For Once, My Legal Analysis Was Accurate

This is a first. Apparently my reading of the odious Rubio/Manchin bill earlier today was accurate:

A new bill introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a rising conservative star and leading contender for the Republican vice-presidential nomination in 2012, could cut off birth control coverage for millions of women who receive it through their health plans.

Rubio has sold his proposal—introduced January 31 as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” or S. 2043—as a way to counter President Barack Obama’s controversial rule requiring even religiously-affiliated schools and universities to offer copay-free birth control to their employees. But health care experts say that its implications could be far broader.

If passed, the bill would allow any institution or corporation to cut off birth control coverage simply by citing religious grounds. (You can read the bill here or in the DocumentCloud embed below.) It has 26 cosponsors in the Senate; a similar proposal sponsored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has 148 cosponsors in the House. On Wednesday, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed to repeal Obama’s rule, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed to Rubio’s bill as a potential model for doing so.

Joe Manchin may think he is protecting religious freedom, but he’s actually launched the first shot in the latest skirmish in the GOP war on women.

Pathetic, Senator Manchin. Just plain pathetic. Our only hope is if this bill makes it to the floor of the Senate, Manchin will miss it while on an Easter retreat with his family.

At this point, I think he is just positioning himself to be a Republican should the Democrats lose the Senate.

66 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I think it’s terrific that you’re calling out Manchin on your blog. Interesting, impassioned, well-informed posts.

    Are you sending the same texts to Senator Manchin’s district and DC offices, or phoning them to express your opinion? Please tell me you are.

  2. 2
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Manchin’s not on the list of co-sponsors. What’s the deal? All the others are rethugs.

  3. 3
    Cat Lady says:

    The Republican War on Women – Fighting the Taliban There and Here.

    There’s your 2012 bumper sticker.

  4. 4
    eemom says:

    Off to law school with you then, Colesque. They’re looking for a few good men.

  5. 5
    harlana says:

    Traitors Deserve No Mercy – Occupy Womb

  6. 6
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have a feeling that telling women that their employers can decide whether or not they can have access to birth control is not going to be nearly as popular as Rubio thinks.

  7. 7
    boss bitch says:

    Joe Manchin is going through the application process of switching to the Republican party. Watch that little fucker. Even if we keep the Senate in 2013, that guy is gonna make us miss Ben Nelson.

  8. 8
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, an appropriate clip from “Father Ted” for the red beanie brigade.

  9. 9
    jacy says:

    Now you know what it’s like living in Louisiana, where there are no Democratic politicians, just Republicans with a (D) after their name due to clerical error.

  10. 10
    beltane says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yeah, Rubio is giving employers rights that husbands do not even have. What’s up with that?

  11. 11
    BlueDWarrior says:

    This imminently the problem with allowing some of the ‘Red’ State Democratic Parties to atrophy, we got so many assholes on our side ostensibly that it’s impossible for the non-politically informed to know what the Democratic platform is because of all the crossed messages.

    I am not one to go on purity purges, but people like Manchin need to get it through their heads that there is already a party for being an overzealous god-botherer or toadie for the 1%

  12. 12
    4tehlulz says:

    @beltane: 19th-century mill owners approve.

  13. 13
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    It’s the Lieberman/Manch-(urian) candidate.

    Brewing for some time now, since unemployment is the biggest fear of elected Reps.

  14. 14
    slag says:

    See…now if you had read kay’s earlier post on this very subject, you wouldn’t have doubted yourself. Which just goes to show: When in doubt, ask kay.

  15. 15
    5x5 says:

    I’m torn between comparing this to Schiavo or to New Hamphire.

    During the Schiavo fight I attended a wake for my uncle. Everyone was missing Uncle, but at the same time grateful that his immediate family made the decision to allow him to die. These are Catholics who honor life, but respect death. Not a single person agreed with the Republicans sticking their noses into a family’s private business.

    When Hillary “cried” before NH, the pundits jumped on the moment and pissed off a lot of women. The arrogance of these jerks mobilized a lot of women.

    Catholic bishops are not popular in many Catholic families. Fellow Catholics, nuns, and priests — no problem. They are us. The Bishops can go jump.

  16. 16
    Gian says:

    now if only they can propose saipan like rules. dorms, rape and forced abortions. part of the GOP capitalist paradise

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    Republicans are really going to win over the youth vote by making sure they can’t have access to birth control. Keep it up, Republicans.

