Wingnut Week In Review: Hobby Lobby and “Beyoncé Voters”

Terrance Heath

Just in time for mid-term election campaigning, the Supreme Court handed conservatives the perfect opportunity to remind Americans that their number one obsession is policing women’s sex lives by any means necessary. Wingnuts rejoiced.

If anyone has forgotten how conservatives declared war on contraception in 2012, Monday’s Supreme Court ruling in Burrell v. Hobby Lobby, and the right-wing response to it, should jog a few memories. The court basically ruled that corporations are people who get to take away other people’s health care — if those people are women, and the health care is contraception.

What this means for any hope of conservative outreach to women is summed up by an image of the majority in the Hobby Lobby ruling that’s been making the rounds on Facebook since Monday.

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But in case anyone missed the point, right-wingers rejoicing over the ruling helped drive it home.

In the twittersphere, RedState founder Erick Erickson praised the ruling as a victory over “employer subsidized consequence free sex.”


Fox’s Eric Bolling took a swipe at Sandra Fluke, tweeting that she “might do something stupid now that she has to pay for own birth control.”


Todd Starnes had some eye-opening tweets for anyone fooled by claims that this “narrow ruling” was just about four forms of birth control that Hobby Lobby owners deem icky.

Right-wingers may be taking victory laps through a political minefield. The GOP was already losing with women, and the return of the contraception debate isn’t going to help them much. The Centers for Disease Control report on the use of contraception in the U.S from 1982 to 2008 says, “99 percent of women 15-44 years of age who have ever had sexual intercourse with a male (referred to as “sexually experienced”) have used at least one contraceptive method. That means virtually all women have used some form of contraception — probably including a whole lot of conservative women.

Republicans’ friends on the Court and the religious right aren’t wasting any time greasing that “slippery slope,” and  confirming Americans’ worst fears about the consequences of the Hobby Lobby ruling. On Tuesday, the Court put all contraception on the table, by ordering lower courts to rehear case where employers sought to deny the coverage of any type of contraception — not just the four in the Hobby Lobby case. In an obvious attempt to capitalize on the Hobby Lobby ruling, 14 different faith organizations have sent a letter to the President demanding exemptions from a pending executive order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons.

While wingnuts celebrate, Senate Democrats are strategizing a legislative response. That’s sure to keep the issue alive between now and November.  And that’s bad news for the GOP, because only one side can run on this ruling and win — and it’s not Republicans. A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken on the eve of the Court’s ruling showed that a majority of Americans oppose letting employers, based on their religious views, exclude certain contraceptives from workers’ insurance coverage. And they ain’t all “Beyoncé voters.”

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