Divided We Fall – don’t let it happen – recognize and defeat their tactics

DEFUND OBAMACARE

The effort to defund Obamacare is a winnable strategy, and the other side knows it. We have facts on our side. We have polls on our side. ALL we have to do is stick together and win the messaging war. Sure, that is the worst bit of it, because the GOP has really never done that in the history of ever, but hey, it could happen.

That’s what I’m thinking when I see THIS story, and watch the first 45 seconds of the video. I see it as the first successful step in the left’s tactical broadside. How so? This is a Republican Strategist. How is this a lefty tactic to defeat the Defund Obamacare campaign?

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Did you notice that immigration has become a big topic again? Did you notice that the left is sending their shock troops to Congressional Townhall meetings during the recess? Do you think that’s just kind of odd?

Yeah, this was supposed to be Obamacare Townhall Summer part 2. It was supposed to be all about us pressuring our Congressmen to support the Defund Obamacare movement. It was possibly victorious. We on the right had figured out that the cronyism and corporatism and Big Government Big Corporation exemptions were making the anti-Obamacare coalition pretty damned big. FAR bigger than just the Tea Party folks. We figured out that Union workers agreed with us, blue collar and white collar employees all over the nation were getting notes from their employers that the rates were going up or the coverage was going away.

Or that the BIG company was exempt, but the smaller company they work for wasn’t, or that they personally weren’t exempt. This seemed bad. We were going to be able to get them on our side.

We were going to be able to get a lot of the GOP folks on our side too, the opposition to the plan amounts to “well, it won’t work so let’s not even try” – and we can counter that at a Townhall by challenging our Rep to stand up and fight for us. I was pretty optimistic.

But the left saw it too. They activated THEIR side. They activated their standard, consistently winning strategy. Do I know for sure that it was discussed on Journolist? No. They all pretty much think alike, they don’t actually HAVE to write it down.

IMMIGRATION! That tears the GOP apart! It’s an easy topic to cover because it’s all about feelings and we can get people all kinds of worked up. It’s easy to find Republicans willing to come on camera and bash other Republicans. The Tea Party folks will get their knickers in a twist and fight each other over this. It totally kills any kind of expanded coalition that the GOP could have built.

So…instead of the GOP, and the Libertarians, and the Union workers, and the unemployed, and all of the middle class coming together to STOP Big Government Obamacare, we’re gonna just fight about immigration some more.

People…don’t fall for this. Focus. OBAMACARE. DON’T FUND IT.

Go to your Townhalls, write and call your congressman, pressure them to defund it. IGNORE IMMIGRATION FOR NOW. Don’t pick a fight with your anti-Obamacare allies on that issue, until the Obamacare issue is handled.

Pay attention to what the left is doing. When you see the subject change like it did – from Obamacare to Immigration – and when you see Republican Strategists go on the liberal shows and call other Republicans names, realize that this is the LEFT fighting a battle.  Don’t fight on their side.

Call for Religious Liberty

hhs.july_.2-300x204From Kathy Schiffer at Patheos I learn that today, the 2nd of July, the anniversary of the day that the Continental Congress adopted the resolution breaking ties with England, a group of religious leaders have gathered to sign their names on a call for Religious Liberty, here in these United States. It’s a direct response to the HHS final rule on the Obamacare contraception mandate.

They call upon Congress to expand the conscience protections to cover any “organization or individual that has religious or moral objections to covering, providing or enabling access to the mandated drugs and services”

Agree with the mandate or not, that is not at all the issue. The issue is the ability of the Federal Government to coerce “Citizen A, against his or her moral convictions, to purchase a product for Citizen B”. This violates the freedom of expression that our Founders so dearly protected. We all are going to have to take a stand for something. It seems to be time.

