To be sure, the 20 Dem pro-life turncoats are to blame for their own votes, but clearly their leaders badgered, pressured, and hounded them until they broke.
There was no way for the Stu-PAC to win, politically. Had the bloc caused the healthcare bill to fail, there would have been hell to pay from the power brokers. Now there is hell to pay from us.
Some Democrats may scoff at the title of this piece, saying pro-life groups never supported pro-life Democrats to begin with. Stupak said that very thing when lashing out after his cave.
But pro-life groups were getting there. They were trying. They indeed did endorse Democrats. Stupak could have cemented a pro-life caucus in the Democrat Party and solidified a relationship with pro-life groups, but he instead fractured both. Today, ironically, Stupak became his own 1st casualty.
Pro-life Democrat congresspersons still standing and candidates being wooed to run in conservative districts now know their party ultimately will not let them be pro-life.
And we know it, too. Hence, this grave April 7 press release, the likes of which I’ve never seen before…
The IN Right to Life Political Action Committee today announced that it has formally adopted a resolution denying endorsements to all Democratic candidates as a direct result of recent passage of the pro-abortion health care reform bill with support from IN congressmen Brad Ellsworth, Joe Donnelly, and Baron Hill….
The resolution to be applied in the 2010 election cycle reads:
“Whereas the Democratic Party officially endorses the right to unrestricted abortion on demand; and
Whereas Democratic leadership continues aggressively to advance federal policies that undermine the right to life of unborn children; and
Whereas Congressman Brad Ellsworth, Congressman Baron Hill, and Congressman Joe Donnelly betrayed the trust of pro-life Hoosiers by voting for the pro-abortion federal health care reform bill; and
Whereas the Democratic caucus in the Indiana House, under the leadership of Speaker Pat Bauer, continues to block all legislation aimed at limiting, restricting, and reducing abortions in the state of Indiana; and
Whereas candidates of the Democratic Party are responsible for the policies and actions of the party and its leadership;
Be it resolved that the IN Right to Life PAC will grant no endorsements to any Democratic candidates for any public office.”…
“Our leadership anguished over this decision,” notes IRTL-PAC chairman Mike Fichter. “Had Democrats like Brad Ellsworth held firm in opposing federal funding for abortion in the health care bill, we likely would have rewarded such action with a bipartisan endorsement policy. Ellsworth’s collapse under pressure from the White House and Speaker Pelosi, as well as the collapse of his colleagues Joe Donnelly and Baron Hill, leaves us with no alternative. Leadership matters, and the reality is that Democratic leaders are advancing an abortion agenda at an alarming rate that will only be checked by a Republican majority.”
Fichter adds that Democrats who wish to see a return of a bipartisan endorsement policy must work to change the party’s platform on abortion and to change its party leadership. “The ball is in the Democratic Party’s court,” says Fichter. “As long as it continues to advance an abortion agenda, its candidates will not receive our support.“
Read also Kathryn Lopez’s piece at NRO today.
FRC in a press release about Stupak’s retirement today had similar thoughts:
Rep. Stupak’s fall lies directly at the feet of the Democratic congressional leadership and President Obama, who pushed their support of government funding of abortion over the principles of pro-life Members of their own party. Although Rep. Stupak certainly is responsible for the decision he made to endorse the Obama plan, the severe demands his President and Party placed on him were untoward and unremitting.
Yesterday the FRC PAC announced its “20 in ’10″ campaign, “to oust the 20 so-called “pro-life” Democrats who voted for the President’s bill…. We plan to raise at least a half million dollars to spend in those congressional districts whose members turned their backs on their convictions – and their constituents.
It’s so sad, because pro-life momentum could have been heading the opposite way had Stupak stood strong. The ramifications of his cave are enormous.
[Photo via The American Spectator]