Andrew Sullivan, the infamous cartographer of Sarah Palin's birth canal, has outdone himself with his strangest and most inaccurate sentence yet. Writing on the topic of Obama's transcendent genius and the contraception compromise, he delivers this:
Liberal Catholics on contraception - roughly 98 percent of us - are fine with the compromise.
Gay men use contraception? Safe sex, sure but birth control? I try to learn something new every day.
As to the 98% stat, that is phony.
For a better guess as to support for the Obama proposal, why not try a real poll? Here is Pew Research:
Among Catholics who have heard at least a little about the issue, 55% favor giving religious institutions that object to the use of contraceptives an exemption from the federal rule, while 39% oppose exempting those institutions.
Does Obama's "Let's pretend" compromise - employers will pay for health coverage that does not incude contraception coverage; insurers will then bundle in contraceptive coverage for free and we will all pretend that the employer didn't pay for it - really satisfy the 55% calling for an exemption? And since no one knows how self-insured institutions will be treated (maybe they will buy "free" contraception coverage from themselves?), it seems premature to declare a success. Pew did add this:
The survey shows little difference in opinions among people interviewed before the administration’s proposed modification on Feb. 10 and those interviewed afterwards.
Still, Obama's scheme was enough to bring home the true-belivers who never really left. This bit of analysis from Andrew shows a special lack of self-awareness:
The Vatican and Bishops and their theocon friends on the far Catholic right remain opposed, isolating themselves badly. Yes, they'll shore up the Christianist base - but they weren't going to vote for Obama anyway.
Uh huh. But per the Pew poll, the real support for Obama's position comes from the left:
By about two-to-one (64% to 29%), Democrats say religious institutions should be required to cover contraceptives like other employers; liberal Democrats (72%) are more likely than conservative and moderate Democrats (58%) to favor this approach.
Were these people really in play with a Romney or Santorum candidacy?
Meanwhile, back in the political center:
Independents are split: 48% say religious institutions that object to the use of contraceptives should be required to cover them like other employers, while 46% favor giving religious institutions an exemption.
Well, Andrew eventually got bored writing that Bush was a genius, breaking with him on the issue of gay marriage; one wonders when Andrew will grow impatient waiting for Obama's evolution to a supportive stance on that subject.