Conservative Roundtable: CPAC Look-Back

Monday, February 13, 2012

Karol Markowicz, conservative blogger for WNYC's It's A Free Country, Jennifer Rubin, "Right Turn" blogger for The Washington Post and Brian Darling, senior fellow for government studies at the Heritage Foundation discuss the CPAC convention this past weekend, the 2012 election and the state of the Republican Party.


Brian Darling

Comments [93]

jane from Hudson Valley

I had to pull over when driving this am while listening to this segment. I called the show and was so upset: has everyone forgotten about insurance paying for viagara? That was one of the issues years ago when this topic was discussed. Controlling contraceptives and Not controlling viagara is some control of women.Insurance should cover both or neither! Perhaps I am just old enough to remember when the notion of controlling contraceptives was considered offensive to women. I do hope women are paying to subtle efforts to control women and their bodies. I hope women will speak out!!

Feb. 13 2012 10:23 PM
annie from Bronx

Did you notice how Brian Darling used the word "abortion" every other sentence he said today, even when it was totally not the issue? More republican spin to generate hatred for President Obama. I don't understand how they don't want abortion under any circumstances, they don't want birth control, and if a woman makes a mistake and has a child she has trouble caring for, according to republicans she's on her own. Oh, I forgot: national abstinence will be a part of the New Christian Republic of America.

Feb. 13 2012 05:37 PM

Contraception and legal abortions are very important items of healthcare.The Catholic church seems to have either forgotten that the mother also exists and is equally at risk during a "street abortion" and the fetus, a person?, wouldn't even exist without contraception.

Feb. 13 2012 05:00 PM

David - the strange arguments are yours - you are saying that, in the name of freedom, a few Bishops should be able to deny contraception coverage to American women - i.e. taking a 'contraceptive freedom' from thousands of woman and giving it to a handful of men. That is your sense of (religious) freedom.

Your equivalency is wrong - bishops telling women employees of Catholic organisations that they may not use their healthcare for contraception is like immams telling equivalent employees that they may not use their income to buy alcohol -Ridiculous, I know, but the point is that it shows that employee compensation - whether direct income or healthcare - do not belong to the the organisation but to the employee.

We, thankfully, live in a democratic country where we pretty much all agree that the government can & should protect individual rights against the whims of CEOs, bishops, criminals, bigots, etc who would seek to restrict freedoms by imposing their, undemocratic will on others.

Would you support Jehovah's Witnesses Organisations 'right' to deny blood transfusions on their employees healthcare?

Feb. 13 2012 04:33 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA


Taxes are to be paid by us, we have no say - this matter has long been settled law.

I really don't care how you think the Catholic Church should be run (or the Mormon Church or...). As I stated in an earlier post, we don't get to decide what other people believe. The Catholic Church is governed by Sacred Scripture, sacred tradition & the Magisterium, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (paraphrase from the Catechism of the Catholic Church). If you don't like that - go start your own church.

You keep making strange arguments - the equivalent to this situation would be to FORCE Islamic employers to buy liquor for their employees. The Catholic Church TEACHES that the use of contraception is wrong, there is no Catholic Police Force arresting people when they do use contraception.

You disagree with this stance - fine, it's a free country (for now*). This does not give you the right to force others to do "what's right" according to you.

*This is not a "bash Obama" statement. Both parties have been merrily eating away at our rights for many years - it's greatly accelerated with the abomination called the Patriot Act.

Feb. 13 2012 02:20 PM

David - "Now, do you see where the fallacy in your argument lies?"

Not at all, rather it is your argument that is fallacious -

1) The Bishops' are not paying for the healthcare. Rather it is a mix of the employee (insurance is part of remuneration package), and the employer (the Church, the company etc, not the Bishop or boss). I define, e.g. the Catholic Church as a collective of followers, followers who fund it's operations, and (should) democratically define it's principles - not as a cabal of leaders who take money from the followers to use as they see fit.

Pursuing your logic, the Church should not only have the right to decide what health services employees get - i.e. "you cannot use health insurance for contraception (or blood transfusion, or medicines tested on animals, or animal based products, or medicine, etc, etc) but also on what they spend their cash on - Islamic employees should have the right to deny that their employees buy alcohol using income from their organisations.

