The ploy was a little creepy, in that it mirrors the kind of bare-chested manly-man propaganda pictures put out by Vladimir Putin’s handlers — which Putin had to admit last year were staged.
Likewise, no one is fooled by the White House’s stunt. In fact, it mostly fed the Photoshop junkies, who’ve been using the computer software program to have fun with the photo at the president’s expense. One editorial cartoonist parodied the photo by depicting Obama shooting skeet — with drones.
No one in the right-to-bear-arms crowd suddenly believes they’ve got a friend in the White House.
Similarly, we would think religious liberty advocates would be duly skeptical of the administration’s recent offer to be more flexible in its mandate that employers offer free birth control in insurance policies.
Up to this point, the administration has shown near-zero concern for how its birth control mandate tramples on anti-abortion sensibilities and First Amendment religious beliefs that abortion is morally repugnant. Even when religious organizations and others filed lawsuit after lawsuit, the administration pretty much stood its ground. ...
We doubt such organizations or companies can trust this administration to fully respect their First Amendment rights to religious freedom. So we expect the government’s power to enforce such mandates will have to be tested before the Supreme Court. ...
This is not about the government ordering a restaurant, for instance, to serve alcohol because that’s what the government thinks ought to be offered. This is a matter of life and death to a lot of folks.
We can pretty safely say the alcohol mandate wouldn’t ever be tried.