Talk about giving the last drop of political blood.
President Obama defended the HHS Mandate until it got swacked at the Supreme Court, then he and his supporters in the United States Senate tried to kill the court decision with statutes. Now, after all that, the White House announces that it will come up with an “opt-out alternative for Catholic and other religious employers.”
I am guessing this is in advance of what he sees as a catastrophic (at least to him) spanking from the Supremes over the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Watch the videos below and consider this: Our government puts $542 million into Planned Parenthood each year. And that’s just federal dollars. Many states add their own $$$ to the pile.
Also the Affordable Health Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has large amounts of monies for block grants for education. Planned Parenthood will probably end up with a lot of this money, as well.
The ignominious HHS Mandate was written by a committee that was overloaded with representatives from Planned Parenthood and organizations that have interlocking boards with it.
How much damage are we going to all Planned Parenthood to do in the name of birth control? The services which Planned Parenthood provides that people want — pap smears, contraception — can be provided by other agencies. Remember: Planned Parenthood not only gets huge amounts of federal dollars to “provide” these services, it charges its clients for them, as well.
This government money could be better used to provide the services that people want. The savings by eliminating the rest of it — including the “counseling” in these videos — would be enormous. There are no reasons except political payback to give this funding to Planned Parenthood.
I also want to mention that while I linked to Fox News’ outrage-filled coverage of these videos, Fox is the network that gives us Family Guy and American Dad. I haven’t watched Family Guy, but when I was researching this article, I read comments directing people to view it in order to learn about some of the activities described in the videos below.
I did watch part of an American Dad episode. I quit watching because the episode had two fathers, joking about having sex with their daughters. I’m not entertained by that. Here in Oklahoma City, American Dad runs in the early afternoon — primetime cartoon-viewing hours for young children.
The government is not using our tax dollars to pay for teaching perversion to kids on the Fox network. However, when you consider the damage done, that difference becomes a bit academic.
Teaching it to kids is … well … I have no words.
This is the story that irony built.
It seems that Sara Hellwege is a nurse-midwife in Tampa, FL. She applied for a job at Tampa Family Health Centers. In an email exchange Tampa Family Health Center’s HR director, Chad Lindsey, quizzed her about her affiliation with the American Association of Pro Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Ms Hellwege said that she would not prescribe chemical birth control. She was told that this was part of the job. They didn’t hire her.
Or, case not closed, as it turns out. Ms Hellwege has filed suit.
And I can’t stop laughing.
We’ve been peppered with one idiot lawsuit after another by people demanding that the courts force Catholic organizations, particularly schools, to employee them while they get gay married in defiance of Catholic teaching.
Anyone who objects to one of these lawsuits is treated to an arm-waving smack-down with words like , “tolerance” and “rights” flying through the air like bullets.
Now, it seems, the shoe is on the other foot.
Google gave me a whole page of links on this lawsuit. The most apoplectic commentary I saw was coming from the same folks who are soooo supportive of every lawsuit filed to force the Catholic Church to violate its beliefs.
Several posts I read tried to claim that the lawsuit is based on the Hobby Lobby decision. Unless Ms Hellwege is a privately-held corporation who is being forced by the HHS Mandate to buy insurance that pays for four kinds of abortifacient, the Hobby Lobby decision has nothing to do with her.
Having said all that, I don’t really have any quarrel with these opinion pieces. They are, after all, opinions.
I just can’t stop laughing.
One of my Facebook friends called him “the great divider.”
Even though I am both aware and horrified by the endless hatred directed at whoever sits behind the desk in the Oval Office, I think that’s a fair thing to say about President Obama. His penchant for one man sledgehammer legislating against the First Amendment is a particular case in point.
So far as I am concerned, the HHS Mandate is a permanent blot on his presidency.
I’ve spent the morning, sifting through the product of our President’s mighty pen from yesterday. I’ve been sitting in front of my computer with the screens littered with copies of the executive orders he amended, wondering, where, exactly, is this one man show pointing us?
My best guess, based on what I see, is that it’s pointing us toward court. The reason is the lack of a specific religious exemption in President Obama’s verbiage.
What he has done with this executive order is to amend two previous executive orders from the 1960s. These 1960s executive orders provided direction to the Department of Labor on the question of discrimination in employment. The orders dealt with employment discrimination because of “race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap or age.” President Obama’s executive order adds “sexual orientation, gender identity” to that list.