Your logic also state that no person should ever have to subsidise anything/anyone else unless they agree to it - so a pacifists taxes cannot be used to fund the military, a socialists taxes cannot be used for business tax breaks and grants, an anti-semite's taxes cannot be used to help Jewish people etc - what a mess.

Feb. 13 2012 01:54 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

"Insurance without birth control COSTS more from Prenatal care and child birth are more expensive to insure."

That's exactly how group insurance works. This year's premium is based on last year's expenditures.

That's why small employers can't provide health insurance at a reasonable cost - they don't have a large enough group for the expense to "even out". One employee with health problems jacks up the premiums (to sky high amounts) for all the others.

Feb. 13 2012 01:36 PM
kevin from upper LS

re: karol markowicz- the pervasive insanity of the republican party,is in good hands, with a person who makes the utterly inane and illogical comparison, of tom brady's wife to president obama. this is madness.

Feb. 13 2012 01:21 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

""Just as the Catholic church cannot veto the ability of Americans to use contraceptives, others have no right to veto the Catholic Church's objection to them."

But that is exactly what you, & the conservatives are condoning - i.e. letting the Catholic Church (narrowly defined as a few hundred clergy, btw) veto the ability for Americans to get contraception."

Oh - so if I don't pay for something, I'm forcing others not to get it.

Let's see, the 2nd amendment says I have the right to buy a gun. If you don't pay for my gun, you're violating my 2nd amendment rights!

Now, do you see where the fallacy in your argument lies?

Feb. 13 2012 12:59 PM
Insurance without birth control COSTS more from Prenatal care and child birth are more expensive to insure.

One of THE most common and substantial medical
expenses routinely incurred by healthy young women
is prenatal care and childbirth. Otherwise,
most healthy young women have very FEW healthcare

The insurers should be required to account for this -
to estimate and publish the average cost for healthcare
of a woman of childbearing age who takes contraceptives
versus one who does not. It is highly likely that
those who do not cost the insurer substantially more
money and therefore should be charged a higher insurance
premium - if they weren't being cross subsidized by the

Organizations who - for moral/religious reasons -
do not wish to provide coverage for contraception
should be charged the higher rate for all women
of childbearing age to reflect the anticipated
higher costs of more prenatal care and healthcare
related to childbirth. Individual women who then
choose to obtain contraception should be given
a REBATE from their insurer for the difference
in cost. This will more than cover the cost
of their contraceptive care.

Feb. 13 2012 12:43 PM

"Just as the Catholic church cannot veto the ability of Americans to use contraceptives, others have no right to veto the Catholic Church's objection to them."

But that is exactly what you, & the conservatives are condoning - i.e. letting the Catholic Church (narrowly defined as a few hundred clergy, btw) veto the ability for Americans to get contraception.

Feb. 13 2012 12:31 PM
ellen from nyc

good point jackie from nj...that non believers are forced to pay taxes to support the church. Houses of "worship" get a free ride. I don't actually worship anything, but I do value modern rationality and humaneness vs the thinking from the middle ages. In these"modern" times, too much deference is paid to church authority...if an idea is "religiously based" many are scared to criticize it as it is based on the bible or the word of a deity, no matter how stupid and destructive the idea may be. Ideas not based on god's law whatever that is, but which come from thoughtful, humane secular thinking are discounted as less important. What century is this, anyway? Let's just say god wants higher taxes on the rich, for starters. Let them prove he opposes that!

Feb. 13 2012 12:23 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

@David -

Now we're talkin'....Churches have always had and still use exceptions for coverage. Religious institutions (hospitals, colleges, libraries, etc.) are in a grey area. Required in some states, nudge-nudged, wink-winked in others. Bulleting the issue down to "Obama is making churches give away free contraceptives" - not your viewpoint but I have heard it expressed that way by some radio newsreaders - is a disservice to the discussion.

I wish I could opt-out of those portions of my taxes that go to the Defense Department...or even the ten percent that is acknowledged to be wasted by the DoD itself...but I cannot.

