Poor Bart Stupak
He held out almost to the end, but he caved
He had no choice but to cave
He led 12 pro-life Democrats in opposition to the Health Reform Bill.
The Stupak Gang of 12 was instrumental in the passage of health reform, but who are the other 11?
By being the public face of the Stupak 12, he had a target, normally a red target but in this case a blue target, placed on his chest, back, and his family. He had to cave. That’s too much pressure on anyone who loves his family.
I understand, but his erstwhile Pro-Life supporters are not so forgiving.
The problem is that he caved. He stated barely 24 hours before the vote that he could not accept the Senate Bill or Reconciliation unless it contained the Stupak Amendment.
He didn’t get it.
He got a fig leaf instead. The most pro-choice President in American history issued an Executive Order reaffirming the Hyde Amendment.
He got a transparent fig leaf, one that carries no legal weight.
But that’s not his cardinal sin.
Instead, in his opposition to the Republican Motion for Recommital, a motion with no chance of passage, he referred to the Republican Pro-Life proponents as “disingenuous” and betrayed all the pro-lifers he purported to represent.
He had the look of the Stalin Show trial defendants who had to denounce their friends and allies.
We expect politicians to be disingenuous, to lie, to change course upon election, to tack with the prevailing winds. We’re shocked when Presidents like Reagan, George W. Bush, and Obama stick to their beliefs, or guns.
But we don’t expect politicians to betray their followers, their base.
Don’t be surprised in November if Congressman Bert Stupak is the number one target of the Pro-Life Movement.
Don’t be surprised if parish priests speak out against him.
Perhaps the Congressman was really trying to convince himself.
Or he caved because he suddenly received funding for three small airports in his large district.
Or did he cave because the SEIU threatened to cut him off in the primary and general election?
He may well go into the November elections with a Scarlett A painted on his chest.
Politically he’s dead meat. He may squeeze out reelection, but no one, not Republicans nor Democrats, neither Pro-Lifers or Pro-Choicers, will ever trust him again. President Carter caved early in his Administration on pork barrel water projects, stranding a number of members of Congress who agreed to support his proposed veto even if it would cost them in Congress. He never regained their trust.
Principle put him in a lose-lose situation. Discretion, being the better part of valor, made him the Big Political Loser Sunday Night.
Congressman Bert Stupak knew all along he was going to cave. He told an audience back home in November that if he otherwise liked the other provisions in the Health Care Reform Bill, he would not let abortion stop him from voting for the bill.
He was simply enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.
Just another pol gaming the people!
The Upper Peninsula gets very cold during winter.