Last week, the Obama administration decided to force Catholic Hospitals and Universities to provide birth control to employees, even though, according to that religion’s view, this is immoral. Now, a story comes out in Bloomberg that describes the fight that went on within the White House, and who the actors were in this battle.

Apparently, Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of HHS (and a Catholic), led the charge of the light brigade on this ill-conceived policy, and was joined by some other female aides, including Valerie Jarrett, a longtime Obama friend. In the Senate, support was led by the typical suspects including Barbara ‘Don’t Call Me Ma’am’ Boxer. What is interesting is who permitted their name to be leaked in opposition to this.

Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley both correctly perceived that this would be regarded as an intrusion on religious liberty by government, and begged Obama to oppose this move. Roman Catholics are about 25% of the national vote; white Catholics tend to be much more plentiful in rust belt states. So states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, which are each battleground states, are more likely to vote Republican in November if this remains an important issue.

As is typical for Obama, he has allowed himself to be pushed around by women, in this case women who believe that some tangential right to birth control by employers overwhelms the 1st Amendment freedom of religion. Exactly what does he feel his bargaining power is over Catholic hospitals? Let’s pretend that one of the major Catholic hospitals in a northeastern big city (I assume virtually every big city has a Catholic hospital) announces that it will shut down rather than fulfill this outrageous demand. Who wins then?

Obviously, this stupid move was done in an effort to arouse enthusiasm in the upcoming election by his allies in the feminist movement. The administration is hoping that this will outweigh the chance that Catholics will actually care about their religion being trampled upon for a short term political gain. Maybe, though, he’s wrong and we won’t turn the other cheek.