I know the conventional wisdom is that President Obama got caught flat footed on the contraceptives rule change (see here and here for the discussion we had on that subject on “Now with Alex Wagner” on Friday). But in the end, I don’t see how this fight wasn’t a big win for the president, for Katleen Sebelius, the HHS secretary, for the women in the Obama White House and in Congress, and of course, for all women who don’t want their fertility controlled by the elderly, male bishops of the Catholic Church.
Five reasons why this is a net Obama win?
1. It gave the president a chance to state his support for women’s access to contraception
2. That support is now neatly contrasted with the bishops’ thinly disguised fight to deny women access to birth control
3. It triggered yet another Republican freak out, which once again drew them into publicly taking a stand that will make female voters cringe
4. The religious liberty argument it triggered won’t gain Republicans any new voters, but standing up to the Bishops is a net positive for Obama with younger voters
5. The compromise announced on Friday neutralizes the religious liberty argument anyway, denying the GOP a talking point they can use to whip up evangelicals in November
That’s the short version. But you’re going to want t read Amanda Marcotte’s excellent explanation of how Obama punked the GOP once again.
any new voters, but