Wednesday, Aug. 1 marks a new phase in the rule of Obamacare: The first day that private companies will be mandated to provide contraceptive services to their employees through the company-provided health insurance policy, regardless of whether those services are contrary to the employer’s religious beliefs.
So, of course, Wednesday, Aug. 1 is a big day for the left. Or at least it should have been.
But instead of dancing in the streets, praising the president for liberating women from the iron rule of the pope, over half a million people have confirmed online that they are going to Chick-fil-A, with many more who didn’t tell Facebook that they were going, but probably will anyways.
That’s because Wednesday doesn’t simply mark Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, it marks the conclusion of Liberal Overreach Month — a strange, Day of the Dead-like celebration where the people are simultaneously amused and terrorized by the spectacle of the progressive movement’s self-appointed Don Quixotes charging at wind mills.
Who are the monsters these politicians and pundits were so spectacularly protecting us from? Well, besides the papists and a fast-food chicken joint, the progressives’ “most wanted” list included people who built their businesses; people who, quite rightly, say that Obama returned the Winston Churchill bust to the British Embassy; and the granddaddy grandmommy of them all: Mothers who don’t breastfeed their babies.
Overreach 1: The War on Catholics
In an effort to spread the Gospel of Obamacare, the Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that all insurance plans cover contraceptives — a stage of implementation set to commence despite a Carter-appointed federal judge citing “constitutional and statutory rights” in issuing an injunction on behalf of a Colorado business.
Meanwhile, in its eagerness to support the plan, the Obama administration launched a campaign vilifying Christians and conservatives as monsters waging a “war on women.” (RELATED: Rep. Buerkle: ‘Almost humorous’ when feminists picket her office [VIDEO])
But instead of silencing their critics, the move fired up a group that hasn’t voted as a cohesive bloc in over half a century: Catholics. Progressive Overreach Month kicked off with an estimated 6,000 people braving 100-degree heat to overflow the National Basilica for a protest Mass on July 4 — a Wednesday normally reserved for grilling and enjoying a few beers with friends and family.
While some of their efforts — such as “The Life of Julia” — were roundly mocked, in its overall campaign, the administration went too far. That it will be enough to sway the Catholic vote Republican is unlikely, but with their vows to continue public protest, the usually liberal United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — who initially even backed the president’s health care reforms — have made one thing clear: They are mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore. (RELATED: Archbishop of New York: ‘We didn’t ask for the fight, but we’re not going to back away from it’)
The administration may mark a victory on Wednesday, but at what cost?
Overreach 2: “Eat Mor Chikin”
The immensely popular Chick-fil-A fast-food chain found old Quixote charging its door this past July too, after Dan Cathy, the president and COO of the family-owned company, told an interviewer from the Biblical Recorder that, “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
Cathy’s stance is shared by billions of people the world over. Polling shows that despite recent declines, approximately half of Americans believe in the biblical definition of marriage, and according to ballot boxes, that number is even higher. Still, in the name of the people, the monster that is Chick-fil-A had to be slain.
“Closest #ChickFilA to San Francisco is 40 miles away,” San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee tweeted on July 26, “& I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”
“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, despite having worked to elect two presidents who, on the campaign trail, supported the biblical definition of marriage. “They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values.”
“I couldn’t agree more with the mayors in terms of their position, I couldn’t disagree more with Chick-fil-A in their position, and if it’s appropriate for us to take a hard stand like that and say you’re not welcome here we’ll consider it,” Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl added.
“I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston,” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino wrote to Cathy in a publicly posted letter. “There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it.”
But once again, the old crusaders had overreached. The first problem is that denying the right of a private American company to exist in a city because of its president’s personal beliefs is a direct assault on both religious liberty and freedom of speech, and politicians and national and local religious leaders across the country rallied to defend the chicken chain.
Secondly, Chick-fil-A — a company that doesn’t discriminate in its hiring and is famous for giving its employees Sundays off — is, well, delicious, and before our Quixotes knew it, even the “hide your kids” guy from Youtube was panning the boycotters.
Menino, for one, later admitted that he won’t bar the company from the Freedom Trail (which, by the way, hosts a number of Christian churches), saying, “I make mistakes all the time. That’s a Menino-ism.”
His friends would be wise to follow suit.
Overreach 3: You didn’t say that. … Oh, wait — you did.
For a number of weeks, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney had been on the defensive as the Obama campaign attacked hard, seeking to define the former Massachusetts governor and successful businessman as a wicked capitalist determined to suck the blood from hardworking Americans.
And no matter how untrue the attacks, or how hard Romney struggled, he stayed in those crosshairs. That is, until Obama overreached, saying,
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help — there was a great teacher somewhere in your life; somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive; somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that — somebody else made that happen.
Conservatives said Obama had finally confirmed what they’d been saying for years, and they drove the message hard, forcing Obama to run an ad charging that what he had said was being taken out of context — a dubious claim at best.
But with the heat off, Romney went on the full-offensive, launching ads, making speeches and sending out surrogates to attack the president’s un-teleprompted overreach.
Overreach 4: “Busted”
In a blast from the past, conservatives’ favorite mention — that Obama returned a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the U.K. — was resurrected from the dead by — you guessed it — self-righteous progressive overreach.
In response to an article by syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer that mentioned the infamous incident, White House Communication Director Dan Pfeiffer tweeted, “Krauthammer today recycles the false rumor that POTUS gave back the bust of Winston Churchill. Get the facts here.”
The problem is the facts are conclusive: Obama returned the bust. On Friday, Krauthammer devoted his column to demanding an apology. On Tuesday, Pfeiffer published one he had sent the columnist on the White House website. End game: A whole extra week of talking about Obama’s blockhead move all over again.
Overreach 5: Bloomberg’s mammary mandate
Fresh off banning smoking in public, a crackdown on sidewalk bicycle riders and the proposed abolition of big sodas, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered maternity ward nurses to hide baby-milk formula, pressuring new moms to breastfeed their babies.
The program, set to start in September, is designed to encourage healthy babies. Bloomberg’s “wishes are law,” The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro reports, “because he controls much of the city’s health network in a citywide version of Obamacare.”
After the New York Post broke the story, “commentators,” Munro reported, “were merciless,” with one hitting the overreach on the head:
“I’m another former member of La Leche League who nursed all my kids,” said Rosemarie Scott, at Marymount Manhattan College. “I’m all for encouraging women to breastfeed but agree that this is not the way to do it. Leave it to Bloomberg to be so heavy-handed as to turn off even a breastfeeding advocate like myself.”
We’re sure to hear more on this move before the summer is up.
On to August
Laying it all out, it’s been a pretty rough month for progressives and their party, and the only people they have to blame are themselves.
And now, July is over. We laughed and we cried; we had a few frights, and we have a whole lot more coming down the pipeline as Obamacare continues to come into effect. But despite the heat dome, it was a pretty fun month. And if the spirit of old Don Quixote lives on in these brave progressive souls — as we suspect it does — we’re in for a whole lot more fun before the summer is up.