-held firms pay for abortifacients violated the law.  It is a respectable and understandable judicial ruling, and doesn’t deserve crude labeling as part of a “War on Women” or as “bringing your boss into your contraceptive decisions.”  More from Peter Berkowitz on the p’s and q’s over at RCP.

Face it, liberals, Obamacare was drafted very poorly.  The president you elected doubled-down on its offense to religious liberty when he refused to listen to protests of those affected by the HHS requirements, and the media you tolerate did not call him on it, and made it seem to you that he really made an “accommodation”  and that there was thus nothing to see here.  But now, when you simply read accounts about the decision and dissents, it is pretty plain that there was a problem. 

McGuire rightly calls attention to the fact that there are plenty of women who support the Hobby Lobby decision, and that in a fairly similar religious liberty case, the primary victims of the religious liberty offense are nuns who devote their lives to serving the poor! 

Doesn’t this stuff feel tired?  Why are we arguing about it?  And how easy it would have been for Obama to have avoided it all.  Despite her recent tone-deaf reaction statement against the decision, I doubt that had Hillary Clinton been president, she would not have come to a real compromise on the regulation before things got to the court.  And I doubt she would have been arrogant and foolish enough to force the health care act through in a form that garnered zero Republican support. 

Our Pete worries over at First Things that the Hobby Lobby decision will wind up being yet another instance of conservatives “Winning at the Supreme Court” but “Losing in the Court of Public Opinion,” but reading Berkowitz and McGuire convinces me that the efforts of many Democrats, and of their media shills, to brand the decision as Anti-Woman! and Theocratic! is a just a crawl too far out on the branch of stupidity. 

This pattern of doubling down in defense of dumb Obama moves, with the MSM and social media outlets making enough of a success of the subsequent “rebranding” to get by and onto the next news cycle, has limits, after all.  Everyone knows by now that the guy is an incompetent arrogant bore, even if they lie to pollsters about whether they approve of him.  So here’s predicting that the effort to irretrievably taint Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. among liberals, the way it was successfully done with Citizens United, isn’t really going to work.  Many liberals, despite their suspicion that the issue is a minor one used primarily to obstruct Obamacare, at least sense that actual plaintiffs had a strong case on the merits, and no propaganda campaign is going to change that.

Oh, and let’s not forget that even if I’m incorrect about there being enough of such liberals, and the rebranding effort does seem to work well-enough to get by, that it is sin and hypocrisy to undertake it.  So the last words go to Berkowitz: 

Still more pronounced, however, is the evident aversion among prominent progressives to living in a society with those who disagree with them about religion and reproduction. So great is their distaste for the diversity of views characteristic of a liberal democracy and so strong is their resolve to control the conduct of others that they are willing to mischaracterize the other side’s opinions, warp the facts, and politicize the law. …Practicing more of the empathy and compromise they preach would enable progressives to make a valuable contribution to containing the polarization they bewail.