The clock in the hallway had not yet struck midnight as five uniformed troopers in boots that stopped just short of their knees burst through the front door as three others invaded the kitchen through the back door. Three searched medicine cabinets for oral contraceptives while another two pulled and pilfered drawers throughout the home for prophylactics. Alicia and Juan were speechless in their half-woken state when one of the troopers glared at the marked dates on a calendar hanging in the bedroom. “You are under arrest for copulating by the calendar to avoid conception,” blared the lead trooper.
The event above did not occur, it is not planned, nor is it even contemplated by the most fervent bishop or bombastic-fundamentalist preacher. However, it is imagery that is being created to scare people. A hyperbolic scenario created to make an opposing idea or person look good is called a straw man.
Once the villainous straw man has been created, President Obama comes galloping in on the white horse of big government triumphantly swinging his ‘big-brother-knows-best’ sword, slays the evil straw man and saves the day. The left often successfully utilizes this game.
Whatever someone may think about federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a good number of people believed the straw man that President Bush had gone further, banning the research including work with adult stem cells. Another straw man routinely appears as evil men attempt to throw grandmother over the proverbial cliff.
To effectively build the mystical villain the left needs complicity, if not help, from disseminators of information, the media. George Stephanopoulos started the latest straw man. President Clinton’s former political advisor now masquerading as an objective host of ABC News asked former Governor Romney the off-the-wall question whether or not states had the right to ban contraception, thus laying the first straws for the new straw man.
Informed citizens understand the Obama administration’s healthcare mandate requires that religious organizations pay for contraceptives via their insurance companies, even though it may be against their religious beliefs. It saves the right of contraception from an evil straw man who does not really exist. The average person with limited interest and a superficial understanding of issues assumes the straw man is real. Appealing to the less astute President Obama, who delivers state-of-the-union addresses at a 8th grade reading level according to readability tests, and his conspirators encourage misunderstanding of the issue embellishing the straw man.
“It is time for the extreme right wing to stop playing football with women’s health,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, (D-NY).
“I woke up this morning in the 21st century, not in the Middle Ages,” said. Rep. Diana DeGette, (D-CO).
Other allies collaborated in the spread of misinformation about the contraception straw man by their silence. ABC and NBC didn’t cover the story for 16 days. CBS covered it in 10 days and CNN after briefly mentioning it didn’t again for 10 days. A record number of media personnel have now gone further joining the Obama team rather than cheering from the sidelines.
Our constitution obviously devotes more language to religious freedom than to the right of free contraception. If the “promote the general welfare” clause does extend to free contraception, why not free food, shelter and cell phones (I guess it does now to some extent). What about free massages, movies and pedicures? Perhaps the constitution is irrelevant and outdated, as many on the left including Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg believe.
If we accept that President Obama is a benevolent, fair-minded, brilliant purveyor of good and grant or allow him to assume extra-constitutional powers to slay evil straw men, what happens if someone with less altruistic values someday occupies the White House?
Have a fulfilling and profitable day,
WC (Bill) Augustine
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