Divided We Fall
The Democrats’ health care legislation passed the House of Representatives on Saturday by three votes. Under the Democrats’ plan, should you fail to obtain health insurance, you will go to jail for five years.Leading up to the vote, pro-lifers engaged in a battle against each other over the “Stupak Amendment” offered by pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak. By Sunday, pro-lifers were suffering numerous recriminations from their allies. The logic is that had Stupak not passed, there would be enough votes to ensure the health care bill did not pass.While I tend to agree with the argument, I think we miss a central point: Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats would have just done something else to get the legislation passed. By using pro-life issues, however, the Democrats were able to divide the GOP.As the sun rises this Monday morning, let’s consider a few points.1. Whether Stupak passed or not, the health care legislation would have passed on Saturday. In fact, most of the Republican leaders on the Hill encouraged a yes vote for the Stupak Amendment because (A) its passage would send a strong message that there is a pro-life majority in the House of Representatives and (B) its passage would not affect the final outcome. Regardless of how you view Stupak, we know now there is a pro-life majority in even this Democratic House of Representatives and Stupak very clearly will not affect the final outcome.2. We know that this House legislation is dead on arrival in the United States Senate. As a result of its passage, a number of Blue Dog Democrats are now extremely vulnerable to defeat, as are a number of others. The act of voting for the legislation, and the anger generated by it receiving a majority vote, will doom a significant number of Democrats.3. Because the Stupak Amendment passed, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and a host of power left-wing interest groups that supported Obamacare, now are joined with a bunch of groups on the right in opposition to the measure.4. Passing Obamacare in the manner it passed Saturday has created fresh, new divisions within the Democratic Party. While the media would prefer to look at Republican divisions, the Democrats are so full of gaping wounds now, they might bleed to death by November of 2010.I think the Stupak Amendment was an instance of the pro-life community not seeing the forest for the trees and it should have been opposed. But I am willing to admit I could be wrong. What I do know is that the House Republican Leadership has been very, very good at combating the Democrats’ legislative agenda. That House GOP Leadership encouraged a vote for Stupak should not be second guessed lightly. It is a lot easier for me to Monday morning quarterback the vote than it was for these men and women on the front lines to make a decision.At the end of the day we need to trust the people who said a yes vote was worth casting. Now is also not the time to throw the pro-lifers under the bus. They stand with us and, because of their tough stance, we are now ironically joined by pro-abortion groups standing shoulder to shoulder with pro-life groups in opposition to Obamacare.Life is fully of ironies. Let’s savor this one and fight on.