NRL News

A Battle President Obama Chose to Fight, a Battle He Cannot Win

by | Feb 7, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Peggy Noonan

Today is one of those days where many of the stories interrelate. In  “The Komen Race for the Cure and Planned Parenthood: A Follow Up, Part Three of Three,” I wrote about how the media was in a frenzy over Komen Race for the Cure and Planned Parenthood but had managed to virtually completely ignore what promises to be a huge story that will not go away: the Obama Administration’s faceoff with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church over regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services  require Catholic universities, hospitals, and charities to pay for health insurance that covers sterilization and contraceptives.

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan’s Saturday column is titled, “A Battle the President Can’t Win.” She begins by bashing former Gov. Mitt Romney for a politically insensitive remark before pivoting to Washington, DC, “where a bomb went off that not many in the political class heard, or understood”—the DHHS regulations. Noonan described the import of the regulations (backed up with the threat of huge fines for non-compliance): In other words, the Catholic Church was told this week that its institutions can’t be Catholic anymore.

Noonan argues persuasively that whatever else separates Catholics, they would find common cause in opposition. She asks rhetorically, “”[D]o Catholics in the pews want the government telling their church to contravene its beliefs? A president affronting the leadership of the church, and blithely threatening its great institutions? No, they don’t want that. They will unite against that.”

Although Noonan doesn’t use the over-used cliché “unforced error,” that is surely her point. Obama didn’t need to pick this fight. Obama SHOULDN’T have picked this fight, but probably felt, on balance, he should reassure people who must vote for him in order to win at the risk of alienating those who might not vote for him anyway. But, as Noonan explains, this iron-fisted edict risks the active support of Catholics who might otherwise be disposed to vote for him.

One other source that you will find helpful. Go to There in “Six Things Everyone Should Know about the HHS Mandate,” you will find a first-rate, point rebuttal of the Obama Administration’s feeble defense for its action.

In his overweening hubris, President Obama has made a huge mistake.

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Categories: Obama