While campaigning in Colorado with that pill, Sandra Fluke, at his side, President Obama eloquently summarized what he sees as the dilemma that confronts the typical coed: textbooks or contraception?
The president said (with a straight face) that "there is one person who should make decisions on your health care and that person is you. I don't think a college student in Colorado Springs should have to choose between textbooks or the preventive care she needs."
Okay, but if she HAS to choose, should she go for the textbooks or the contraception? Homer's Trojans or the other Trojans available at the convenience store?
Of course, this is a phony dilemma. Contraception is inexpensive and widely available, often at the college infirmary. The GOP has no plans, secret or otherwise, to change this. But you would never know this from an ad on TV last night that featured women worrying that an "extreme" Mitt Romney is going to snatch their contraception.
I can't believe Republicans are letting the Obama campaign get away with this demagoguery. We have affluent feminists demanding that the government mandate contraception without co-pays from religious institutions and nobody is laughing? The only question at stake is not whether contraception will remain readily available, but whether Catholic and other religiously-based employers, who regard contraception as wrong, should be forced to pay for contraception coverage.
While the media has accepted this topic as a stand-alone issue, as if the election were really a reflection of the nation’s opinion of contraception, it’s actually just another example of the troubling trend of the growing portion of Americans who wish to have someone else pay for them. We live in an age in which the workforce is shrinking, the rolls of those claiming to be disabled are exploding, and more and more Americans are collecting food stamps and believe that it’s the public schools’ job to feed their children breakfast, lunch and dinner.
A little mockery of spoiled brat feminists who demand free contraception, regardless of the toll on somebody else's conscience, would not come amiss. Why, indeed, aren't we using the most effective tactic-laughter-against these pampered parasites? Ms. Fluke reminds me of an older lady I know, a habitué of diplomatic circles. When I asked her why she was so gung-ho for Obamacare, she replied indignantly, "I am in the donut hole [the period each year when she must pay for her own prescriptions]. Something must be done."
What is needed is ridicule. What about an ad featuring Muffy and Buffy in a chauffeur-driven car talking about how fabulous President Obama is for bringing out the big guns to force the Jesuits to pay for free contraception coverage (folks, we're talking about co-pays here, not the price tags for major surgery.) Or, as the maitre d' hovers over a Sandra Fluke look alike, "Sandra" and her friends make nasty cracks about peons who tried to get out of paying for their fun.
Of course, women like Ms. Fluke, worldly though they believe themselves to be, are being had.
As usual, the seducer is a smooth talking guy. Deep in his heart, President Obama knows that the contraception "issue" is nothing more than a ruse to unite his base. If he can convince women like Ms. Fluke that they live in a world of sinister Republican threats, he can distract them from noticing that the economy is at a standstill and that unemployment among women has risen by 15 percent since he took office.
Unlike Sandra Fluke's absurd claim that the burden of a co-pay will put her in the poor house, one aspect of this issue isn't funny: the war on religious liberty. When hard-edged feminists insist upon free contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, paid for by religious employers, whose consciences are being violated, and the federal government plays enforcer, it is a new day for the United States. When a growing portion of Americans believe that it isn’t their job, but the government’s, to provide for their basic needs, it is a dramatic and potentially devastating change in an American culture that has been known for independence and self-reliance.
As for Ms. Fluke, she is in for a rude awakening. She may very well succeed in getting free contraceptive coverage or closing down her alma mater-whatever-but she will soon be leaving the idyll of an expensive law school. A degree from a fancy school isn't worth what it used to be in a lousy economy.
Ms. Fluke may soon learn there are more important things that getting Father O'Reilly to pay for birth control. She will not be laughing.
Charlotte Hays is the Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.