Feb. 13 2012 12:21 PM
Bill from Putnam Valley

As always, any discussion with capital C Conservatives is an execise in cognitive dissonance. All employers and taxpayers in this country opt in to the commonwealth. We do not require Quakers to fight in wars, but they are not given a choice about their taxes paying for them. The establishment clause is a two way street; the nation stays out of your religion, you mind you own and don't proselytize through government.

Feb. 13 2012 12:09 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@Jack Jackson from Central NJ

I don't watch - and can't stand - Fox News. I believe in reasoned discussion. Whether Catholic organizations pay for contraceptives or not doesn't stop women from using them - many on the "let's force them to pay & like it" gang keep trying to imply - or outright state that if they don't pay for the insurance coverage, women will be denied access to them. This is patently false.

As I stated in my original post - if we replace "contraceptives" with "female circumcision" is it still okay? Female circumcision is repulsive, so the question seems absurd - but the Catholic church views contraceptives as morally objectionable. In America, we don't get to decide what other people are allowed to believe.

Just as the Catholic church cannot veto the ability of Americans to use contraceptives, others have no right to veto the Catholic Church's objection to them.

Feb. 13 2012 11:43 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

@David from Fredricksburg -

You are echoing a misinterpretation. Please go get some real facts rather than parroting what FoxNews misled you into believing.

As I indelicately worded it to my wife, "Do kosher delis sell ham sandwiches? Yeah - but observant Jews don't buy them."

Feb. 13 2012 11:30 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA - birthplace of religious freedom

Nearly everyone here is letting their preference cloud their logic. The issue is not about whether contraceptives are a good idea, should be available to women or if you hate the Catholic church. The issue is whether the government can force people to engage in activity that is against their religion.
Can observant Quakers (or any other pacifist religion) be forced to join the military and kill people?
Can a Christian Scientist be forced to have a medical procedure?
Can a Jehovah’s Witness be forced to have a blood transfusion?

Just because you are in favor of contraceptives, sterilization & abortifacients doesn't mean you can force others to pay for them with their health insurance plans.

Feb. 13 2012 11:24 AM

hmmmm...The entire segment seemed to be an Obama-bash over the contraception and religious institutions issue. The better this issue is understood, the more it is a loser for the GOP at election time. IMO, this is why they want to push various stories about it NOW before all the facts are better known.

Why wasn't white nationalist Peter Brimelow's speech at CPAC mentioned during the segment? google brimelow and CPAC to get some facts.

Feb. 13 2012 11:19 AM

@MartinC -
If Ms. Rubin is an example of clear thinking you can have her. Karol was the only speaker who clearly expressed an opinion that could be understood. Mr. Darling's and Ms Rubin's comments were barely above cheerleading. But it does explain why Conservatives would get behind George W. Bush.

Feb. 13 2012 11:12 AM
The Truth from Becky

Nice, she calls the President illiterate and I get edited off the board...whatever.

Feb. 13 2012 11:10 AM
alex from brooklyn

As a self-avowed liberal I couldn't be more thrilled that conservative leaders are all embracing such a Romney, by which I mean BIG LOSER, of an issue. Doubling-down in support of institutional rights over individual liberties, taking a stand against contraception, denying rights to same-sex couples. They seem to forget that cynically pandering to reactionary forces only works if you can pull the majority. As per usual conservatives are on the wrong side of history, but this time also on the wrong side of the electorate, as many polls will show.
Keep running with these 19th century platforms! democrats could use the help.

Feb. 13 2012 11:07 AM

...Mr. Paine???

Where are you when we need you???!?!?!

Feb. 13 2012 11:00 AM

Rather than grumble here among ourselves, is anyone willing to go out to the websites/blogs that host the work of Ms. Markowicz, Ms. Rubin and Mr. Darling and ruining their morning?

Turnabout is fair play.

Feb. 13 2012 10:56 AM

It seems this groups of conservatives was arguing that any religious beliefs trump national laws.

Does that mean the US Supreme Court was wrong to disallow polygamy among the Mormons? Sure, if someone just wanted to have more than one spouse, it could be found illegal. BUT...since the Mormons had "religious beliefs" which told them to marry more than one woman, it would have to stand?

