The Stupak Lesson
First off, I’d like to open with a joke. Bart Stupak is going to be teaching at Harvard.
Bart Stupak is pleased that he has retired from Congress and insists that he has done the right thing in voting for Obamacare. He made it clear during the fight between him, his constituents and the nation that he would not allow the healthcare bill to pass with federal funding of abortion. During March of this year, he was on television and radio daily assuring everyone in the nation that the final passage of “health care for all” would not contain the federal funding of abortion. His Stupak/Pitts amendment was designed to insert the Hyde amendment into the bill, but once the bill left the House, it was replaced in the Senate by the Senate’s own version which did not include the Stupak/Pitts amendment. He then went to Obama, who had his own version of a bill (which was not acceptable to any of the members of the House and Senate,) to make sure that no federal dollars would be used to fund abortions in the last stages of “reconciliation.” Reconciliation cannot be and was not used during the passage of Obamacare, in fact no bill was passed, hence the famous Pelosi quote, “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” Nobody knew what the bill said because nobody read it, because it was not an actual bill until after they voted for it. When Stupak waved an executive order from the most pro-abortion President this country has ever seen, and said it would act as his Stupak/Pitts amendment would, he sealed his fate and then retired in April.
He has complained that his life had been a living hell ever since he voted for Obamacare, but that is not entirely true. Once Stupak made his announcement that he would not allow the bill to pass because of abortion language, he drew harsh criticism and a Democratic challenger in his district who was incensed that he would stand in the way of abortion rights for women. The calls he received that he said were terribly critical, (enough so that he and his wife had to change their home phone number,) were not from the conservatives in his district. They were from the pro-aborts who said that he was ruining “health care for all” because of the abortion issue. Laughably, some liberal women in the House said that they were willing to vote against the bill because of the Stupak amendment which was actually the most palatable suggestion to conservatives. No Obamacare, no federal funding of abortion.
It is important to remember that Stupak was not a blue dog. He did not like the term attributed to him, as it did not describe him. He was and is a complete leftist who made a big deal about hunting and abortion in order to get elected. The First District of Michigan became wide awake when Stupak began making his deals in the Summer of 2009, and I believe his new-found popularity with the press really excited him and made him feel important. He soon found out that the leadership and far-left of his party did not really like him, and none of us really know what he had to do to get the executive order from Obama. We speculated that it was the funding of some airports in his district, but we cannot be sure. What we do know, is that Stupak has always thought like a leftist, and that he believed what he was doing was mandated by the fact that he was duly elected, and that meant he would be able to make decisions for all based on what he and the rest of congress believed was the right thing to do for everybody.
It is also important to remember that the Tea Party Express was traveling across the country, riling up the everyday people in the nation, and targeted Stupak. When they entered the First District, they publicly offered Stupak $700,000 to resign. Within two days, Stupak announced his retirment, saying that he was planning to anyway, and hoped they lost a lot of money trying to get rid of him.
Shortly after his vote, Stupak started a pissing match between him and the National Right to Life, who had endorsed him for nearly 20 years. They eventually rescinded their endorsement because they found out what he knew all along, Obama-care was passed with the federal funding of abortion.
The story of Stupak’s political demise is summed up by this lesson. That elected representatives cannot use social issues to get elected and then bastardize them for political expediency. Stupak would never have been elected if he was pro-abortion and anti-gun, in the end, he was evicted by the sentiment of his constituency.
Our great nation is mostly a nation of good, honest, hard-working people who stand on principle. Yet, political junkies and belt-way hacks continue to miss the reason the Republicans won the House, and so many primaries went to the most conservative Senate seat-seekers. Many consultants believe that the Republicans won because of the fiscal issues and that we should tone it down on the social issues because it rankles independents. But as evidenced by the Stupak lesson, the Republicans did not win because of fiscal issues alone.
Here is the main problem. The rank and file members of the Party of JFK are understanding this nation’s direction faster than the powers-that-be in the Republican Party are. They are monumentally concerned about the fiscal and moral direction of the country, and they are willing to vote Republican, if the Republicans realize they are the beneficiaries of American backlash against liberalism. In fact, many so-called independents voted Republican and many Democrats voted Republican. The greatest mistake for the Republican Party to make is to allow them to drop from our side altogether because we decide to believe the claptrap that Americans do not care about social issues.
We can remedy the situation by understanding these basic points. One, that America is no longer asleep when it comes to politics and government. Two, that ordinary, everyday Americans can do extraordinary things when motivated by the audacious acts of their representatives. And finally, that Americans fought the entire year of 2010 for their country and were assured that the Republican Party would have the guts to save it.
I am reminded of a story that was told to me by a nearby veteran. He talked about how he walked in on a sergeant who was berating his enlisted men calling them names, questioning whether or not they had fathers and in general, making fools of them. The vet I know called the sergeant to task, telling him that he cannot expect his men to carry out their jobs with that sort of leadership. The vet was reprimanded for talking that way to the sergeant, but in the end, the sergeant lost all respect from the men he commanded. The Republican Party cannot afford to lose all respect of their new ground force.
The Republican Party has the ability to win from here on out if they understand the lessons. If they do not, they will not only lose elections, but they will lose the Party and we will all lose the country.