Executive Order 11478 deals with direct federal employment by direct government agencies. I think it will stand and basically have no big problem with the order as I understand it now. I may change my opinion when I see the rules promulgated by the Department of Labor.
However, Executive Order 11246 deals with federal contractors. This could be construed to include grantees and, if you want to stretch it, any entity that receives federal money for anything.
President Obama did not address a third executive order by President Bush, Executive Order 13279. President Bush’s order was designed to protect the religious freedom of entities that receive grants, contract with the government or otherwise receive government monies. It contains a laundry list of sorts of the types of services which it covers. It also specifically addresses the entities covered by Executive Order 11246, which applies to federal contractors. Executive Order 11246 is one of the orders President Obama amended yesterday.
The assumption being made in various press outlets that I have read is that President Bush’s executive order provides the religious exemptions needed to keep President Obama’s ENDA order from turning into another HHS Mandate.
Is that true?
Only somewhat, and, depending on the regs the Department of Labor comes up with, maybe not at all.
The reason I say that is two-fold. First, and scariest, President Obama’s order calls on the Department of Labor to promulgate rules. This is normal and necessary. What makes it scary is the big time precedent of this administration using rules and regs to attack religious freedom.
The disastrous HHS Mandate is a rule, not a law. Of course, if the president sincerely wants to avoid another HHS Mandate, he can use his powers to encourage sensible regulations that ensure religious liberty. He also has the power to deep-six any reg or rule by not signing it.
I’m taking a wait and see position on how those rules are going to look and what this president signs. He lied about religious freedom to get the votes to pass the Affordable Health Care Act and he’s consistently lied about the impact of the HHS Mandate. So, I don’t trust him.
The second reason I think this may end up in court is that court cases and various agency rulings have already attacked Catholic institutions and successfully stripped them of federal grants because of the Church’s adherence to 2,000 year-old consistent teachings. There is also a lawsuit in the courts attacking the Catholic bishops for teaching Catholic teaching concerning abortion in regards to Catholic hospitals.
Both Robert George, Vice President at United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the Catholic Bishops have issued statements opposing President Obama’s ENDA order precisely because it lacks a religious exemption. I think they are on solid ground.
Based on that litigious impulse to attack Catholic teaching through the courts, I think the chances of ENDA ending up in court are quite good. What we will probably have at that point is adjudication based on dueling executive orders. President Obama could have stopped this before it got out of the gate by simply adding a religious exemption to his orders yesterday.
I going to let you read both Robert George’s complete statement and the complete statement from the USCCB without edits.
From the USCCB:
USCCB Chairmen Respond To ‘Unprecedented And Extreme’ Executive Order
I have, up till now, avoided the “war on this,” “war on that,” rhetoric. But now there is no avoiding it. Today Barack Obama declared war on the Catholic Church and people of other faiths who hold to traditional beliefs about marriage and sexual morality. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops explains the situation in a statement responding to the executive order the President issued today. There is no way for religious people to defend themselves against being reduced to the status of second-class citizens except by electing to office, first in 2014 and then in 2016, men and women who will repeal this executive order and other governmental acts that undermine their religious freedom and rights of conscience. But that is only part of the picture. The reason that Catholics and other people of faith seek government contracts is to carry our their mission of serving people in need, orphans, the poor, refugees and the dispossessed, persons suffering from afflictions and addictions. It is the people who are served who are secondary victims of this war on conscience when faith-based providers are forced out—as Catholic Charities was forced out of providing adoption services in Massachusetts, Illinois, and the District of Columbia. We must defeat the enemies of conscience—at the ballot box—not only to protect our own freedom and that of our fellow citizens, but also to protect the interests of those served so well by faith-based institutions. This is a war we must win for their sake as well as our own.
I hate it when I have to spend my good time sweeping up the refuse from idiotic, politically-motivated attacks on our Catholic religious leaders.
Today, I’m going to address attacks from the right side of unreason, and to be honest, I’d rather not. Have to, that is. I’d much rather I didn’t have to keep doing this.
I’m not so pleased when I have to do the same thing for with the left side of unreason, either.
But … duty calls.
