Due to the entirely predictable turmoil in Iraq, we are now cursed with Iraq Debacle cheerleaders "explaining" how it was all President Obama's fault. In a similar vein of chutzpah, E.J.Dionne has deccided that the Hobby Lobby decision was also President Obama's fault:
It’s unfortunate that the Obama administration’s initial, parsimonious exemption for religious groups helped ignite the firestorm that led to Hobby Lobby. It might consider this lesson as it moves, rightly, to issue an executive order to ban discrimination against LGBT people by government contractors. I’ve long believed that anti-gay behavior is both illiberal and, if I may, un-Christian.Oh really? It was the Obama Administration's fault that is overly generous "accommodation" in violation of the Establishment Clause that led to Hobby Lobby? It was Obama's fault that his compromise was rejected out of hand by the Manichean forces intent on eliminating women's privacy rights? What a load of crap. Indeed, E.J. Dionne has been full of it from Day 1 on this. In my post, Dionne Breaks Faith With Progressive Values, I predicted that the accommodation Dionne argued for would absolutely lead to Hobby Lobby:
In the wake of the Obama "accommodation," E.J. Dionne writes:In The progressive fight against the encroachment of religion on our secular laws, I wrote:
President Obama did today what he should have done at the very beginning: He honored the fact that religious groups, including the Catholic Church, had legitimate religious liberty claims in the battle over a contraception mandate under the new health care law. And he did so while still holding to his commitment to expanding contraception coverage as broadly as possible.The problem with Dionne's unprogressive formulation is simply this -who gets to decide when a "religious liberty claim" is legitimate? The very exercise of determining "legitimacy" of a "religious liberty claim" is oxymoronic. [...]
Consider this possibility -- what if the Catholic bishops say that since their employment of persons is the means by which persons are eligible for birth control under the Obama accommodation, then they should have the right to prohibit their employees from getting contraception care? How can Dionne distinguish this "religious liberty" claim from the one he is arguing in favor of? There is no logical difference in the positions.
A progressive would understand this and not argue for a "religious liberty claim" that a religion should have "the right to deny even its employees of other faiths the health-care services of which it doesn't approve on strictly doctrinal grounds." Yet this is what Dionne is arguing for. It is a betrayal of progressive values.
Post Post Script - It's no longer a possibility, as the Catholic bishops make the "religious liberty" claim I hypothesized above. No word on whether Dionne thinks the President should "honor the fact that religious groups, including the Catholic Church, had legitimate religious liberty claims in the battle over a contraception mandate under the new health care law" on this as well.
The reality is that Dionne compromises on the separation of church and state in an attempt to coopt religion on his side of certain arguments and becomes miffed when the Church does not stop precisely where he wanted it to on the issue of contraception. The sacrifice of principle by Dionne rendered no practical benefit—the very definition of a terrible "compromise."It was Dionne's strongly urged course of action that led to Hobby Lobby. And the Court made that clear. For it was the "accommodation" made to religiously affiliated secular institutions that the court leaned on to justify its decision that the government had other means to accomplish its goals.
And this was entirely predictable. Indeed, I predicted it. It takes a lot of gall on Dionne's part to claim he has been "proved fucking right" on this. Because he was utterly and completely fucking wrong.