Put not thy hope in Stupak
(Note: in a later entry, a reader takes the opposite point of view from mine in this entry.)
You can read the Weekly Standard’s interview of Rep. Bart Stupak today in two ways, which are not mutually exclusive: that he’s absolutely firm that he (along with his eleven Stupak amendment colleagues) will not vote for the health care bill if it doesn’t contain the Stupak amendment language; and that he is very desirous of voting for the bill it if does contain the language. He acknowledges that there are significant procedural challenges yet to be overcome in “tie-barring” his and the other House hold-outs’ demanded changes to the Senate bill so that the whole thing, the Senate bill and all the fixes, goes through as one package, yet he expresses his optimism: “The majority party can get it done. Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Given Stupak’s desire to support the bill, I think it would be foolish to expect the Stupak Twelve to remain the biggest obstacle to passage, which has been the main story line in recent days. I therefore think we should assume the worst—assume that the anti-abortion language will get included somehow (though it’s hard to see how), and that the Stupak group will vote yes. But if that is so, by what scenario could passage still be stopped? According to Democratic congressman Emmanuel Cleaver of Missouri today, the bill currently has 201 supporters. Adding the Stupak Twelve makes it 213, only three or four short of the number needed for passage. Stupak in his interviews strikes me as man of integrity. It remains the case that this man of integrity wants to pass this horrible bill, just so long as it doesn’t fund abortion, and subject us to a nightmarish government takeover of society unprecedented in American history. I repeat again—it is not the desire of Stupak to stop the bill; it is his desire to pass it. His uprightness is a wall against government funding of abortions, not against a socialized America.
We cannot put our hope in princes—or in representatives. On the human level, the outcome of this struggle is completely in the hands of the Democrats, our adversaries. At this point, only God can save us from the monstrous thing the Democrats want to do to us, that same God who delivered the Israelites from Pharoah’s army at the Red Sea … and who gave us the Massachusetts Miracle.