    And can Manchin just go on and become a Republican now so the Dems don’t waste any money on him?

  18. 18
    jrg says:

    This paradigm should be extended to all enterprises, and all potentially objectionable activities.

    For instance, if I open a hair salon, and the Thetans or the angel Moroni tells me I shouldn’t have a bathroom, my employees should have to defecate in the storm drain outside. Religious freedom, bitches.

  19. 19
    danimal says:

    I hope Reid is opportunistic enough to put this turd of a bill up for a vote. The 30 second ads “Sen X voted to take away your b/c pills” write themselves.

  20. 20
    Cap'n Magic says:

    Now if one of the women in the House/Senate would attach a amendment to the bill that would prohibit government funding for impotent medicine and/or allow employers to deny coverage for such meds….

  21. 21
    KBS says:

    During the health care debate, I called my congresscritters at least once a week urging them to vote for the bill, largely because everyone here encouraged/begged/ordered me to do it. Are we going to do the same thing here? I think somebody mentioned how good it was to be on offense with the Komen debacle. Who else is up for a fight?

    (Returning to lurk mode now)

  22. 22
    jl says:

    Don’t live in WV, so don’t care that much about the Manchin angle at this time.

    But, the proposal is crazy. The GOP wants this nonsense a big issue for them in the general election? I can’t believe it.

    Must be bluff to make scattered and cowardly Dems fold, or damage health care reform.

    IF they had kept it to Catholic hospitals, maybe something to think over. This is over reach on way too much very bad speed. This is crazy, and nothing to think over. Correct response would be to confront them head on and stomp on them. But, with current crew of Dems in Congress and WH, will that happen?

    Well, I got my WH comment line number 202 456 1111 and used it (thanks to anonymous commenter earlier today).

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    Are we calling this “The War on Birth Control” yet?

  24. 24
    KyCole says:

    I think that all of this over the top stuff is actually a good thing. People are now starting to realize what’s really at stake. I just renewed my PP membership with a $50/month donation and I’m sure I am not alone.

  25. 25
    JWL says:

    Cross party lines? Cole, you still a long way from understanding the democratic party. Once Reid is out, odds are respectable that Manchin will be in the running as senate leader.

  26. 26
    Violet says:

    @KBS:
    I’m up for a fight! Let’s do this!

    @jrg:

    This paradigm should be extended to all enterprises, and all potentially objectionable activities.
    __
    For instance, if I open a hair salon, and the Thetans or the angel Moroni tells me I shouldn’t have a bathroom, my employees should have to defecate in the storm drain outside. Religious freedom, bitches.

    The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster needs to claim something is against its morals. I’m thinking v1agra and other ED meds, because they turn noodley appendages hard, and that’s not a good thing for the FSM.

  27. 27
    Ump902a says:

    So..What if the owner of my company is a Christian Scientist? The only coverage I get is directions to the nearest reading room?

  28. 28
    Felinious Wench says:

    I am a practicing Christian (Episcopalian).

    I am so sick of this bullshit, I’ve had a headache all day.

    I don’t care who people fuck.

    I don’t care how they do it.

    I don’t care what they do or do not use to prevent fertilization of an egg after sperm has left the penis, and I don’t care if an egg is fertilized and attached to the uterine wall and expelled, and I don’t care if a woman aborts that fetus later. Because it is not my fucking business.

    I am with John, sick to death of this STUPID crap, and I want to practice MY faith in peace from right-wingers, zealots, God Botherers, womb guardians, and all of their ilk.

    If the church want the government out of their religion, they should keep their religion out of the fucking government.

  29. 29
    Some Guy says:

    All I can say it that people who play politics with reproductive control for strictly strategic reasons are among the lowest of the low.

    Controlling when and why one has children is a simple good, not an evil. I don’t care who that offends.

  30. 30
    beltane says:

    @5×5: It’s a combination of both these things. During the Schiavo affair my father-in-law was dying in a Florida hospital. We had to decide whether or not to have a feeding tube inserted and we were terrified that the religious nuts were going to start harassing us for deciding against the feeding tube. This feels the same way in that “religious liberty” seems to be defined as the right to intrude into people’s most intimate spaces, their bedrooms and deathbeds. They seek to violate us, and that is the truth of it.

