John Boehner
I'm beginning to think this fellow
has no idea what he's doing.
The bishops may or may not be backing down (really, they don't have a leg to stand on here anymore, since the Obama compromise means they aren't going to be paying for birth control coverage, which is exactly what they said they were peeved by) but Speaker of the House John Boehner is doubling down. He's convinced that this is a winning issue—or at least, he's convinced the House would rather putter around with this than try to deal with that disastrous payroll tax cut again, or jobs, or any of the other things that the House has proven so incompetent at doing. Politico quotes Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck, phoning in from the 1950's:
"It’s clear that these [religious] organizations were not included in developing the so-called compromise offered today. The President should take up the Bishops’ offer to find a resolution that respects all Americans’ constitutional rights. In the meantime, the House of Representatives, led by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, will continue to work toward a legislative solution that achieves that same goal."
Again, the vast majority of the American population (including Catholics) doesn't have a problem with birth control. The notion that insurance should pay for it is not controversial. The small set of social conservatives that have a problem with it are heavily, heavily outnumbered—which isn't stopping Boehner from claiming he's doing it "on behalf of the American people." Sheesh.

If the Republicans in Congress want to go down this road, I think they're going to get plastered on it. I would therefore probably encourage it, except I keep thinking that maybe at some point Congress might want to actually, oh, solve some actual goddamn problems or something. They're not into that, though, so John Boehner is going instead to spend his government time trying to out-bishop the actual bishops. But only on the issue of birth control, mind you. On the issues of immigrant rights, and economic fairness, and unemployment, and war, and the rest of that stuff, forget about it. Can't you just feel the love?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 04:45 PM PST.

Also republished by Pro Choice.

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