One of the most persistent canards the Obama campaign got away with was that Republicans wanted to “end access to birth control.” What Republicans were opposing wasn’t “whether or not you can have contraception,” as one Democratic Congresswoman put it, but whether or not your boss should be required to pay for your birth control.

I tried to refrain from using the “lie” word against the Democrats saying these things and the journalists repeating them as if they were true, because I think the liberal mindset sometimes doesn’t differentiate between state action and non-state action. If your boss says you need to pay for your own birth control, that may actually seem to some liberals as equivalent to the government banning birth control, somehow. Some liberals think that unless something is mandatory, it’s as good as prohibited.

Sure enough, the liberal ThinkProgress blog this week talks that way involving paid sick leave.

Some local governments in Florida want to force employers to pay their employees for sick days. The state government just passed a law saying municipalities may not do this. Think Progress writes: “Florida Governor Signs Business-Backed Bill Banning Paid Sick Leave.”

But of course, the bill doesn’t “ban paid sick leave.” If it did, it would become illegal for employers to pay employees for sick days. Instead of restricting employers, the bill restricts local government and protects the freedom of employers in this regard.

On civil liberties, liberal writer George Zornick explained the distinction on Twitter on yesterday:

There’s a difference between government allowing your employer to place conditions on her paying you, and the government forcing you to do something.