Sheesh. Too bad Brian didn't ask how far this went -- should menstruating women be confined to small buildings away from decent religious people? And then have to undergo purification to be able to go back to work? That's a sincerely held belief among some religions.

I think our founding fathers would be astonished at how their Constitution is being interpreted....

Feb. 13 2012 10:53 AM
Jackie from nj

The religious right complains about having to pay taxes for birth control.

What about the fact that I'm an athiest and have to pay the church's taxes?

Feb. 13 2012 10:51 AM
Tucker Ranson from United States

I notice that to your Conservative guests, they can claim to know better than the Supreme Court, but Catholic women cannot know better than the Bishops.

And that it is OK for the Heritage Society to propose something (individual mandate, cap and trade) when it suited their purposes, then oppose it as "socialist" when they want to the other side.

I suppose you can do that -- but you can't claim to represent "principle."

Feb. 13 2012 10:51 AM

You need a warning at the beginning of segments like this "Listener forbearance required: Certain if not most listeners may find parts of the following highly offensive."

Feb. 13 2012 10:48 AM

In the work world, some big businesses like to categorize low-level manager as true "management," so that they can avoid overtime laws. But these are people with absolutely no "management" responsibilities over others, just for their own work. Sometimes cases are brought against those businesses and, alas, altho' they have fervent beliefs that they should be able to label anything whatever they want to call it --especially if it means more profits and less expenses, these businesses are told they must adhere to the laws of the land*.

The Lutheran church involved in the recent Supreme Court decision decided to label a lay teacher as a "minister" for, essentially, the purpose of avoiding unemployment comp or adhering to, iirc, a law protecting the handicapped. It bespoke a major lack of Christian charity and love on the part of this Christian church, btw.

The woman lay teacher was in no way what any regular person would consider a "minister," except that she ministered to the needs of her students as a teacher. And she had taken a course which allowed her to lead prayer in a classroom. Perform a marriage or other church sacrament? No way!

The conservative woman on your show who said this case was about recognized ministers, such as a rabbi or priest, misleading and verged on lying. But that's how she rolls, eh? It's just a debating tactic, screw the truth.

Feb. 13 2012 10:46 AM

The rudeness of "Ms. Excuse Me," as one of the other commentators called her, is so out of keeping with Brian's style. These folks did themselves no favors with this listener. They just confirmed my dislike of so much of the right.

Feb. 13 2012 10:45 AM
Chris from Queens

Brian, I normally find you to be an enlightened and helpful moderator. This segment, however, was overflowing with venom and unbacked assertions. The guests had talking points, not rational explanations of positions. Please keep your standards high. If I wanted to listen to conservatives spout their unchallenged gospel (which seems to consist mainly of "it's wrong because it's not Republican"), I would tune in to commercial radio. Perhaps you need to keep it to one guest at a time (two if they can be polite) so you can have a real conversation.

Feb. 13 2012 10:44 AM
damian from brooklyn ny

Tax the churches! If the council of bishops wants to weigh in government decision concerning the American people then the Catholic Church (and all other "churches") should pay taxes.

Feb. 13 2012 10:44 AM
michael in waha from New York

Please Brian,

More conservatives in the future. The conservative guests are entertaining, if delusional. In that sense it is confirming (for me) and a true comfort. These Republican party pundits demonstrate the ideological depths to which the party has sunk.

Re: Wisconsin
Scott Walker may soon be indicted following his two former aides for campaign fundraising actions while he was county executive in Milwaukee.

Feb. 13 2012 10:44 AM
Cory from Reality

If journalists were professionals, rather than entertainers, this segment would be the worst example of malpractice in years. Letting three right wing propagandists have free reign to propagandize without anything in response is just plain awful. It wasn't about CPAC at all. It was about propaganda. Brian -- you are terrible.

Feb. 13 2012 10:42 AM
GJR from montclair, new jersey

this is the worst, least balanced panel i have heard in a long time full of unchallanged inaccuracies -- the recent supreme court case concerning the lutheran employee did not concern whether a religious institution can fire an employee at will -- it concerned whether a religious institution is subject to federal regulations, such as those enumerated by the Americans With Disabilities act -- the employee in question was fired for having narcolepsy, NOT for any doctrinal or disciplinary reasons...

and as for the individual mandate being a novel intrusion into individual liberties, didn't we all have to convert to digital TV a few years ago -- where was the "conscience exception" then, conservatives?

