Thursday, March 25, 2010

Does Stupak think we are stupid?

It is clear that the tensions between Bart Stupak and the pro-life community are growing following what could only be called a caving in of the principles championed by Stupak since the health care debate started last year. Those principles began with a position that the Hyde Amendment language needed to be a part of any health care package. Holding out in November when Pelosi forced the House to remain up until the Thanksgiving break, Stupak forced the Democrat leadership to include a vote for the Hyde Amendment.  While in my opinion there were still pro-life problems with the bill, Stupak was nevertheless credited with a critical victory.

Now many at the time called the whole thing a ruse and argued that Stupak would eventually accede to leadership. Those in pro-life leadership, including myself, believed that we had to support the efforts of a pro-life Democrats who were holding the line on the prohibition of federal funding.  then came the Nelson sell off and the beginning of the deceptions that would ripple through the pro-life community culminating with Stupak's so-called deal that gave Pelosi the votes she needed to pass the bill.  Now that Obama has signed the Executive order, Stupak is blasting the bishops and other pro-life leaders calling them hypocrites.

I read his reasoning and found it laughable as he compared President Bush's use of the executive order to tighten any use of embryonic stem cells after Bush vetoed the bill Congress sent him expanding ESCR.  Bush vetoed the congressional bill. He did not sign it and then try to limit its effect. The comparison made no sense.
As Doug Johnson of NRLC said, “We haven’t said anything to suggest we think executive orders are never of value.”  According to Johnson, the problem with Obama’s executive order, is “it basically just recites what’s in the Senate bill.”

As the Daily Caller reported
The Senate bill funnels billions of dollars outside the regular “stream” of the annual Health and Human Services appropriations bill – which is the only appropriation subject to strict anti-abortion restrictions under the Hyde Amendment – without specifying that these monies also come under Hyde-type limitations.
NRLC called the Senate bill that passed the House on Sunday “the most abortion-expansive piece of legislation ever to reach the floor of the House of Representatives,” in a letter to Stupak and other pro-life House Democrats last week, before the vote.
The Conference of Bishops, in a statement issued Tuesday, said that “the statute appropriates billions of dollars in new funding without explicitly prohibiting the use of these funds for abortion, and it provides federal subsidies for health plans covering elective abortions.”
The statement added that “we do not understand how an Executive Order, no matter how well intentioned, can substitute for statutory provisions.”
Johnson agreed, stating that while Obama’s executive order “does assert that community health centers can’t use the funds for abortion, we think that likely we be unenforceable if challenged.”
Then Stupak made the claim that Pelosi had so many votes in her pocket and that she could pass the bill without any language or agreement. Knowing Pelosi and how angry she was when forced to put the Stupak amendment to a vote in November, why would she care about Bart Stupak.  If she had the votes then why was he not working on keeping or expanding his base and why would he not have been working with pro-life groups to insure either a delay or a closer inspection of the actual votes.

It would appear that the pressure has gotten to him.  He betrays his position and then tells us that this was the best he could do. He would not meet with pro-life leadership during the weekend madness, but now claims the bishops are being hypocrites because they did not like being betrayed. After all of this one learns that Stupak voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood through various appropriations bills. And to make matters worse through all of this, he was negotiating with White House counsel Robert Bauer, a former lobbyist with America Votes,a liberal coalition of leftist groups including Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Meanwhile, read what Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards is crowing about. She is certainly happy with the idea that her killing machine is going to get millions of dollars from the tax payer.

Stupak voted against the Pence amendment to de-fund Planned Parenthood. What was that all about? He claims to be pro-life and does not know one of the greatest enemies of life, of children and of women is Planned Parenthood.  This is unbelievable. 

Stupak's counterattack to the criticism he received for caving in probably means that what we are saying is true. He never came to pro-lifers and told us that Pelosi had the votes without him.  He kept us out of the loop and then used the tired old words I have heard so many times, "Trust us."

Not any more.


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