Intel from Axelrod’s Tent — The Stench of Panic

President Obama & Vice President Biden (photographer unknown)

Try to imagine you are Obama or Biden right now. They all but admitted they never saw it coming. ‘It’ being the Paul Ryan veep choice. And now they are scrambling on defense again to figure out what to do.

In a war, one of the most critical and important elements of strategy is to keep your enemy off balance; to keep him guessing all the time. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are brilliant strategists and fighters and they are going to win. One key factor in the Obama/Biden arsenal is their predisposition to lie. They have no compunction to lying; that makes them dangerous when cornered. But we have confidence in the voters to see through the fog of falsehood. Truth always triumphs over falsehood.

Two days ago I gave a list of several clues that give me the confidence to optimistically state Romney/Ryan will be elected on November 6th. One of those clues is the difference in crowd size at each Obama or Romney campaign stop. The Romney/Ryan crowds are huge and growing and much larger than the Obama/Biden crowds.

Yesterday, the Washington Examiner published an email message from within the Obama campaign HQ in Chicago. You will recall that crowd estimates of the North Carolina event were estimated at 10,000+. This message below pegged it 5,000 higher:

Paul —

I just got this disturbing report: Yesterday’s Romney-Ryan rally in North Carolina pulled in an overflow crowd of 15,000 people.

There’s no spinning that number. It’s a LOT of people, and the Republican base in energized.

And that’s not all. Since the VP announcement, Romney’s campaign has brought in over 70,000 donations from his Tea Party base.

We’ve got to step up our game and mobilize our supporters — starting right now.

Donate $3 or right now to help us rally our base around President Obama’s agenda >>

Listen to what one Republican supporter said about Paul Ryan: “I love him…He’s going to excite the Tea Party and get them on board…”

We can’t let the Republicans claim the momentum. Donate $3 or whatever you can:

http://dccc.org/Stand-With-President-Obama

Thanks,

Brynne

Brynne Craig

DCCC Field Director

I was trying to imagine some of the water cooler discussions there in Chicago. One that came to mind was this: “Man, what are we going to do about North Carolina! That is our national convention state. Romney is eating our lunch there! What the heck are we going to do?!!”

This article is a great example of the many articles describing panic and desperation wafting from the Axelrod tent ——-> SHAPIRO …I love it!


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist — Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

Mitt Romney Selects Paul Ryan as his Choice for Vice President

Governor Mitt Romney and his Vice Presidential running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan

If your home is anything like ours, discussions of late have centered on the Olympic Games and whom Governor Romney would choose as his VP running mate and the timing of the announcement. Well, speculation is over; almost. This piece is published prior to the official event of the announcement.

Congressman Paul Ryan is an outstanding choice for many different reasons. Those of us that have researched and written to promote Governor Romney for years know him to be a strong, proven conservative leader. Is there any doubt now about his conservative vision for this ticket? No! We know Governor Romney as a man of great courage; Congressman Paul Ryan too is known for bold, assertive leadership. (See YouTube below for a glimpse of how Rep. Ryan is likely to handle any debate with Mr. Biden)

For the next two weeks leading into the Republican National Convention, we will be bombarded with details of Paul Ryan’s politics, leadership, background, families, etc. What do we know of this great American?

Character / Reputation

Ryan is a fighter who will never back away from a good scrap involving truth and he will fiercely defend against any of the many Obama elitist soothsayers and hacks like Burton. He is a passionate conservative - brilliant, articulate, energetic, and hard working. Many conservatives believe Ryan typifies the future of the Republican Party.

Families / Interests

One television news report from last night stated Ryan has 67 cousins living in and around Janesville, WI (his birthplace and current hometown). He is 42 years old, born January 29, 2022 to Paul, Sr. (lawyer) and Elizabeth Ryan. He is the youngest of four children; siblings include his sister Janet and brothers Tobin and Stan. Ryan’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all died of heart attacks between the ages of 55 and 59 (his father died when Paul, Jr. was 16). He is of Irish and German ancestry.

The Paul & Janna Ryan Family

Paul Ryan married Janna Little, a tax attorney, almost 12 years ago. They have three children, Liza, Charlie, and Sam. They are Roman Catholic.

