Bart Stupak’s Last Stand

Since his sell-out of the pro-life cause, Bart Stupak (Weasel, Michigan) has been attempting to justify his cave-in.  My friend Paul Zummo, the Cranky Conservative, has given these efforts a fisking to remember:

Somewhere Doug Kmiec is breathing a sigh of relief, for he is no longer the biggest sell-out to the pro-life cause in modern American politics.  As we begin Holy Week, it is appropriate to examine the apology of one Bart Stupak of Michigan.

When I saw that Kathleen Parker’s March 24 op-ed, “Stupak’s original sin,” defined me as a “backstabber,” it reminded me of a Bible verse. Matthew 7:3 asks, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Had Bart been making a jibe at the expense of an individual with a similarly dodgy track record in things cultural, that would have merited a high five.  Unfortunately I doubt ole Bart is smart enough to be making such a well-researched dig.  Rather, we witness here the first refuge of all left-wing betrayers of the unborn: citation of biblical passages that have absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand.  While the writer might feel some sort of sanctimonious justification, the rest of us are left just shrugging our shoulders and thinking, “Okay, you have a research assistant who reads the Bible, do you have anything meaningful to say in reply?”

The true motives of many blogs and organizations claiming to be pro-life have become clear in recent days: to politicize life issues as a means to defeat health care reform. One group even sent an e-mail to supporters saying they are “working feverishly to stop this legislation from going forward.”

Oh burn.  Pro-life opponents of this legislation vowed to stop this legislation from going forward.  You have clearly caught us in a terrible web of deceit.  How dare people who have openly declared their opposition,  umm, openly declare their opposition.  Next thing you know ole Bart will publicize an email from an AARP representative declaring that they are fighting for the elderly.  You really showed us for our hypocrisy.

The pro-life groups rallied behind me — many without my knowledge or consent

It’s good to know that we have reached the point in American politics that politicians must now assent to their support.  Something tells me that ole Bart was less annoyed by pro-life support when the donations were rolling in a month ago.  Surely now ole Bart will refund every cent of money given by someone whose support he had not consented to.  Yeah, if you could just let us know the web address where the suckers could claim their refund, that would be a big help.

Go here to read the brilliant rest.

30 Responses to Bart Stupak’s Last Stand

  1. cminor says:

    I can think of a number of points on which to criticize Parker, but, notwithstanding her Palin Derangement- induced bout of hysteria in the Fall of ’08 I wouldn’t accuse her of backstabbing– certainly not on a higher level than Stupak’s

  2. RL says:

    If we were to give Stupak every benefit of the doubt we would end up describing his actions with the word disappointing. He’s nowhere near as much of a sellout as Kmeic. If Kmeic was in congress he wouldn’t have tried to do anything for the unborn, he would have argued that whatever Obama and the Dems promoted was the right thing to do.

  3. John Henry says:

    Agree with RL. Stupak was in a tough spot, and made a difficult call (one I think a Catholic in good conscience could make on the merits, even if his explanations have been very disappointing). It being Holy Week, I won’t say much about Kmiec…

  4. Dale Price says:

    Agreed with RL and John Henry: Stupak is no Kmiec. If nothing else, he’s actually done something concrete about abortion from the legal angle. For all the (justified) outrage about Stupak, he *did* get an amendment passed in the House that would have prevented the funding of abortions.

    Frankly, more outrage needs to be directed at Sens. Casey and Nelson, who are getting a comparatively free pass for their perfidy. If those two…individuals…had held their ground, Obamacare wouldn’t fund abortion.

  5. guest says:

    A dictionary update from the American Principals Project:

    “Recently a new verb was added to the Washington lexicon: to stupak. ‘Stupaking’ is the assertion of a deeply-held principle by referring to evidence or promises that are on their face absurd.”

  6. Jay Anderson says:

    I have to agree that Stupak’s sellout is not NEARLY as blameworthy (although the effects are likely to be more serious and far-reaching) as Doug Kmiec’s skullduggery, which, in terms of treachery, harlotry, and mendacity, would be difficult to top.