There have been a smattering of articles and combox vitriol floating around the internet accusing the Catholic bishops of all sorts of nasty things because they don’t/won’t/aren’t-going-to hate on Mexicans. After all, we’re deep into our bi-election brown-skin hate-off right now and every red blooded American is called to abandon all reason and blindly join in.
The cable news networks are discussing (they never report, they only discuss) the issue of large numbers of children coming over the Rio Grande. I watched a brief thingy on one of them Saturday night. They were proclaiming that one in four of these kids are “criminals” and that “gangs” are meeting them at the border to recruit them.
I know lots of people who’ve come over that border. Some of them are bad dudes. True. But most of them fall into the salt of the earth category of family-loving, deeply-religious goodness. You can hate me for saying it, but it’s just a fact.
To get back to the talking heads and their endless talk-talk on this border situation, I have one main point, and that point is …
They do this every single bi-election year.
I’m not saying that the problem with people flooding our Southern borders isn’t real. I am also not saying that this country should not control its borders. Far from it. A country that can’t control its borders is in big trouble.
What I am saying is that the this wall to wall reporting that has you so whipped up and miserable right now is politically-motivated. The cable news does this every bi-election The constant drumbeat of hysterical talk-talk-talking about “illegals” will stop like turning off a tap as soon as the votes are counted in November.
In the meantime, the good people of this country will have been ripped around and worked up into an emotional pitch for nothing. Again.
Because, you see, nothing is going to happen that will stop the flood of illegal immigrants coming over the border. Think about it. This big outrage has been whipped up every bi-election since the turn of the century. What good has come of it? Republican President/Democratic President/Republican Congress/Democratic Congress it doesn’t matter. Nothing changes.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops are doing their Jesus thing and insisting that these children are people and must be treated as people. If you will read the Bishops’ statements on this issue, they plainly support efforts to control the country’s borders. But they can’t very well drop kick the Gospels just to make the right wing side of unreason like them.
So … they get hit with the usual claptrap from the vicious pharisees to the right. I won’t go through the whole tired litany of hate talk. I’m going to focus on one bizarro statement that I’ve seen repeated enough to know it has traction in certain internet nut bins. That statement is the ludicrous claim that the Catholic bishops are “in bed” with President Obama.
That is so stupid that it deserves a trophy of some sort or other.
Have any of the little hive minds that are passing that around totally forgotten the dozens upon dozens of lawsuits filed against the HHS Mandate? How about the bishops’ requests for religious exemptions to ENDA and the fight brewing there? Who do you think was working against the Hobby Lobby vote last week?
The bishops are in bed with President Obama? Puleez.
What the bishops are doing with their support of the human rights of immigrants and their refusal to join in with the great bi-election immigration hate-off, is following Jesus.
You know, the Jesus Simeon said would be a “sign of contradiction.”
What Simeon didn’t prophesy, but which Christ the Lord promised when he said If they persecute me, they will persecute you, is that people who follow the Gospels, especially in a a post-Christian society such as ours, are also going to be signs of contradiction. In fact, I’ll go a step further and say that our vocation as Christians in this post-Christian culture is to be signs of contradictions.
The bishops are succeeding in that vocation in a grand fashion. They are, for instance, being sued directly for their teaching that abortion is wrong. That’s from the left side of unreason.
Now, they’re being accused of pandering to our anti-Catholic president by insisting that people are people, no matter their legal status. That’s from the right side of of unreason.
What we are dealing with here is two sides of the same God-is-Made-in-My-Image coin. When people cut the Gospels down to fit their politics, they stop being a sign of contradiction to the sins of the world and become the sin’s enablers. They are salt that has lost its savor.
The followers of the politically-trimmed Gospel that does not allow for the sanctity of human life or marriage on the one side, and that tries to enforce economics as a morality-free zone on the other, are both examples of fallen and useless Christians. When I say “useless” I mean they are useless to God in His great work of Kingdom building.
Is there anything worse I can say about a Christian than that they are useless to God?
Jesus told us cannot follow two masters, and I think He meant it. When we trim our faith to suit our politics, we are running away from the cross, just like Peter, Andrew, James, James, Matthew, Philip, Thomas, Nathaniel, Simon the Zealot and Thaddaeus.
