Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

November 12, 2009

STUPAK STARTS MAKING THREATS.... Remember when it seemed as if the fight over public-private competition in health care threatened to derail the entire effort? That was so two weeks ago. Now, it's abortion.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) was able to get his odious amendment through the House, but it's unlikely to do as well in the Senate, especially after President Obama signaled his desire to see it changed. It led the Michigan Democrat to start making threats today.

"We won because [the Democrats] need us," Stupak said. "If they are going to summarily dismiss us by taking the pen to that language, there will be hell to pay. I don't say it as a threat, but if they double-cross us, there will be 40 people who won't vote with them the next time they need us -- and that could be the final version of this bill."

There are some pretty dramatic problems with this bravado. For one thing, there's no "double-cross" -- Speaker Pelosi let him bring his measure up for a vote and it passed. There was never any deal that the Senate had to follow suit. For another, according to House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Stupak brought 10 votes, not 40.

Indeed, it's probably worth noting that Stupak has proven to be something on an extremist when it comes to opposing women's reproductive rights, but it's not all clear that he represents an unyielding bloc of lawmakers. It's not unreasonable to think that some of the same pro-life Dems who voted for Stupak/Pitts and the reform bill may also be willing to accept a compromise that Stupak would reject.

Amy Sullivan reminds us of the votes on the other side of the Democratic divide.

It's worth noting as well that at least 40 pro-choice Democrats led by Congresswoman Diana DeGette have vowed to oppose a final version of health reform if it includes the Stupak language. I've talked to a lot of people this week who outright dismiss that possibility because "these are liberals -- they want health reform. They won't vote against it." But that's the same thing we heard for months about the Stupak coalition. "They're just making noise. They'll vote for it in the end." And while, yes, some of those pro-life Democrats were also conservatives who opposed health reform -- and voted against it anyway -- on other grounds, many were Catholics who want health reform for social justice reasons.

Bottom line: this fight isn't going away. Polls may show that voters care far more about the economy and other matters than social issues right now. But in Congress, decades of old wounds over abortion fights have been reopened.

And guess who's thrilled about that: Republicans, who see this as the new key to killing health care reform.

A spokesperson for Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said, "If defeating Stupak wouldn't [have changed] the outcome on Saturday, then it is clearly evident that having it in and sparking a civil war amongst the Democrats is the best way to stop the overall bill."

Steve Benen 12:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (27)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Someday, perhaps in some alternate reality, we will have Democratic Party leaders who actually lead.

Until then, we will have an endless stream of Stupaks and Nelsons, Liebermans and Landrieus and Breauxs, all saying they're Democrats while undermining the party at every turn.

Posted by: Domage on November 12, 2009 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

What Stupak's committee assignments? Does he want to keep them? Time for the dems to show some strength on enforcing party discipline.

Posted by: wordtypist on November 12, 2009 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

sooner or later the stupaks in the democratic party are gonna hafta be dealt with -- sooner or later you hafta call their bluff.

stupak is begging for it -- he ought to get it. and after he and his ilk join the repugnant party, let them stand agst their teabagging primary opponents.

otherwise, the right wing is going to "weimar" the govt into complete collapse, with the hopes that their reich will rise from the ashes...and it just might.

Posted by: neill on November 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

This asshole is a denizen of C Street. There's got to be some really good dirt on him. Somebody needs to get busy digging it up.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on November 12, 2009 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Stupak: A medical condition (subset of sepsis) resulting from unsafe - unnecessarily so - back alley abortions as a result of the "Stupak Amendment" to the 2009 Health Care Reform Bill.
Doctor: Unfortunately, while this would have been covered under private insurance carriers, public plans were barred from including women's health measures. I'm sorry, you'll have to see "Dr. Julio" in the alley behind 7-11.

(Three weeks later.)

Doctor: I believe you've developed Stupak, a form of sepsis, a severe illness in which the bloodstream is overwhelmed by bacteria.

Posted by: Tom Betz on November 12, 2009 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Abortion (up until "quickening" and effected by abortifacients) was legal in the colonies and after the Revolution. Why does Stupak hate America and the Founders and Framers? Oh, that is if you were a free woman. It wasn't permitted for female slaves. The children could be sold by the slave owner for a tidy profit.

Posted by: POP (ACP) on November 12, 2009 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how many supporters he'd have if it became publicly known that he is a "C-Streeter"? Jeff Sharlet, who has the goods on the C-Street fundamentalist conspiracy known as "The Family" has already outed this scummy little piece of something you scrape off your shoe. This is how "the Family" works in promoting "God's work."

Posted by: TCinLA on November 12, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I think this has nothing to do with abortion and everything to do with killing health care reform.

The American people want the system reformed. Those in congress who oppose reform are trying to reframe the issue as an abortion issue. That's all we've heard for almost a week now, abortion, abortion, abortion. That's a sure fire way to chip away at public support.

Posted by: SaintZak on November 12, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, Snowe is now going to have to vote against the Stupak amendment and give the wingnut base plus the anti choice "moderates" a big reason not to vote for her in the GOP primary, no matter what she does on HCR.

She already is well behind generic wingnut in the primary polls. She has few options except changing to Independent.

If Lieberman filibusters, there will be chairmanships to hand out, after he is stripped of seniority.

Posted by: OKDem on November 12, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

What do 8th C. Afghanistan and 21st C. America have in common?

Oh, what a fat pitch THAT question is. . .

