Axelrod: Might be room for “compromise” on HHS Mandate UPDATES!

Steven D. Greydanus spells it out:

Sure enough, in a press conference this afternoon, press secretary Jay Carney reaffirmed Obama’s commitment to the HHS mandate as it stands, though he declined to comment on whether the president would override a veto promised by Republican leadership.

We are committed, the president is committed, to ensuring that woman have access to contraception without any extra cost, regardless of where they work.

So, there you have it. When Axelrod says “we need to lower our voices,” he doesn’t mean “both sides,” It’s a soft version of “Shut up, he explained.”

This is a game.

And in this game, the administration is Lucy, and the churches are Charlie Brown.

And freedom of religion is the football:

David Axelrod, who serves as a top adviser to Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program that the president would “look for a way” to address the vocal opposition from Catholic groups who say the rule forces them to violate their religious beliefs against contraception.

“We certainly don’t want to abridge anyone’s religious freedoms, so we’re going to look for a way to move forward that both provides women with the preventative care that they need and respects the prerogatives of religious institutions,” Mr. Axelrod said.

When people shake their heads “no”
even as they’re appearing to say “yes,” I’m always a little concerned.

As someone said in the comments section here:

“If [Obama backs off] his assault on Catholics before November, and helps Obama get elected to a second term, do you honestly think this won’t come roaring back at us?”

Oh, I expect if Obama
gets a second term, we in short order won’t recognize ourselves.

UPDATE: Dwight Longenecker is thinking about the “preventive” narrative

The only thing both forms of “health service” prevent is human life.

What is so creepy about all this is that the pro abortion people put out the word that this was simply about “choice”. Women should have the opportunity to choose to end their pregnancy with abortion. Now, not only do they have the choice, but I have to pay for their choice. Not much choice for me I guess.

After we all come to pay for abortion what other “preventative care” will be mandated? I know. The tests have shown that the child in the womb has Downs Syndrome, or mental retardation or maybe just a cleft lip. Let’s provide “Preventative Care” and terminate his life so he won’t have so much suffering. It’s happening in the UK and Europe already.

What about the poor woman who is pregnant and the child will be born into poverty? Let’s provide “Preventative care” so the kid won’t have to live a life of poverty. For that matter let’s provide “Preventative Care” to all the poor people in Africa so they won’t have to endure poverty either.

Allahpundit: Obama is scaring Chris Matthews

By the way, if anyone is keeping score, the Army is saying it made a mistake in blocking the Bishop’s HHS Statement to the troops.

And some are using the memorare to keep it that way.

And: Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate evokes bitter memories of past persecution. H/T

Also, this looks interesting but I haven’t read it yet!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • cathyf

    I can’t imagine any way that a prudent Catholic can vote for Obama, no matter what promises he makes appearing to back down. After this November, one way or another, Obama will never face another election in his life. If he is re-elected, then he will act with complete impunity.

  • Teresa

    When Archbishop Dolan met in the Oval office some time ago, Obama lied to him, right to his face. they may retract the mandate for now, but if he lied to the Archbishop then any retraction now will have no meaning. A second term will be worse than the first.

  • Manny

    It’s more than an “experimental boundary” Occum’s Razor. An experimental boundary would be a drop of a suggestion to a willing person in the press. That happens all the time. To lie to Dolan and then put out the policy along side the pro-life march was a deliberate calculation. I don’t know if they are going to reverse. Perhaps the outcry was more than they expected. But their true colors have been revealed. This is who they are. This is their core. What self respecting Catholic can now vote for Obama?

  • conservativemama

    All the comments here are spot on. A 2nd term Obama is truly frightening. I did not vote him, and for the life of me I cannot imagine any Catholic voting for him.

    As my historian husband said earlier this evening, if we lose the underpinnings of this country, of the Constitution, like freedom of religion, then we’re done. The great experiment that the founders began, that Lincoln preserved, the great exception in the whole of human history, will be gone. Is this country to endure? I think the question is that basic.

    I just keep thinking of Jefferson, who felt so strongly about freedom of religion. And of the Jewish congregation in Rhode Island, whom Washington welcomed to this country. Of the students in my classroom, from all over the world, representing many faiths, who are free here and marvel at how we all live together.

    How can our President have so little respect for what we hold so dear? What sad times these are.

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  • Anne B.

    “How can our President have so little respect for what we hold so dear?”

    Because he hates us. Why else would he be so eager, not only to shut us up, but to force us to participate in the rites of Moloch?

    The thought of humiliating someone who can’t fight back must really light him up.

  • Adam

    I decided to pull William Thomas Walsh’s “Our Lady of Fatima” off the shelf today. I need some reading for the weekend, and it’s been awhile. Something prompted me to flip to the back, where the author interviews the visionary Lucia:

    “Did Our Lady ever say anything to you about the United States of America?”
    She gave me a rather startled glance, and then smiled in faint amusement, as if to suggest that perhaps the United States was not so important in the general scheme of things as I imagined.
    “No,” she said gently. “She never did.”