It is an open letter to all Americans. Here it is in its entirety

Standing Together for Religious Freedom

An Open Letter to All Americans

We write as an informal and diverse group of religious leaders, theologians, lay practitioners and community servants. We believe the doctrines of our respective faiths require something of us beyond the walls of our churches, synagogues, temples, and other places of worship. Those faith convictions manifest themselves through our daily interactions among family, neighbors, strangers and institutions.

Further, we recognize the United States, at its best, is unique among the nations of the world when it defends the self-evident freedom of all people to exercise their faith according to the dictates of their consciences. This freedom contributes to the vibrancy of our nation. Unfortunately, this delicate liberty of conscience is under threat.

Through its contraceptive coverage mandate, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) continues to breach universal principles affirmed and protected by the U.S. Constitution and other federal laws. While the mandate is a specific offense, it represents a greater fundamental breach of conscience by the federal government. Very simply, HHS is forcing Citizen A, against his or her moral convictions, to purchase a product for Citizen B. The HHS policy is coercive and puts the administration in the position of defining–or casting aside–religious doctrine. This should trouble every American.

Many of the signatories on this letter do not hold doctrinal objections to the use of contraception. Yet we stand united in protest to this mandate, recognizing the encroachment on the conscience of our fellow citizens. Whether or not we agree with the particular conscientious objection is beside the point. HHS continues to deny many Americans the freedom to manifest their beliefs through practice and observance in their daily lives.

The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Free exercise includes the freedom to order one’s life, liberties and pursuits in accordance with his or her convictions. HHS breaches the free exercise clause and federal statutes (passed with broad bipartisan support) by selectively denying some Americans this constitutionally protected right.

Americans afford each other broad liberties with respect to lifestyle choices. However, the federal government has neither a compelling interest nor the appropriate authority to coerce one citizen to fund or facilitate specific lifestyle choices of another. If the federal government can force morally opposed individuals to purchase contraception or abortion-causing drugs and devices for a third party, what prevents this or future administrations from forcing other Americans to betray their deeply held convictions?

Therefore, we call upon HHS to, at a minimum, expand conscience protections under the mandate to cover any organization or individual that has religious or moral objections to covering, providing or enabling access to the mandated drugs and services. Further, because HHS claims to be acting on authority granted it by Congress, we ask Congress to consider how it might prevent such offenses from occurring in the future. Any policy that falls short of affirming full religious freedom protection for all Americans is unacceptable.

And here is a list of the signatories:

Most Rev. William E. Lori

Archbishop of Baltimore
Chairman
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

Russell D. Moore, Ph.D.
President
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of
the Southern Baptist Convention

Leith Anderson
President
National Association of Evangelicals

Bishop Andrew
Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America

John Ashmen
President
Association of Gospel Rescue Missions

Bishop Gary E. Stevenson
Presiding Bishop
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Randall A. Bach
President
Open Bible Churches

The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates
Patriarch
International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church

Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D.
Professor of Government
Patrick Henry College

A.D. Beacham, Jr., Th.M.
Presiding Bishop
International Pentecostal Holiness Church

Dr. Gary M. Benedict
President
The Christian and Missionary Alliance, U.S.

J. Brian Benestad, Ph.D
Department of Theology
Assumption College

The Rev. Roger Boucher
Commander, US Navy (ret)
Chaplain at College of St. Mary Magdalen

Bishop John F. Bradosky
North American Lutheran Church

Anuttama Dasa
Minister of Communications
Governing Body Commissioner, Vice Chair
International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

Most Revd Robert Duncan
Archbishop
Anglican Church in North America

Rev. Jim Eschenbrenner
Executive Pastor
Christian Union

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
President
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Hispanic Evangelical Association

Rev. Dr . Matthew C. Harrison
President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Dr. William J. Hamel
President
Evangelical Free Church

Bishop Bruce D. Hill
Evangelical Congregational Church

John Hopler
Director
Great Commission Churches

Bill Hossler
President
Missionary Church, Inc.