Feb. 13 2012 10:40 AM
Rachel from Brooklyn

On the Catholic birth control issue:

I used to work for the church in Seattle and I think it is important to draw the line between church and state in these issues.

If the church isn't going to provide birth control or hire gay people or other populations they aren't supportive of, then they shouldn't be given government support or recognition as Equal Opportunity Employers.

Just a thought.

Feb. 13 2012 10:39 AM

We've removed a few comments for violating the WNYC posting policy. Please refrain from personal attacks and keep your comments relevant to the discussion taking place on the air. If you have a comment about programming choices, you can contact Listener Services at 646.829.4000
-BL Show Producer-

Feb. 13 2012 10:39 AM
Mike from Manhattan

Kate from Washington Heights, you are my hero! Why do I have to pay for this nonsense when it is available on Fox for free?

Feb. 13 2012 10:38 AM

Brian, How can you let these gross inaccuracies go out without challenging them?The Bishops don't need contraceptives but American Catholic women do and use them. And what about the non-Catholics employed at hospitals and universities. Their religious freedom? AliceNY

Feb. 13 2012 10:37 AM
Leo Brereton from Weston, CT

Brian and crew, PLEASE don't follow this format again. Having a segment with only conservative republicans spouting nonsense is making my brain hurt! You've got to always have someone who can balance the discourse with the voice of reason... Thanks, love the show!

Feb. 13 2012 10:37 AM
landless from Brooklyn

I hope all the nurses and support staff do leave those Catholic hospitals. Think of how those molesting covering bishops will have to raise wages to attract new employees. I get so enraged when I remember how the Catholic women I know suffered from multiple pregnancies and deliveries without medication because as unwed mothers they deserved to suffer.

Feb. 13 2012 10:37 AM
Jim from nj

David Boies on TV last Wed, there is no constitutional issue with the HHS ruling.
There isn't a constitutional issue involved in this case," he told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Wednesday. "You don't exempt religious employers just because of their religion. You are not asking anybody in the Catholic church or any other church to do anything other than simply comply with a normal law that every employer has to comply with."

Feb. 13 2012 10:36 AM
Rick from Manhattan

I was wondering what alternative universe Mr. Darling occuied, but then saw it was Heritage. Enough said. The point that insurance is cheaper with birth control makes a lot of sense since pregnancies cost insurers more, but, in truth, I am also sympathetic to the idea that people could just choose not to work for these outfits if their coverage was limited.

Feb. 13 2012 10:36 AM

The Catholic institutions do not ultimately pay the medical bills, nor do they receive healthcare. The majority of Catholics condone this bill and contraception ...and yet these anti-govt conservatives want take away power over personal medical interventions from the the people into line with what the authorities want? Ugh.

What about other religions & their medical bigotries? Should we allow them to ban blood transfusions from their medical coverage etc...?

Feb. 13 2012 10:36 AM
Robert from NYC

LMAO this has to be one of the worst segments I've heard on this show.

Feb. 13 2012 10:36 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Very educational....Conservatives and r'wingers have so many points that they want to make that they are incapable of encapsulating the opposing viewpoint without vitriole or condescension.

Same way they would govern...Agree with me or be dismissed. I've heard all I need to.

Don't be so 'fair' next time, Brian. Get some Lefty voices in there.

Feb. 13 2012 10:36 AM
emjayay from Brooklyn

I turned it off. That was awful.

Once again, Brian Lehrer lets the guests steamroller the conversation with not only repeated rudeness but illogic and wild factual innacurracies.

Feb. 13 2012 10:36 AM
RJ from prospect hts

And let's also be completely consistent. Pacifists should not have to pay for any violent actions that the government takes. Profound converts to green energy should not have to subsidize the oil and other energy companies. The point of having a common entity that collects funding for the common good is that we compromise, yes, compromise on paying for things that potentially violate their beliefs.