Ryan is a fan of the Green Bay Packers, a fitness enthusiast, and a hunter who enjoys hunting with bow and arrows. If he is like my Cheesehead friend, Steve Miller, Ryan considers Wisconsin “God’s Country.”

Education / Political Career

Paul Ryan attended Joseph A. Craig High School and earned a BA at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio in economics and political science (he originally wanted to be an economist). He was first elected as a United States Congressman in 1998 at age 28 and is currently serving in the House in his seventh term. He is chairman of the Committee on the Budget and a member of the Committee on Ways & Means and the Subcommittee on Health.

Representative Ryan is an active and committed mentor to up and coming Republican leaders; he has been instrumental in guiding several individuals in their successful campaigns to elected office at the federal level. He is one of three founders of the Young Guns Program. Prior to his election to the House, he served as a speechwriter to several elected and appointed federal officials.

Social Media

Paul Ryan’s Twitter handle is @RepPaulRyan and he follows only one Twitter handle: @NationalDebt (at the time this post was published, his last tweet was August 5th). Check out the Paul Ryan YouTube Channel.

On April 29, 2012, The New York Times reported,

WASHINGTON — Representative Paul D. Ryan strolls the halls of Capitol Hill with the anarchist band Rage Against the Machine pounding through his earbuds.

At 6:30 every morning, he leads an adoring cast of young, conservative members of Congress through exercise sessions in front of a televised trainer barking out orders. For fun, Mr. Ryan noodles catfish, catching them barehanded with a fist down their throats.

He may be, as a friend described him, “a hunting-obsessed gym rat,” but Mr. Ryan, 42, of Wisconsin, has become perhaps the most influential policy maker in the Republican Party, its de facto head of economic policy, intent on a fundamental transformation of the federal government.

[…]

That is not bad for a man who was once just another minion on Capitol Hill, working for a research group, then for a member of Congress, and moonlighting as a waiter at the Hill hangout Tortilla Coast and as a personal trainer at a gym. Co-workers at the conservative policy group Empower America admonished him for hanging his workout clothes out to dry at work rather than laundering them.

“It’s amazing to all of us because Paul was just an ordinary guy,” said A. Mark Neuman, an old friend.

Rep. Ryan and Governor Romney

Late yesterday, Stephen Hayes and Bill Kristol wrote in The Weekly Standard,

Romney and Ryan bonded as they barnstormed Wisconsin in the days leading up to the state’s decisive April 3 primary. Over the course of their travels together, Ryan went from a small role as the guy who introduced Romney at their first event,to someone who shared the stage with him, taking some of the questions and bantering easily with Romney. The expanded role, Ryan told TWS in May, was Romney’s idea. “He knows how I talk and what I say. And I’m pretty clear about that stuff. I think he’s comfortable with that.”

Thursday, August 9th, the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal published its main opinion column titled, “Why Not Paul Ryan?” – A strong endorsement of Representative Ryan:

Beneath it all you can hear the murmurs of the ultimate Washington insult—that Mr. Ryan is too dangerous because he thinks politics is about things that matter. That dude really believes in something, and we certainly can’t have that.

[…]

The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline.

[…]

Personalities aside, the larger strategic point is that Mr. Romney’s best chance for victory is to make this a big election over big issues. Mr. Obama and the Democrats want to make this a small election over small things—Mitt’s taxes, his wealth, Bain Capital. As the last two months have shown, Mr. Romney will lose that kind of election.

To win, Mr. Romney and the Republicans have to rise above those smaller issues and cast the choice as one about the overall direction and future of the country. Americans tell pollsters they are anxious and unhappy precisely because they instinctively know the country is troubled in ways it hasn’t been since the 1970s. They know the economy is growing too slowly to raise middle-class incomes, while the government is growing too fast to be affordable.

Above all, Americans are hungry for leadership. They want leaders willing to take on the hard issues, preferably without the rancor and polarization that have defined Mr. Obama’s Presidency. But they will reward leaders who succeed despite the rancor, as Wisconsin voters showed by their huge turnout in support of Governor Scott Walker this year.

