Nelson ridicules pro-lifers: "Apparently I didn't say, 'Mother, may I?'"

On December 22 at 4:45p, pro-life traitor Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) gave a speech on the Senate floor.

Obviously, he had read the voluminous critiques of his "compromise" that enabled a socialized healthcare bill to pass in the Senate that included public funded abortions.

He had something to say about that...

I think my colleagues know that we introduced legislation that is comparable to the Stupak legislation in the House dealing with barring the use of federal funds for elective abortions.

mother may i, ben nelson, abortion, healthcare.jpg

We introduced it over here. It was bipartisan. It was Hatch - it was Nelson - Nelson-Hatch-Casey, and it didn't pass. So I began the process of trying to find other solutions that I thought equally walled off the use of federal funds and made it clear that no federal funds would be used....

Now, apparently I didn't say, "Mother, may I?" in the process of writing that language because others took issue with it, even though they cannot constructively point out how it doesn't prohibit the use of federal funds or wall off those funds or keep them totally segregated. They just didn't like the language....

Well, you know, if in the conference the Stupak-Nelson-Hatch-Casey language passes, I'll be happy, and so will Congressman Stupak and so would, I would imagine, those who signed on to that legislation.

You know, it's unfortunate, though, to continue to distort and misrepresent what happens here in the body of the Senate. It's difficult enough to have comittees, difficult enough to have cooperation. It's difficult enough to have collegiality. When politics are put above policy and productivity, this is what we get....

Excuse me? We cannot "constructively point out" his compromise's flaws? How's this, from a December 22 Washington Times editorial?

nelson, healthcare, mother may i, abortion.png

On Page 41 (lines 5-8) of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's manager amendment, the proposed rules mandate that everyone buying insurance through new exchanges or through the new government-run plan must pay a monthly abortion premium to be used for elective abortion services. This fee applies "without regard to the enrollee's age, sex or family status." That means that people who have no possibility of wanting an abortion themselves will pay for others to have them.

On Page 43 (lines 1-7), insurance companies will be required to assess the cost of elective abortion coverage, and on Page 43 (lines 20-22) they are mandated to charge a minimum of at least $1 per enrollee per month to cover abortion.

Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat who led a House revolt against abortion funding, calls the Senate language "a dramatic shift in federal policy." The type of amendment approved by Mr. Nelson was voted down in the House.

For corroboration watch this December 21 video of pro-abort DHHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius agreeing with WT's explanation of taxpayer funding of abortion in the Senate healthcare bill.

And that "Mother, may I?" line not only insulted pro-life groups and legislators involved in this process, it grossly undervalued their expertise.

[HT for Nelson quote: Senate friend; HT for Washington Times piece: Jivin J; Nelson photo via the WT]


Well, coming from this Catholic boy, had Nelson taken that question "Mother, may I?" to prayer, I'm sure Mary would have prevailed upon her Son to make the answer unequivocal.

It's as I said in the family dog post. He continues to betray the smug attitude of perversion. He has the relationship backward. He SHOULD have asked that question. We're his employer, after all. He's hired to do OUR bidding.

The answer to this mentality is an electoral smack-down this November the likes of which Washington has never seen.

But for now, we turn our attention to the birth of one child who rescued us from ourselves. I'd like to leave the gentle denizens if Jill's blog with this beautiful Christmas meditation from Sigred Undset:

“And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans–and all that lives and move upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused–and to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.”

Merry Christmas all!

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 24, 2009 7:44 AM

Hey, at least we've been upgraded. We've gone from the "family dog" to "Mother."

Really, I wish he would stop being reductionary! This is not just another political compromise. It is a Big DealK. So in answer to your question, Nelson: no, you may not. Go to your room.

Posted by: Keli Hu at December 24, 2009 7:54 AM

It's quite obvious Nelson wasn't thinking of mothers or their babies, hence the lost question of "Mother may I?"

Gerard: I see you are a Sigrid Undset fan! Yeah! Did you know her bio of St. Catherine of Siena was recently published?