    The fact that the punditry is part of this misogynistic fail parade, insisting that the right of women to physical autonomy is secondary to the feelings of old men in bishops’ mitres fills me with absolute rage.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    What’s crazy about the proposal, is that it is proposing a rollback on coverage, right? Don’t corporations have to cover reproductive health now? They can’t just type out some vague religious objections statement and get out of parts of standard comprehensive health coverage plans they don’t like? Correct? I think it is.

    The proposal is crazy BS that would have very little support from an informed public. It should only be met with 1) aggressive public education campaign, 2) statement of principles and policy by Dems 3) appeal to the public 4) much stomping on GOP, 5) laughter.

  32. 32
    DanielX says:

    Let me see if I understand this: in order to sooth the fevered brows of a few million Republican primary voters, these individuals* are going to majorly piss off (potentially) over a hundred million women. This on top of Frothy Mix coming right out and saying Contraception Is A Bad Thing, because it will lead to people having fun in ways not approved by Frothy Mix and the Catholic Church. Do I have this right, or am I missing something? What the fuck is with these people? Do they want to lose the election?

    I feel the need of relaxation and therefore I need some kitteh pr0n, as shown in the Best Picture Ever Anywhere.

  33. 33
    beltane says:

    @Ump902a: It’s like working for a Muslim who demands that your paycheck cannot be used to purchase alcohol or any meat that is not halal.

    Even the Islamists do not expect infidels to abide by all the rules of Islam. The RC Church does not seem to have the ability to recognize this line.

  34. 34
    hamletta says:

    Really chilling article in The Revealer:

    What often determines the compliance of facilities and employees with Catholic guidelines is the amount of interest the local bishop has in the affairs of institutions in his diocese. In the past decade, we’ve witnessed the appointment of increasingly conservative bishops and the pressure of presiding bishops to pay closer attention to hospitals, in part by the conservative turn of the church leadership and in part by the pressure on health care delivery from choice movements.

  35. 35
    Dave says:

    So a bunch of old men who defended another bunch of old men that raped young boys now want to deny women the ability to control their fertility.

    Yeah, that’s some wagon the GOP hitched their future to.

  36. 36
    DanielX says:

    Let me see if I understand this: in order to sooth the fevered brows of a few million Republican primary voters, these individuals* are going to majorly piss off (potentially) over a hundred million women. This on top of Frothy Mix coming right out and saying Contraception Is A Bad Thing, because it will lead to people having fun in ways not approved by Frothy Mix and the Catholic Church. Do I have this right, or am I missing something? What the fuck is with these people? Do they want to lose the election?

    *”living specimen(s) of gall and hatred” – they knew how to insult in the old days.

    I feel the need of relaxation and therefore I need some kitteh pr0n, as shown in the Best Picture Ever Anywhere.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7.....otostream/

  37. 37
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Felinious Wench:

    If the church want the government out of their religion, they should keep their religion out of the fucking government.

    Anyone who doesn’t get the simple logic of this is too stupid to breathe.

  38. 38
    beltane says:

    @Violet: How about “War on Heterosexual Marriage”? Because that’s what it is.

  39. 39
    kindness says:

    OK, I’m curious. We know what John thinks about Manchin. What does the West Virginia Democratic party think of him?

  40. 40
    jl says:

    That was quick. Magic of the intertubes, a world of info at your fingertips.

    From the Great Orange Satan:

    ” Employers have had to provide birth control coverage since 2000
    by Joan McCarter

    Did you know that, by federal rule which has been upheld in the courts, employers and insurers have had to provide birth control as part of preventive care for women? And that that’s been the case since 2000, throughout the Bush administration? ”


    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....etail=hide

    Link in DKOS post to Mother Jones article give details.

    I will be outraged if the Dems give an inch. And will call the WH comment line again (202 456 111), since I have some new historical information that maybe of interest to them.

    Edit: we should propose similar policy for Viagra, some of those men folk might spill some seed. Gotta prevent that at all costs.

  41. 41
    DanielX says:

    @Violet:

    Actually I think it’s the War on Fucking (for any reason other than creating Godly Men and Women).

  42. 42
    Brian S says:

    I wonder why Pharma and the insurance companies aren’t opposing this? Pharma gets a bump in drug sales and insurance companies spend way less on contraception than they do on pregnancies. It’s a win-win.

