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Political Science 101: how the White House snookered the USCCB on the 'compromise'

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 14, 2012

Imagine that you’re a politician. You know that a story is going to come out, and you know that the story will be damaging to your interests. You can’t control that. But you can control when the story comes out. How should you plan it?

That’s easy. Arrange for the story to come out Friday evening. People don’t spend much time with the news on Saturday mornings. Many people won’t even notice the story; you may be able to bury it.

OK, now imagine that you’re working in the Obama White House. You want a bit of a favorable “bump” when you release plans for a “compromise” on the HHS mandate. So you arrange for the President to make a statement at noon on Friday, in front of the TV cameras. Good. But you also realize that the Catholic bishops, once they recognize what the plan really involves, will denounce it. What can you do to take the sting out of that punch?

Again it’s easy. Don’t give the bishops’ conference the details of the plan until late on Friday. Then they can put out their statement on Friday night, when most people aren’t paying attention.

Welcome to the world of hardball politics. This was not a coincidence.

 

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  • Posted by: Brad - Feb. 16, 2012 10:58 AM ET USA

    The dance can and needs to end. The Bishops need to align with Christ and denounce this president on the basis of his excessive support of killing babies and that Catholics with rightfully formed consciences must not vote for this man. Catholics can play hard ball too. They just don't and I wonder if they ever will. What happened to the fortitude of the saints?

  • Posted by: Exaudi nos - Feb. 15, 2012 8:18 AM ET USA

    This tactic has been going on ever since his Anointing. My ears always perk up on Fridays, cause that's the day America slips another notch towards serfdom.

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