July 02, 2014

The dumbest "progressive" arguments about the Hobby Lobby decision

Via The Federalist, here are some of the dopiest emotion-over-fact "arguments" about the SCOTUS decision from the other day:

Yep, because we all know the SCOTUS ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby being allowed to set up a paramilitary group to make sure its employees do not visit local pharmacies for contraception.

Are condoms covered by ObamaCare? Nope. And guess what? Vasectomies aren't either.

Sounds like an argument against Hillary for president. I don't want a woman deciding what happens to me, my dad, my brother-in-law, etc.

Best response to this:

More moonbat goodness at the link above.

Posted by Hube at July 2, 2014 11:04 AM | TrackBack

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If someone wanted to play Harry Reid's game, they could point out that three Jews on the Court tried to deny Christians the right to follow their religion. But if they did so they would be accused of being anti-Semitic by Harry Reid -- and by the folks who are making an issue out of the fact that the majority is all Catholic.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at July 2, 2014 02:42 PM

My takeaways from all this:

1. I got a good chuckle out of Sam Alito now being Mr. Single-Payer. ("Don't worry -- the government should just pay for it!")

2. Despite Alito's paragraph that some have (wrongly) argued narrows the ruling to only affect yucky-gross-women-having-naughty-sex stuff, the case clearly opens the door to Islamic, Jewish, Christian Scientist-helmed firms making similar arguments. I'm fine with all this if it's across the board. I'd hope you would be, too. But believe me, this is going to give some of those celebrating this week massive coronaries down the road. Because -- remember -- Alito makes it very clear that science need not back the claims. All you have to do, like Dorothy in Oz, is "believe." Sharia-Mart, here we come! :)

3. And a non-legal point: I'm sure you know that Hobby Lobby's 401K is heavily invested (to the tune of $72 million) in the makers of these (non) abortifacients. I can't even imagine how apoplectic you guys would be if the political affiliations and corporate stances were reversed. And sure, I realize it's not super easy to invest in the domestic markets without supporting all kinds of businesses......but it ain't that hard, either. There are both "faith-based" and "green" market strategies and mutual funds, and I know good people who utilize both of them -- in other words, decent people who really put their money where their beliefs are. I'm not calling the Hobby Lobby family hypocrites. But they're definitely either hypocrites or idiots, given that they're complicit in keeping the "abortifacient" makers in business.

Posted by: dan at July 3, 2014 04:47 PM

I should clarify that I am quite aware that a *company* doesn't directly *make* 401K investment decisions, which are by definition made by the individual. But companies can instruct their plan administrators to limit the available securities and/or funds, if they wish. And given what they were seeking in the SCOTUS case, this would hardly seem inconsistent.

Posted by: dan at July 3, 2014 05:07 PM

What did the women working at Hobby Lobby do before Obamacare was implemented and the mandate was imposed? Yep they bought birth control! But suddenly there is a mandate a few years ago, and because Hobby Lobby doesn't include 4 out of 20 different drugs we're supposed to believe some "right" has been taken away? Guys like Dan are making cracks about "Sharia-Mart" ... Classic.

What's even more bizarre is the 401(k) howls. Forbes had a good piece on this titled: "Hobby Lobby Owners Can Have a 401(k) and First Amendment Rights."

Besides, if I'm not mistaken, wasn't Hobby Lobby's 401(k) plans leaked by the IRS? I vaguely remember an AP story that mentioned something along those lines months ago. I'm a bit more concerned about the federal government resorting to thug tactics to smear companies that are suing it than I am about small businesses that want to manage their creation as they see fit.

I was reading the comments section of one story and some guy said (I' paraphrasing), "Wait, so my business doesn't even offer dental and that's not a big deal, but Hobby Lobby doesn't provide four kinds of emergency contraceptives and it's a civil rights issue? Women's rights are being taken away? Ummmm, whatever."

Posted by: Douglas Ernst at July 4, 2014 08:14 AM

Guys like Dan

I may be forgetting, but do we know each other? You're welcome to play "Guess Dan's level of moonbatness on a variety of issues" if you like.

Anyway, it's a fascinating case. It's sad that the nature of today's 24-hour news cycle leads to SCOTUS cases being instantly politicized, rather than really being analyzed and thought about for a while. While I'm not a practicing attorney, I do have a J.D., and I was pleased that Ginsburg's dissent basically forced the hand of the majority to include language that all but eliminates the possibility of employers using this as cover to not hire gays, etc.

And by the way, the opinion I agree with most so far is that of perhaps the greatest conservative attorney of our lifetime -- Ted Olsen, who spoke about the case in Colorado the other night. But he must be a moonbat liberal troll who hates America too. ;)

And I have to say, I was a little taken aback by your name and your personal political blog -- assuming I have correctly understood your identity. I am a former news reporter, and I am aware that we have opinions. But I was always afraid to have a public blog, so I kept mine fairly anonymous, as Hube now does. I shudder to think of the crapstorm if a Washington Post reporter did the same at the other political extreme!

Posted by: dan at July 4, 2014 12:56 PM

"Wait, so my business doesn't even offer dental and that's not a big deal, but Hobby Lobby doesn't provide four kinds of emergency contraceptives and it's a civil rights issue? Women's rights are being taken away? Ummmm, whatever."

By the way, you must realize that this jab makes about as much sense as ridiculing Scalia for what appears to be absurd hypocrisy in Hobby Lobby given his opinion in Employment Division v. Smith, where he basically said "Screw your religion. The law is the law." But the legal issue is completely different here.