Posted by: angel at December 24, 2009 7:59 AM

He sounds like a man whose guilty conscience will not be assuaged. I guess it's hard to live with the knowledge that you sold innocent life - and your own integrity - for millions of dollars. He's pitiful.

Now's the time, folks, to keep Bart Stupak in your prayers. St. Michael, defend him in this battle and strengthen him!

Posted by: Jennifer at December 24, 2009 8:47 AM

Did Mr Nelson even think about the post abortive women who won't want to pay for abortions? I'm thinking of those who deeply regret their abortions or were injured.

Posted by: LizFromNebraska at December 24, 2009 9:25 AM

Christian Prolifers please pray for Rep. Stupak he is under enormous pressure to cave in. They are going to use any means they can to get him to cave in. Those prolifers who are not believers I respect your rights and hope you will send good wishes to this man. The "Chicago Way", thug-style political machine has gone national. Al Capone and The Godfather are not dead they are alive and well in D.C.

Posted by: Prolifer L at December 24, 2009 9:59 AM

Agreed, Liz!!!

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at December 24, 2009 10:09 AM

Nelson should have asked his CONSTITUENTS, "may I?", instead of asking the monied influence peddlars. If he had, he would not have done what he did. He is trying to portray himself as the independent minded man defying the restrictions and oppression of the church. The phrazing, "Mother may I" is suffiently religious sounding to awaken the latent anti-catholicsism of the sisters, yet sufficiently vague to avoid any unpleasant reactions from committed Christians whose votes he wants. Many a politician has hidden behind this screen before, when, like Nelson, they desperately needed cover.

McClatchy News is reporting that Barbara Boxer
describes the "Nelson Compromise" as "only an accounting procedure that will do nothing to restrict abortion" (Sacramento Bee, Dec 24th 2009). As you might suspect she was responding to the disgruntled sisters upset at having to write a separate check for 'reproductive health services'. So Nelson is telling his supporters (not buying his baloney of course) that the "historic" compromise really prohibits use of federal funds for abortion and keeps them segregated. Meanwhile Boxer is busy convincing her supporters that the same "historic" compromise does not restrict federal funding of abortion but merely looks like it does by tweaking the book-keeping a little. And that, children, is how "historic" compromises are reached. It is surprising that Boxer made such a candid admission, since the Democrats are doing all they can to make it look as if the agreement bans federal funding of elective abortion. Will there be a later "clarification" saying that she really meant to say something else?

Let's now pray that Pro-Lifers will concentrate their energy on the House. Rep. Bart Stupak seems to be taking a principled stand. Let us stand with him. It will take courage and commitment on his part, and that of his followers. So let's pray for and support him.

Posted by: Joanne at December 24, 2009 10:21 AM

You've got to give some credit for Nelson in regards to actually being part of the system and working against a lot of pressure to get any sort of compromise. The GOP folded - they took their dolls, put them in the backpacks, and went home. By pulling out the process entirely, they decided to see if the Democrats would unite to pass a bill at all. The Democrats had two options - go it alone or bail out entirely - and they did what the Republicans would have done - they continued on in the process. I think it's foolish to continue to hammer on Nelson when he at least worked as hard as he could through the process. What about the GOP? Where were they, besides making snarky little speeches on the floor?

And don't say they were kicked out of the process - this went for a long, long time, and GOP folks were at the table for a while. I guess a bill for the American people was not their goal - the goal was to defeat Obama's number one domestic priority. It was sad to see.

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 24, 2009 11:44 AM

"Mother may I"..make a way for your free tax-payer paid abortion?
"Mother may I" responsible for this horrendous bill passing to kill your innocent child?
"Mother may I"..go down in history as thee sell-out who could be bought like Judas Iscariot?
"Mother may I"..act like I am the victim when actually I am the greatest VICTIMIZER!
" do I wash the BLOOD OFF MY HANDS?"

Posted by: eileen smith at December 24, 2009 12:38 PM

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 24, 2009 11:44 AM

That's a complete mischaracterization of the events so you're being utterly disingenuous.