Clyde M. Hughes              
Bishop/General Overseer
International Pentecostal Church of Christ

Dr. Jeffrey Jeremiah
Stated Clerk
Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Jo Anne Lyon
General Superintendent
The Wesleyan Church

Dr. George O. Wood
General Superintendent
Assemblies of God

Alan Robinson
National Director
Brethren in Christ Church, U.S.

Joseph Tkach
President
Grace Communion International

Most Reverend Nicholas J. Samra
Bishop of Newton
Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Rev. Susan Taylor
National Public Affairs Director
Church of Scientology

Anne Hendershott, Ph.D.
Daniel R. Kempton, Ph.D.
Patrick Lee, Ph.D.
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Assist. Prof. Richard S. Meloche, Ph.D.
Department of Philosophy & Theology
St. Gregory’s University

Sister Jane Marie Klein
Chairperson of the Board
Franciscan Alliance, Inc.

Richard Land, D.Phil.
President
Southern Evangelical Seminary

Marc A. LePain
Professor of Theology
Assumption College

Fr. Sean O. Sheridan, TOR
President
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Tom Minnery
Senior Vice President
Focus on the Family

Greg Mitchell
President
The Mitchell Firm

David Nammo
Executive Director & CEO
Christian Legal Society

Rocky Rocholl
President
Fellowship of Evangelical Churches

Patrick J. Reilly
President
The Cardinal Newman Society

Dr. William Riordan
Director of Undergraduate Theology
Ave Maria University

Terri Marsh, J.D., Ph.D.
President
Human Rights Law Firm

Brent McBurney
President & CEO
Advocates International

Barbara Samuels
Catholics for Freedom of Religion

Steven A. Long, Ph.D
Professor of Theology
Ave Maria University 

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, and
Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer
Executive Directors
International Institute for Religious Freedom

Alan Sears
President
Alliance Defending Freedom

Matt Smith
President
Catholic Advocate

David Stevens, MD, MA
CEO
Christian Medical Association

Rabbi Aryeh Spero
President
Caucus for America

Craig Steven Titus, S.T.D./Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director of Integrative Studies
Institute for the Psychological Sciences

Mark Tooley
President
Institute on Religion and Democracy

Ryan Topping, Ph.D.
Fellow
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

Sister Margaret Regina Halloran, l.s.p.
Provincial Superior, Brooklyn Province

Sister Maria Christine Lynch, l.s.p.
Provincial Superior, Chicago Province

Sister Loraine Marie Clare Maguire, l.s.p.
Provincial Superior, Baltimore Province
Little Sisters of the Poor

DOMA Case…It’s About Taxes!

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There has been extensive discussions about how the case of United States v. Windsor., the case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), will be decided.

After yesterday’s oral arguments, virtually every court watcher believes DOMA is in serious trouble, after most of the justices showed severe doubts about either its legality under equal protection grounds, or under federalism grounds via the 10th amendment.

Of course, we know how precise predictions like this are.  Using oral arguments, I and others were sure, beyond a doubt, that Obamacare would also be declared unconstitutional.  Of course we all know how that worked out.  Chief Justice Roberts declared the mandate legal because it wasn’t a mandate…but a tax.

And therein may be the most hilarious segue of them all.  Because when you look at the Windsor case, what is at the heart of it?

Edith Windsor married her longtime partner Thea Spyer in 2007.  When Speyer died in 2009, she left her estate to Windsor, who got hit with a $360,000 tax bill. Because of DOMA’s definition of marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman,” federal tax benefits that shield married couples from the estate tax didn’t apply.

So ultimately, this case may not be about equal rights at all.  It may end up being purely about…taxation.

Now, do I think Roberts et al are going to consider this based on taxation grounds alone?  No.  Of course not.  Just listen to the oral arguments!  How could this be purely a case regarding the ability of the federal government to tax individuals?

I mean, that would be ridiculous. 

Let hilarity ensue.

 

This was crossposted at Neoavatara