Feb. 13 2012 10:36 AM
MF from Staten Island

The religion stuff is all just very funny to me because I just came across as stack of Readers Digests (a typically conservative, Christian-oriented reader) from 1969, and there were several articles talking about churches leading the fights for civil rights, the poor and disenfranchised in the urban ghettos. One talked about coming home to a noose hanging in his front yard for hiring a black organist in his church. You know. Jesus stuff.

It's just amazing to me how much those who proclaim to be with the faith are so totally 180 degrees from not just what happened a few decades ago, but the things that the very founders of their religion made their MO. It seems, to give it a word, like apostasy.

Feb. 13 2012 10:36 AM

... pedophilia - the Katholic contraceptive alternative!

Feb. 13 2012 10:35 AM
JB from BK

Brian-- It's awesome of you to try to get conservative people in to discuss all these issues, but you've gotta be able to do better than this lady. That metaphor about the car rental place made no sense: if the rental car company would be on the hook for any injuries you might sustain, then yes, they absolutely WOULD give you a safer car for the same price, provided the probability of injury * cost of injury was smaller than cost of safety upgrade.

It's hard to tell from the way she speaks if she honestly doesn't understand the argument to which she's responding, or if she does, but doesn't care and is just trying to confuse the issue. Either way, she's not very enlightening to listen to.

I also think her...tone, let's say is inappropriate for the Brian Lehrer Show. Too many attempts at little digs and cheapshots, the BLS is supposed to be an island of civility in a morass of rudeness.

Feb. 13 2012 10:35 AM
Janine from Manhattan

"Excuse me! EXCUSE ME!!!!" lady has got to be one of the most annoying guests ever.

Feb. 13 2012 10:35 AM
MP from Brooklyn

Brian, good point - even some of the most pious and conservative Catholics use contraception. Don't expect their support!

Feb. 13 2012 10:34 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Bishops - Brian - do speak for the Church. It's a question of the Institution, not about individual opinions. And 99% of Catholics are againt the government telling their Church what to do.

Feb. 13 2012 10:34 AM
Kate from Washington Heights

Hi Brian - I know you try, try, try, like Obama used to, to engage conservatives. But listening to the way that even these folks just totally distort information, or simply don't know what they're talking about, convinces me even more that we need to STOP. The idea that the first amendment is supposed to give religious organizations an "opt-out" policy on our society is bizarre. The first amendment would argue FOR Obama's original ruling - because it is Obama's COMPROMISE that borders on ESTABLISHING RELIGION. The ignorance or willful ignorance on the right is just infuriating.

Feb. 13 2012 10:34 AM

Where would they stand if a Christian Scientist said "I don't believe in health care, I'm not paying for any of my employees to get it"?

Feb. 13 2012 10:34 AM

john from office-


Thank you.

Feb. 13 2012 10:33 AM
Atheist from a Theocracy

Jen is being a LIAR! The Church would go beyond Health Insurance coverage.

If it had its way, it WOULD BAN ALL BIRTH CONTROL for everyione, not just catholicxs.

That's what Griswold v. Connecticut was all about

Feb. 13 2012 10:33 AM
helen from manhattan

But can you ask your guests how an organization has the rights of an individual? the whole point of laws like this is to give the INDIVIDUAL (ie. the woman who wants birth control) to make her own decision. The organization has no right to impose on the individuals rights.

Feb. 13 2012 10:33 AM
Ed from Larchmont

This is wonderful - President Obama, bought and paid for by Planned Parenthood, might be defeated over this issue.

Feb. 13 2012 10:33 AM
John A.

'If I'm wrong, please find this human being.'

Feb. 13 2012 10:33 AM
John A.

Good luck, Barak, in getting out of the bind of claiming $30/month can be pulled out of the air without cost. Luckily Cardinal Dolan is patient and giving on the matter - He's no congressman by comparison.

Feb. 13 2012 10:32 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Insurance companies will still be required to spend 80% of premiums on health care, so whatever the insurance companies charge in premiums, which will be monitored and regulated. So the cost cannot be passed on in the way that complainers have laid out.

Feb. 13 2012 10:32 AM
dante from NYC

Do religious organization's current health plan allow for birth control?

Feb. 13 2012 10:31 AM

...why do all these guests sound so mean?

