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Washington Post’s Ignatius Hails Obama’s Nimble Contraception Policy; Will Zings Bishops: ‘It Serves Them Right’

Brent Baker's picture

“I was struck looking at this,” Washington Post columnist and former foreign editor David Ignatius expressed on ABC’s This Week in admiring how Barack Obama on Friday adjusted the contraception mandate, hailing “the ability to do a do-over quickly” since the administration was not “done deaf” and “they did make changes and this is now a policy that you can defend.”

Unaddressed, how it’s just an accounting gimmick and Catholic institutions would still be required to cover what they morally oppose, to say nothing of what gives the government the right to require private insurers to offer a service for “free.”

Over on NBC’s Meet the Press, when Peggy Noonan noted how Obama picked the leftist position over the First Amendment, another Washington Post columnist and former reporter, E.J. Dionne Jr. fired back: “Barack Obama is a moderate progressive with the emphasis on moderate. Most socialists are insulted when Barack Obama is called a socialist.”

George Will, on This Week pointed out “this is an accounting gimmick that they’ve done that in no way ends the complicity of Catholic institutions and individuals in delivering services they consider morally abhorrent.”

He also zinged the Catholic bishops as he explained this is the liberalism in action which they supported: “The Catholic bishops, it serves them right. They're the ones who were really hot for ObamaCare, with a few exceptions. But they were all in favor and this is what it looks like when the government decides it's going to make your health care choices for you.”

David Ignatius, a former Assistant Managing Editor for business news at the Washington Post and Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune, praised Obama’s nimbleness:

The White House argues that this is a net cost reducer, avoiding pregnancy, women choosing to do that, it’s less costly to insurance companies and to society than all of the services associated with pregnancy. I was struck looking at this, yes, the White House probably made a mistake in the initial policy. But the ability to do a do-over quickly, to – you can make a mistake, but you really get in trouble in politics when you’re tone deaf, you don’t listen to criticism and make changes – and they did make changes and this is now a policy that you can defend. You say, we understand the objections of Catholics that they shouldn't be forced to pay-

Peggy Noonan, on NBC’s Meet the Press, observed:

As a conservative, as I look at the administration: here’s one thing that I think is kind of new for the past few years, the leftists, if you will, part of the President’s base seems to me to be, (a) more leftist and (b) more powerful. When you have a White House in the past month E.J. that says NARAL – National Abortion Rights Action League – and Planned Parenthood are here, the Catholic church and I would argue the First Amendment are here, who wins? NARAL and Planned Parenthood. That to me is the kind of kind political calculation, just politics that is kind of mad, and that suggests a certain sort of -- I hate to say extremism, but something rather extreme. May I say Bill Clinton wouldn’t have done it. This is not a traditional Democratic Party thing.

To which, E.J. Dionne Jr., a correspondent for the New York Times and Washington Post before taking up column writing, retorted:

We agree there was overreach on this contraception rule. But I know the Left. The Left is not to the left of where it was. That’s number one. Number two, Barack Obama is a moderate progressive with the emphasis on moderate. Most socialists are insulted when Barack Obama is called a socialist. It’s absurd that this man is a socialist.

Back to the February 12 This Week, George Will zinged the Catholic bishops as he explained this is the liberalism in action which they supported:

Three points, as Paul Ryan said to you, this is an accounting gimmick that they’ve done that in no way ends the complicity of Catholic institutions and individuals in delivering services they consider morally abhorrent. Second, you asked the question how did this come about, George [Stephanopoulos], this is what liberalism looks like, this is what the progressive state does. It tries to break all the institutions of civil society, all the institutions that mediate between the individual and the state. They have to break them to the saddle of the state. Third, the Catholic bishops, it serves them right. They’re the ones who were really hot for ObamaCare, with a few exceptions. But they were all in favor and this is what it looks like when the government decides it’s going to make your health care choices for you.


#1 ⇒ George Will's right

Just ask yourself one question. Did Obama advance the ball this week?