The Apostles repented of their shameful running away. They gave their lives for the same Jesus they had abandoned.
We can too.
I am not saying that we should not be concerned about the flood of illegal immigrants that have been coming over our borders for the past decades. This country needs to secure its borders. Period.
I am saying that we should stop letting ourselves be jerked around by the bi-election carrying on that happens so predictably that you could set your calendar by it.
This isn’t about shutting down our borders. In fact, the same corporatists who own the news outlets that are pushing this hysteria are themselves ardently opposed to shutting down the borders. They like and employ the cheap, off-the-books labor. I’ll write more on that in a day or so.
What this reporting and whipping Americans into a xenophobic hysteria are about is the universal goal of power politics: Getting power and keeping power.
Nobody is going to fix this problem, come November. The day after the elections, the talking heads will start talking about something else. Just like they do every bi-election.
In the meantime, the right-wing-of-unreason crowd will have scarred and defamed the name of Christ with their claims to be Christian while they say things that come straight from the pit.
The bishops are right about this, just as they are right about marriage and abortion and human trafficking and a whole host of other things.
They are being attacked because they are the sign of contradiction in American public discourse.
They get attacked from the left and right because they are not acolytes to either the right or left. Their job isn’t to give moral support to the immorality of power politics. Their job is to proclaim the Gospels and teach us what living for Christ means in this world.
When they tell us to treat immigrants as people, they are teaching us how the Gospels apply directly to us, in our current world. They are setting the cross before us and asking us to take up the unpopular position and lift the cross onto our shoulders and follow Him.
The Catholic bishops are in bed with President Obama? The plain facts of recent history make that charge ridiculous.
The fact that otherwise intelligent folks are bandying it about simply points to how nutty following the gods of this world can make people.
I am writing this with one goal, and it’s not to call in the lightning on my own head, although I will probably get a bit of that. I am writing it to urge you to regain your reason.
Think straight. Look at the simple fact that this happens every bi-election. Consider what that means in real life.
Look also at the fact that the bishops are hated on by both the right and left of the political spectrum. Consider for a moment that perhaps this is because they are actually being the “sign of contradiction” that we all should be.
If you follow Jesus, you’ll be treated the same way He was. That’s what’s happening to the bishops. It’s also what should be happening to you and me.
Use your minds and think people. Do not be whipped around by talking heads with a political agenda. Think. Connect the dots.
And support our bishops.
I stole this headline from the place where I first found the story: New Advent. I couldn’t think of a better way to say it.
According to a Washington Post article, President Obama plans to legislate with his pen by passing his own version of ENDA with an executive order. According to the Washington Post, “the White House” said that this executive order will not include a religious exemption.
It seems that everybody wants to do the work of Congress these days except Congress itself. We have courts legislating from the bench and our president rolls out one agency rule and executive order after another, passing laws all by his little self. Meanwhile, Congress is doing the only two things it actually does: engaging with itself in a perpetual partisan spitting contest and running for re-election.
This president is unambiguously at war with religious freedom in this country. I say that with sorrow and reluctance. But the facts are the facts and his actions speak for themselves.
He is continually doing things that stir up rage and resentment in the electorate. He’s damaging this country with his blind hubris. I don’t understand what he, as the sworn defender of the Constitution thinks he’s doing by repeatedly attacking the First Amendment.
But he’s consistent. He does these things, signs these agency rules, issues these executive orders. Then he lies about them later.
That’s the long-standing, repeated pattern of behavior.
I could go on and on here. I’m disgusted enough to really roll. But I have to leave for church in less than an hour and then begin my Sabbath. I think I’ll pray about it and hold my tongue until I have a chance to calm down.
In the meantime, here’s the story. From the Washington Post:
President Obama, resisting calls from several prominent faith leaders, will not include a new exemption for religiously affiliated government contractors when he issues an executive order Monday barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the White House said Friday.
Obama announced last month that he would sign such an order after concluding that Congress was not going to act on a broader measure prohibiting discrimination based on sexual discrimination or gender identity by companies.
Since then, faith leaders have urged him to include an exemption for government contractors with a religious affiliation, such as some social service agencies.
White House officials said Friday that the new executive order would not include such an exception. But Obama will preserve an exemption put in place by former president George W. Bush that allows religiously affiliated contractors to favor employees of a certain religion in making hiring decisions.