Whatever doubts Americans may have about Mr. Romney’s empathy or background, more of them will turn out for him if they see a leader with a vision and plan worthy of the current difficult moment. This is the kind of candidate and message that voters need to see in the Republican convention this month and into the fall, and it is the message that Mr. Romney’s choice of a running mate should reinforce.

Watch how Rep. Paul Ryan completely dismantles ObamaCare in front of national leaders including President Obama and Vice President Biden; he leaves them virtually speechless:


THANKS to Jayde Wyatt for contributions to this post.


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist — Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

Harry Reid: “Dirty Liar” Involved in “Deplorable Political Behavior”

Harry Reid’s slimy, false accusation that Governor Romney paid no taxes in ten years was stunning in that Reid used the floor of the Senate to make the insinuation.

Sunday, RNC chairman Reince Priebus referred to Harry Reid as “a dirty liar” — twice. Greta Van Susteren also used the words “dirty” and “deplorable political behavior” to describe Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi; strong words even for Susteren.

Harry Reid’s fabrication is nothing more than a simple ploy to change the subject by accusation. It is no different than the horribly deplorable question posed to any man: “How many times did you beat your wife last year?” There is no positive way to answer it. Such a question posits an accusation while it also deflects attention from the persons (or party) posing the question (or from the critical subjects of jobs, the economy, debt). No matter how a man answers this question, he is judged guilty by the less studied (i.e., the TV voter) by their accepting the accusation on its face. Even Harry Reid’s style of gutter politics did not allow him to ask that question because even the TV voter would never believe the accusation. Mitt Romney’s reputation is above reproach and the only way to dispose the puny accuser is to ignore him, which is what Governor Romney has done.

I repeat what I have said in several previous posts. Consider the sources: Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. Need I say more? Unfortunately, I’m afraid these three have yet to reach the lowest levels to which they are willing to stoop.

This video clip is excellent at revealing Reid and Pelosi for who they are: Deplorable politicians. BTW, at the end of the clip Priebus discusses possible additional speakers at the convention:



American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist — Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

Romney Victory Effort Notes Bounteous July: Raised $101.3 MILLION

Wonderful news!

We who believe in OPPORTUNITY, the American Dream, and Governor Mitt Romney helped our next President raise a hefty amount of money in July to strengthen his campaign war chest…

$101.3 MILLION.

It’s the second month in a row Romney has raked in more than $100 million and the third month in a row Romney’s joint committee has raked in more cash than Obama’s joint committee. (Obama’s joint fundraising resulted in $75 million for July.)

No candidate for president has ever had two $100 million months in a single election.

Today, Romney for President, Romney Victory, and the Republican National Committee announced fundraising totals of over $101.3 million in July. The campaign, RNC and state party participants have approximately $185.9 million cash on hand.

Announcing the numbers, Romney Victory National Finance Chairman Spencer Zwick and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said, “Once again we see that for many people, this is more than a campaign, it is a cause.” Zwick went on to say, “We are honored to have the support of a broad spectrum of donors—Independents, Democrats and Republicans—whose support of Governor Romney shows that he has the needed plan to jumpstart our economy and get the country on the right track again. We are well on track to raise the money to be successful in November. If you haven’t given, show your support by joining the group of donors who have shown their commitment to Governor Romney and the Romney Victory effort.”

Americans are clearly looking for a change in the White House,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “While President Obama claims that his economic plan ‘worked,’ the American people know that his policies haven’t worked and he has failed to fix our economy. Mitt Romney has a plan that will create jobs, grow the economy, and build a stronger middle class – that is why he is seeing such strong support.”

FAST FACTS about Romney For President, Romney Victory, and RNC fundraising:

● Over $101.3 Million raised in July
94.13% of all donations received in July were $250 or less
● $25.7 million raised by donations under $250 in July
● 600,627 donations received under $250 in July
● Approximately $185.9 million cash on hand
● Contributions received from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

It’s also reassuring to know Governor Romney is a wise steward with funds raised (note Ben’s article). Thank you very much to all who helped make July such a significant fundraising month.

As RNC chairman Priebus stated - this is more than a campaign - it is a cause. Let’s continue to manifest our belief in The Gov and the restoration of America by making August another great month (91 days until election day!). Donate here.

Every dollar matters!

