WASHINGTON, July 6, 2014 – In a week when World Cup mania swept America – or at least that part of it that loathes Ann Coulter – it might have been easy to forget politics. But the Supreme Court delivered the best gift a political junkie could have asked for when it delivered its opinion on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Inc.
This case had it all: the war on women, the war on religion, corporate personhood – a trifecta guaranteed to throw bloody meat to the troops before the next dozen elections.
Every presidential election since Roe v. Wade has incited Democrats to claim that a Republican president will appoint woman-hating justices to the Court, who will then force women to do housework in pearls and high-heels. Social conservatives have held their breath, hoping a Republican president would turn the tide, and have been rewarded with David Souter, Sandra Day O’Connor, and John Roberts. Hobby Lobby ensures that the Supreme Court will remain at the center of presidential campaigns just about forever.
In the end, Hobby Lobby didn’t grant rights of religious freedom to Exxon, and it didn’t reduce the availability of contraception to Sandra Fluke. Thank God. It did, however, give Justice Alito another chance to shine as conservatives’ favorite justice, and it allowed Justice Ginsburg to cement her legacy as a feminist icon.
Alito helpfully reminded the Obama Administration that it has a mechanism in place to provide contraceptive coverage to women whose employers are exempt from covering it (the insuring agency can either eat the cost, or it can get a federal subsidy to cover it). Ginsburg noted the illogic of giving an exemption only for contraceptive coverage, exciting liberal hopes that the Court will plunge down a slippery slope of religious bigotry.
The tide of illegal child immigrants continues unabated. Faced with stinging rebukes over his illegal NLRB appointments and push-back against the contraceptive mandate, President Obama took to the Rose Garden to promise that he’ll do what he must on immigration, regardless of Republican opposition. Hillary Clinton decided not to take all the child immigrants home with her after all, and while the Obamas would like one, their house is too small.
The famously fastidious Michelle may have been more concerned about scabies, lice and disease. Physicians attending the immigrants have observed, off the record, that they are being sent on commercial buses and aircraft around the country while carrying highly communicable parasites and diseases. The comments are off the record because the government has promised to prosecute them if they say anything on the record. Citizens in even blue, blue, blue California have objected to taking large numbers of immigrants into their communities. NIMBY remains a universal human law.
In other immigration news, it appears that through chain immigration, the entire population of Mogadishu is moving to Minneapolis. Long time state representative and left-wing Democrat Phyllis Kahn is facing the fight of her life from Mohamud Noor, who would be the first Somali representative in the Minnesota house.
In the midst of the fight, a liberal has suddenly discovered – wait for it – voter fraud! Kahn claims that at least 140 Somalis are registered to vote from one address: 419 Cedar Avenue S, a mailbox center that can’t be used as a voter address. That same address has apparently been popular with Democratic voters since 2008, when Al Franken landed in the U.S. Senate. Kahn’s campaign believes that hundreds of voters have been organized by Noor’s campaign through that address.
That’s not Kahn’s only complaint. She charges that a Minneapolis elections judge helped a Somali man who was trying to cast an absentee ballot by helpfully identifying Noor as “our Muslim brother” and Kahn as “an old Jewish lady.”
With Obama promising more unilateral action on immigration, John Boehner’s decision to sue him for it remains a droll political joke. It hasn’t occurred to him, it seems, simply to exercise the House’s power of the purse to defund Obama’s edicts. A lawsuit has the potential to run on well past the end of the Obama Administration, making it the most useless possible move to actually do anything about presidential overreach.
Another quasi-famous person learned the hazards of saying anything derogatory about anyone but fat people and Christians in public, to a vengeful girlfriend, or in the social media. This time it was Anthony Cumia, cohost of SirusXM’s “Opie & Anthony” radio show. Cumia tweeted some clearly uncharitable remarks about a woman who punched him in Times Square. Other tweeters accused him of hate speech, and after changing their pants, SiriusXM management quickly discharged him.
America’s campuses continue to elevate politics to rarified buffoonery. Arizona State professor Breanne Fahs offered female students in her gender studies course extra credit to grow out their underarm hair for ten weeks, and her male students extra credit to remove all their hair below the neck.
We assume that Fahs won’t inspect her students for compliance, but the word is that her students were empowered by the exercise. According to ASU news, hirsute student Jaqueline Gonzalez gushed, “by doing this kind of activist project I was no longer an armchair activist theorizing in the classroom. So much is learned by actually taking part in the theory or idea we learn in the classroom, and we could benefit from this type of pedagogy being taken up by similar classes.”
We’ve discovered the next Barack Obama, or at least the next Sandra Fluke.
Other political stories of the week take us abroad. The bodies of three Jewish teens were discovered buried in a field, and in a possible retaliation killing, a Palestinian teen was kidnapped and burned to death. Once again the Middle East proves that there’s no situation so shameful that you can’t descend below it.