Gay rights organizations have criticized that earlier exemption, and they celebrated news Friday that Obama would not be broadening it.
“With the strokes of a pen, the president will have a very real and immediate impact on the lives of millions of LGBT people across the country,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.
Senators Joe Manchin and Bob Casey are generally pro life.
I accept that.
But when they voted against the Hobby Lobby decision, they dribbled enough sewage on their pro life stands — not to mention the good names of every completely pro life Democrat in this country — to raise a stink that blots that out.
They voted with their caucus in favor of overturning the Hobby Lobby decision and by doing that voted against religious freedom and in support of President Obama’s on-going war with the Catholic Church.
I’m not believing for a minute that they actually buy their own spin. This was a political vote, a go along to get along and have somebody to pal around with at work vote.
But what political score keeping went into their belief that they could get away with it? Did they believe the things the other Dems told them in caucus? Were they swayed by the advice on how they could “spin” this vote to slide past it?
All I know is that, as a pro life Democrat, I am almost certainly more unhappy by this party-line vote against religious freedom than any Republican. I feel personally slimed by it.
I am disgusted beyond the meaning of the word disgust with Senator Manchin and Senator Casey and every other “pro life” Democrat who doesn’t “get” that being pro life means you have to cross your party’s bow on these tough votes.
Get real fellas.
I’m going to put the statements concerning this vote from both Senator Munchin and Senator Casey below. Taken together, they’re like a compendium of anti-religious freedom Hobby Lobby spin.
Senator Manchin’s Statement on the Hobby Lobby vote:
“Today, I voted in support of overturning the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision that ruled for-profit companies can opt out of providing contraceptives to their employees because of religious beliefs. As Governor and U.S. Senator, I have always fought to protect the sincerely-held religious views of non-profit organizations, like soup kitchens, colleges, hospitals and similar non-profit organizations. However, for-profit corporations do not have the same legal privileges as non-profits, and therefore they should not have the same protections as non-profits recognized by law as being a religious organization. This legislation strikes a balance between allowing non-profit organizations to hold onto their religious views while ensuring that Americans have access to safe, affordable and reliable preventative health benefits.”
Senator Bob Casey’s statement on the Hobby Lobby vote:
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the following statement on his co-sponsorship of the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act, aka the Not My Boss’ Business Act:
“As a cosponsor of S. 2578, the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act, I was disappointed that the Senate voted against the measure. The bill is a common-sense step to ensure that for-profit CEOs cannot interfere in their employees’ decisions about contraception and other health services.
It is an important protection that will help ensure that women working for for-profit corporations can make health care decisions based on their own consciences and religious beliefs, not those of their CEOs.
This is consistent with my long-standing strong support for greater access to contraceptives.
The bill affects for-profit employers but maintains the pre-Hobby Lobby accommodation for religiously-affiliated, non-profit organizations – an accommodation that I aggressively pushed the Administration to include – by specifically stating that the regulation continues to be in effect for plans affected by the bill.
As Justice Ginsburg stated in her dissent: ‘The First Amendment’s free exercise protections, the Court has indeed recognized, shelter churches and other nonprofit religion-based organizations. The Court’s “special solicitude to the rights of religious organizations”…however, is just that.’
The assertion by five of the justices on the Court that a for-profit corporation is a ‘person’ for the purposes of religious objection is simply a bridge too far.
The ruling essentially empowers CEOs of for-profit corporations to deny vital health benefits to women based on their own religious beliefs. As Justice Ginsburg stated ‘until today, religious exemptions had never been extended to any entity operating in the commercial, profit-making world.’ For-profit companies receive significant benefits that come with incorporation, including certain tax advantages and limited liability for owners. In turn, they are subject to a number of federal regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which are enacted to preserve the health, safety and welfare of employees.
Thirty million women have gained access to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. This is an important health service and has critical implications for economic security. The data shows us that access to contraceptives reduces the number of abortions. A recent study demonstrated that providing no-cost contraception can decrease abortion rates by up to 78 percent. I will continue to work to protect religious liberty for the American people while fighting to ensure that more women have access to affordable contraceptives.”
Senator Casey’s record on family planning can be found here: link.