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

The Harry Reid Style of Politics — Born of Las Vegas — That’s the Way We Roll

NOTE: This opinion piece is the author’s only. It does not reflect the opinions of any other author of MRC or any person in the Romney campaign. Mitt Romney Central has no affiliation whatsoever with the Mitt Romney campaign.

Senator Harry Mislead Reid

Harry Reid crossed the line this week! I have followed American politics closely since about 1968 and I can think of few people that have stooped as low as Reid in the execution of their job in the Senate. Forget the fact that any bill promoted to the Senate from the House dies in the Senate at his hands. Or the fact he completely disobeys the law to not submit an annual budget. Now this! (See Luke’s post just below.)

The opening segment of the Hannity Show last night is classic. His guest was Ann Coulter and she tells it like it is. Good for Governor Romney for calling Reid out. In my opinion, Governor Romney should not let up until he is able to flush Harry Reid out from the rock under which he loves to hide. Governor Romney comes right out and states Reid’s source is probably the White House — good for him for calling him out! It is completely appropriate that he used the word “dishonest” to describe Harry Reid’s assertion.

In this video clip, Ann Coulter describes seven people that Mr. Obama maligned in his political career in his no holds barred, take no prisoners approach to politics. His ambition for power knows no bounds. Truth has not been an important requirement for Mr. Obama.

What we are seeing this week from Reid is the kind of politics in which he feels most comfortable: “Wrong…Untrue…Dishonest…Inaccurate” as stated by Governor Romney (I think we need to do an investigative report on David Axelrod; what do you think?):

Lest you have forgotten, take a look at this excerpt from Harry Reid’s current Wikipedia web page:

Reid apologized on January 9, 2010, for racially tinged comments he had made when Obama was campaigning for president. In private conversations, Reid had remarked that Obama could win the Presidency because the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama—to whom he referred as being “light-skinned” and “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”. These comments had been recently revealed by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in Game Change, their book about the 2008 election.

If you have not listened to liberal talk shows lately, their drumbeat now is that conservatives are trying to run Obama out of office because of racism. Please!

Is there any rhetoric beneath Harry Reid? Obviously there is not.

Let’s use a little logic here for a moment. Remember that Gov. Romney ran for president in 2007-08 and would have publicly released his tax returns as the GOP nominee had he beat McCain, correct? The probability that his 2006 and 2007 tax returns contain anything even remotely dishonest, illegal, or unpaid is so remote it is laughable! What would be discovered if we could see multiple years of tax returns? That Governor and Mrs. Romney paid a higher percentage of their income to charities than all the Democrats in the Senate combined? Also, let’s go with reputation. I would line Governor Romney up against the likes of Harry Reid any day of the week (and a year of Sundays) as to reputation. Harry Reid has never had a real job and he has been a politician in Las Vegas since 1968. 44 years in Vegas! Since 1968! Need I say more? If you had to take a wild guess, which of the two reputations is most trustworthy overall do you think? Think of what would fall out of Mr. Reid’s closet if he were ever attempt to run for POTUS! Seriously!

Obama is stooping to the lowest levels to use the likes of Harry Reid to do his bidding! What more is there to say? It was totally appropriate that Governor Romney used the words ‘wrong,’ ‘untrue,’ ‘dishonest,’ and ‘inaccurate’ to describe Mr. Reid’s false accusations. By the way, we have not seen the lowest levels of where the Democrats will take this election cycle. They are desperate and they are scared. Power is their goal and they see it slipping away.

It is all about distraction. Never forget the Democrat strategy. Consider the sources: Harry Reid of Las Vegas politics and Barack Obama of Chicago politics.

Next, we may see Obama take military action somewhere in the world just to stay in the saddle. I would never put it past this man.


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist — Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

The Romneys Pay Respects at the Western Wall of Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sacred Day of Mourning

Photo Credit: Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

From Israel National News:

Romney said that “In this sacred spot and on this special day, I have gotten to know more about the history of the Jewish people, and I feel the pain of the destruction undergone by the Jewish people – the special nation as it was in the past – and I pray and hope for peace for the nation of Israel and the entire world.”


From ABC News:

Mitt and Ann Romney visited one of the holiest sites in the Jewish faith today, arriving at the Western Wall on a sacred day of mourning in Israel.