#2 Obama and the batter's box

I posted this on another thread, but I think it's relevant here, too.

The batter has to stand within the box (at least touching the line). If he has a foot completely outside the box and hits the ball, the ball is dead and he is out.

Batters routinely try to get far back in the box so they have a split second longer to see the pitch and swing at it. Of course, they "accidentally" scuff and smear the line so it is hard for the umpire to see whether the back foot is in or out. Every now and then, the umpire re-draws the missing line and warns the player.

Obama is doing this with healthcare, contract law (GM secured creditors), banking regs, and other things. His strategy seems to be to smear the chalk of the batter's box around insurance coverage. When the umpire (public outcry) calls time, Obama offers to redraw the line (not the ump!) and gives himself an extra inch or two at the back (insurers have to offer contraception "free" so the Catholic employer doesn't have a reason to complain). The ump seems satisfied (MSM and DBM ooh and ahh at his magnanimity) and Obama gains an advantage!

Yep, Obama advanced the ball this week (well, in this metaphor, he advanced the runner).

Looking more and more like Hugo Obama.

#3 bishops in favor of obama

bishops in favor of obama care? did i miss something?

Congratulations Jimmy Carter!

#4 Apparently you did. The

Apparently you did.
The bishops have always been in favor of attempts to institute "universal health care."

#5 i see - i remember it now...

i see - i remember it now...

Congratulations Jimmy Carter!

#6 Perhaps this will

 fill in the details for you

#7 thank u mb...

thank u mb...

Congratulations Jimmy Carter!

#8 Yes, but we had assurances,

Yes, but we had assurances, aka promises, that there would be conscience exemptions.

The Bishops were lied to.

I do support health care from conception to 25. Most of today's chronic health issues could have been avoided had they been treated when they were children saving millions of dollars.

'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church'

#9 So, are you saying that the bishops . . .

. . . supported the health care mandate on everyone as long as the Catholic institutions were exempt?

If so, I don't understand how they could support forcing other employers to provide contraceptive services the bishops were doctrinally opposed to makes it all okay. For example, what about a small business owner who happens to be Catholic and objects to the mandate?

#10 ⇒ Galvanic hits a home run

Dayum, that's gonna throw a monkey wrench into the works.

#11 Yes, but we had assurances,

Yes, but we had assurances, aka promises, that there would be conscience exemptions.

If you have a citation showing that, I'd appreciate it. 

I think that's what the bishops hoped  but I don't believe it was ever promised up front.

#12 ⇒ motherbelt

This reminds me of Genesis, when God confronted Adam about the forbidden fruit. Our first rationalization

"The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat".

I think the Bishops are busy blaming the problem on the President that was given to them?

#13 You could be right on this

You could be right on this MB.

I guess 'we needed to pass it in order to see whats in it'.

'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church'

#14 Pffft...give me a break

Yes, but we had assurances, aka promises, that there would be conscience exemptions

Did you have promises on abortion too, considering 85% of Catholics voted for Obama, the abortion president?


#15 sorry, but it wasn't that bad

Nationwide, 54 percent of Catholics supported Obama and 44 percent voted for McCain. Of the total population, 52 percent voted for Obama and 46 percent for McCain.

Without recognizing the ordinances of Heaven, it is impossible to be a superior man. - Confucious

#16 ckc1227, let us not fall for


let us not fall for the media and the White House game.

The so called Catholics that these cite in their polls are FAR from being real practicing Catholics. These individuals are Nominal/Cafeteria Catholics who step inside a Catholic church only on Easter and Christmas. They could careless about anything the Church teaches or says.

The true and real practicing Catholic vote went overwhemlingly to John McCain in the last election. This is a distinction that the media and the White House have conviniently failed to make.

Let's not fall for the propagand being pushed by the Left on this matter.

#17 ⇒ Maybe so, Truth

Because I remember Bart Stupak being against Obamacare, but voting for it anyway when he listened to the split-tongued serpent.

Some say there was such a relationship with Obama.

