. . . but Mickey Kaus points out an inconvenient truth:
Caught cocooning in public: Here’s what the NYT‘s story on its latest poll told readers:
In recent weeks, there has been much debate over the government’s role in guaranteeing insurance coverage for contraception, including for those who work for religious organizations. The poll found that women were split as to whether health insurance plans should cover the costs of birth control and whether employers with religious objections should be able to opt out. [E.A.]
If the Times says women were “split,” you know that must mean they were actually narrowly against the NYT‘s preferred position. Sure enough, when asked, “Should health insurance plans for all employees have to cover the full cost of birth control for female employees or should employers be able to opt out for moral or religious reasons?” women favored opting out by a 46-44 margin. The margin increased to a decisive 53-38 for “religiously affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university.”
That’s among women. Unbeknownst to those who read only the Times‘ main story, the poll asked the same question to men. They were not split. Men favored opting out by a 20 point margin (57 vs. 37), except when a “religiously affiliated employer” was involved, in which case the margin increased to 25 points. Combining men and women, a substantial majority (51-40) favors allowing an opt-out–increasing to 57-36 where religiously-affiliated institutions are involved.
These are not close results. It’s hard to read this poll and not conclude that, contrary to some accounts, Obama wasn’t such a genius to pick a fight over mandated contraception coverage–because he appears to be losing the public debate on the question. That’s a conclusion the Times story effectively hides from readers.
It’s also one possible explanation for Obama’s otherwise somewhat mystifying overall drop in approval during the period–March 7-11–when the poll was in the field. But not an approved explanation.
Gas prices are the official MSM explanation. Got it? Gas prices.
Oops, turns out American women don’t want people to be forced to pay for contraception. Women don’t want federal mandates, apparently, they want options – including options for those with religious objections. That sounds very reasonable to me . . . but considering that politicians and bureaucracy are reason-intolerant I’m quite sure that they will continue to ignore the voice of America’s women and continue to push their own agenda for as long as possible.
Which means that if you oppose the HHS mandate then you need to do something about it – because the Obama administration isn’t going to voluntarily rescind the mandate unless they come under intense popular pressure. If we allow our government to openly violate the religious freedom of those who oppose contraception then we risk a government with free reign to violate the rights of all Americans. This is your fight, take a stand:
On a related note, Obama’s approval rating since February to now has dropped 4 percentage points among men and 12 among women. Either the women of America are really, really into gasoline, way more than men, or there’s another explanation for the drop in Obama’s approval ratings . . . perhaps something related specifically to women, like women’s health? Theories welcome. Also interesting, Obama’s rating according to the NYT/CBS poll has fallen in every single category except for . . . wait for it . . . those making over $75,000 a year in which is rose slightly. I’m genuinely curious about what explanations Obama’s supporters can provide as to why this is so. Personally, I think people are just sick of an economic policy that rewards the rich CEOs of failing businesses with big fat stimulus checks and forces more and more of the poor to become wards of the state.