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April 06, 2012


Another good read.

I have a question, though. Midterms are often referendums on the President. Is it possible that some national elections are referendums on state governors? Like, will Scott Walker's unpopularity in Wisconsin help the President?

I strongly agree with Brendan, particularly his point that even national trial heat polls are only somewhat accurate at this point.

Brendan calls the the contraception controversy "a real policy issue". It is, but only partially IMHO. The real policy issue is whether all Catholic-affiliated organizations should be exempted from the obligation to provide free employee birth control. However, the Dems have effectively turned this specific policy difference into a claim that supporting a religious exemption means that Republicans are "anti-women".

The "anti-women" charge has now become a campaign issue. I've seen lots of op-eds, jokes, and cartoons that make no reference to the contraceptive controversy, but are simply based around the idea that Reps are anti-woman. The charge that Republicans are anti-women is not a real policy issue, although it may well work for the Dems.

...claim that supporting a religious exemption means that Republicans are "anti-women."

Well, it depends on the specific religious exemption at hand, doesn't it...or are you seriously suggesting that such exemptions should automatically be immune from the "anti-women" label just by the very fact that they are "religious" in nature? If so, that's a very silly position to take, IMHO.

Daniel -- IMHO the anti-woman thing is bogus from beginning to end. First of all, there's no urgent need for the Government to require all health insurance to include birth control coverage. We've never had such a law, yet men and women have pretty much managed to acquire the birth control devices they wanted or needed. Condoms are cheap and widely available. Even birth control pills aren't terribly expensive.

Furthermore, it's disproportionate to require that birth control be covered without any deductible or co-pay, when life-saving medicines and medical treatments do have deductibles and co-pays. Birth control is important, but it's not more important than saving the lives of sick people.

So, if the Republican position were to oppose a requirement that all health insurance plans cover birth control without any deductible or co-pay, I wouldn't consider that position anti-women. But, that's not the Republican position. They haven't objected to the requirement that all health plans include full coverage for birth control.

The Republican position is merely that religious and religious-affiliated organizations not be forced to provide birth control, if birth control is against that religion. To me, that seems obvious. Does the federal government have the power to force a Jewish hospital or an Islamic social organization to serve pork products? I don't think so. I expect the courts to find this rule unconstitutional (assuming that Obamacare as a whole isn't already stricken down by the Supreme Court.)

"Does the federal government have the power to force a Jewish hospital or an Islamic social organization to serve pork products."

Oh please, "birth control is important," (I recall someone writing those word somewhere), eating pork is not.

With respect, birth control and eating pork are both important, and every now and again, if you're very lucky, it's possible to do them simultaneously.

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