The Washington Post took Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to task for the bizarre verbal temper tantrums they’ve been throwing over the Hobby Lobby decision.
The article pointed out that many of the claims both of these very powerful national leaders have been making about the decision are factually inaccurate. Even though the article focuses on politicians who act on the national stage, they could also include a number of their colleagues in the media in this same accusation. The truth has been largely left out of the media discussion of the Hobby Lobby decision.
It’s a great article, and I hope you follow the link and read it in its entirety.
Meanwhile, here are a few excerpts from The Washington Post:
… Nothing in the ruling allows a company to stop a woman from getting or filling a prescription for contraceptives, but that salient fact is often lost.
…“Really, we should be afraid of this court. The five guys who start determining what contraceptions are legal. Let’s not even go there.” — Pelosi This is a very odd statement from the House Democratic leader, given that the majority opinion flatly states that “under our cases, women (and men) have a constitutional right to obtain contraceptives,” citing the 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut, which under the right to privacy nullified a law prohibiting the use of contraceptives.
… Later, in the same news conference, Pelosi decried that “five men could get down to specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss.” Hobby Lobby involved the owners’ objection to four types of birth control but not diaphragms.
… “The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men. This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we are going to do something about it.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), remarks to reporters, on July 8 The Hobby Lobby decision was written by Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. That’s certainly five men, but Thomas is African American.
… “This is deeply troubling because you have organized religions that oppose health care, period. So if you have an employer who is a member of an organized religion and they decide, you know, I wouldn’t provide health care to my own family because I object religiously, I’m not going to allow any kind of health-care treatment.” — Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), Democratic National Committee chair, appearing on MSNBC, June 30 While there are some religions that object to certain medical procedures, Wasserman Schultz goes to quite an extreme to suggest that employers could block an employee from seeking any kind of health-care treatment. (Again, the issue was who would pay for contraceptives, not whether someone was barred from getting contraceptives.) …
… — Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), interview on MSNBC, June 30 Is Slaughter really saying that the court has taken away an employee’s religious freedom because some contraceptives may not be covered by insurance?
The first vote on S 2578, the bill to overturn the Hobby Lobby decision by repealing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is in.
It was a vote on cloture. Cloture is a vote to stop a filibuster on a measure, or, as in this case, whether or not to debate a bill. It came within 4 votes of passing, which would have meant that the bill would almost certainly have passed the Senate. As it is, a filibuster can tie it up and keep it from going to the House, and no debate keeps it from coming to a vote at all.
The final vote was 56-43.
I’m going to put the vote below. It is a bit confusing, since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voted “no” on the vote to stop a filibuster. That was one of those pesky procedural votes. A procedural vote means that he voted the way he did to achieve a goal within the Senate procedures, in this case to position himself to call the vote on cloture up again.
What that means is that there may be another vote on cloture.
With the exception of Senator Reid, a “no” vote below means that the Senator voted against S 2578. A “yes” vote means they voted for it.
Unless I am mistaken, it was basically a party-line vote, with Independent Senators Sanders of Vermont and King of Maine and Republicans Murkowski of Alaska, Kirk of Illinois and Collins of Maine voting with the Democrats. The opinion voiced by Senate Republicans is that the Senate Democrats see this move as a vote getter for the party in November.
I have no doubt that is the big reason why you see all the Ds lining up on this. I could probably tell you the exact things which were said behind closed doors about this particular vote. I’ll bet I could recite it almost word for word.
A number of senators who voted for this attack on religious freedom come from conservative states where traditional Christians comprise a sizable voting block. They are evidently counting on party financing and the media machine to lie for them so that the public will be so mis-informed about the Hobby Lobby decision that they can ride this vote to victory rather than the ignominious defeat it should garner for them.
Other senators, such as Senator Mary Landrieu, who comes from Louisiana, is up for re-election, and was elected on a pro-life plank, may face some choppy water because of this vote. I would guess that she can get away with it if she can convince the voters that it was a vote about birth control and not religious liberty.
The other factor — and it is enormous — is how the voters of Louisiana feel about her personally. If they like her and trust her, individual votes she cast won’t matter.
Here is the vote.
