21 March 2010


For the past several months, Representative Bart Stupak(D. Mich) was a beacon of principle in an otherwise fairly sordid and cowardly Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives.

The liberal wing of the party—the one that thought the Obama victory was a mandate to enact every liberal dream—decided that this was an opportunity to get rid of the Hyde amendment that since the 1970s has prohibited federal payment for abortion. They tried to sneak such language through the House, but Stupak and others insisted on amending the House bill to ensure that there was no way that tax money would ever pay for elective abortions.

Why he trusts any of the leadership is a mystery because they tried to defeat his amendment by preventing him from offering it. Only when the Czarina and her buddy, Stenny, were caught trying to bypass Stupak did they allow it to be considered. Surprise—it carried.

Enter Harry Reid and the liberal Dems in the Senate. They ensured that no Stupak language would be added to the Senate bill. “Don’t worry, Bart,” the Czarinsa PROMISED. “The House Senate conference will try again.”

But Massachussets intervened. Martha Croakley…er. Coakley the heir presumptive to Ted Kennedy went down in flames to Todd Brown. Faced with the certainty of a filibuster of a conference report in the Senate, the House had but one option—pass the Senate bill as written.

Stupak objected. Now comes the real arm twisting. Harry Reid PROMISES that the so-called “fix-it” bill will pass, but, surprise, Stupak’s language is not allowed in the fix it. Besides which, Harry also PROMISES that the Senate will pass the fix it. Not to worry, Bart.

But Harry also knows that if the Parliamentarian rules that the reconciliation proces does not apply to the fix it, that legislation is dead. And so does Bart.

Now the Pres comes in. “Don’t worry, Bart. Even if the Senate language is the law of the land, I will simply issue an Executive Order amending the law. I PROMISE.”

Ultimately, a man of principle will learn a couple of good lessons before he is defeated next November. First, you are not a man of principle unless you stick to your guns, even when your party gets mad about it. Second, a man of principle has no business in the Democratic caucus in the House. Not with the leadership there extant.

Here endeth the lesson…


Rev Kim said...

Since last night I've been going back and forth between sad & angry. Why on earth would Stupak believe Obama's "promise"? I don't even think I wanna know all of the behind-close-doors, deal-making, buying & selling that went on last night. November can't come fast enough.

Quotidian Grace said...

I ditto Rev Kim. I pray we can change Congress in November--but I'm not sure about it at all.

Reformed Catholic said...

FWIW ... the existing Hyde Amendment would still be the main law prohibiting the use of any federal money for abortion.

The executive order is going to reinforce that law, and I fully suspect that the Pro-Life Democrats will be keeping an eye out to make sure it works.

That said, we need to get either the Senate or the House out of the Democratic majority.

Nothing good comes of a monopoly of power in any one of the elected legs of government.

That said, it is probably too naive to hope that some civility returns to politics.

I fear for our democracy, not because of anything the two parties have done, or will do, or are rumored to be doing, but because our political discourse is starting to look like that of a second world country, with verbal fist fights, and virtual blockading of doors to the legislative chambers.

What's next, we going to have fist fights on the Capitol lawn between opposing political groups, chairs flying in the Senate ??

A pox on both their houses, and the 'tea party' types too !!

也許 said...


Mac said...

I just pray that there isn't another Preston Brooks out there, waiting for an opportunity to go after whomever is today's Charles Sumner. Imagine that little spectacle on C-SPAN. . .

Reformed Catholic said...


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However, based on my mouseovers the links are not any you'd want to advertise !!