The Romneys arrived via motorcade at the site of prayer and spent about 15 minutes walking to the wall and placing their prayers in the wall and got a warm reception.

The wall is split in two – one side for men and the other for women – so Ann and her female staffers approached one side, while the candidate approached the other with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz.

There were hundreds of Jewish worshippers praying at the site on this holy fasting day of Tisha B’Av and cell phones were out snapping photos of Romney. Many chanted at him as he walked slowly toward the wall.
[…]
Among those with Romney were son Josh, senior adviser Dan Senor and Spencer Zwick.

Romney stood for several minutes with a man who had diagrams and looked to be describing the wall and where on the Temple Mount Romney was standing. Romney then took a piece of paper and wrote something on it. He approached the wall, bowed his head and put his right hand on the wall. After about 20 seconds he looked up and stuck his note into a space on the wall.


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist — Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

Pleading on Air Force One Perpetuates Perceptions of Panic

Early yesterday I heard on the radio that Mr. Obama was begging people to donate to his campaign in a rambling conference call initiated by him on Air Force One. The person reporting on it said those attending the call said he sounded “weary” and “desperate.”

Ten days ago, I posted “Why Mitt Romney will Beat Barack Obama in the Cash Race” in which it had been reported that Mr. Obama — by the end of April — had already held more fundraisers, as an incumbent president, than all five of his predecessors combined!

Every incumbent president has an enormous advantage over any challenger for all the obvious reasons; it is why no incumbent president has ever raised less campaign cash than his challenger. Never. And remember, presidential fundraising is a form of voting.

Yesterday, The Telegraph published an article titled, “US election: Barack Obama begs donors for more as Mitt Romney rakes it in” that started off:

In a phone call from Air Force One, the President reportedly told a group of top donors “I can’t do this by myself” and urged them to open their cheque books to “meet or exceed what you did in 2008”.

Noting that most had “maxed out to my campaign last time,” Mr Obama told them: “I really need you to do the same this time,” according to a leaked transcript.

Despite holding a narrow lead over his rival, the president informed the supporters that his ability to campaign and broadcast advertisements in key battleground states such as Florida and Ohio directly depended on their generosity.

Details of the call emerged days after Mr Obama warned supporters that he would be “the first president in modern history to be outspent” by his opponent unless donors upped their contributions.

Following is the most interesting quote I heard on the radio this morning. Why is it that when we hear or read almost anything in which Obama is being quoted, he refers to himself? From patting himself on the back for ordering the raid on Bin Laden to his poor circumstances as noted here? Is this one a case of whining again or basic narcissism?

“In 2008 everything was new and exciting about our campaign,” Mr Obama said, according to a recording of the call obtained by The Daily Beast, a news website. “And now I’m the incumbent president. I’ve got grey hair. People have seen disappointment because folks had a vision of change happening immediately. And it turns out change is hard.”

Change is hard for the person that has never been a leader or change agent. Mr. Obama is just now discovering, after 44 months, that change is difficult? This quote just above is nothing short of pathetic. Whining — Pathetic — Self-centered. Oh, the poor man; he has grey hair.

Sheldon Adelson, a casino tycoon who last month gave Restore Our Future $10 million (£6.4 million), has pledged to spend “whatever it takes” to kill Mr Obama’s “socialist agenda”, friends have said.

As I heard about Mr. Obama’s begging for money on Air Force One, I started doing some basic calculations to try and guess how much each $1,000 of money raised cost the taxpayers in AF1 fuel, salaries and benefits of Air Force and Secret Service personnel, etc. I wish there was some way we could vote Mr. Obama out of office much sooner than November 6th. I can only dream.

In the meantime, we must all work as hard as we can to bring about a huge result that first week of November! Every person’s effort in grassroots work will have a cumulative impact that will be enormous. Never forget that. Every little bit helps. Just do it. Never quit — never.

Contrast Mr. Obama’s pathetic quote above with the fact that Mitt Romney has been a change agent and a strong leader for well over 35 years. Do you think Mitt Romney has ever complained about change being difficult? Need I say more?


