There it is, among the liberals most condescending expressions: teachable moment. How often has the public been exposed to the President and his allies using national crises (never let a crises go to waste) to educate the nation in the post modern religion of statism and serfdom? Why then not use the President's rhetorical weapon against him when ProgWorld extends its reach to the truly absurd? The contraception debate presents us with an opportunity to score like Walter Payton taking a play action draw up the middle against a mistimed Cowboy mad dog blitz.
Although the modern liberal rarely justifies anything by reference to the American Constitution (the more subjective and utterly unlimited "human rights" is their stock in trade), the "right" to purchase and employ contraception arises logically and legally from the same Bill of Rights that legally establishes and protects the rights of religious, or any other, objection to the involuntary provision of contraception to others. The Ninth Amendment clearly recognizes the existence of human liberty interests well beyond the specific rights enumerated in the Constitution.
Both original and modern Constitutional scholars largely agree that the primary right protected by the Ninth Amendment is the right of privacy. Personal autonomy is, after all, the essence of the Constitutional scheme of government. Most, indeed nearly all, Republicans and conservatives (like most Americans of any political belief) believe that such privacy rights include the right to purchase contraceptive drugs and devices.
Where is the opportunity for conservatives if we generally agree with one of the premises of the liberal contraception attack? Our knock out argument can be expressed in ten seconds. "While women have a legal right to purchase and employ contraceptive drugs and devices there is no right to have those drugs and devices purchased for them by an unwilling buyer."
Why have we not heard that argument from Republican candidates, party officials and the broader alliance of conservative PACs and causes? Our argument, our best argument, rejects the liberals' unstated silent premise-a right to purchse contraception creates an obligation for others to buy it. The same Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments that protect the right to buy contraception also protect the right to not buy it, for oneself or others.
Why do we concede the liberal premise (with which Republicans and conservatives largely agree)-women have a right to purchase contraceptives-but stumble over expression of the Constitutional corollary-other women have a right, religious or otherwise-to refrain from purchasing contraception? Our failure to clearly state and argue the distinction between right and provision only serves the ProgWorld media fabrication of a war on women while distracting from the further diminution of everyone's real Constitutional rights.
The argument should find an open ear. A majority of Americans over the age of fourteen understand that contraceptive drugs and devices and whatever medical care is involved in the sale or prescription of such drugs and devices are just goods and services One buys "the pill" like one buys any other pharmaceutical.
Persuasive analogies are obvious and easily expressed. In the same sense one has a "right" to travel, from place to place, at largely times of one's choosing, one does not have a right to the provision of the means of travel. Following the logic of Sandra Fluke, religious institutions like the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris could be compelled to provide Quasimodo with comely prostitutes because he was otherwise unable to enjoy the sexual activities of his preference-due only to the misfortune of his birth as a disfigured bell ringer. Exposition of the obvious dichotomy between right and provision should be the instinctive response from anyone who believes in our Constitutional government. For some reason our leaders and spokesmen, are whiffing at the liberals' conflation of rights and goods.
The winning argument is apparent and devastating in its impact on both the faux contraception controversy and the larger justification for a statist educational and political establishment's abandonment of Constitutional government. If the last twenty years have taught us anything, we have surely learned that conservatives and Republicans can no longer assume that most people understand basic Constitutional concepts-or even the physical realities that surround them. This voting public has been dulled by forty years of liberal mis-education in schools and universities and liberal mis-information by the liberal entertainment and news media.
Will our leadership squander this tremendous opportunity to reacquaint the public with the genius of a Constitutional system that respects both the "civil" right to purchase and employ contraception and the "civil" right to refrain from compulsory purchase of the means of that contraception? The early answer is not promising but there is still time to deliver a very hard blow and lasting impression before this issue disappears from public curiosity.