Feb. 13 2012 10:31 AM
CL from NYC

Brian Darling stated that the country has "rejected" the health care law and the economic stimulus program (which he said accomplished "nothing"). And BL doesn't challenge these unsupported assertions.

Feb. 13 2012 10:31 AM
Edward from NJ

Any Catholic who is really upset about the contraception thing is a hard-core right-to-lifer who wasn't going to vote for the President in the first place. If I'm wrong, please find this human being.

Feb. 13 2012 10:30 AM

The Republicans have really been brilliant about the Catholic Church/birth control pill issue. They've turned the Catholic Bishops into a Super PAC.

Feb. 13 2012 10:30 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA - birthplace of freedom of religion

Replace "contraceptives" with female circumcision - now is it ok?
Religious freedom is not based on popularity of a given idea.

Feb. 13 2012 10:29 AM
David from West Hempstead

It's not free, you simpletons. But it costs the insurance companies less.

Feb. 13 2012 10:29 AM
Jason from Brooklyn

Then just pull the tax breaks from said organizations, then they dont have to follow the mandate.

Feb. 13 2012 10:28 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Contraception isn't the issue - it's religious liberty. Can't pay for it since it violates Catholic beliefs, and others' beliefs.

Feb. 13 2012 10:28 AM
Nancy from Harlem

These guests are deluded! Clearly they're living in a conservative bubble. The whole country has not rejected Obama; not everyone has rejected his health care victory (even though it did not go far enough, i.e., single payer). And guess what, it is not the case that the stimulus "didn't do anything" for the country. Preposterous. Even though it wasn't large enough (thanks to the conservatives), the stimulus prevented us from slipping into a repeat of the Great Depression. Sorry, guests, but not everyone in the country disagrees with what the President has done; some of us are thrilled with many of his policies.

Feb. 13 2012 10:27 AM
john from office

Hello, I am a republican, worked for Bush 1, Reagan and Bush two. Obama is a great president who is more like a left leaning Republican than a Democrat. Problem that the party has with Obama is RACE, and no one will say it. Obama has done the best he can and will win over this field of b and c team politicians. No one of any substance will challenge Obama, because he will win.

OBAMA 2012!!!!!

Feb. 13 2012 10:27 AM
Ed from Larchmont

What the 'liberal Catholics' think makes no difference, it's what the Bishops say that counts. (The compromise is nothing at all.)

Feb. 13 2012 10:27 AM
Carlos from NYC

One question: why is the Republican/conservative push always to repeal "Obama Care" as opposed to just fixing the parts that are flawed? Seems to me the approach has always been all or nothing. No wonder why this country is so divided.

Feb. 13 2012 10:26 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

BTW, some of the nasty comments on this blog are just as bad as the things those commentators complain about. And it is EXACTLY the type of elitist, dismissive, superior attitude that has helped drive the wedge between the left and right -- no less than the "extremists" on the other side.

The only difference is, that the left, which is probably better educated in general (hence the "elitist" tag) prides itself on being open-minded, but as these comments prove, many are anything but.

"I never learned a thing speaking to someone who agreed with me." Heard that on WNYC last week and boy does it apply here.

Feb. 13 2012 10:26 AM

Thank you Brian for referring to the President as such-- the president!. Your guests would do well to remember regardless of their political affiliation President Obama should garner respect as the leader of our nation at the very least.

Feb. 13 2012 10:26 AM
Nick from In the Stands, watching this Lame Horse Race

Karol, Jennifer Rubin is a paid agent of the Republican party. She will not accept any statements against The Party. She doesn't care about values, she cares about her team winning. Her Team is better than anyone else's team because they pay her very well to do so. Please, in the future do not step on Madam Rubin's toes. Values are not to be spoken about...

Brian Darling agrees. Even though Barack Obama has the same policies as George W Bush, he is not apart of our team, so he is unexceptable. Who cares if he has increased war making, bombs countries we aren't at war with, increase domestic spying, oked tax breaks to the rich, and only ended the Iraq War because the Iraqis wouldn't allow the US Military to be immune to any war crimes they may commit. This all doesn't matter because Barack Obama isn't a Republican, he isn't on our team.