Values, distinctly American: “Liberty” — “In God We Trust” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist

Lanny Davis Down on Obama’s Trashing: “Vicious People Work for the President”


Lanny Davis

Another well-known Democrat has joined the ranks of others who say the mechanics of Obama’s campaign aren’t working.

Lanny Davis, former Special Counsel to President Bill Clinton and liberal commentator for FOX News, has a big gripe with the Obama campaign. Not happy with the way Mayor Cory Booker (D- Newark, NJ) has been treated by the Obama campaign, Davis is disgusted with their method of operation. He says “vicious people are working for the President.”

The following statement about Booker elicited Davis’ ire:

“He’s dead to us,” one ranking administration official said of the prevailing feelings at the White House and Obama headquarters in Chicago. - New York Post


Video recording June 8, 2022

Davis @ :48: ”We’re both concerned [referring to himself and Clinton] about the tactics that his campaign is employing and we’re both urging him [Obama] to do what Tom Friedman has urged him to do [seize the high ground, not attack Bain Capital], what Cory Booker has urged him to do, which is to talk about his record rather than blaming the previous administration or going negative on Mitt Romney.”

Davis @ 1:50: “And you have vicious people who are working for the President – it’s not the President – who are saying that Cory Booker – one of the great supporters of President Obama’s policies is quote “dead” because he’s giving the President good advice – disagreeing with the Kool-Aid drinking people in the campaign who think the way to win the presidency is to trash the other guy, rather than to defend your own guy’s record.”

Interviewer @ 2:35: “Lanny, you’ve been in a lot of campaigns, as I have. This looks to me like meltdown to me.

Davis: Well, there is a very serious problem within the Obama campaign and you’ve just described it. It may be meltdown unless they come to their senses.”

Davis @3:08: “Can you imagine anyone in Chicago, on background, whispering in reporters’ ears – and I know the the reporters ‘cuz they’re telling me – describing anyone who disagrees with their tactics of trashing Mitt Romney – when you had John Heilemann in New York Magazine actually dropping ‘F’ bombs by people in the Obama campaign about Mitt Romney. The ten percent of the people in this country that are undecided don’t want to hear ‘F’ bombs. They want to know where does Barack Obama stand.


Lanny Davis’ verbal tongue-lashing on Team Obama is further evidence of the klutzy, clunky gear-grinding going on in the President’s campaign. I agree.

Davis implies that Obama isn’t responsible for the contemptible clatter - that he is simply rattling along in obedience to anonymous advice-givers. I disagree.

Obama cut his teeth on radical clap-trap. In my opinion, he not only consents to the blame game, but helps conjure up the the next move. He thinks America just misunderstands his bumbling.

But, hey. Keep it up.

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

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Religious Liberty at Grave Risk — “We’re All Catholics Now”

How often have you heard of a church bringing a lawsuit against the President of the United States? It has happened, but certainly not often. This week it was not just any church that brought suit against the Obama administration — it was the Roman Catholic Church no less! I honestly believe that Mr. Obama couldn’t care less if his signature health plan seriously erodes religious liberty in extraordinary ways. I doubt that Mr. Obama wanted to energize religious voters against him, but he has done it.

Photo: Associated Press

Fascinating it is to observe the Obama administration’s trampling of centuries honored religious liberty under the guise of “women’s rights.” The Wall Street Journal carried three excellent articles on this unprecedented move by the Catholic church; one was on the front page of the printed version yesterday — Catholics Sue Over Health Mandate:

The University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and 41 other Roman Catholic institutions sued the Obama administration in federal court Monday, the latest push against a requirement in the health-care-overhaul law that employers cover contraception in workers’ health plans.

The lawsuits were brought in a dozen different jurisdictions in the U.S., and plaintiffs included the Catholic University of America and archdioceses serving Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

“The government…cannot justify its decision to force Notre Dame to provide, pay for, and/or facilitate access to these services in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs,” Notre Dame’s lawsuit argues. “If the government can force religious institutions to violate their beliefs in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the government’s power.”

Consider the centuries old traditions of Catholics and their families.

