I got this question from a friend on Facebook:
ben nelson, 10, abortion, healthcare.jpg

So, Jill… what happened with Nelson? You and other pro-life leaders were advising people to be “calm” and to thank him and all indications now are that he prostituted his vote like so many others. How do you know who to trust?

Ultimately, all pro-lifers have when dealing with politicians are relationships, promises, and legislative history….

Human beings are fallible, and this was just another reminder our only hope is Jesus.
Over the weekend Charmaine Yoest posted a great quote on Facebook by Max Lucado, which I love: “Everything will work out in the end. If it’s not working out, it’s not the end!”
How true.
Looking back, Nelson was working with all the right people – Democrats for Life, NE Right to Life, Bart Stupak, and the USCCB.
And he betrayed them all.
Kristen Day 2, Democrats for Life, healthcare, abortion, Ben Nelson, Bob Casey.pngI feel particularly bad for Kristen Day (left) of Democrats for Life, who has steadfastly supported Nelson in the difficult position as advocate for pro-life Democrat legislators. Nelson’s defection coupled with Bob Casey’s really sets D4L back.
Nelson also betrayed the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which tied as the biggest shocker to me. Nelson is a Methodist, and perhaps the last minute entry into the foray by one of his pro-abort church leaders reoriented him (or preassuaged his guilt), but his diss of this very important spokesbody for the Catholic Church on the healthcare issue surprised me.
The other tie as biggest shock was Nelson’s betrayal of MI pro-life Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak. It was only Friday morning that Stupak felt confident enough in his working relationship with Nelson on the life issue in healthcare to tell ABC News:

They are holding tough and they are asking me, “Is the House holding tough?” Our members are holding, so we will not pass if they are putting anything but a version of our language.

Finally, Nelson betrayed the pro-life organization and leadership within his own state, NE Right to Life, and its parent group, National Right to Life, which had supported him for years and had a good working relationship.
Meanwhile, Nelson’s new lines in the sand ring hollow, as reported by Politico yesterday:

Nelson, who received assurances of a “limited conference” to secure his vote for the Senate bill, has already laid down at least 2 deal breakers in the House bill that he can’t support: the inclusion of a government insurance plan and an income tax increase on wealthy individuals.
“That would break it,” Nelson said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Don’t forget what Nelson said previously about abortion, as reported by Politico on December 5:

… Nelson… sparked a fresh round of concern this week when he repeatedly and definitively vowed to filibuster the health care legislation unless it included abortion restrictions as tough as the so-called Stupak amendment in the House bill.
“I don’t ordinarily draw a line in the sand, but I have drawn a line in the sand,” Nelson said Friday.
Nelson certainly has a long history of agitating his party by withholding his vote until he wrings out every last concession from Senate leaders. But on the uncompromising issue of abortion, Democrats fear he may really be serious this time.

Turns out he wasn’t. Nelson was using preborn babies as pawns, taking pro-lifers along for the ride.
If this weren’t true, Nelson would have sought input from the people and groups he had previously been working with before signing on to the last abortion compromise offered before the exact moment after which a Christmas Eve sealed deal wouldn’t have been possible. Nelson squeezed Senate leadership until time ran out and then walked away with perks for NE coupled with enough of an abortion compromise to look like he really cared about it.
[HT for Politico article: administrative assistant Kelli; photo of Nelson via The Raw Story]

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