Sorry, Truth, but this from 2010, looks a lot like "We love ObamaCare"

#18 ...i suppose it seemed

...i suppose it seemed bizarre to me because of the current kerfluffel - it does serve them right...

my memory was impaired by concussion a couple of years ago - thank God for google - i supposed could've used that just now - but i forgot:) lol (rimshot)

Congratulations Jimmy Carter!

#19 TM

Banging your head into the wall in response to the actions of this administration has caused more than one concussion, my friend. We all understand :)

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe. -Albert Einstein

And for blonde:Some days it just doesn't pay to chew through the restraint. -Timothy H

#20 ⇒ I agree with Timothy

We owe it to each other to help where we can, digging up the old facts that got smothered in Google's new facts.

#21 Stupak was either gullible or deceitful

Coming from a heavily Catholic congressional district, pro-life Stupak assured his constituents that he only voted Yes after the President personally assured him that he would write an Executive Order to exempt religious institutions.

So, either Stupak was naive and trusted Obama, or Obama agreed to let Stupak use the EO claim as a cover when there was no intention to sign one.

Now Obama is trying to enact a law that (a) two-thirds of the pulbic wants repealed, (b) is being challenged by a couple dozen states in Fedreal Court, and (c) even some of the Democrats who voted for it no longer support it.

This is Obama's election year trap, and he made it for himself.

#22 It must Gall Leftist Media Hacks...

It must frost Leftist Media Hacks knowing that they will forever fail at defending charges that Obama is a radical Leftist. Use of the 'fabric-softening' word 'Moderate' seems unable to stick, despite the exhaustive efforts of Leftist Media Hacks like Dionne. That must be the reason why he and all the other Obama-worshipping Leftist Media Hacks seem to be aging horribly before our eyes; their failed struggle is exhausting them.

#23 It's like that old saying

If it walks like a duck and looks like a duck and sounds like a duck . . . .

Folks aren't going to buy the line that it's a peacock!

#24 George Will makes a great point.

....this is what it looks like when the government decides it's going to make your health care choices for you.”

The bishops have, belatedly, realized this.

#25 ⇒ And that's the problem

Their "Moment of Stupak" just came a little later.

#26 ⇒ On the other hand, George

We know the clergy have a pretty firm understanding of having been snookered. The problem is that these bishops, in bedding down with the President in the first place, have lost a degree of standing with the flock now, expecially in light of the President's most recent olive branch offered.

Message to clergy:  If you really believe contraception is so bad, you should've been preaching from it from the pulpit rather than mailing it in to your limited circulation magazines.

Personally, I got tired of your watered-down sermons and walked away.  But I'll stand with you now because you represent real people in need of real leadership.

#27 Cool Arrow, I have to say, I

Cool Arrow,

I have to say, I was talking to a priest I know about the fact that priests don't teach. We believe in confession, but nothing is said about it in Church. We are against contraceptive, and nothing is said about it. it is as though the american Church expects its flock to know without teaching it.

One thing he did say is that very conservative priests are coming out of the American seminaries today. A lot of Liberalism snuck into the American Church in the 60s, 70s, 80s, but it is being pushed out. The priest also said that unfortunately, too many priests rather be liked, they rather have peopel in the pews than teach the Truth which scares people out of the pews.

I was taught very "conservative" Catholicism, which it is not conservative, but the real Catholicism. I grew in Venezuela hearing the priests tell their flock how contraceptives, abortions, not going to Mass on Sunday and holy days of obligations is wrong, sex before marriage is wrong, how not helping the poor, out of your own free will, is wrong. How not obeying the 10 commandments is wrong, etc, etc.

When my parents moved us to the USA, they tell me now, they were shocked at how Liberal the American Catholic Church was as compared to the Catholic Church in Venezuela.

