Amid the recriminations it's easy to overlook what Mr. Stupak had cobbled together. His amendment restricting federal funding for abortions, passed in November, marked the only bipartisan vote in this whole health-care mess. For the first time since Roe v. Wade, pro-life Democrats had seized the legislative initiative in the teeth of their leadership's opposition—and brought the party of abortion to heel.
Now Mr. Stupak has thrown it away. By caving at the last hour, he discredited all who stood with him. (What does it say about Ohio's Marcy Kaptur and Pennsylvania's Chris Carney that they had already agreed to vote yes even before the fig leaf of the executive order had come through?) In addition to undermining an encouraging partnership with pro-lifers across the congressional aisle, Mr. Stupak signaled that, in the end, you can't count on pro-life Democrats.....
In signing on to this sham order, the Stupak people signed their death warrant as a force within their party. In an America where a majority now describe themselves as pro-life, they have put legislative accommodations on abortion further out of reach. At least in the near future, they have ensured the Democrats will become even more uniformly pro-choice, and our national debate more polarized.
And that's a tragedy for our politics as well as for our principles.
John Hudson collects various explanations as to why Stupak caved.
At the Huffington Post, Michael Moore is taking credit for Stupak's vote.
Representative Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) has admitted to shouting "it's a baby killer" during Bart Stupak's floor speech.
"In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase 'it's a baby killer' in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership," Neugebauer's statement reads. "While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself. … The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate."
Speaking of that floor speech, here's an interview Megyn Kelly did with Stupak which includes some of that speech. It's hard to believe Stupak could actually believe what he's saying. Democrats are the ones who stand up for life? Come on.
Stupak reminds me of an elementary school child who steadfastly stood up for a friend who was constantly being harassed by her peers until one day he can't take the pressure any longer and joins the harassers.
Some pro-choicers aren't happy with Obama's promise to sign an executive order. Katha Politt thinks pro-choice groups should get some kind of payback for taking one for the liberal team. The National Network of Abortion Funds takes the opportunity to rail against the "cruel legacy of the Hyde Amendment."
Don't read this Washington Post column by Anthony Stevens-Arroyo in which he compares the passage of health care reform to a football game where Pelosi, Casey and Stupak are leading "the Catholic team" on a winning drive. Seriously. You will be dumber for reading it. It's that bad. Don't do it.