Get Real Fellas.

Get Real Fellas. July 19, 2014

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. 

Why?

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. 

Jm3 portrait

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.”

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Bob Casey official Senate photo portrait c2008

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.

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18 responses to “Get Real Fellas.”

  1. It’s known as campaign contributions. My theory is that some wealthy donors, who tend to be more liberal than even the Dem leadership, subtly or not so subtly told them that if they voted their consciences, they would throw them to the wolves at the next election, either to a more pliable Dem primary challenger, or to the GOP. Then there is the big pharmaceutical interest, of course, who generally are big in that region of the country IIRC, who make contraceptive pills.

    While I don’t condone what they did, I understand it can be like having a political gun pointed to your head.Casey especially – he saw what happened to his predecessor when he followed his conscience.

  2. I figure that Harry Reid bought them off with some promise or another. I’m still disappointed in Joe Manchin’s vote, but I’ve heard that he lost the endorsement of a major pro-life organization in West Virginia a few months back, so they probably knew something.

  3. You have argued with me on this, but I think this proves me correct. One votes for a direction, not a person. How many votes that are procedural does an elected official vote along party lines, even when his stance on the issue is against it? Very frequently, and the party with the most members controls the agenda. So even if he disagrees on an issue, his party will rule the day.

  4. Bob casey is a lying piece of trash who battens on his father’s memory while systematically and continuously betraying what his father stood for. I hope the electors see through him this time.

      • Sorry, Rebecca, but this man belongs to a kind I cannot look at without rage: those who sell the achievements of others – it’s not always their parents – while living on their image. Casey the father was nearly driven from the party for his principled stance – only they could not do it without losing Pennsylvania, where he was popular. Casey the son got himself elected and re-elected on his father’s image and principles, but – inspect his record, and you will find that he is, shall we say, happily at home in the party that blackballed his father.

  5. 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.

    Obama has more important things to do than wage an “on-going war with the Catholic Church”. It makes more sense to say that he does not recognize the rights of employers to impose their religiously motivated restrictions on their employees. Hobby Lobby’s insurer covered the contraceptives that were required at no additional cost to Hobby Lobby. In reality, it cost Hobby Lobby considerable money to gain the right to impose its religious beliefs on its employees and their families. It is a perfect example of abuse of the First Amendment’s freedom of religion.

    • President Obama may have more important things to do, but he has determined to do this. He does what he wants to and what is important to him. Remember, “a pen and a phone.”

      • Is defending gays against discrimination or making sure women have contraceptives more available to them being anti-Catholic?

        • >3% of the population is not discriminated against just because we do not applaud their behavior.
          Regarding Hobby Lobby, companies should be able to provide whatever insurance they want and exclude what they want. The company is the customer. Until we change the way people buy health care, that will not change.
          There were only 4 abortifacients HL does not want to cover. People can still get an Rx and go fill it themselves. Plan B is $22 OTC, so don’t give me that crap.
          I know you won’t agree because you ignore facts.
          And, again, there are other things President Obama should be doing but he doesn’t care about those things. “Pen and a phone.”

  6. Is it not possible that in a difficult and murky area they voted their conscience and it doesn’t align with yours? I don’t know either of the gentlemen in question but their statements seem pretty reasonable to me. Of course, maybe they are mistaken. And maybe they’re lying in order to not break ranks with their caucus. Of course that happens. But I’m not sure why I’d jump to the conclusion that they’re lying rather than that they disagree with you.

    • Point taken. I don’t know, in fact.

      I based my conclusions on seeing this kind of thing come down in my working life. Their behavior conforms to a standard political script.

      But I do not know for a fact that I am right in my assessment.

      • Rebecca, since West Virginia an parts of Pennsylvania are both coal states and the EPA wants to ban use of coal forever, I think your assessment is probably correct. There was probably a deal, but this administration has lied about deals before regarding abortion.

  7. “Thirty million women have gained access to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. ”

    I’m not so sure. I just got the ruling from the State of Oregon on my case: Bronze level plans in Oregon legally pay *NO BENEFITS*, not even for preventative care, until the deductible is met. That means no contraceptive coverage for women on Bronze Plans in Oregon until they meet their multi-thousand dollar deductible.

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