Democrats think they can ride their Hobby Lobby horse to big victories in November. They intend to win the votes of women by portraying Republicans as anti-woman for supporting the First Amendment. But they are playing with fire.
An Economist/You Gov poll conducted last week found that Americans’ opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court rose by 10 points after the Hobby Lobby ruling, which held that Obamcare’s mandate that employers pay for 20 specficic types of contraceptives violated the constitutional rights of some business owners who had religious objections to paying for abortafacients.
The court’s favorability rating shot up 6 percent among all Americans and a huge 21 percent among political independents. Though only 25 percent of Democrats approved of the Hobby Lobby decision, 53 percent of independents did (and 80 percent of Republicans).
It is hard to make the case that Republicans are the extremists here when more than half of independents agree with them and disagree with the Democrats.
Maybe the Democrats are not trying to win over moderate women, but are just trying to energize their base.
UNH pollster Andy Smith noted last week that Republicans enjoy about a 20 point gap in enthusiasm, with more than 70 percent saying they plan to vote in the November elections, and only about 50 percent of Democrats saying the same thing.
Either way, Democrats are doing exactly what they always accuse Republicans (sometimes rightly) of doing: posturing instead of governing. In the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court made a point of noting that the Obama administration could make sure all contraceptives are covered in all health plans by simply expanding to private employers the same regulations that now govern non-profits — regulations that require insurers to pay for contraceptives employers object to funding.
There are other possible — and simple — compromises. Congress could amend Obamacare’s contraception mandate to require that employers either provide the specified contraceptives or give their employees a pay raise equal to the cost of purchasing those contraceptives. No one would be denied anything, and no one would be forced to pay directly for abortifacients.
That Democrats are misrepresenting the court’s decision and clamoring to overturn it (thus trampling Americans’ constitutional rights) instead of providing a simple fix that respects the rights of all Americans says all you need to know about their claim to be the party of tolerance and good governance.