  7. Donald R. McClarey says:

    In regard to Stupak two points:

    1. Unless he is a complete idiot he realizes that the Executive Order he obtained is worthless, in that it would never be upheld in court. It is a meaningless addition to the Senate bill.

    2. Stupak understood that the Senate bill does fund abortion as he pointed out time and again prior to his reversal. The Executive Order merely restates the same language as the Senate bill.

  8. Pinky says:

    I hate to be fussy, but the claim about Obama’s first executive order is wrong. President Obama publicly issued 5 executive orders during his first two days in office. On the 23rd of January, his third day in office, he issued a memorandum to the head of USAID overturning President Bush’s memorandum about the Mexico City Policy. That policy has always been fought out through memoranda.

  9. Phillip says:

    So on the third day of his second term Obama can rescind the Stupak Executive Order. 😉

  10. RL says:

    Or if the Republican’s don’t get their excrement together, the first day of President Pelosi’s term. How’s that for a bone chilling thought…

  11. Robert says:

    RL – now I am going to have Nightmares

  12. Joe Hargrave says:

    I agree with Paul and Don.

    Stupak’s behavior was treacherous, and this latest rationalization is even more insulting. Oh, we supported him “without his consent”, did we?

    This entire argument is BS. The fact that many pro-life groups also wanted Obamacare to be defeated, rather than saved, is completely irrelevant. It means nothing.

    It is all one massive, fallacious evasion of the fact that Stupak sold out his principles on the promise that Barack H. Obama – the man who told a crowd of people how eager he was to sign a freshly minted Freedom of Choice Act when it reaches his desk – is now going to honor some ridiculous executive order.

    Frankly, I wish people would stop focusing on the comparison to Kimec, and on the things Stupak actually did.

  13. JP Amy says:

    It is so painful to read such venomous words on Catholic blogs and in the comment section.

    Yes, Bart Stupak let us down. He let down only God knows how many unborn children that will be affected by his vote. But if we continue to throw mud at him we are collectively reduced.

    I understand the feelings of betrayal that are felt, but what does our religion compel us to do when faced with betrayal? This Holy Week especially we should remember with sorrow the greatest sin of Judas is that he didn’t seek forgiveness for his betrayal… Christ would have forgiven him, it doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have been crucified, it means that He would have forgiven him. So, too, we are called to forgive our Brother Bart, and perhaps even reach out a hand of love to him before he falls into despair… please.

  14. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “It is so painful to read such venomous words on Catholic blogs and in the comment section.”

    Give me a break. This is a politician who took a stance against public funding of abortions and then threw it away when the internal pressure on him in his party got too hot for him. His attitude since then is to pretend that he did not do precisely what he did in fact do. He needs to be held accountable for this and one way to hold him accountable is to subject him to criticism and I intend to continue to do that. If we simply forgive politicians whenever they act like weasels, we will simply reap more weasel conduct.

  15. Joe Hargrave says:

    It’s painful to watch human weakness lead to rationalizations for terrible behavior.

  16. Robert says:

    I guess I just don’t understand. A few weeks ago, Stupak was the crusading hero of pro-life Catholics. How quickly things change.

  17. American Knight says:


    Imagine how Christ felt!

    RL – Perish the thought! that’s just not funny. I threw up a little when I read your statement about the presidency of the Wicked Witch of the West.

    Moderators – please ensure that Pe***i’s name does not ever appear on this blog or in the comboxes again.

    I like the trend on here to refer to her as the Lying Worthless Political Hack – or simply the Crypt Keeper with an over-sized gavel.

    As for Stupak – only one word comes to mind – SHAME.

  18. Elaine Krewer says:

    “A few weeks ago, Stupak was the crusading hero of pro-life Catholics.”

    Indeed — and didn’t many of us think he was being subjected to extraordinary, perhaps even borderline demonic, pressure? Wasn’t that the very reason so many of us were praying for him and others allied with him? How many of us could have withstood that kind of pressure? It’s easy to sit here in front of our computers and SAY of course we would, but how do we know…?