    The interview was in 1946. Sixty years later, I suspect they’re still true: despite our self-declared importance in the world, the U.S. may not be so grand to God’s design as we’d imagined. If that’s the case, then it’s of our own making. We could have been the great defender of religious liberty, a model to nations who are not so subtle about Christian persecution and a refuge to their subjects. Instead, we as a nation seem to have missed our opportunity.

  • kevin

    Adam, given that the United States saved christian Europe in World War II, sacrificing thousands of her young men in the effort, I doubt that Mary’s silence meant to suggest that our country is “unimportant.” Mary’s message at Fatima was directed to humanity at large I’d say, with a particular reference to Russia spreading her errors throughout the world, and two world wars that would come if mankind continued offending God.

    Before this edict of Herr Obama, our country had a good record of protecting religious liberty. And before 1973, human life in general.

  • Adam

    Kevin, I don’t doubt that America did some great things in WWII, although I wonder what’s left of the Christian Europe that it saved. Europe aside, I wonder if of late whether American exceptionalism is really just a bump of greatness in a nation that, like all others, will eventually perish of inevitable causes.

    To illustrate: there was this Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl which gave me a simultaneous happy/sad feeling. It had a quick montage of great party moments in American history, which started great (the end of prohibition, V-E Day, and the moon landing) and gradually moved into the superficial (a 70s’ disco hall party with a girl dancing in a cage; the U.S. winning the 1980 olympics; a party in Seattle implied to be a rock star finding success; and finally a large unidentified rave in modern times).

    It had a cheery anthem, sure, but it made me realize that I can’t recall a unifying moment of American greatness in quite some time. Winning Desert Storm, maybe? Our immediate response to 9/11 was impressive, but that’s a little more solemn and wouldn’t have fit the mood of the commercial. So…yeah. In the 80 years covered by that commercial, we as a nation have gone from winning wars and sending people to outer space to, well, parties, sports victories, and celebrities.

  • Adam

    In the meantime, Chris Matthews (!) of all people brought up the Maccabees story of the woman with seven sons. It’s probably worthwhile reading for everyone opposed to the HHS mandate and what the price of opposition has been throughout history.

  • Mark

    I believe that this was a test case to see the reaction of Catholic Church and to learn how it would react and how Catholics would respond to their Bishops. They realize a lot of katholics use birth control and want to have them paid for. I doubt they do much without understanding poll numbers. What I see this being about is a lot more to follow under the healthcare plan. Has everyone forgotten the “death panels” that are part of the plan. Lets say they draw to some sore of compromise that forces them to back off a little bit. Might even make them look like someone Catholics can vote for again. After the election, HHS puts out a lot more things which have to be included and the Bishops come out again, especially if they compromised the first time, and begin to look like they are crying wolf. Remember, most of our entitlement problems are traced bact to a very mild social security plan with severe limits on taxes and benefits past the average age of death when the foot went into the door. Everything that followed came about from that foot in the door including Medicare, Medicaid, and a lot more and all of it was minor and continually expanded. Now federal money is all over the entire healthcare industry and when someone complains, the answer is if you are taking a dime of federal money, you have given up your rights and moral compass.

    Do not lose sight that this is an ongoing war. Next time it will be one step further toward Satan. Anyone who cares about America and about freedom, religious and otherwise, need to open their eyes to the full agenda. One day you will find we are OK with HHS taking our mom off of treatment and it can be traced right back to this argument.

    I am very sensitive to this issue right now for our family has some tough choices to make and we are in close contact with Father Tad Pacholczyk at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, a close friend, on how to handle everything in accord with Catholic teaching. Anchoress, I would urge you to find a way to get Father Tad on your Patheos platform in some ways as he is outstanding in explaining a lot of issues around Bioethics and the Church.

    They had this to say on this Obama attack on religious freedom.

    The NCBC provided detailed, and factually based testimony on the hazards of such a mandate, both to the health and dignity of women, and to the very basic rights of freedom and liberty enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of America. Specifically:

