Komen and HHS: The Day of the Bully Dawns – UPDATED

In just about 24 hours the “non-political” billion-dollar entity known as Planned Parenthood — which does not itself do mammograms, despite how ABC News frames it — managed to leak the news that the Susan G. Komen Foundation would no longer be contributing $700,000 dollars to its coffers, get the two stupidest women in the US Senate to go into public hysterics, bring out the heavy guns of the mainstream media and apparently win Komen’s surrender!

We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.

The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.

You can read the rest here. They are chastened and offer tearful apologies, because tearful apologies are required when one has transgressed the party and wishes to be allowed, cowering, back into its good graces.

Understand what has happened, here. Komen did not break the news that they were defunding; Planned Parenthood — the “unpolitical” operation — leaked the news in order to sic their buddies in the senate and in the media on Komen. The assault was readied and rolled out, and damn near rabid — all out of proportion to what it should mean for one charity to decline to give $700,000 to another charity worth a billion! The message was clear: get back in line, or we will destroy you; we will bring the full power of the elite media and the government against you.

And so, like a good but weak soldier, Komen has essentially destroyed itself: hardline leftists will never forgive it; hardline rightists will never trust it. But feel a little sorry for Komen. They were trying to do the better thing, and they got mauled for it. They’re not cowards, they just weren’t strong. Not everyone can face the lions, especially if they’re being pounced on in their first steps.

In this, however, Komen has helped put panache on institutional bullying; it’s demonstrated that the one-two punch of the press and a mere calling out from DC is enough to buckle the knees. The press and the Democrats have made an example of Komen — with Komen’s permission: this is what we will do to you, if you dare step out of line.

Yesterday’s insane reaction to Komen, by the press and the government gave me a mental image of Moloch, enraged and stomping and roaring because there was a threat of less meat coming to his fire.

Today, Moloch is appeased; the media’s heartbeat and respiration are returning to normal. They and their pals in DC can take a nice, deep cleansing breath and sit back and smile, understanding what they have just demonstrated to themselves, their enemies and the world: you don’t have to fall in love; just fall in line, or you will fall, altogether.

The Day of the Bully has dawned. Institutional aggression, carried out by mobs is the ascendent modality, and they’re feeling emboldened. If the brouhahas of Wisconsin toned them, this was a stinging punch.

The have something else to feel really good about today, as well. As Deacon Greg points out, the latest polls indicated that despite the Obama/HHS assault on religious freedom and conscience, despite the public outcry of 145 US Catholic Bishops and representatives from other religions, President Obama is still enjoying support among Catholics.

Why? Because most Catholics — unless they are online or in the pews — have heard little-to-nothing about the story, and if they have it’s been framed by the press as a “contraception” issue, not an Obama vs Religious Liberty issue; not a “freedom of religion and conscience” issue.

This is the other side of the Bullying Dawn. Like it or not, the mainstream media still controls what gets talked about and understood; they still control the national conversation. And we can see now that if the government wants to hurt you, it will use the press to do so, either by its noise, as with Komen or by its silence.

On their weekend evening news shows, the three major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) all ignored a Friday mandate from the Obama administration forcing non-profit religious employers to provide for contraception in their health insurance for employees. Critics had condemned the rule as a violation of religious liberty.

Face it: if this decision by Obama (who, the WH has confirmed, will not be reconsidering) was a wise or a just or a constitutionally-sound idea, wouldn’t the press be talking about it, playing it up, especially in an election year?

The press is not talking about Obama’s assault on religious freedom because they do not want you to know about it; they do not want people thinking what they’re not supposed to be thinking. They don’t want to talk about the Obama administration’s recent attempt to take from the churches the right to decide who is and is not a minster. They especially don’t want you thinking about those two stories together! You might begin to believe that this president — who is suddenly writing policy in the expedient name of Jesus — doesn’t actually like the churches, or the first amendment.

But the press doesn’t mind mischaracterizing the whole HHS story and framing it in “the Catholic Church is going to force you to be pregnant!” hysterics. Once they have their narrative in place, once they can distort it to their needs, they’ll finally talk about it. Even if they understand nothing of which they speak

The story, and the truth, gets turned upside down, because that’s what spin is: it makes you dizzy. Diabolical disorientation.

So, if you’re reading this, it’s up to you to let people know what’s going on. Because the press won’t. And people are going to start becoming afraid to speak out, or to sign a petition, because the day of the bully is upon us.

