11 Feb 2012

Barack Obama’s Idea of Compromise

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The Obama Administration wants to affirm its commitment to the secular progressive religion of Dionysius and D. H. Lawrence by mandating provision of contraception and abortion even at the cost of violating the freedom of conscience of religious institutions but, oh, me, oh, my! it encountered totally unexpected pushback and faces possible electoral consequences. Whatever to do?

As the Wall Street Journal explains, in an editorial delightfully entitled “Immaculate Contraception,” Barack Obama proposes, quite characteristically, to conceptually manipulate his way out of the consequences of his policy simply by telling those insurance companies to cook their books a bit.

Here’s a conundrum: The White House wants to impose its birth-control ideology on all Americans, including those for whom sponsoring or subsidizing such services violates their moral conscience. The White House also wants to avoid a political backlash from this blow to religious freedom. These goals are irreconcilable.

So you almost have to admire the absurdity of the new plan President Obama floated yesterday: The government will now write a rule that says the best things in life are “free,” including contraception. Thus a political mandate will be compounded by an uneconomic one—in other words, behold the soul of ObamaCare.


Ace analyses Obama’s compromise this way:

So here’s how this works.

I’m an insurer. Here were your two options, before Obama’s brilliant solution:

I could cover your employees for x dollars.

If you want birth control/abortifacient coverage, we’ll add that rider for y dollars. So this option is x + y dollars.

Obama’s genius solution is:

Hey, we’ll cover your employees for x + y dollars as a baseline. But we’ll toss in abortifacient coverage for 0 dollars.

Uhhh… That x+y is what it cost to have base insurance + birth control/abortifacient coverage. All that’s being done here is that people are lying about the costs — now the insurer and the contracting party lie and pretend the base insurance cost is x + y (which it isn’t; it’s x) and also pretend the cost for the birth control coverage is 0 (which it isn’t; it’s y).

All Obama’s doing is mandating that employers enter into a contract with insurers in which both parties pretend that the base cost of the service is higher than it is, and that abortifacient coverage now costs zero dollars.

Obama’s mandate solution is now just to force the conscience-objectors to lie about it.

Barack Obama demonstrates once again two key features of his identity and outlook. He is, first of all, an absolutely intransigent representative of the progressive elite, dedicated to enacting and enforcing his class’s social, political, and economic agenda without limit, mercy, or remorse. Intellectually, he is also a paradigmatic representative of the cognitive elite, trained in the best schools in the manipulation of words, concepts, and ideas. Which is to say, Barack Obama is the living model of the man professionally schooled in rhetoric that they used to call a sophist in Classical Antiquity.

He is definitely and absolutely committed to getting his ideological way, and his method for dealing with legal, moral, and theoretical objections to his agenda is simply to find a linguistic formula that redefines those obstacles out of existence.

2 Feedbacks on "Barack Obama’s Idea of Compromise"

No Man

Obama compromise: My way or the highway.

Obama must think we all are Homer Simpson.

To quote Bart Simpson, “I’m insulted.”


I wonder if liberals think that a governor who gives a condemned man a two-week stay of execution is engaging in compromise.


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