Of course if every time you posted I removed your post, but responded you weren't listening, you might be closer to the truth of what happened.

Not listening to the population is a favorite ploy of those obstinate "rulers" and "leaders" and is a precursor to revolutions.

This is not about politics - one side or the other. It hasn't been in a long time.

It's purely about worldly power without an ounce of principle.

Defiance runs both ways.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at December 24, 2009 12:51 PM

Chris - I apologize if I was way off. How did the abortion language play out, and what was the role of Republicans in getting to the language that was in the final versions? Were there GOP members negotiating alongside Nelson that I hadn't heard about?

Again, I'll admit I could be wrong - in the final month or so of each bill, there appeared to be nobody from the GOP doing anything but complaining - so if there were folks negotiating language, I'd be interested to read on it. Thanks and Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 24, 2009 1:24 PM


I remeber reading somewhere that there is no glory in dying like a fool.

I see some wisdom in the republicans refusing to be used as props in their progressive/liberal/humnists propaganda production.

If the Obama 'hellth scare scam' is as great as it's proponents claim, then let them have full ownership.

If it is as bad as the opponents claim then wash should oppose it at every turn and do nothing to change it creator's 'love child'.

In the generations to come let these misguided 'progressive/liberal/humanist mac daddies acknowledge their bastard child.

When this 'chicken' comes home to roost make sure there is no doubt just who conceived, incubated and hatched it.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at December 24, 2009 1:24 PM

kbhvac -

I don't think you need to let the Dems have full ownership - I mean, they'll have full ownership of it, good or bad. The thing is, even members of the GOP say health care reform is needed. Every sane American in the country says health care reform is needed. What became clear early though was that even though it was an issue, defeating this bill was defeating Obama - and that's what I have an issue with. When we have massively expensive healthcare, it becomes an issue to families - and I know a lot of families in which it has become a very personal, very dire issue. So I'm happy the Dems went forward and did something - but wish the the GOP had chosen to be part of the process.

I'm quite sure though this will be of benefit to the GOP in the short term, but a massive step to the left in the long term as many are already saying this is the biggest piece of legislation in decades.

You know though that people's memories are short lived. Look at the debate itself - you had members of the GOP yelling about the cost and expansion of the debt when many of them personally voted for the medicare expansion bill just a few years back.

And speaking of medicare, many who wanted to cut it, and even campaigned for cutting funds from it (McCain) now speak that cuts are foolish. So memories are short - though I hope that all remember who fought to pass, and who fought not too.

Thanks for the comments though and Merry Christmas.

(is your name Ken - it's like a shout out, texting style) :-)

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 24, 2009 1:34 PM

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 24, 2009 1:24 PM

The GOP was completely closed out of the Senate meetings - and as you've likely read here, even Nelson at the end didn't even bothering to talk with the pro-life organizations, regardless of their endorsements or past support.

The end result is completely unacceptable language and that's coming from Bart Stupak, who is now being told to shut-up by President Obama.

Let me explain what that means for you: The President of the United States is telling the people of Michigan to shut up, and have no voice in legislation that will impact them directly on a federal level.

That's despicable.

That may be government, but it's not government under the principles of the US Constitution as normally understood and certainly not what most Americans would consider to be fair and just, no matter what media spin is thrown on it.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at December 24, 2009 1:56 PM

Now's the time, folks, to keep Bart Stupak in your prayers. St. Michael, defend him in this battle and strengthen him!

Posted by: Jennifer at December 24, 2009 8:47 AM

" do I wash the BLOOD OFF MY HANDS?"

Posted by: eileen smith at December 24, 2009 12:38 PM


Posted by: Ed at December 24, 2009 1:57 PM

Ex-GOP voter 11:44am

Give Nelson credit for taking a bribe? Now I hear some states' attorneys general are planning to look into the constitutionality of this bribe.

