UPDATE, 11/14, 7:55a: Thanks to Erick Erickson for magnanimously crossposting this at RedState.com.
11/13, 5:52a: I’ve read the complaints by conservatives (and even pro-lifers) following passage of the Stupak/Pitts pro-life amendment to the House healthcare bill. They say this simply enabled passage of the entire putrid mess.
My friend Erick Erickson at RedState.com wrote:
Stupak will go out….
Let me be clear to the conservative movement and the organizations participating in the health care debate: the fight over health care is about freedom, not your ridiculous little scorecards. [bold emphasis his]…
The Democrat strategy is going to be very simple. If the GOP and its outside interest groups raise an issue, the Democrats with a token Republican will hammer out a Grand Compromise to appear accommodationist and bipartisan.
If Republicans complain about abortion, the Democrats and Bob Bennett (R-UT) will offer up compromise language to take care of that concern….
The danger is that the GOP will start with the presupposition that the health care bill will pass and work to “improve” it….
Here’s the deal. With overwhelming Democrat majorities in both the House and Senate, and a very motivated president who has socialized healthcare as his top priority, a socialized healthcare bill was on its way to passage.
To think otherwise, to think generalized GOP complaints were stopping it, is to be naive and to not even to have a proper perspective of what happened Saturday.
No other issue, no other personality, no amount of loyal opposition, has been able to potentially shut down passage of healthcare except resistance to abortion in the plan. Read the headlines.
The pro-life fight has done 2 things:
1. It retarded the process. After the wonderful tea parties and town hall meetings of August, the battle over abortion gummed up the healthcare works during September and October, giving our special interest groups time to group or regroup to kindle their own fires. In the meantime, if Obamacare was going to happen, it was going to happen sans abortion funding.
2. It has potentially stopped socialized healthcare altogether. Read this post. The abortion issue has emerged as The Big Problem for Democrats, now in a real bind with no solution. And their quandary continues to buy the GOP and our special interest groups time to bring the entire bill down, death by a thousand bites. The more we eat the clock, the harder passage of Obamacare gets. If there is a stalemate, we win.
The perspective of those complaining is that pro-lifers are only out to stop abortion and are ok with passage of Obamacare if placated.
In fact, pro-lifers have many other problems with Obamacare. It is true abortion is our highest priority, but abortion was also the issue that got the most traction with legislators. It was, strangely, the low-hanging fruit. But, as Concerned Women for America wrote on November 10:
The bill still contains objectionable provisions that will ration and deny health care, pay for coercive “end of life planning”, create multiple bureaucracies that will control Americans health care, penalize Americans for not buying a product (health insurance), fine Americans if a government agent decides their health care plan is not “government approved”, and may force Americans to buy government mandated insurance that funds objectionable procedures.
If the objectionable issues are not corrected, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee will oppose passage of the final bill.
All pro-lifers would totally agree with that statement. Ultimately, Erick and I agree on strategy, as he continued:
After the GOP is done demanding things come out, not be ameliorated or added, there will be no bill left that the left can support….
That’s what pro-lifers are doing, demanding that abortion come out. And our strategy is working. It leaves a bill pro-aborts cannot support. Erick concluded:
This bill doesn’t just have a few things wrong with it, it’s a thousand pages of bad ideas that will hurt – not help – America…. The Senate Republicans and right-of-center interest groups need to stop trying to negotiate a surrender and join the fight.
The GOP must not be afraid to shut down the Senate. The only acceptable victory is defeat of the legislation.
I agree there are a thousand things wrong with the bill. So we need a thousand groups demanding parts of Obamacare come out.
I don’t mean to pick on Erick. His post was just indicative. But Erick et al should be encouraging pro-lifers right now, not complaining about them, as well as encouraging those thousand other groups to light a thousand other fires. Who knows what fire will give what legislator a reason to oppose Obamacare. Together we’ll make Obamacare untenable. It takes a village, as someone once said.
And to pro-lifers complaining about pro-lifers right now, get to work opposing Obamacare yourselves on the myriad of other problems we have with socialized healthcare.