No, I Won’t Admit I Might Have a Problem

Now and then, it’s necessary to take notice of some bad media habit exemplified by Politico, just so they know we’re watching. Maybe I’m in an irritable mood or something, but today’s piece by Kyle Cheney entitled “GOP governors see scant Hobby Lobby fallout” struck me as a pretty classic case of buying spin. I mean, look at these quotes from Chris Christie and Scott Walker:

Republicans interviewed at the National Governors Association summer meeting here this weekend described the high court ruling exempting some religious owners of for-profit businesses from the Obamacare contraceptive coverage requirement as a welcome brake on President Barack Obama and his intrusive health law. And they didn’t see it causing problems.

“No,” said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie when asked if he was concerned that some New Jersey women could lose birth control coverage.

Asked why not, he added, “Because I’m not.”

Convincing, eh? Then there’s Walker, whose constituents have an extremely clear idea of federal-state jurisdictional distinctions:

“It really hasn’t been an issue for us just because it’s a federal decision,” said Wisconsin’s Walker. “Honestly, we haven’t heard much of anything at the state level out on the street from people we bumped into and talked to. I’m not on the court and I’m not in the federal government so I don’t really get involved with it.”

Yeah, Walker never comments on federal issues.

To be fair, Cheney does note that New Jersey and Wisconsin (and many other states) have their own contraception coverage mandates that are not immediately affected by Hobby Lobby, which was based on a federal statutory interpretation. But c’mon, pols who have been demagoguing for much of the last couple of years about the Obamacare coverage mandate violating “religious freedom” aren’t going to be able to insulate themselves from the fallout.

But they’re sure as hell not going to tell Politico that.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.