Thomas Peters says: Komen hasn’t caved, take a breath:

This is more than a pro-life, pro-abortion debate. It’s a culture war between the powerful liberal elite and grassroots pro-life conservatism. It’s also a battle of identity for the pro-life movement. Will we listen to our own, trust our instincts and remain focused? Or will we allow the pro-abortion forces to knock us off our game and play by their rules.

As I’ve been saying since this story broke, we need to be doing two essential things: 1) support Komen in their bid to cut Planned Parenthood out of their funding streams and 2) place the focus on Planned Parenthood‘s hypocrisy and lies.

If we do these two things, we win. If we get distracted and cease supporting Komen or focusing on Planned Parenthood, we lose. It’s as simple as that.

As for what is happening at Komen: I’ve received a crash-course education in the foundation over the past couple days and I can say without doubt that one thing motivates their President: ending breast cancer. That’s why she decided to cease funding Planned Parenthood, because they are about the lousiest group to help if you are serious about ending breast cancer. Second, that’s why Nancy is worried about the damage to the Komen brand being done by Planned Parenthood and it’s pro-abortion allies. Nancy knows if Komen is weakened it will be less able to pursue it’s objective of ending breast cancer.

That’s why we need to make common cause with Komen and support them. That’s why we need to expose Planned Parenthood’s scurrilous move to destroy Komen.

He’s much more optimistic than I am, but then again, I’m watching Moloch dance today. I know he loses in the end, but today, he feels triumphant. Komen won’t dare not to fund PP in the future, not after what they just tasted.

Unless, perhaps, the Christians have mercy, as Thomas says.

UPDATE: Pressure makes diamonds? Many are looking at the ambiguous language of Komen’s statement and saying, Planned Parenthood loses; this is no cave:
Da Tech Guy
Ed Morrissey
Greg Sargent

Wow, is this hateful: Planned Parenthood video from a few years ago

James Taranto: Totalitarian Feminism and the Smearing of Komen

More on these topics:
Obama vs Religious Liberty
The press doesn’t cover what it hates and wants to suppress
Grassley Says Obama Behaving Dictatorially
Creative Minority Report

Restricting Political Speech
Can Catholics Unite?

From the Chapel Hill Murders, an Opportunity for Real Tolerance
Sr. Mary Ann Walsh: A Humble Way of Mercy
ISIS-supporter confirms my point: West too hip to deal
5 Reasons Why Brian Williams Will Not be Hillary’s Veep*
About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jim Gillen

    “The Day of the Bully has dawned.” (?) This type of thing has been going on since the first flush of power. One over another. One group over another. Kathleen is right. Cranberries expressed the best viewpoint of all.

  • David J White

    “To: businesses and charities who donate to us.
    From: Planned Parenthood

    You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

    Yep. PP has become a sort of Hotel California.

    Someone on Rod Dreher’s blog made the same analogy. I’ll make the same response I made there: I’ve also heard the Catholic Church described as Hotel California, for the same reason. I rather like the analogy (and I’m a devout Catholic). After all, you never seem to hear people describe themselves as “former Presbyterians”, “lapsed Methodists”, or “recovering Congregationalists”.

    Exhibit A: Kristin above, who feels the need to point out, “That’s why I left the Church in the first place”. If your actions are still guided by your perceived need to react against your Catholic upbringing, you haven’t really left.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    flaming progressive, pregnancy is not a disease. Ordinary human fertility is not an illness. Babies are not a disaster, though you’ve been taught to think so.

    You can try to destroy us—good luck with that. But, if you do, at least be honest with yourself; you’ll be trying to destroy us in the name of sexual hedonism, and the pursuit of pleasure, not “Womens rights”, which progressives really don’t care about. When was the last time the feminists, as a body, took on the Islamic world, for its oppression of women?

  • doc

    As Instapundit occasionally says, today’s Democrats are Stalinists at heart.

  • Shimmer

    Jesus is not a Republican. Reading this column leaves me with the impression that he must be. What about the free conscience of those who believe birth control is a moral decision in their life. We as Catholics have the responsibility to choose life. That pre-supposes there is a choice. As for the bishops freedom of conscience how is that threatened in the law? The law doesn’t require the bishops to use birth control. It is just asking them to allow their employees the freedom to follow their conscience. You say the the nonclassical liberal gov’t and media are exerting pressure on reproductive matters. Maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s also true that the nonclassical conservatism exhibited in the church today is also guilty of the same sins.

