Jonathan Last has as good a summation as any I’ve seen of the now open warfare between Barack Obama and his erstwhile ally, the fairly liberal American Catholic Church. The article ends with an effort to understand why Obama would pick this battle, and why he would pick it now. It’s certainly an interesting fight to pick during election year.
Last points out that, while the Catholic Church was blindsided, and most middle-of-the-road Americans were completely unaware that anything at all was happening, the MoveOn.org left has been agitating for comprehensive birth control and abortifacient coverage for months now. In other words, forcing all employers to cover birth control and abortion drugs mattered to the base. Did Obama not realize that being forced in that way would also matter to the Catholic Church?
Was Obama (and when I say “Obama” I’m referring to the president and all his minions) thinking that, when push comes to shove, Catholics, like Jews and blacks, will vote Democrat no matter what? In that regard, Obama appears to be unperturbed by the fact that small, but significant, numbers of Jewish voters are shifting Republican. It’s unclear if this shift is because even liberal Jews couldn’t take Obama’s continuous assaults on Israel or because even liberal Jews, looking at their white-collar world, are beginning to realize that Obama’s policies are not improving their situation.
Alternatively, was Obama thinking that an energized base is the most important thing of all, as that will be the engine that powers his election train?
Or, as some here have speculated, is this simply an example of Obama’s hostility to Western religious institutions? After all, the man lives in a liberal bubble, and I don’t think he has the wit or imagination to understand how deeply committed religious organizations and religious people to the right to life. To him, they’re wrong, and he’ll bring them to the light. (This is a point Michael Ramirez nailed in his latest editorial cartoon.)
I’m asking here, not answering. What do all of you think? What would make Obama pick this fight in an election year?