    We have every right to be disappointed in Stupak’s actions, and to decide that he ought not to be reelected, though that decision is ultimately up to the voters in his district. However, I’m not quite ready to declare that he ought to be excommunicated or damned. Save the excommunications for people like Pelosi, Durbin, Biden, et al. who don’t even TRY to make even a pretense of defending the unborn.

  19. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “I guess I just don’t understand. A few weeks ago, Stupak was the crusading hero of pro-life Catholics. How quickly things change.”

    What part of sellout do you not understand Robert?

  20. Joe Hargrave says:

    Don’t understand?

    That’s like saying, “gee, Bob used to be Jim’s best friend until last week, when he slept with his wife, set his house on fire, and deliberately crashed his car. I guess I’ll never understand why those two aren’t friends anymore…”

    There are certain things I guess I won’t understand – such as how anyone can be so blind or so stupid as to not understand why pro-lifers have a legitimate beef with Stupak, or why it should be strange that we don’t have unlimited, unconditional loyalty to him.

    I once though Stupak was great – an honorable, principled man.

    In light of his recent behavior, I have changed my assessment – he is weak, a coward, and a betrayer. His words were courageous, but his heart was not.

    But I guess no one on the other side of this question has ever changed their mind about anything, ever, in their entire lives. Right.

  21. Susan says:

    … it’s no longer really about Stupak… after all, what would you expect of a Democrat whose platform runs red with the blood of abortions? He is acting true-to-form. To focus any more energy or vituperation on him is as useless as it is to complain about Obama.

    What it’s really about is the so-called prolife organizations who propped him up as an emblem of prolife virtue, focusing their efforts mainlyon supporting Stupak, and negligently allowing the many other deep problems with the bill to go unexplored). These organizations never allowed the principles of subsidiarity and socialized medicine, medical rationing, euthanasia, artificial reproduction to come to debate, because they made abortion the single issue and they did even that badly (for example rape/incest babies were tossed under the bus).

    Who are these organizations? Look in your emailboxes (the organizations have “scrubbed” their websites, but they can’t delete emails you have received). In November, right before the House vote, they were the ones who could have sent a mass email asking you to urge Congressmen to vote the health care bill down, but instead emailed you to contact your Congressman in favor of Stupak. At the same time, they told all Congressmen they would be holding a vote against Stupak as “antilife”, but completely ignoring the Congressmen’s vote on the deathly bill itself!

    These organizations have huge email lists, built from online petitions that people have signed in the past. The lists are almost like money, in the power the confer upon the organization possessing them. They can use these email lists to bully or threaten Congressmen, claiming that they can mobilize “x” number of people in support of the policy at hand, even if it bears no relation to the original petition issue which brought them the email addresses.

    These organizations operated in apparent coordination with each other, emailing their respective lists at approximately the same times and urging the same action items.

    Not only did these “prolife” organizations mangle the bill opposition, they shut out savvy prolife organizations like ALL, who saw through Stupak, and derided those who pointed out the need to oppose the bill at all costs. The enormity of this bill’s impact on people’s freedom and lives is only now becoming understood by some conservatives, let alone the many liberals, whereas it should have been vigorously communicated for the last six months.

    It is cowardly for an organization to simply blame Stupak (eg ), when the organization itself had been responsible for whipping up support for Stupak ( “Stand with Stupak”) The motivation for such effusion must be questioned when a simple amount of diligence could have demonstrated Stupak’s liberal tilt. and determination to vote in Obamacare.

    We need an apology and an explanation for their behavior before these organizations should be allotted trust in the future. Whether through negligence, incompetence, or ill will, these organizations should account for why they cut principled debate of this bill off at the knees. It is to these organizations that we can partly attribute our serfdom under Obamacare, and the many lives that will be aborted (both old and young) to pay for health care for the rest.

    It is hard to figure what restitution would be adequate to cover the harms, but to start out, a serious, non-dismissive attempt to help with the Personhood battle that ALL is waging would be a good faith gesture. And an effort to step all the way back and sponsor an open debate on the whole health care question, to identify all the real problems, and then come up with real solutions, would be a good way to start making up. For all the yammering about healthcare being a prize sought for decades, a true debate has never taken place.

