Thursday, February 09, 2012

Obama Awakens Sleeping Giant?

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When the Japanese planes that bombed Pearl Harbor returned to their carriers, the architect of that raid, Admiral Yamamoto famously noted that he feared Japan "awaken(ed) a sleeping giant". Indeed they did as a country still reeling from the Depression and arguing amongst ourselves whether or not to get into the great war sweeping the world was forced into it by the attack. We became united and focused on one cause and that was defeating the enemy.

I believe Obama may have done the same thing by not only taking on the Catholic church but giving them the finger as he did so.

For years, Catholics ranked only behind Jews in their absolute support of the Democratic party. Even in cases where it went completely against their morals such as abortion, they rationalized it and voted D anyway. The Catholic lay person is generally pretty liberal on a great many issues and many do not live by the strict teachings of the church. Many Catholics have gone against the church on the use birth control yet still consider themselves a part of the church. Yet, it was never blatant and the government, for the most part, didn't antagonize the Pope and his flock.

Until now. Obama may have read the tea leaves wrong with respect to his recent decision to force Catholic institutions such as hospitals and colleges to include birth control and other dubiously described "women reproductive health" prescriptions and procedures. The so-called morning after pill would fall into the category of things that these institutions would be forced by law to cover in their healthcare plans. This, of course, goes against every teaching of the church and they've said they can't and won't comply.

The liberal-minded side of the church as well as some conservative members supported Obamacare in spite of the warnings issued by many of us opponents of the legislation who saw exactly where it was headed. We said it would be used as a mechanism to get abortions funded and we were called liars. That's coming and the church is now waking up to that fact. In fact, to many Catholics, the morning after pill is indeed abortion.

I can see the church rallying its members and if only 20% decide to vote against Obama in the coming election it could sway things to the GOP. 16-million votes switching from Obama to the GOP would have wide-reaching affect and could change the entire dynamic. For a bloc that has been reliably Democrat to split even that small amount would spell disaster for The One.

It seems that his own people are starting to understand just this point:
“What are we doing here?” asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, stepping outside his wheelhouse to ask about a rising storm involving the Obama administration and the Catholic Church. “What’s the point?”
It was the Fall of 2011 and Panetta had read about a proposed Obama administration rule that would require employers – excluding houses of worship but including religious organizations such as charities, hospitals, and schools – to offer health insurance that fully covered contraception.

Panetta — a Catholic, former U.S. Representative, and White House chief of staff — didn’t quite understand why the Obama administration would be stepping into this conflict.

Panetta’s fears have to a degree been realized as White House officials now find themselves taking heat on a policy debate about conscience and religious liberty; the Obama administration is working to find a way to allow religious organizations to not pay for services they find morally objectionable, while also ensuring that, say, the women nurses and doctors who work at Catholic hospitals have full access to birth control. Some officials are discussing a way to introduce something like the law in Hawaii, where religious organizations don’t have to pay for employee insurance that covers contraception, but they do have to inform employees how they can get it on their own.
I'm guessing that will eventually be the policy and they will go full-bore with the proposal if he wins another term. Yet he'll have another problem and that will be placating his base who are ecstatic that he's taking what in their minds is the theocracy. If he caves, they will go apeshit. They are flush with elation at beating back the Susan Komen Foundation juggernaut who dared threaten Planned Parenthood and to give in to the church would really piss them off. Don't think he's not hearing it loud and clear and is going to be very careful about upsetting the raging feminist horde.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Catholics will come together and forgive Obama, unite against him or have a minor schism whereby some vote their conscience. I'm guessing the latter will be the case but only time will tell.

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