"The more I think about it, and I know they deny it, I just don't believe George Stephanpolous's question on birth control wasn't coordinated," Erick Erickson, founder of the conservative blog RedState, tweeted Thursday.That was a few hours after Rick Santorum's billionaire backer Foster Friess made Twitter explode by saying "Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives -- the gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly." In just a few days, the Obama administration's decision to require religious institutions to cover birth control has gone from being seen as a breathtaking strategic blunder to evidence of a weeks-long insidious plot.
Last week, even Democrats were nervous the White House was screwing the decision up. "Why aren’t we messaging this better?," Sen. Barbara Mikulski demanded of President Obama's campaign manager, Politico reported. Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski sounded triumphant February 9, telling ABC News, "The reality is Democrats are starting to break from the president because he overstepped on a fundamental right we all believe in whether we are women, men, Republican or Democrat." The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz declared his own colleague Andrew Sullivan "wrong" for arguing that the contraception debate would help President Obama in the longterm. "The White House got killed on this issue last week," Kurtz said emphatically February 13. It was "a losing issue." But that conventional wisdom was already shifting under Kurtz's feet.