Feb. 13 2012 10:25 AM

Why do conservatives spend so much time discussing how conservative or not-conservative everyone is? Democrats don't do that - they talk about programs and policies, not abstract labels.

Feb. 13 2012 10:25 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I think you put it very well Martin. I too have always been an independent, and in years past, I have respected many Republicans -- Alan Simpson comes to mind as an example. It was never about agreeing with everything they said, but those I respected always seemed forthright and thoughtful.

Most Republicans of today seem so out of touch with certain fundamentals -- global warming, the abuses by the financial sector (only the latest and the one with the greatest amount of money involved), the growing inequality between economic classes). I wouldn't even mind that so much, if they weren't stooping to low-ball politics -- even if it is to be silent in the face of obviously malicious, & personal attacks on the President. At least John McCain corrected people in the audience during his campaign who repeated the nonsense of Obama not having been born in the US or being an Islam or anti-this or that. He said that Obama was a decent, family man, etc.

Where is this basic decency today? Why can't we agree to disagree civilly anymore???

p.s. The Dems aren't as pure as the driven snow either, by a long shot; it is only in terms of degree that I have been driven to them vs the GOP.

Feb. 13 2012 10:20 AM
RJ from Greenwich, CT

Wow- you can tell these guests are not use to this civilized setting. They keep talking over each other and shouting, "EXCUSE ME!"

Feb. 13 2012 10:20 AM
gregory sholette

Excuse me: Liberals now want to be called "progressives"? Does that mean us progressives now have to call ourselves socialists ? Or is the "excuse me excuse me" guest just a little bit uninformed?

Feb. 13 2012 10:20 AM

EXCUSE ME...Jennifer is both rude and intolerant

Feb. 13 2012 10:20 AM


Feb. 13 2012 10:19 AM
Beatrice from Soho

Sorry, Brian, I have to turn you off for now. I'm happy to hear from the other side, but Karol's snippy attitude is stressing me out. Love your show (usually)!

Feb. 13 2012 10:18 AM
Helen from manhattan

I'm with you Martin, I don't disagree with many Republican ideas, but I really can't get past many of these candidates, who openly despise gay people, immigrants, and carry all these crazy notions.

I also wish that we could hear someone other than Jennifer speak, I am interested in what Karol and Brian have to say.

Feb. 13 2012 10:18 AM
Jonathan from New York

happy to hear from people who represent the broad political spectrum. i do object to having to listen in the morning to despicable people like Jennifer Rubin, who supported the murder of dozens of children in Norway, once she found out the killer was anti-Muslim, and who spread a call for the murder of Palestinians as being the best thing for Israel.

Feb. 13 2012 10:17 AM
MF from Staten Island

I cannot believe we're having this conversation in 2012. By talking about these morons and bringing back the culture wars you're only feeding the beast. I can think of no greater case for abortion than the audiences at these rallies.

Feb. 13 2012 10:12 AM
Nathan from Angouleme, France

Ugh, Rubin is so in the tank for Romney she's practically strapped to the top of his car. It's useless to have an honest conversation about the primary with her.

Feb. 13 2012 10:12 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Bravo Jennifer !!!
Please enlighten this pathetic Lefty audience.
They are all so tedious.

Feb. 13 2012 10:10 AM
Martin from New York

Whenever I read conservative or Republican writers or thinkers the obvious questions are deliberately avoided. I am not partisan; I would like to understand where people who disagree with me are coming from. Even if I agreed with 90% of what Republicans advocated in position papers, I would never be able to get past the fact that Republican politicians apparently have to display ignorance of science, ignorance & prejudice about gay people, animus toward immigrants and poor people, completely inaccurate depictions of Islam, and absolutely wacky mischaracterizations of Democratic policies. These are fundamental moral & ethical failings. How does any decent, thinking person get past these things?????

Feb. 13 2012 10:08 AM
Matt from UES

Please talk about the presence of white supremacists at CPAC ( and the exclusion of the gay, Republican group, GOProud.

Feb. 13 2012 10:04 AM

OMG I can’t believe this station is running this right wing garbage. This isn’t why I listen JUST KIDDING. I love hearing from the other side. That’s why I listen to this station

Feb. 13 2012 09:34 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.