Never Ever Count President Obama Out
In light of the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court, I thought I'd post this piece again with a follow up.
Many on the left have set their hair on fire over President Obama's solution to the conflict between religious institutions, primarily the Catholic church, providing health care coverage which includes birth control to women and the teachings of the church. One would have to be in the wildest parts of Siberia to have missed this controversy, so I will not recount the drama that has unfolded.
However, once again the ubiquitous word "cave" has appeared in association with this decision. There was a time when this would infuriate me, but now I laugh at the predictability of the critical left. Of course, if you dare disagree with them, then they launch into name calling that would make any junior high student proud. I think one reason for their childish, often surly, reaction is their unstated, unreasonable expectations of President Obama. It's as if some on the left have never listened to his speeches, press conferences, or town halls because if they had, surely they would have some understanding of the man.
For example, Barack Obama is a man who truly understands the art of politics better than any of his critics on the right or left and certainly any of the ideologues. Plenty of evidence exists to support this as he brings home one victory after another for the American people in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds. Certainly many do understand him, calling him the chess master while his opponents are merely sitting in the park playing checkers. But time after time those of us who have defended the President are called idiots, morons, Obamabots, etc. in spite of the fact our defense of President Obama has been well-founded and well-placed. But the critical left still doesn't get him.
As an example of the obtuseness of President Obama's critics on the left, let me take you back to the time when the second budget agreement was finalized. Remember Boehner bragging about how he got what he wanted? Remember Cenk Uygur and others of his ilk screaming that the President got rolled? A couple of days later, Boehner was whining that the Republicans had been rolled, but "’we won't be rolled again.’" Yet the GOP was rolled. . . again and again.
And now again in the debate over women's health, the Republicans have been rolled and although we have ample evidence that the President knows more about negotiating and political maneuvering than anyone in D.C., the angry left is still as dense as ever. And for the umpteenth time they and the Republicans look like fools. As a wise man once said, “‘there’s a saying that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.’" Okay, forget the wise part.
When the uproar broke this week over mandating that religious institutions offer women's preventative care coverage, we saw a replay of every other drama over important issues about which we liberals care deeply. The debate over this issue was couched as either a violation of religious freedom or women's right to unfettered access to birth control. Most of the proponents of the religious freedom argument were white Catholic male pundits, such as Chris Matthews and Lawrence O'Donnell, who frankly couldn't get past their white privilege to see the true issue here. But I digress.
The Republicans came out with their usual hysterical rhetoric, providing further evidence to the American people just how extreme they are. However, in an unusual display of unity, Democrats held firm and stayed on message. What's that message? Women have a right to preventative care coverage by any employer, regardless of secular or religious foundation. So yesterday, when President Obama announced a way to provide the coverage that the Catholic and religious institutions could accept, he was accused of caving or bending because by some on the left who lost sight of the goal.
Those critics on the left just don't get Barack Obama because they lack vision, subtlety, and nuance. Most importantly, the critical left always loses sight of the goal. The goal was not bringing down the Catholic church but to provide the best possible preventative care for women without the co-pays many women cannot afford.
May I offer this extended metaphor. Again those critics on the left are painting by numbers, showing their lack of creativity, imagination, impatience, and foresight, while President Obama is the great master, bringing all of his creativity, imagination, and patience to the canvas. He has a vision for his painting, but he realizes that he is working with a wet canvas requiring layers of paint. To rush through his creation would only leave a muddy mess, not a grand work for generations to appreciate and enjoy.
So I guess the President did cave to those who wanted to launch a war against religion, but for the women of America, who never lost sight of the real goal, it is a grand victory.
Huzzah President Obama!
Follow up: After the dreadful Hobby Lobby ruling by SCOTUS, panic ensued among us who believe a woman’s right to health care shouldn't be dictated by her employer. However, Pres. Obama applied the same “strategery” he had used so women working for religious institutions would not lose health care. While this isn't a perfect solution, Pres. Obama ordered insurance companies to contact women working for companies that refuse birth control and offer them birth control directly. The insurance companies are willing to do this because birth control is much cheaper than a pregnancy and birth. And again, when the right and those critics on the left think Pres. Obama has been outmaneuvered, he finds a solution.
Double Huzzah, President Obama!