The plaintiffs object to a provision that requires most employers to cover all preventive health services including contraception as part of their insurance policies, without out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Sterilization was one of the methods of birth control included, as was the so-called morning-after pill.
[…]
“We have tried negotiation with the administration and legislation with the Congress—and we’ll keep at it—but there’s still no fix,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now.”
[…]
“We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the government not impose its values on the university when those values conflict with our religious teachings,” he said.
[…]
That law says the government can “substantially burden” people in practicing their religion only if it can show that there is a “compelling governmental interest” and that its policy is “the least restrictive means of furthering” that interest.

An Op-Ed piece appeared in yesterday’s Journal as well: Why the Bishops Are Suing the U.S. Government:

Like most Americans, the bishops have long taken for granted the religious freedom that has enabled this nation’s diverse religions to flourish in relative harmony. But over the past year they have become increasingly concerned about the erosion of conscience protections for church-related individuals and institutions. Their top-rated program for assistance to human trafficking victims was denied funding for refusing to provide “the full range of reproductive services,” including abortion. For a time, Catholic Relief Services faced a similar threat to its international relief programs. The bishops fear religious liberty is becoming a second-class right.
[…]
Continued attempts to solve the problem by negotiation produced only an announcement by the Obama administration in February that insurance providers would pay for the contested services. Since many Catholic entities are self-insured and the others pay the premiums, the bishops’ concerns were not alleviated.
[…]
The main goal of the mandate is not, as HHS claimed, to protect women’s health. It is rather a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda, forcing them to facilitate and fund services that violate their beliefs, within their own institutions.

The media have implied all along that the dispute is mainly of concern to a Catholic minority with peculiar views about human sexuality. But religious leaders of all faiths have been quick to see that what is involved is a flagrant violation of religious freedom. That’s why former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, declared, “We’re all Catholics now.”

More is at stake here than the mission of all churches, including the Catholic Church, to provide social services like health care and education to everyone regardless of creed, and to do so without compromising their beliefs. At the deepest level, we are witnessing an attack on the institutions of civil society that are essential to limited government and are important buffers between the citizen and the all-powerful state.

If religious providers of education, health care and social services are closed down or forced to become tools of administration policy, the government consolidates a monopoly over those essential services. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, put it, we are witnessing an effort to reduce religion to a private activity. “Never before,” he said, “have we faced this kind of challenge to our ability to engage in the public square as people of faith.”

With this week’s lawsuits, the bishops join a growing army of other plaintiffs around the country, Catholic and non-Catholic, who are asking the courts to repel an unprecedented governmental assault on the ability of religious persons and groups to practice their religion without being forced to violate their deepest moral convictions.

A third article in the WSJ was published yesterday as well — Catholics in Court — The religious-liberty lawsuit against ObamaCare is historic:

[…]The nation’s most prominent Catholic institutions are saying that the same federal government they have viewed for decades as an ally in their fight for social justice is now a threat to their religious liberty.

This can’t have been an easy decision, especially because the plaintiffs are hardly founding members of the tea party. They include the Archdioceses of New York and Washington but also Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and even the University of Notre Dame.
[…]
So much for that. The lawsuit signals that far from engaging with “those who disagree,” Mr. Obama has rebuffed Catholic leaders in their attempt to work out a compromise over the Administration’s mandate that all insurance plans offer contraception and sterilization services, including abortifacients. . . .
[…]
The Department of Health and Human Services offered a fig leaf in February, foisting the mandate onto insurance companies rather than religious employers. […] As Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York put it, this so-called “safe habor” effectively gives religious institutions “a year to figure out how to violate [their] consciences.”

The suit charges that the mandate violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, as well as the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which requires that the federal government meet a higher legal standard for any law that interferes with religious liberty.
[…]
The real and startling question at issue is whether the entitlement state can pound everything, including religious belief, to its political will. Few previous Administrations would have dared such a high-stakes Constitutional battle, but Mr. Obama’s willfulness reveals the change that is taking place in liberal politics.

Once upon a time the political left viewed Catholics and especially the bishops as their allies in using government to create more equal opportunity and redistribute income. But today’s Democratic Party puts a higher cultural value on sexual politics and expanded reproductive freedom. We trust the courts will instruct the Administration that the Constitution still puts religious liberty first.

“Religious freedom is too sacred a right to be restricted or prohibited in any degree without convincing proof that a legitimate interest of the state is in grave danger.” ~ Frank Murphy

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