Posted by: Mary at December 24, 2009 2:18 PM

There's something in the just-passed Senate Health Care Bill about a medical review board/panel whose decisions CAN'T be appealed. Also, future Congresses would be prohibited from abolishing this board/panel or amending its powers. The CNBC host was surprised about this and a guest said it wouldn't withstand a legal challenge. REALLY? Courts aren't objective these days. PLEASE TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY. I'm going from memory here, but I think I've got it right.

Posted by: Megan at December 24, 2009 3:00 PM

Chris -

First off, the opinion on the GOP not participating is from somebody smarter than me - so let me throw in a link if you're interested. Simply put though, the GOP's decision to stay out of it, at least in my opinion, made the bill a bit more left learning.

In regards to telling Stupak to "shut-up" - I'd like to see a link to that. I've found that folks asked him to read the language before making a bit stink about things. That seems fair- don't we all want folks to be informed? Saying "shut-up" though is much, much different than asking somebody to read language in a bill - I might have missed that, and will await your link. Again, I fully admit I simply might have missed that quote from Obama.

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 24, 2009 4:07 PM

I thought I posted here earlier but maybe it didn't "take." I seem to have a hard time getting my posts to stick, takes several efforts. Anyway, in the media back here (NE)Sen. Nelson is playing it like, well just because the pro-life groups don't like the language they ought to know that I, as an elected official, am quite capable of writing language. The difference here is we were allowed into the vetting process on the Nelson/Hatch Amendment as well as the Casey Amendment. It wasn't until Sen. Nelson bought into Sen. Reid's timetable of the rush to Christmas that we were left out of the loop. Last Friday morning I called one of his aides and asked to please have him call me because I had read he was sequestered back in Reid's office since Thursday. By the time he called me at 8:30 DC time Friday night, apparently all of Sen. Nelson's other concerns had been addressed and they only had just gotten to abortion that afternoon. He told me he had an "a ha" moment where he took a piece of paper, drew a line down the middle and said, what if we have two separate plans? Thus ensued the explanation of convoluted language which I kept telling him I could not be assured was Stupak because he wouldn't bring National Right to Life's federal legislative director into the conversation. He made another statement on the Senate floor this morning before voting for final passage of the bill. That statement is similar to the one made on December 22nd. Even if in his own mind Sen. Nelson thought he had appropriately handled the abortion issue with his new language, he knew there was a chance that it wouldn't pass muster by the mere fact that he did not let groups vet it which had had prior vetting privileges. I so wish I could go back to last Friday night now that I know his other issues were handled prior to abortion. I did mention to him I had a concern about getting weak abortion language at the expense of concessions on other issues but he assured me that was not the case. I remain sad and frustrated as Sen. Nelson's actions have major repercussions for the entire country.

Posted by: Julie Schmit-Albin at December 24, 2009 4:19 PM

Ex-GOPer (11:44,1:24 and 1:34): Did we not go over this a few days ago? At the time Gerard Nadal gave some links to check out, and a few others (including myself) offered perspectives on the role of Republicans in the debate and how they were shut out.

Anyone following the proceedings knows the Republicans had the door slamed on them. After that rude treatment, any "participation" on the part of the Republicans would have been window dressing for the Dems, making it look as though they gave serious thought to the Republicans' overtures, when in fact they had done no such thing.

Negotiations between two or more parties must have a certain amount of good faith from each. What the Democrats did in rejecting substantive Republican proposals (they did not even allow votes on them) does not even come close to constituting "good faith." In this type of setting the offended party has every right to abstain from initiating further entreaties until such time that the other party resumes a posture of good faith bargaining.

Had the Republicans merrily continued as if they were being heard, even as they were being shut out of any meaningful dialog, this would have wrongfully been construed as though the Republicans were actually being listened to.

Actually, I would have preferred that the entire Republican caucas had got up and left the chamber so as to remove any doubt about what was going on. Of course, the MSM wing of the Democratic party would have jumped on that and reported that the Republicans were derelict in their duties to the American people. This is hogwash, but it is what it is.