    Treating pregnancy as a disease that should be prevented is medically, socially, and anthropologically inaccurate and sexually biased. By treating pregnancy as a disease to be prevented one can only conclude that the treatment for such a “disease” is an abortion. Thus, the Rule is acting against the very provision in the PPACA and its legislative history, that state that abortion is not one of the “preventive services” to be included in the “services” provided. Yet the Rule clearly mandates coverage at no cost for contraceptives and sterilizations to prevent the “disease” of pregnancy, genetic screening of existing pregnancies whose ”treatment” will for some include abortion, and abortifacients which cause the termination of the newly conceived human being. These and other contraceptives are presented inaccurately as a deterrent to unplanned pregnancies, when the very data presented by the Institute of Medicine to support such claims belie these claims. Empowering women to know and act with their bodies to manage their fertility in a responsible manner is the real answer to the physiological, social, and psychological problems created by a culture encouraging women to engage in unhealthy life styles. Then, forcing others to participate in and to pay for the life style choices of others, which clearly and demonstrably have been detrimental, is the utmost violation of the United States Constitution. The legislative intent never was to mandate that all insurance plans be required to provide, with no co-pay, contraceptives, abortifacients and sterilizations. This Rule not only is creating new law, but violating the Constitutional protections of religious freedom in the process. At a minimum, a robust protection of religious freedom is needed, to protect the very foundation upon which this country was based; and of great importance to the wellbeing of this county is the recognition that the existing Rule is merely going to replicate and maximize the failed initiatives to address the problem of unplanned pregnancies and sexual irresponsibility. [For the complete testimony with data to support these facts see: NCBC Provides Testimony to Health and Human Services on Coverage of “Preventive Services” (see

    The NCBC joins its voice with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in urging that the HHS mandate be overturned. A first step is to continue to urge Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467). This measure will ensure that those who participate in the health care system “retain the right to provide, purchase, or enroll in health coverage that is consistent with their religious beliefs and moral convictions.” Please see:

    The freedom of all Americans has been violated when through the executive branch of government the constitutionally protect right of conscience can be overturned by the very government, which from its very inception, was formed and charged with protecting this sacred right.

  • ahem

    Occam wins the thread.

  • Momma Kyle

    How many times will some people be fooled by this administration? Before he was elected there were tons of clues to the stand he would take on abortion. Yet, Catholics voted for him.

    Frankly I thik this 98% percent figure is a lot of baloney—looking around in the pews I see more and more big Catholic families. How about all of you? Have you noticed the era of only 2 babies is over?

  • Momma Kyle

    One more thing—why can’t all business have exemptions? If I am a Catholic small business why should I have to violate my conscience?

  • TScott

    Who knew the change we were voting for was for a change in the first Amendment?

  • doc

    Yes, Momma Kyle, that is the question. Why should any of us be forced by government to violate our conscience? It is because the gay lobby has succeeded raising what one does below the waist to the level of race in the way this country defines bigotry. Given the financial and social success of gays as a whole, their status as designated victims seem manufactured. And wait until Rick Santorum becomes the Republican nominee. You will see the gay movement make Planned Parenthood’s Komen attack look like a dozen roses.

  • Beth

    The Holy Father’s message for Lent: Fraternal Correction. We have been called from the beginning to be martyrs for our faith; the Holy Father is reminding us that allowing our brother to continue in his ways will be our own downfall as well.

    Lord have mercy on us!

  • kevin

    Father Longenecker puts the end game in good perspective: eugenics. First the attempt is to make us all pay for “preventative” care such as contraception; then that expands to abortifacients by pills; then actual abortions themselves. Ultimately, this opens the door to sex selection abortions, and the elimination of all genetically undesirable traits. Look behind Obama’s smile and it’s not a pretty picture what’s back there.

  • Brian English

    “Kevin, I don’t doubt that America did some great things in WWII, although I wonder what’s left of the Christian Europe that it saved.”

    The Europe that the US saved was certainly not Christian. You can find a good overview of the collapse of Christianity in Europe during the 19th Century in Michael Burleigh’s Earthly Powers. Burleigh’s book is also helpful in that it describes some of the anti-Christian (especially anti-Catholic) laws that may be in our future.

  • Gayle Miller

    He doesn’t represent a single American value or virtue. He believes in snaking himself to where he wants to be, instead of hard work! I couldn’t believe it when he said he was running – so callow and unprepared was he. It turns out, he was just making a trial run and never expected to be elected. In the end, that turns out to be good for us. Imagine how polished his skills at lying would be if he had been forced to wait 8 years to run for office!

    What none of these pinheads in his Administration don’t understand is that the American people are pretty mellow – until pushed too far. Then you have awakened a sleeping tiger who hasn’t eaten in three weeks! We’re hungry and we’re really, really, really ticked off! I do not think any pundit has accurately assessed how thoroughly disgusted all of America has become with this unprepared, inept, un-American pinhead in the White House!

  • SteveM

    So much for the transitory Catholic moral upper hand:

    Cardinal Egan nicely slices and dices whatever good will has been engendered against the atrocious Obama Administration.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Because whenever a moral issue concerning the Catholic Church comes up, always play the pedophilia card.

    Never mind all that freedom of conscience, freedom of religon, stuff. /Sarc.

  • Romulus

    Two steps forward; then one step back. That’s how the game is played.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, Romulus, that’s how it works.

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  • kevin

    Just saw Update II.

    This is the “Chicago” way? Shredding the Bill of Rights? Fine. Mr. Whipple a/k/a David Axelrod is really scaring me.

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