    What can we do about this? If you are on the mailing list for any such organization, email back to them asking them to account for their past support of Stupak, or to remove your address from their list.

    If no apology is forthcoming, we can only assume socialised health care was also the covert objective for these organizations as well. A thought that ought to make us all more careful about the online petitions we sign in future.

  22. Joe Hargrave says:

    All valid points, Susan.

    Stupak probably shouldn’t have been supported the first time around.

    But once radical pro-choice Dems threatened to vote no if the Stupak language were included in the bill, I thought it would be a good idea.

    I can admit that I was slow and late in coming to see the full danger of Obamacare before the first vote, but by the most recent one I was supporting Stupak only insofar as I thought his success would cause the defection of radical pro-choice Dems, as they had indicated it would in letters they sent to Pelosi.

    I also really did believe that Stupak was a man of principle and courage, that in spite of enormous pressure he was going to stand his ground. If he was that intransigent about the relatively lackluster Hyde amendment, who would have suspected that he would cave over a toothless executive order?

  23. Joe Hargrave says:

    By the way – some people think Stupak was blackmailed.

  24. Phillip says:

    “By the way – some people think Stupak was blackmailed.”

    Any more on that?

  25. Joe Hargrave says:

    Please don’t quote me on it, but I know I read Deal Hudson, somewhere, saying that he suspected as much. But my memory could be wrong.

  26. American Knight says:

    A true pro-lifer cannot be blackmailed. Whatever they have on him, if anything, can be made public and he can live with the scandal – I am not saying it would be easy, or even that I have the fortitude to do it, but that is what is expected of all disciples of Christ.

    It smells like we got played because apparently our new morality and social justice sentiments include paying for pedophiles to get erections, queers to get sex changes, teen girls to get contraceptives, free condoms and of course to have the freedom of choice to commit murder provided the one choosing is the home of the victim.

    What it apparently does not include is saving the most vulnerable and innocent from being murdered.

    Yeah, that makes sense!*#!:O

    Even if we take theology out of it, what kind of society allows the right to life to be subordinated to anything? Without life, no other right can exist.

    We just got royally stupaked!

  27. Elaine Krewer says:

    “It is to these organizations that we can partly attribute our serfdom under Obamacare, and the many lives that will be aborted (both old and young) to pay for health care for the rest.”

    Oh great. Just what we need — pro-life organizations turning against one another, blaming one another for the Obamacare fiasco, and tearing each other apart when they need to stick together like never before. Reminds me of that old saw about Christians being the only “army” that shoots its wounded.

    Most of the Catholic/pro-life organizations that were cheering on Stupak did so out of a sincere and not unreasonable conviction that, given the very real probability that Obamacare was going to pass, there ought to at least be a measure in place to contain or limit the great evil of publicly funded abortions. It was a perfectly justifiable and prudential judgement to make at the time regardless of the merits or demerits of the rest of the plan itself.

    It’s all fine and dandy to say NOW that we “should have known” all along that Stupak couldn’t be trusted; but hindsight is always 20-20.

  28. American Knight says:

    Foresight is also 20-20 when you have video of the planned betrayal.

    We got Stupaked and we’d better learn our lesson.

    An immoral people will elect corrupt men to lead them.

    We need to elect men of honor and virtue and bind their power and limit their access to money so they are not tempted to lust for more.

  29. S.pamb.ot says:

    Please don’t quote me on it, but I know I read Deal Hudson, somewhere, saying that he suspected as much. But my memory could be wrong.

    Responding to Brian Saint-Paul, Deal wrote this:

    “Brian, I don’t think Parker has the definition right. To “Stupak” means “to buckle under the threats and intimidation of political bosses.” Stupak, I believe, was taken into a back room and told the consequences of his opposition to the health care bill — investigations and potential litigation that would cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars out of his own pocket. I have no proof of this, it is a gut reaction to seeing his shrunken visage when he made the announcement of his change of mind: This was a man who had been threatened, I believe.”

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