David Brooks: Evangicals Embracing Mitt

The president is forcing evangelical voters into Mitt Romney's hands, says David Brooks, because of the bullying of Catholic hospitals on birth control. That's why Mitt won 48% of the evangelical vote in Nevada according to Brooks.

It's cemented the evangelicals, not with Gingrich, but it's a sense that we have to beat this guy Obama, Romney's good enough.

Politico reports that the Obama decision was a calculated risk.

The handling of the issue offers a hint of Obama’s approach to governing and campaigning in 2012: When confronted with a position close to his heart — and dear to the base — Obama is increasingly inclined to side with people who will vote for him even if it means enraging those who might, but probably won’t, vote for him.

The president's decision will continue to allow churches to follow their own rules in church matters, but they won't be allowed to refuse to do things like provide contraception in church run hospitals.

The vast majority of Americans back the use of contraception, and about three-quarters of Catholic women in recent polls part with the Church on its prohibition of condoms and the pill. But the political danger isn’t about pills or piety, it’s that the decision — made by the president himself after months of internal discussion — will be interpreted as a dangerous nanny-state intrusion into the religious freedom of Catholics.

“This is going to hurt him not only among Catholics or religious voters … because it reflects a pattern of overreach,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who has introduced legislation that would exempt Catholic institutions from the policy.