I know we do not see eye to eye on religion, but I agree, too many Catholic priests, Catholic schools have not been evangelizing, teaching catechism as they should. Just the other day my friend was telling me how they have a daughter ina supposedly great Catholic school. On her first day of class, she brought home great and very good history books, science books, math books, etc. When my friend got to the religion books, they were simple coloring book. My friend was shocked and went to talk to the Catholic school administration asking where were the books by St. Augustine, St. Thomas more, St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church which teach the Faith and explain it in detail.

I hate to say it, but in a way, I am glad this happened. Hopefully the American Catholic Church will wake up and not support anything coming out of this horrific Presidential Administration.

by the way, I have always hated Obamacare and my dislike for it is based on Roman Catholic teaching.

#28 ⇒ I agree completely Liberallies

Somebody mark this day down as an historic moment.

Were it not for the 9 years I attended Catholic School under the watchful eye and capable teaching of Nuns, I would be somewhat confused by the big hoopla over contraception and abortion.  Additionally, my mother, who raised 12 of us, wouldn't think of taking the pill.

But I never heard contraception preached against from the pulpit.  I'm just considering there must be many Catholics out there who didn't attend Catholic school, who never heard this law addressed from a position of authority.

Those are the Catholics scratching their heads asking "Yeah, I heard something about it, but all of a sudden you're serious about that stuff?

#29 Cool Arrow, Yeap, mark this

Cool Arrow,

Yeap, mark this day as a historic moment!! :-)

Yes, I have Nominal Catholic friends who are scratching their heads and saying, really? the Catholic Church is serious about this contraceptive thing isn't She. However, like you stated, they inform me they were not taught by priest that it was wrong rather it is hearsay from television shows, movies, etc. The Church has failed in the USA in many instances all in the name of getting people the pews filled up, which as we know, pews have been empting, not filling.

i have been lucky enough to be able to find strong and true Catholic churches in Chicago and I have heard priest talk hard and loud against contraceptives, abortions, etc. But many of the minituaes as to why these are wrong must be taught in a classroom as you say you were taught very well by nuns.

#30 I guess the Catholic Church,

I guess the Catholic Church, like all institutions, goes through stages. For a time, teaching about God's love, not God's law, was the rage.  Then the "social" gospel usurped theology.  And now I believe the serious teaching of morals is coming back, as well as an emphasis on one's relationship with God.

Remember, after Vatican II,  almost 50 years ago, when Mass began to be celebrated in the "vernacular,"  some of the words and phrases were changed from the exact Latin translation, to make it more modern and more, I guess, "people-friendly."

I'm sure you're amused, as I am, at the  new and improved English translation of the Mass, which is is closer in translation to the original Latin.  So I'm scratching my head, thinking, why didn't they just leave the translation accurate the first time?

#31 ⇒ It was oh so ecumenical!

I guess I was in 3rd Grade when Vatican II was held.  In the years after, it seemed the Church trended decidedly away from authoritarianism to the point that by 1971, the (guitar, mind you) instrumental during the Communion service was, "Make It With You" [Bread].

I kid you not.  The Jingles of Ray Repp, though well-intentioned, had so completely replaced those beautiful old standards that the elders were completely unaware of the change in ambiance.

#32 Cool Arrow, Yeap, the guitar

Cool Arrow,

Yeap, the guitar and other "cool" instruments and some popsy songs replaced the beautiful old songs. A Church which is literally a 10 minute walk from me has a Mass for the youth and they have an electric guitar, drum set, etc. It drives me nuts since I feel it takes away from the solemnty of praying and worshiping the Almighty.

However, I am encouraged by the fact that things are chaning within the Church and it is turning the pendelum back to the true and real Catholicism in the USA. Believe me, how astray the Church has gone in the USA is not the same in other nations.

In Mexico, for example, the bishops have zero problem telling politicians who publicly support abortion that if they are Catholic, communion will not be given to them. I am waiting for the same type of action from the Bishops in the USA. I think the Bishop of St. Louis or Kansas City have done this, but not the United States Conference of Bishops as a whole.

I am sorry Cool, I am truly sorry for all the things that we Catholics have done to drive good people like you away from such a beautiful Theology. I include myself in here because too many times I have lacked understanding, charity and patients.