Grouped by Home State
|Alabama:||Sessions (R-AL), Nay||Shelby (R-AL), Nay|
|Alaska:||Begich (D-AK), Yea||Murkowski (R-AK), Yea|
|Arizona:||Flake (R-AZ), Nay||McCain (R-AZ), Nay|
|Arkansas:||Boozman (R-AR), Nay||Pryor (D-AR), Yea|
|California:||Boxer (D-CA), Yea||Feinstein (D-CA), Yea|
|Colorado:||Bennet (D-CO), Yea||Udall (D-CO), Yea|
|Connecticut:||Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea||Murphy (D-CT), Yea|
|Delaware:||Carper (D-DE), Yea||Coons (D-DE), Yea|
|Florida:||Nelson (D-FL), Yea||Rubio (R-FL), Nay|
|Georgia:||Chambliss (R-GA), Nay||Isakson (R-GA), Nay|
|Hawaii:||Hirono (D-HI), Yea||Schatz (D-HI), Not Voting|
|Idaho:||Crapo (R-ID), Nay||Risch (R-ID), Nay|
|Illinois:||Durbin (D-IL), Yea||Kirk (R-IL), Yea|
|Indiana:||Coats (R-IN), Nay||Donnelly (D-IN), Yea|
|Iowa:||Grassley (R-IA), Nay||Harkin (D-IA), Yea|
|Kansas:||Moran (R-KS), Nay||Roberts (R-KS), Nay|
|Kentucky:||McConnell (R-KY), Nay||Paul (R-KY), Nay|
|Louisiana:||Landrieu (D-LA), Yea||Vitter (R-LA), Nay|
|Maine:||Collins (R-ME), Yea||King (I-ME), Yea|
|Maryland:||Cardin (D-MD), Yea||Mikulski (D-MD), Yea|
|Massachusetts:||Markey (D-MA), Yea||Warren (D-MA), Yea|
|Michigan:||Levin (D-MI), Yea||Stabenow (D-MI), Yea|
|Minnesota:||Franken (D-MN), Yea||Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea|
|Mississippi:||Cochran (R-MS), Nay||Wicker (R-MS), Nay|
|Missouri:||Blunt (R-MO), Nay||McCaskill (D-MO), Yea|
|Montana:||Tester (D-MT), Yea||Walsh (D-MT), Yea|
|Nebraska:||Fischer (R-NE), Nay||Johanns (R-NE), Nay|
|Nevada:||Heller (R-NV), Nay||Reid (D-NV), Nay|
|New Hampshire:||Ayotte (R-NH), Nay||Shaheen (D-NH), Yea|
|New Jersey:||Booker (D-NJ), Yea||Menendez (D-NJ), Yea|
|New Mexico:||Heinrich (D-NM), Yea||Udall (D-NM), Yea|
|New York:||Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea||Schumer (D-NY), Yea|
|North Carolina:||Burr (R-NC), Nay||Hagan (D-NC), Yea|
|North Dakota:||Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea||Hoeven (R-ND), Nay|
|Ohio:||Brown (D-OH), Yea||Portman (R-OH), Nay|
|Oklahoma:||Coburn (R-OK), Nay||Inhofe (R-OK), Nay|
|Oregon:||Merkley (D-OR), Yea||Wyden (D-OR), Yea|
|Pennsylvania:||Casey (D-PA), Yea||Toomey (R-PA), Nay|
|Rhode Island:||Reed (D-RI), Yea||Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea|
|South Carolina:||Graham (R-SC), Nay||Scott (R-SC), Nay|
|South Dakota:||Johnson (D-SD), Yea||Thune (R-SD), Nay|
|Tennessee:||Alexander (R-TN), Nay||Corker (R-TN), Nay|
|Texas:||Cornyn (R-TX), Nay||Cruz (R-TX), Nay|
|Utah:||Hatch (R-UT), Nay||Lee (R-UT), Nay|
|Vermont:||Leahy (D-VT), Yea||Sanders (I-VT), Yea|
|Virginia:||Kaine (D-VA), Yea||Warner (D-VA), Yea|
|Washington:||Cantwell (D-WA), Yea||Murray (D-WA), Yea|
|West Virginia:||Manchin (D-WV), Yea||Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea|
|Wisconsin:||Baldwin (D-WI), Yea||Johnson (R-WI), Nay|
|Wyoming:||Barrasso (R-WY), Nay||Enzi (R-WY), Nay|