Back on Feb. 7, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow appeared on the "Today" show to talk with Matt Lauer about criticism of the new Obamacare rule mandating health insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations and contraception.
"Is there traction to this?" Lauer asked. "Is this an issue that's going to last well into the election or the campaign or is this going to be something that's going to fizzle out?" (video after page break)
Yes, Maddow said, "this is going to fizzle out." Then Maddow cited an analogy she holds dear -- "If there's a bus driver opening and you're Amish, nobody's going to say you can't apply for that because you're Amish. But if you get the job and say, actually, I can't drive this bus, I'm Amish, people are going to say, sorry, if it's a bus driving gig, you gotta be able to drive. And if it's health insurance it includes contraception. It's part of health care in the 21st century."
By that illogic, government should mandate insurance coverage for abortion as well. After all, this too is "part of health care in the 21st century," to borrow from Maddow's grandiosity.
It wasn't the first time Maddow has invoked her precious "Amish bus driver" rule. She did so at least once before, in December 2008 and along similar lines, after then-President George W. Bush broadened the conscience clause to allow health care workers to decline to take part in procedures they consider abhorrent.
Turns out there is a person who embodies Maddow's analogy -- Georgetown law student and HHS mandate poster girl Sandra Fluke.
Say, for example, Fluke decided to leave Georgetown and join the Amish. They happily accept her, as did the Jesuits at Georgetown. But after Fluke moves to Pennsylvania and becomes immersed in an Amish enclave, she then declares she wants to work as a bus driver. At which point the Amish tell her, sorry, no bus driving allowed here, that's part of the world you left behind. Whereupon Fluke files a complaint with the federal government seeking a mandate allowing her to drive a bus. After all, she frequently proclaims, 99 percent of all Americans ride buses at some point in their lives (the remaining 1 percent consisting of, you guessed it, the Amish).
Fluke also notices that Amish women bear a suspiciously large number of children, a telltale sign that access to contraception is woefully lacking and most likely being withheld by those patriarchal types in their funny hats.