Posted by: Jerry at December 24, 2009 8:02 PM

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 24, 2009 4:07 PM

Here's the link to the WH telling Stupak to shut up:

Okay - they may not have literally said "shut-up", however, telling someone not to speak is tantamount to saying "shut-up".

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at December 24, 2009 11:04 PM

Jerry - yes, you are correct - this has been debated. As I read more articles and thoughts on the GOP misplaying their hand though, I think it is an opinion at least worth having out there. The GOP were involved for a while - but I think two things hurt them:

1) Pushing for language when they weren't in support of the bill - "you must insert this in the bill, but we're not going to vote for it anyways".
2) Fighting language that they themselves had pushed for - for instance, McCain making a bit over Medicare cuts, which he pushed for during his campaign.

It became clear, as many GOP talking heads said, that this became about beating Obama, not about putting together good legislation.

I think your suggestion would have been nice rather than the GOP delaying the bill every step they could (for instance, reading most of a 600 page bill when nobody was there anyways), and then complaining that it passed on Christmas Eve.

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 26, 2009 8:26 AM

Chris -

Okay, just so I can be clear that I'm not missing anything, you took... "Well, from the House leadership or the White House – a lot of pressure. They think I shouldn’t be expressing my views on this bill until they get a chance to try to sell me the language."

and translated it to:

"Let me explain what that means for you: The President of the United States is telling the people of Michigan to shut up, and have no voice in legislation that will impact them directly on a federal level.

That's despicable."

You started the paragraph with "Let me explain what that means for you..." - so I'd like you to explain it a little further because I'm not making the connection. So, somebody from the White House asking that he discusses the language of the bill with them before raising a stink about it - you translated that to Obama himself, telling the entire state of Michigan to "shut-up", and that they don't belong in the process?

Am I reading that correctly? I think you need to "explain it to me" some more Sir.

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 26, 2009 8:32 AM

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 26, 2009 8:32 AM

Nice object lesson, isn't it?

Do you feel insulted? How do you think Bart Stupak felt when the White House was pressuring him regarding what language he "should be using" to discuss legislation? If you have legislation right in front of you, it is unnecessary to have someone else "sell" you the language. And given Stupak's specific wording (sell?), that sounds like someone was trying to buy him off.

And to use for you a familiar, but completely over-worn phrase "let me be clear..." when it comes to issues of governance, those who are in the White House represent the POTUS, so when they speak about an issue, it's under his authority, and should be in line with it. If someone in the WH is twisting arms and it doesn't have the approval of the POTUS, then I'd say Obama would need to clean up his house. However, if he deliberately selected someone to be an arm twister, oh, perhaps someone who likes to rahm it through, then yes, that's the President of the United States telling the Honorable Representative from Michigan what he "shouldn't be expressing"".

And in an official capacity, if someone did that to me, you bet I'd understand it as "shut up".

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at December 27, 2009 6:41 AM

Chris -

Thanks for the inner workings of the white house.

I do not feel insulted, but I do feel I need to watch what I say around you - I mean, I might say something like:

"I'm glad that the Dems shot down the GOP opposition to the bill" - and then I'd go into a thread and see something like -

"There's a guy on the board called Ex-GOP who wants to shoot and kill republicans over this health care thing."

I will step carefully, as I certainly don't want to be lumped in with Obama, telling the entire state of Michigan that they need to "shut-up" and that they have no legislative voice.

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 27, 2009 7:51 AM

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 27, 2009 7:51 AM

Both you and I know that what is said by the President and members of his staff during negotiations with Senators is not even close to our ramblings on a website.

You're doing a far better job of mischaracterizing things than I am.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at December 27, 2009 6:21 PM

Chris - with all due respect, I don't think I could top that whopper. And maybe it was said that way behind closed doors - but you didn't say that you were guessing - you said that's what he said and then showed the article where you "derived" that quote.

I would be very interested to see where I have stretched something as far as taking the quote that you did and saying the President of the United States was telling the entire state of Michigan to "shut-up".

Posted by: Ex-GOP Voter at December 27, 2009 6:55 PM