Posted by: DAY on November 12, 2009 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Personally, I think this has nothing to do with abortion and everything to do with killing health care reform."

"C" Street fanatics? It's both.

Posted by: POP (ACP) on November 12, 2009 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

I am concerned that this is derailing the bill. It is NOT important to provide abortion services under a public option because those women who seek such services, can use other resources that are currently available to low income families.

Posted by: Steven H on November 12, 2009 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

It's not just that it disallows it under a public option, it disallows it for any insurance participating in the exchange. Or for women who in any way use public funds to purchase their own reproductive health rider.

Posted by: Pentimenti on November 12, 2009 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Too many stupid democrats.

Posted by: Boronx on November 12, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

The key to killing HCR has always been to make it about abortion, which it now has become. The Democrats always know how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. 2010 will likely mark the end of the Democrats as well as the Rethugs. And good riddance to both.

Posted by: rRk1 on November 12, 2009 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

I find it interesting that it is 'men' who strive to have the say over abortion rights.

Posted by: Ibett on November 12, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

After a week of enjoying the Republican civil war in the NY-23 district, we seem to be unable to keep from insisting on purity in our own party. Sigh.

Posted by: Eagle on November 12, 2009 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Steve that mighty mighty fine of you to offer up women like a chew toy. I find it ironic that you are not offering up your penis nor the penis of any other man in America. Very very brave and upright of you to screw women over.

Posted by: Silver Owl on November 12, 2009 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

we seem to be unable to keep from insisting on purity in our own party

WTF? This isn't about "purity." This is about a specific amendment that is antithetical to Democratic party principles on the deepest level.

The Stupak amendment would prevent any woman who chooses an abortion to receive any subsidized insurance.

Or, stated more succinctly, if you want the right to choose, you have no right to health insurance.

This isn't about whether public funds are used for abortions. That is already prohibited.

The Stupak amendment forces those who are too poor for insurance or who cannot get coverage for pre-existing conditions to give up their right to an abortion that they pay for out of their own pockets.

It's simply not acceptable.

Posted by: lobbygow on November 12, 2009 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't about abortion rights as some here are decrying. It's about funding for abortions. If there are existing resources available to low income families who seek abortion services, then I do not see this as a critical part of the health care bill, particularly because it has the potential to derail the whole bill.

Posted by: Steven H on November 12, 2009 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK
rRk1@1:23: The key to killing HCR has always been to make it about abortion, which it now has become. The Democrats always know how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. 2010 will likely mark the end of the Democrats as well as the Rethugs. And good riddance to both.

Well, dividing and neutralizing the Democratic Party is the only hope the Tea Bagger types have of finally realizing their dream of destroying Democracy and ruling us all.

The Party of Palin/Beck looks a lot more threatening when you take the Republican and Democratic parties out of the equation.

Posted by: JTK on November 12, 2009 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK


"..."If defeating Stupak wouldn't [have changed] the outcome on Saturday, then it is clearly evident that having it in and sparking a civil war amongst the Democrats is the best way to stop the overall bill."-Cantor

Which is exactly what Pitts and his C-Street supporters intended to do all along, reverse R v W and/or kill the HC reform bill. Watch how big the repubs play this Stupak crap. At the final vote who will be remembered for defeating the bill?...the ones who put in a poisonous amendment at the last moment...which was totally unnecessary, going against what the bill was to accomplish...'health care' ins. reform.

For those who don't know...no federal funds are allowed for abortions already and bill reinforces that...Stupak makes it so if woman A pays with her own money for an ins policy in the exchange she likes...but then woman B who gets a partial subsidy through the exchange decides to get the same ins. policy then that policy can not provide coverage for abortions for anyone who has that same policy...no matter if woman A is paying all of her premiums with her own money...because woman B decided to get that policy then it is not allowed to provide money for abortion procedures...which wipes out all ins policies where a subsidized holder has a policy, for covering that procedure...

Oh if only Stupak didn't hate women so much huh.

Posted by: bjobotts on November 12, 2009 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

To make it clearer: No ins offered through the exchange will be allowed to cover abortion procedures whether the policy holder is subsidized or not...even if the woman is paying 100% of her premiums.

Posted by: bjobotts on November 12, 2009 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

If these fools really want to play this stupid game (Stupak's), then let's pass a law that no insurance policy issued in the US can cover abortion. That ought to about cover all the wives of the upper classes in both parties, including the wives and girlfriends of congressmen.

Posted by: rbe1 on November 13, 2009 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

That ought to about cover all the wives of the upper classes in both parties, including the wives and girlfriends of congressmen.

Since they already pay cash for theirs or have physician friends do them on the QT, I doubt this will be a deterrent.

Posted by: FS on November 13, 2009 at 7:24 AM | PERMALINK

When the Stupak amendment passed I thought that it meant that democrats learned how to count.

I see from the tone of this post and the comments that this is not the case.

Have fun with it ladies and gentlemen.

Posted by: datechguy on November 13, 2009 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

How much are we expected to give up so that O'Same can claim a health care victory that does nothing but line the pockets of the Health Care industry and throws millions in jail for not being able to afford the $15,000 fine for not being to afford health care in name only?

Abortion Rights? SOLD!!
Meaningful Public Option?? SOLD!!

Abort Obamacare before it's too late and maybe there's a chance when some Democrats get elected.

Posted by: teammarty on November 13, 2009 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly