Democrats should wait for the Harvard wordsmith in the White House to eventually come up with the right language for this new debate over equal access for American women to health care services. Mark Twain said, in effect: The difference between any word and the right word is the difference between a lightning bug and lightning.
The Democratic National Committee’s decision to unfurl the slogan “War on Women” to describe Obama’s fight with the Council of Catholic Bishops and their Republican followers is leaden melodrama.
It’s about as helpful as Hillary Clinton’s suggestion in 1998 that there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to get her husband when millions of Democrats as well as Republicans had pretty well figured out what made Bill Clinton and the Republicans get up in the morning. Their conflicting ambitions were beside the point.
The issue at hand is, amazingly, not the legal or civil rights of women, but, in the first instance, the reach of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Council of Catholic Bishops—with others in tow—is saying that they should be able to use the Church’s power as a secular employer as well as its power as a spiritual force to influence the private decisions of women. They are saying that the democratic state should not be able to mitigate the Church’s influence over those women by guaranteeing their access to financial assistance that will be available to other women outside the Church’s spiritual and material reach.
America hasn’t had a war domestically for some time. Maybe, Obama has at least restarted an old one: the Protestant Reformation.
What could be more American than to offer the Daughter’s of the Revolution an election on the right of the people’s representatives to create rights and services, and make them equally available to Americans, regardless of their race or religious beliefs?