We just posted E. J. Dionne's latest column, in which he takes issue with Obama's decision to force certain religious institutions to pay for employee health plans that include contraception coverage:
One of Barack Obama's great attractions as a presidential candidate was his sensitivity to the feelings and intellectual concerns of religious believers. That is why it is so remarkable that he utterly botched the admittedly difficult question of how contraceptive services should be treated under the new health-care law.His administration mishandled this decision not once but twice. In the process, Obama threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus, strengthened the very forces inside the church that sought to derail the health-care law, and created unnecessary problems for himself in the 2012 election.This might not have mattered if Obama had presented himself as a pure secular liberal. Before he was elected and after, he held himself to a more inclusive standard, reassuring many religious moderates.
Read the rest right here.Update: New York Times tries to write an editorial applauding the HHS ruling, ends up writing about abortion instead.And Martin Marty asks if we can have a do-over in this controversy.And Cokie Roberts weighs in here (about 3 minutes in):