We didn’t know Stupak

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Days after the Senate version of the health care bill was ceremoniously and victoriously signed into law, media people are still writing about the man who made it happen. Besides President Obama…

Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak had been the determined pro-life boy with his finger in the dike holding back the flood of new abortions that would happen under health care law that provides federal funds and wider access to them. Or so it seemed.

Jim Geraghty at NRO examines the person who portrayed himself one way, and turned out to be another…

now that the dramatic end to the fight over the health-care bill transformed one of the most prominent pro-life Democrats into a man without a country — disdained by national Democrats and pro-choice liberals as a man who nearly derailed health care, and rejected by pro-lifers on both sides of the aisle as a supremely disappointing leader who quit at the last minute…

Duplicity? Naïveté? A failure of nerve? Whatever the reasoning behind Stupak’s unexpected decision, it opened up a question one rarely hears about a nine-term incumbent: Who is this guy?

Good question.

“He’s in a strongly conservative, pro-life district and his only real connection was on cultural issues. But he infuriated the Left on the way to infuriating the Right. It’s hard to see who his base now is. Where he ended up on this issue was a big problem for him, but the way he got there was just incomprehensible.

Kathleen Parker calls it a “fall from grace”.

Ultimately, he was weak and overwhelmed by raw political power. History is no stranger to such moments, but this one needs to be understood for what it was. A deception.

The executive order promising that no federal funds will be used for abortion is utterly useless, and everybody knows it…

Stupak, too, knew that the executive order was merely political cover for him and his pro-life colleagues. He knew it because several members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops explained it to him, according to sources. The only way to prevent public funding for abortion was for his amendment to be added to the Senate bill.

Clearly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the president didn’t want that. What they did want was the abortion funding that the Senate bill allowed.

Thus, the health care bill passed because of a mutually understood deception — a pretense masquerading as virtue.

And, as she notes, a lesson in human frailty. What a tragedy if his fall broke the best barricade we had to protect many thousands more frail humans.

One thought on “We didn’t know Stupak

  1. Representative Stupak is not the enemy. He is a valiant soldier who was defeated in battle. His House Democrat pro-life troops were gunned down one by one. He was subject to what one could awkwardly be called ‘friendly fire’ when the Catholic Hospital Association and NETWORK endorsed the bill as pro-life. He didn’t have the votes to stop the bill from passing. He was routed.

    We should not be putting him in front of a pro-life firing squad because he didn’t win. He did what he could, and it just wasn’t good enough.

    If you want a person to blame, look to Catholic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. She is an ‘ardent’ Catholic in good standing AND an abortocrat. She spoke gushingly just last week about those wonderful religious sisters that educated her way back when that also came out in favor of the pro-abortion health care bill at a clutch moment.

    Condemning Bart Stupak gains us nothing. It only hurts a good man. And it shows a very unpleasant side of the pro-life movement. Stupak is a wounded and defeated soldier who fought well and escaped with little more than his own life. Let’s not kill him ourselves.

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