So it's a funny zinger about dental...except it makes no sense, given that there's no law saying you have to provide dental.

Law and politics simply aren't the same thing.

Posted by: dan at July 4, 2014 01:11 PM

A couple of points, Dan.

1) When Hobby Lobby realized that some of its corporate money was invested in those companies, they did instruct that it be removed.

2) Hobby Lobby's position on the 401(k) issue is consistent with their position on the insurance -- their money isn't in those companies, and they are not telling the employees what they can and can't do with their own money.

3) Someone wants to open up "ShariaMart"? More power to them -- the ability to open up a business and run it according to one's own beliefs is a great thing about this country. As is my ability to decide not to patronize them.

4) Regarding Scalia -- his position is not inconsistent. In Employment Division v. Smith, he made the decision that the First Amendment did not include a religious beliefs exemption. In this case, he joined with a majority that held that a congressionally passed and presidentially signed statute that granted such an exemption did in certain instances, in fact, mean that such an exemption now exists in this case.

5) Apparently you have not read the opinion of the majority, which makes it plain that (contrary to Ginsberg's dissent), this case does not open up the door to exemptions to blood transfusions or such being denied, because government does have a compelling interest in requiring such coverage AND it does not already offer a means for religious objectors to not cover it while making such coverage available to the employees at no cost (as has already been done for religious non-profits with birth control and abortifacients).

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at July 4, 2014 06:14 PM

"It's time that five men on the Supreme Court stop deciding what happens to women."

As opposed to the nine men who decided Roe v. Wade, right?

Posted by: tops116 at July 4, 2014 09:00 PM

"And I have to say, I was a little taken aback by your name and your personal political blog."

That's nice, but this isn't a post about me... It's about people acting as if the world is falling because someone else isn't paying for four different kinds of contraceptives for them.

"So it's a funny zinger about dental...except it makes no sense, given that there's no law saying you have to provide dental."

Actually, it does make sense because it a.) exposes how ridiculous the Obamacare mandates are to begin with, and b.) people who act that because a mandate was put in place a few years ago that it's somehow a "right" that they're being denied.

I'd say more, but Rhymes with Right was spot on with his comment. I particularly liked #3.

Posted by: Douglas Ernst at July 4, 2014 10:11 PM

"And I have to say, I was a little taken aback by your name and your personal political blog"

Dan: say whaaaaa?? What, precisely, is there to be "taken aback" from?

Posted by: Hube at July 5, 2014 06:15 PM


1) Shoot the link on that to me, if you don't mind. Even so, this would be akin to Michael Moore saying that when he "realized" that some of his money was invested in Exxon and Halliburton, he did something about it. In both cases, the phrase "Gimme a break" comes to mind.

2) I'm not sure I agree here. An argument can be made that it's "facilitating" allegedly immoral activity in both the health care and investment areas. It's just a matter of degrees.

3) I absolutely believe you would have the integrity to not question their right or ability under the law to do so. You respect the law of the land. I also know that you'd be a bit apoplectic. And that's the sole point of what I wrote. That some people are going to lose their sh**. Because while people can pay lip service to the idea of religious freedom for all, it rings a bit hollow if their backstory includes the desire, essentially, to see the religion no longer exist.

4) Read my comment on Scalia again. I did not say he was being inconsistent. We agree. I said the ridicule he's receiving is improper, because the legal question was entirely different in Hobby Lobby.

5) I have read the majority's opinion. A lot of legal scholars disagree with your view about what the language does and does not do. Take it up with Ted Olsen. He's a whole lot more knowledgeable than me (and, if I may presume, you).

Posted by: dan@dan.com at July 7, 2014 11:03 PM

Tops116: Best comeback on the thread! I'm sure we'd agree on little except this, but still, credit where credit is due. I do get a bit tired of that gripe.

Hube: Just what I said -- that most newspaper reporters (I'd hope) aren't allowed to have far-left or far-right blogs if they cover straight news. I assume plenty do, but keep them hidden. But I suppose the WashTimes doesn't pretend to be your run of the mill media outlet.

Posted by: dan@dan.com at July 7, 2014 11:11 PM

Dan: A quick perusal of your now-defunct blog shows that you're anything but even-handed when it comes to politics, so you're in no real position to whine about (or "be taken aback" by, to use your own words) Doug being a reporter and having a blog.

And gives a s*** if legal scholars disagree with what RWR said about the Hobby Lobby decision? The fact of the matter is that the government should not force employers to go against their religious beliefs by providing contraceptives- contraceptives, I might add, that can be bought for pretty cheap.

And nice moral relativism there, with your "cute" little "Sharia-Mart" quip that implies that the Christian beliefs of the Hobby Lobby owners are somehow akin to Muslims who want Sharia law.

Posted by: Carl at July 11, 2014 05:15 PM


Unlike liberal guys who have anonymous blogs on the side while pretending to be objective when they're in front of the camera, I'm honest about who I am. When someone finds me editorializing in my straight news pieces, they can come see me. I've been at TWT for three years now and haven't had any issues. I promise you that my bosses would let me know if there was a problem...

A blog takes guys like Dan aback, but Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr accounts, etc. that all telegraph exactly what a reporter believes eh, no big deal.

It no longer 1974...

Posted by: Douglas Ernst at July 11, 2014 10:40 PM

No, I know, Doug. You've always been honest about who you are.

Posted by: Carl at July 11, 2014 11:03 PM

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