Anh Joseph Cao and the Vietnamese Government

One of my personal heroes is Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (R.LA).  I have no doubt that he is more liberal politically than I am, but he is a man of the highest principles.  Pro-life to his core, he voted for ObamaCare only after the Stupak amendment passed.  He voted for ObamaCare, even though he knew such a vote was anathema to almost all Republicans, including the one writing this post, because he thought it was the right thing to do.  When Stupak caved, Cao refused to vote for ObamaCare because of the abortion issue, even though he knew that the vote against ObamaCare was anathema to most of the voters of his liberal district, because he thought it was the right thing to do.

Recently, the Communist government of Vietnam wrote to the Congressman hoping that as the sole Vietnamese-American Congressman he could help clear up some “misunderstandings” between the Vietnamese government and Vietnamese-Americans.  Congressman Cao’s response is memorable and may be read here.  So his meaning could not be mistaken, Congressman Cao also wrote his response in Vietnamese here.

Congressman Cao won his seat in Congress by defeating the incredibly corrupt incumbent William “Cold Cash” Jefferson.  Cao’s district, Louisiana 2, is rated Democrat +28 by Charlie Cook, one of the best political prognosticators extant.  Cao’s re-election bid is almost certainly doomed to failure.   However, I expect to contribute to his campaign, and I will be asking Saint Jude to intercede with God for a political miracle for him.  Politicians are always with us, like fleas on a dog, but a statesman like Cao is a rarity.

10 Responses to Anh Joseph Cao and the Vietnamese Government

  1. Tito Edwards says:

    If I could, I would contribute to his campaign as well.

    What an outstanding human being and American!

    I will certainly be praying for him and his re-election campaign.

  2. RL says:

    What a great letter!

  3. Greg Mockeridge says:


    He voted for Obamacare knowing the Stupak amendment was a sham that was going to get scrubbed out in committe, which it eventually was.

  4. tryptic67 says:

    I am willing to give Cao a pass on the original vote in favor the healthcare bill.

    First, as profoundly disappointed as I am with Congressman Stupak’s cave-in and subsequent votes, I am unsure any of us can say that a vote for the original House version of the healthcare bill was a participation in a knowing sham … even Bart Stupak. I certainly believed Stupak all the way up until the end.

    Next, Cao’s lone ‘aye’ was not dispositive, in that Speaker Pelosi by all accounts had several more Democrats ready to vote yes. Cao is basically holding a “safe” Democratic seat, vacated by Congressman Cold Cash Jefferson. So I am willing to ‘pass’ Cao on that ground as well.

    Finally, I recall that the Roman Catholic Church and other pro-life religious and secular entities, during the amendment phase, expressly took the position to treat the Stupak langugage as legitimate and not to vote against it during the amendment phases (i.e., not to join with pro-abortion reps) in a political ploy to defeat Stupak’s amendment and force Stupak et al to vote against the final version. As we can surmise now, that might have been disastrous.

    If the Church was correct that pro-lifers can not play games like that, then I find it hard to fault Cao on these grounds either.

  5. Jay Anderson says:


    You might as well blame the entire House GOP Caucus, then. Obamacare would never have made it out of the House without the Stupak language, and the only reason the Stupak language was included was because every Republican in the House voted for it. If the Stupak amendment was a sham, then blame John Boehner and every other Republican.

    Blame the Bishops, who pushed for the Stupak language. Hell, blame me, and Don, and several other folks, since we pushed for it, too. If it was such an obvious “sham” that everyone “knew” it was going to get scrubbed out in committee, then all of us who pushed for the Stupak language are guilty.

    It’s a little unfair to single out Cao in that regard.

  6. Steve says:

    It isn’t, however, unfair to blame Cao for voting for a bill that–even with the Stupak Amendment–provided massive funding for Planned Parenthood and for contraception.

  7. Greg Mockeridge says:

    If the GOP had a chance to kill Obamacare in the House and didn’t, then shame on them too. As far as the Bishops are concerned, we all know they are a bunch of big government leftists who routinely distort Church teeaching to tickle their iedological fancy. How many bishops even raised the question of whether or not the massive government control of healthcare violates the principle of subsidiarity, which is a bedrock of Catholic social teaching?

  8. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Ultimately the passage of the Stupak Amendment made no difference to the final passage of ObamaCare as the Democrats were able to arm twist enough votes without the Stupak amendment (with the help of Stupak). Unlike Stupak, however, Cao is a real opponent of abortion, and when ObamaCare finally passed it passed without his vote, in spite of the very high political cost he will probably pay as a result.

    The Republicans were wise in their strategy: by voting for Stupak they indicated that they put the fight against abortion first, even above the fight against ObamaCare, while most “pro-life” Democrats revealed that they really are not foes of abortion in any meaningful sense. The Republican party fortified its pro-life strength, while the Democrats did their best to repel pro-life voters.

  9. tryptic67 says:

    If the GOP had voted against Stupak en bloc, then Bart would have had a free-pass to (a) demagogue the GOP on a core issue; (b) rely on Democratic Party assurances that the Hyde amendment covered/covers the entire bill anyway; and (c) accept an Executive Order solution back then. He always wanted the healthcare bill. And the pro-life movement would have sustained severe political damage.

    In any event, Cao voted the right way in the end. It was Stupak who caved (or was bought).

  10. Eric Brown says:

    I really like this guy. He’s focused on the clean up of the oil on the coast while Senator Landrieu is only focused on getting operations going again, not to mention, he’s co-sponsoring legislation to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This may make him popular to conservatives and may cause them to label him a RINO because of so-called political orthodoxy, but I really like Rep. Joseph Cao.

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