  43. 43
    jl says:

    Reposted since I tried to put in a B * n 3 * P1 * l name when editing, and WP said my comment would be moderated.

    That was quick. Magic of the intertubes, a world of info at your fingertips.

    From the Great Orange Satan:

    ” Employers have had to provide birth control coverage since 2000
    by Joan McCarter

    Did you know that, by federal rule which has been upheld in the courts, employers and insurers have had to provide birth control as part of preventive care for women? And that that’s been the case since 2000, throughout the Bush administration? ”


    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....etail=hide

    Link in DKOS post to Mother Jones article give details.

    I will be outraged if the Dems give an inch. And will call the WH comment line again (202 456 111), since I have some new historical information that maybe of interest to them.

    Edit: we should propose similar policy for V* * g r uh oh, some of those men folk might spill some seed. Gotta prevent that at all costs.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:

    How does the Vatican manage it’s internationl neighbor Italy, which I believe has a whole bunch o’ Catholics in it and most likely passes out birth control like its candy on Halloween?

    If these bishops are upset about birth control, they should force Italy to stop offering it first, because the Vatican shares its borders with Italy and many Italians go the Vatican for prayer services.

    They should get their backyard in order first, before trying to force us to change, since most of us aren’t Catholic.

  45. 45
    Mike in NC says:

    I think he is just positioning himself to be a Republican should the Democrats lose the Senate.

    Bank on it, maybe even if they don’t. Douchebag.

  46. 46
    BerkeleyMom says:

    What if a Catholic Hospital decided to opt out of treating AIDS patients, those who attempt suicide, unwed mothers, etc. There really is no end to this slippery slope. And this mandate has already been in place in 28 states. From what I have read, there were 5 or 6 Republican sponsors of the bill that made it so in 2001.

    Trumped up flag burning, no hand over his heart during the pledge election year bullshit.

  47. 47
    jl says:

    @Brian S:

    Because big money know it is a stunt and won’t be policy, or won’t be for long if GOP even get half of what they are proposing, and cynical GOP is just trying to F with weak Democrats. That is my guess.

    One possibility I suggested in previous thread is that cynical GOP would reverse it asap as soon as politically convenient, should they get their way on this (and I doubt they want to get their way).

    This is just cynical political garbage. We need to call Congress and WH because so many Dems are worthless, and WH can be weak.

    Edit: note my post above about how this is rollback on policies in force all through Bush II admin. The GOP has NO problem with businesses covering birth control and other reproductive health.

  48. 48
    jacy says:

    I need a bumper sticker that says: Why Do Republicans Hate Women?

  49. 49
    urlhix says:

    I always say to the wingnuts here in the deep south, freedom doesn’t mean that you are free from things that you don’t like.

    They usually look at me like I just shit in their mouth. Good times.

  50. 50
    BerkeleyMom says:

    Do men realize that if women aren’t having sex due to no birth control, they won’t be having sex either??

  51. 51
    jl says:

    @BerkeleyMom: Well that is one reason why the vast majority of public, both men and women, will oppose any messing with access to birth control.

    And, because so many are on birth control pills for other medical therapies that have nothing to do with birth control.

  52. 52
    beltane says:

    @gene108: Italian Catholics are not like Irish Catholics, Polish Catholics or even Italian-American Catholics. The see the Church for the power-hungry entity it is. In fact, the Church fought tooth and nail against the creation of the Italian state for reasons having solely to do with greed and power lust.

    Italy now has the lowest birthrate in Europe. My grandmother had seven children, four of whom survived into adulthood and produced only 1-2 kids apiece. My cousins are well into their 30s & 40s and still childless and only attend church for weddings and funerals. Why do I have to deal with this sanctimonious bullshit when they don’t have to.

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    How does the Vatican manage it’s internationl neighbor Italy, which I believe has a whole bunch o’ Catholics in it and most likely passes out birth control like its candy on Halloween?

    If Italy’s anything like the rest of Western Europe, apples and oranges (not on the merit but the context). Most of those countries have had such a shit time with religion that they’ve snapped pretty violently in the last few centuries, and the Church paid quite a price. They’re not in the doghouse anymore (compared to, say, the way they were in the first Spanish republic or the early French ones), but if they push too hard, they’re going to get bit something fierce. So they know better than to try.

