Monday, March 22, 2010

That Sordid Stupak Affair

picture from Facebook "Stand with Stupak" fanpage by Peter John Resweber

Pro-lifers across the country are disheartened today after last night's eleventh hour cave-in by Michigan Democratic Representative Bart Stupak. Many of us had looked to him as a courageous pro-life Democrat who would stand up to the liberal pro-abortion politics of President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and the vast majority of the Democratic party. At 3 pm local time in Washington DC yesterday, it looked like Bart Stupak was going to be the hero of the moment, but by 4 pm, pro-life lobbyists saw all their hard work melt away as one by one, Stupak and his coalition succumbed to the charms of Pelosi and the Prez. (Not to mention political favors and kickbacks, of which I'm sure we'll be hearing more about in the coming weeks).

I couldn't stand to watch the coverage, but at the same time I couldn't keep from sneaking a peek at Twitter, to see what others were saying about the vote. My heart sank when I read that the health care bill had passed by a landslide tiny margin. Not a single Republican voted for this sweeping bill that gives the government control over one-sixth of the US economy. And thirty-four Democrats voted against it. Not a single Republican!

This bill, as The Wall Street Journal calls it, is the Democrat's baby. They made it. They own it. They'll pay for it come November.

If you want to read a great synopsis of the political shenanigans that took place to get this bill rammed through Congress, read Inside the Pelosi Sausage Factory by Kimberley A. Strassel in today's Wall Street Journal.

Here's an excerpt:

Never before has the average American been treated to such a live-action view of the sordid politics necessary to push a deeply flawed bill to completion. It was dirty deals, open threats, broken promises and disregard for democracy that pulled ObamaCare to this point, and yesterday the same machinations pushed it across the finish line.

So much for transparancy, bipartisanship and all the other empty promises of Obama. It will be interesting to see if he holds his end of the bargain with his Executive Order. Not that it matters, according to Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion Colorado representative Diana DeGette.

I guess I should stop pretending there's such a thing as a pro-life Democrat. That's now gone the way of childhood fantasies just like the tooth fairy. I don't believe the Democrats have room in their inclusive, tolerant party for those who believe the unborn are entitled to human rights.

At least I can take solace in the fact that we pro-lifers are having more babies, we're homeschooling our kids and teaching them about the history of the United States and our Constitution; something I don't believe kids in the Democratic-controlled public education monopoly are getting.

They may be Goliath, but we're David. And we all know who won that battle.


Ben DeGrow said...

From one Arvadan to another, I share your pain. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, We now must all hang together or we shall surely hang separately. A lot of hard work to win back lost ground for life & liberty in the USA, but I'm on board.

Glad to have discovered your blog ...
also glad to see you are supporting my good friend Libby Szabo for State House!

Debbie said...

Hi Ben!
Thanks for finding me. I found your blog some time ago and appreciate your wisdom. Hillsdale is a great school! Maybe we'll see you at La Dolce Vita or Udi's (my new favorite Arvada restaurant) sometime...

I'm certainly planning on walking my neighborhood with Libby sometime this summer. :-)

Kevin J Jones said...

I've walked by Udis twice on my way to the Archive restaurant across the street, I'll have to try it some time.

I'm sure swimming against the current on the Stupak reaction.

In my view, Stupak led the most successful pro-life insurgency within the Democratic Party in recent memory. Nobody expected his amendment to pass with the support it did, and pro-choice organizations reacted with horror that a new front was opening within their stronghold.

His amendment was dead in the Senate though. His insurgency failed.

A man in Stupak’s position can’t afford to appear totally uncompromising all of the time.

But he extracted a concession from the President, which can help hold Obamacare accountable. He also helped his party by allowing Pelosi to give vulnerable Democrats the chance to vote "no." (She likely had enough votes in reserve, but because of the pro-life Dems she didn't have to use them.)

Here's some comments from the end of Stupak's Sunday press conference that have been under-reported:

“...the statutory language, we’d love to have it. But we can’t get it through the Senate. And we’re not giving up. If there was something we missed, we’re coming back with legislative fixes. These right-to-life Democrats, who really carried the right-to-life ball throughout this whole debate, we will continue to do that. We will work with our colleagues to get the job done.”

In my view, Stupak cut his losses while raising the profile of pro-life Democrats and getting Obama to commit to something. Stupak should be held accountable if the EO proves as useless as they say but he does nothing.

The speed with which many pro-lifers turned on him is disturbing to me. If there were more Democrats like him, he would have won. But he lost, and so he tried to lose in a manner most advantageous to his cause and to his career (which advances that cause). I think he deserves gratitude for that failed attempt, and criticism of him has gone overboard. The Senate and those who excluded the Stupak Amendment from the Senate bill bear far more blame, as do the Catholic groups whose misinformation sapped his coalition's strength at a critical time.

If the GOP's incompetence and the Hispanicization of America have barred Republicans from Congressional majorities for the foreseeable future, Stupak & co. are the best hope for the pro-life cause in Congress. Don't punish a man who stood up for months against his party leadership and activists. Punish the leadership and the activists, so that that man won't have to surrender in the future.

Debbie said...

Hi Kevin!

You and Kristin Day, of Democrats for Life agree. There's no denying that Stupak led the most successful pro-life campaign of any Democrat in recent memory, but it's also telling that in the big scheme of things, his social welfare state is more important to him than halting the abortion machine that Pelosi and her minions want to shove down our throats by making abortion not only a "right," but also a "health care" option.

But I tend to agree with WSJ columnist Bill McGurn, who said that if Stupak gets booted from office, he won't be replaced by a pro-life Democrat, he'll be replaced by a pro-choice Democrat or a pro-life Republican, further polarizing our political landscape.

My disappointment in Stupak is that is didn't stand on the principles of life, he stood on the principles of the social welfare state.

But I hope you are right in your assessment that pro-life Democrats aren't dead.

BTW, I like the Archive room as well, although my taste tends to the old-world style breads and pizza of Udi's. :)