Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Udall’s new Hobby horse | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Udall’s new Hobby horse

Morgan Liddick lives in Summit County. His column appears in every Tuesday in the Summit Daily News.
btrollinger@summitdaily.com |

It’s now perfectly clear what Mark Udall means by “rights.” A right is the power to force someone else to pay for your abortion. The senator has been very busy lately, collaborating with Washington state’s ultraliberal Patty Murray to draft legislation designed to overturn the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision supporting some employers who do not provide abortifacients to their employees, based on their religious beliefs.

Hysterical assertions to the contrary, the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case dealt only with this point, and with four abortifacient drugs. The other 16 FDA-approved birth-control medications had routinely been supplied by the company through its health plan for years, but that fact didn’t fit the narrative of the left so it was ignored in their hyperventilating about a “war on women.”

Further evidence of Sen. Udall’s obsession with his female constituents’ reproductive organs is found in his one-note samba attack ads against Cory Gardner, his opponent in Colorado’s highly-competitive Senatorial campaign. Given our anemic economy, historically low labor force participation, crushing levels of national debt, clear evidence of illegal actions in several branches of the Administration, and proliferating crises abroad and on our borders, one might think a serious candidate for national office would have a broader focus than an employer’s willingness to supply female employees with $9 worth of estrogen monthly. But one would be mistaken. Mark Udall thinks all these challenges mean less than pills costing as much as two Grande Lattes at Starbucks.

Perhaps the senator takes this position because his advisors tell him it polls well with young, single women who are an important element of the Democrat party’s base. To woo them, as with the rest of the party’s constituent groups, grievances must be nurtured and favors promised, the better if they are funded by the standard bogeymen of the left: “corporations” or “the rich.” Thus, the simple parable of the evil Green family, who deny their workers their due because of an objection based on “faith.” Which, as all good Progressives know, is simply a delusion used to oppress whichever of the masses is being courted at the moment.

Sen. Udall may not be able to help himself. The stakes are high and many eyes are on the Colorado Senate race. In such situations the easiest route is to follow the party line: support the president, whether one wants to be seen in public with him or not; propose expanding the power and reach of the state, regardless the effect on constituents’ lives; promise more free stuff to more groups of people in the name of “fairness” or “social justice” or the shibboleth of the day; stick society’s productive with the bill. In the Newspeak of the American Left, that’s the true meaning of freedom, and Mark Udall is up to his eyeballs in it.

It’s not really the mischaracterization of a straightforward Supreme Court decision that is the pivotal issue here. Nor is it the scurrilous early political attack ads, the spectacle of Congress blamed for performing as Constitutionally warranted, or a president who dodges responsibility for the predictable consequences of his actions. It’s the underlying attitude that empowers the mischaracterization and blame, and excuses the evasions.

For decades — certainly since the 1960s, probably for much longer — there’s been a growing sense in this country that government exists to give people things, either directly or by compelling one group to give goods or services to another. This is why false accusations about “taking away birth control” or “throwing grandma off a cliff” have weight: we are becoming a nation not of citizens, but petitioners dependent on government for more and more necessities.

Mark Udall may couch government intrusiveness and largess in terms of “rights” and “freedoms,” but if one relies on government for birth control, that is not freedom. If one obtains one’s housing, food, utilities and other necessities from the government, that is not freedom. That is clientage, and it makes controlling the government a crucial issue for those who are subsidized, because a generous ruler is preferable to a parsimonious one.

Individuals who are truly free wish not for a generous government but an unintrusive one. They dream not of a government which will give them a house, but of one which will leave them alone. They desire not a government which will compel others to pay for their caprices, but one which will protect their ability to achieve as much as their talents and hard work will allow.

This election year our political class has already shown us their stark difference of visions on the future this country will pursue, and on what we will become: on one side of this chasm, freer and more self-reliant; on the other, serfs.

Now, we must choose.

Morgan Liddick lives in Summit County.

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