    [You say, "Jesus is not a Republican!" Well, I'm not a Republican, either. Was a lifelong Democrat, now an Indy. And this is not about contraception, no matter how much you want to pretend it is. It's about the Government imposting itself on religion. Or, as Michael Gerson succinctly puts it:

    The implications of Obama's power grab go further than contraception and will provoke opposition beyond Catholicism. Christian colleges and universities of various denominations will resist providing insurance coverage for abortifacients. And the astounding ambition of this federal precedent will soon be apparent to every religious institution. Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not — and then to aggressively regulate institutions the government declares to be secular. It is a view of religious liberty so narrow and privatized that it barely covers the space between a believer's ears.

    Obama's decision also reflects a certain view of liberalism. Classical liberalism was concerned with the freedom to hold and practice beliefs at odds with a public consensus. Modern liberalism uses the power of the state to impose liberal values on institutions it regards as backward. It is the difference between pluralism and anti-clericalism.

    I am still very much the classical liberal I was raised to be. I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and to full respect for it. I believe our civil rights are sacrosanct. I do not believe in totalitarianism or an overreaching government, nor do I support theocracies. Really, it's very simple. Read the first amendment; don't define the churches missions for them, and don't let them over-encroach on the government. I know you want to believe that somehow, by asking for a conscience-clause the bishops who SUPPORTED Obamacare are somehow being aggressors trying to encroach on the government, but it is precisely the opposite. And if you're being intellectually honest you'll know it. The church has no interest in being an aggressor to the government. But this administration -- in its attempt (through OSHA) to dictate to the churches who they may call "minister" and now through this conscience-stomping mandate is demonstrating its intentions to be the aggressor against the churches. Support that if you wish, but understand that it is a staggeringly ILLIBERAL position to take. And don't call me a Republican. -admin]

  • susan yee

    Wow…interesting how this issue can be twisted to suit anyone’s viewpoint! I stand with Planned Parenthood and believe that SGK is only an opportunistic business making millions off of cancer! They have a political and religious agenda and people concerned about cancer and only that, need to give their money to the American Cancer Society or other organizations…. Sounds to me like this author is upset that the SGK has been unmasked for the right wing and filthy rich opportunists that it is! Shame on them….no more pink crap…..!

    [I think it's hysterical that you think SGK is "right wing filthy rich opportunists." Just two weeks ago they were a feminist concern in good standing. As "filthy rich opportunists" PP is much bigger, worth about a billion and they have the press and gov't at their beck-and-call to promote and defend them at every opportunity. It's just too funny, your comment! -admin]

  • nnmns

    Elizabeth, hysteris is not becoming. You lost on this one. The forces of good won one. A lot more people value what PP does for women and families than value the nonsense put out by the radical right wing.

    By trying to divide Americans you show yourselves to be un-American. By trying to keep poor women from getting breast exams you show yourselves to be rabid.

    Oh, and by supporting those religious institutions who hire people of other faiths or no faith over the people who do the work you show your authoritarian nature.

    [I don't understand a word you wrote, but I'm displaying my authoritarian nature by posting your comment, anyway -admin]

  • http://adammclane.com adam mclane

    “we will bring the full power of the elite media and the government against you.”
    Wait, you missed the entire thing. I’m sorry, but where were you?
    This wasn’t mainstream media and government bullies jumping on Komen. Both are now driven by Facebook/Twitter. It was the people sharing the news and giving feedback that was the uproar.
    And hopefully Komen learned a valuable lesson. There is a tipping point where you don’t own your brand anymore. That’s what Komen learned… they think they have the right to make those kinds of decisions, but the people who raise the money ultimately have the vote.
    If anything, NGOs like Komen got a wake up call to reality.

  • pannich

    It’s the religious right wing – my way or the highway who are the bullies. Komen bowed to their pressure first after all. There is a specific agenda that says “we know what is best for all” and if you dare disagree we’ll stomp and rave until you agree that only our point of view matters.

    As a progressive Christian and proud of it, I do care about women’s rights. And rights for men and children. The unborn but most especially the born. The ones who need healthcare and access to resources.

    [And you don't find a government mandate ordering churches to do it "my way or the highway or get out of offering outreach and services altogether" (in opposition to the constitution) to be bullying, eh? That's interesting. The Catholic church, in many areas of this country, were offering services for the poor, help for the sick and education for the disadvantaged long before the local governments were thinking about it or planning it. In some areas, Catholic hospitals are still all some people have. You'd rather see them close than their consciences respected? You'd rather see those people get no medical help than medical help with a conscience? Is that really the state of proud progressive Christianism these days? I'm a classical liberal; clearly what passes for "liberalism" these days is something very different from its meaning. Interesting comment, which gives me much to think about. Thank you -admin]