    In the U.S, churches pretty much been treated with kid gloves for our entire history and still have way more influence both in the public and in politics than across the Atlantic. My guess is they’re terrified of seeing that influence dwindle away and completely losing control of yet another major country – the bishops wanted to make a stand and I guess they thought this contraception stuff looked like as good a hill to die on as any.

  54. 54
    5x5 says:

    @beltane: The pundits have never and probably will never admit their role in NH. They are in the same club as the Bishops, chaplins, and Manchin.

    Women vote, but it’s portrayed as “Soccer/Security/Working class Moms — what do women want?” People are angry but I worry that if it’s a women’s issue they can’t back down — it’ll become a bunch of girls on their periods.

    I think the fight has to emphasize the invasion of privacy. Men like women’s birth control, (also) too.

  55. 55
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @harlana:

    Traitors Deserve No Mercy – Occupy Womb Uteri

    Fix’t.

    It sounds more joyful. :)

  56. 56
    DanielX says:

    @BerkeleyMom:

    This man does as do most others, but Rick Santorum’s mind, to name the most obvious and egregious example, doesn’t work that way. The idea that a wife might say ‘no nookie for you’ simply doesn’t occur to them – it doesn’t compute. They would regard the concept of marital rape as being a contradiction in terms.

    Lysistrata had the right idea….

  57. 57
    Cacti says:

    Yes to Birth Control, Hell No to Church Control!

    I didn’t vote for anyone to be the political arm of the Vatican.

  58. 58
    Bago says:

    Right. Trance remix of unforgivable.

  59. 59
    burnspbesq says:

    “Anyone who doesn’t get the simple logic of this is too stupid to breathe”

    That would make everyone who has a proper understanding of the speech clause of the First Amendment “too stupid to live.”

    Everybody in this country, including people of faith, has the right to engage in political speech.

  60. 60
    Ruckus says:

    I realize that the white house petitions seem to be a waste of time but I started one on this as there was one that is asking for the HHS to back off and it has over 25 thousand sigs.
    Here is the link, a petition needs a 150 votes to be made public so have at it.

  61. 61
    Ruckus says:

    @BerkeleyMom:
    Do men realize that if women aren’t having sex due to no birth control, they won’t be having sex either??

    Well….

    There are other … methods. They aren’t nearly as satisfying of course, but they exist.

  62. 62
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    We all understand the politics of this. The bishops, what with their cover-ups of child rape and large settlements relating thereto, have been beating the retreat for the past decade.

    On this one, they’re picking a fight with the White House and the womenfolk in his administration to show they still mean business, and they’re making sure all the sixtysomething papist pundits in their address books know it.

    The appropriate response is the one dealt to Bishop Brennan: a well-aimed kick up the arse.

  63. 63
    Snowwy says:

    @burnspbesq:
    I normally greatly enjoy your posts here- they’re typically clear-headed, thoughtful, and to the point,

    But every time the antics of the Catholic hierarchy comes up as a topic here, you jump instantly to conflating the priesthood with the laity and use that conflation to claim (or imply, as at the linked post) religious bigotry.

    Really, you need to see this and stop it. You’re just making yourself into someone not to be taken seriously. If you can’t see that everyone else here sees a difference between Church and Congregation, you’re going to get hammered over and over again. And I’d really rather not see that when I think you could have cogent and wise things to offer. So take a deep breath, think it through, and I hope to hear reason rather than petty offense sometime soon.

  64. 64
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @beltane:

    Why do I have to deal with this sanctimonious bullshit when they don’t have to.

    I think it’s because Catholicism remains a minority denomination in the US, and retains selective regional fiefdoms that are tied to ethnicity — remember, the people in the media making a fuss about this are old white ethnic guys, whose grandparents came over in the boat a century or so ago.

    Conversely, when there’s a shadow theocracy running your country for decades (see: Ireland, Italy) then there has generally come a time when the populace tells them to fuck off.

  65. 65
    John Puma says:

    To be surprised at Manchin now is like Wisconsin being surprised about Walker after his election.

  66. 66
    pkdz says:

    @beltane: Absolutely and I think this is what some conservatives are fighting against. Mark Steyn and his book about “Eurabia” and his book America Alone. Not enough white people are having babies is their fear.

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