#33 Motherbelt, But that is just


But that is just it. The Mass in Spanish did not need to go through the changes that the English Mass just went through. I found it a bit amusing that some English speaking Roman Catholics were having a cow over the changes. I always tell this people, the Spanish version of the Mass needs not change since we kept the exact Latin translation.

Something happened in the USA where the Church became very Liberal. It is coming back, thank goodness, but too many flock have been led astray.

God is all Love, but He is All Just too and we MUST obey His laws.

I am always appauled at Churches which remove the Sacristy from the main hall of the Church where people gather to participate in the Mass. I completely dislike Churches where people don't kneel and a pet-pevee of mine is when people hold hands for the Lord's Prayer. This is all stuff I never saw in Venezuela and shocked when I saw it here.

The Church in the USA has to decide, does it want to fill up the Churches with water down Theology that makes people feel good or do they want to lead their flock to Heaven, even if, sadly, some are lost. The Church will loose many more with the former than with the latter.

#34 Me too

I am a firm believer in The Teachings of The Catholic Church. I no longer go to church because the teachings of the Church are never taught in Church!


#35 Rusino, I understand your


I understand your sentiment. But instead of not going to church, I personally believe that it is our duty as Roman Catholics to push our churches, priests, catholic schools to teach the teachings of the Church.

#36 Before the libutard media

Before the libutard media starts crowing 'serves them right', they ought to remember it's the 1st Amendment that's on the chopping block with all this. I saw writers saying stuff like 'maybe it was a mistake to put freedom of religion in the constitution' while in their mad scramble to protect Obama's illegal actions.

If they're willing to help Obama shred freedom of religion, what makes them think Obama will balk at shredding freedom of the press? Give this foul man freedom to chop out bits of the Constitution that he doesnt' like, and you media types will find yourselves just as much in his crosshairs as the Catholics you seem to despise.

Remember - this is the same man who slobbered all over Hu of China and said he'd rather be King of China because in china they can kill the media on whim from the leaders.

You think Obama wouldn't do the same to you? He's aching to round up the media people he thinks have embarrassed him (by exposing his lies and incompetence), and make sure they 'disappear'.

Who will protect you liberals when the monster you created turns against you?

If a Liberal/Democrat politician/media figure wants to put their arms around you, or pat you on the back, all they're doing is looking for a good place to stick a knife.

#37 Nutshell

You have said all that needs to be said,and said it beautifully.


#38 Planned Parenthood has blessed this "Rule"

and therefore, the discussion is over. So says o'bama's chief of staff.

The American people will be told of this decision. Unlike Planned Parenthood, they will not be asked their opinion. That's how this administration operates.

Next up: the Buffet rule. Where Buffet and his secretary will set the rules. And we Americans will later be told the outcome.

Already implemented: The definition of marriage. Set by sexual deviants. And forced down our throats, so to speak.

Soon to come: The total dismantlement of our military. And the final destruction of America as we knew it.

Didn't win the Medal of Honor? Didn't even serve? Then lie about it. We'll support you." — 9th Circuit Court

#39 Remember

Remember in the 60's with the snobs would ask "Is the theater really dead?"

We need to ask ourselves if our Representative form of Government is dead when the Pretender to the throne rules by executive fiat.

We now have a true Cowboy Administration in the White House.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius

#40 The (I am pretty sure)

Leftist/liberal Fed appeals court (sitting in San Francisco, of course, the notorious 9th circuit court of appeals) again legislated from the bench overturning the California gay marriage ban.

"Somehow, I told you so, just doesn't quite say it." Will Smith in 'I, Robot.'

#41 Not a socialist?

Why is it that no one ever asks these reporters to contrast the government program of president Obama with say the one presented by the Socialist party in France? Or the socialists in Latin America? It is exactly the same thing, just in different languages.

#42 Useful

Mr. Ignatius - another one of Lenin's useful idiots.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – Marcus Aurelius

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