I got this question from a friend on Facebook:
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!"
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.
I 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]
From Thomas More to Judas Iscariot
Can I tell you how utterly difficult it was for me to NOT storm into Senator Bill Nelson's office this morning and wipe the floor with each of his staffers?
I'm about ready to call a baby bottle revolt.Posted by: carder at December 21, 2009 4:36 PM
The Democratic leadership is nothing but a bunch of thugs. If they can't get what they want, they use threats. If that doesn't work, then they just bribe to get the votes they need.Posted by: Monte at December 21, 2009 5:03 PM
Neither side is happy with him...poor thing. I almost feel sorry for the backlash he'll get at election time, when both pro- and anti- abortion groups will campaign against him, or not at all. fPosted by: Stephanie at December 21, 2009 5:14 PM
"baby bottle revolt"?
I say let's storm his office. Be sure to keep us informed of who is running against him. I want to contribute to his/her campaign and then help maybe with a trip to NE. I am running out of trust for any Dem. I have to ask why they would stay in a party that has sold out so much to abortion.
At his age, I bet he retires and has some deal we don't know about for his next gig.
Is it time now to quit playing footsie with these guys and go on the offensive? Why not seize the moment now to push hard for Personhood USA. While we have the nation's attention - offer a new paradigm. I'll tell you, six months of repeating over and over that we are people from the beginning would go a long ways right now. Come on USCCB, NTRL and AUL!!! Move on it! This is a teachable moment. While the world is watching, stand up and say it! We won't try for half measures anymore. The time has come to clear the air and lay our cards down. It's not going to get better for us unless we use this moment to teach and to warn politicians that if they support killing people before they are born - anymore - we won't be calling them pro-life.Posted by: Benedicta at December 21, 2009 6:12 PM
The pressure on Nelson to go with his fellow dems was tremendous, and he finally yielded. Which raises the question: is there REALLY anything like a pro-life Democrat? We will find out when this moves back to the House.Posted by: Jerry at December 21, 2009 6:15 PM
"Come on USCCB, NTRL and AUL!!! Move on it! This is a teachable moment."
I'm ashamed to admit it, but the Bishops have talked themselves into a corner and will not come out swinging for fear of losing the tax-exempt status. I blogged about it today.
The intrinsic value of an entity, such as a human person, sometimes needs to be made manifest though it ought to be self-evident. People only "get" that intrinsic value when they see what someone is willing to sacrifice in its defense.
How "priceless" are these babies? Enough for the Bishops to stand up and roar, to exhort the faithful to vote out of office any politician voting in defense of Roe? Enough to excommunicate the likes of Patrick Kennedy?
Where ARE the eagles among my Bishops? Press releases from the safety of tax-exempt headquarters is not how the Apostles established the Church. We know how it ended for them.
I'm sick to death of USCCB press releases given by Bishops in French Cuffs.
We need LEADERS to rally the faithful, to inspire them by leading from in front, not from behind.Posted by: Gerard Nadal at December 21, 2009 7:05 PM
Gosh, who is it that has told you for weeks that Big Ben was for sale to the highest bidder?
Why it must be that rascal....Posted by: Bystander at December 21, 2009 7:41 PM
Thank the Constitution and Libertarian parties for this.
Had they not taken down three Republican Senators in 2006 and 2008 (Conrad Burns in Montana, Norm Coleman in Minnesota and Gordon Smith in Oregon), the Democrats would have only 57 votes and this horror could have been prevented.
They could not (and cannot) see that no matter how bad the Republican Party was, it represented a firewall to prevent things from getting worse.
Now things will get much worse for us all.Posted by: Joe at December 21, 2009 7:43 PM
We have had our differences, but I always give credit where credit is due.Posted by: Mary at December 21, 2009 7:54 PM
In response to Joe's lament about third parties vs. the GOP, until the GOP gets rid of its RINOs you can expect this to continue. Arnold Schwarzenegger in California is a classic example: pro-abortion, anti-2nd Amendment, pro-homosexual marriage. If the GOP keeps propping up Democrat-lite candidates to fulfill its Big Tent fantasy, they DESERVE to lose, and they will. The fact that these conservative-leaning third parties are gaining ground is proof positive that the GOP base is being left out in the rain rather than in some dubiously concocted tent.Posted by: Tom Ambrose at December 21, 2009 8:39 PM
Baby Bottle Revolt
Have all the moms show up at their senators' offices with all their kids and make those guys answer to the consfiscation of our children's future.
And I was referring to Florida's Bill Nelson, not to be confused with Nebraska's Benedict Nelson.Posted by: carder at December 21, 2009 10:04 PM
Reid makes Blagoyavich look like a saint. How can send prosecuter in toi Chicago to wiretap and get evidence but do nothing abot the flat out bribes Reid is pulling right out in the open? Can other states get a federal judge to put an u=injunction on this bill so that it can't go forward until the constitutionality of giveing one state free Medicaid at the cost of the other 49?Posted by: truthseeker at December 21, 2009 10:55 PM
Thanks for running our press release yesterday and for your comments. You really nailed it in the last paragraph of this post. That is what I think, sadly, occurred. Nebraska Right to Life and National Right to Life were in the loop on Nelson/Hatch language; I got the perfunctory call from his staff when Casey came out and then called them back after talking to NRLC and said NO, then by Friday when new language was coming down, we were no longer in the loop. Sen. Nelson made a calculated decision to go by Harry Reid's timetable after he had been telling Nebraskans for weeks he wasn't going to succumb to pressure from a Reid deadline. Once he fell in line on the timeframe of Reid needing to get to the floor by 7:30 a.m. Saturday with his Manager's Amendment, everything else went by the wayside. Abortion was the last topic handled in a string of issues and we weren't allowed to vet the language because he couldn't allow that and still meet Reid's rush to the floor. After dealing with this non-stop since Nelson's Friday night call to me, I am only feeling more like abortion was used a pawn. I don't want to think that and I am still very saddened by the break in a longtime working relationship, but it appears he made a calculated political decision that didn't put unborn children first.
In regard to our faithless politicians who think killing babies is an acceptable negotiating ploy, and to paraphrase an old Johnny Carson skit as "Carnac the Magnificent," may the bluebird of happiness poop all over their birthday cakes, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest their armpits, and may they awake in the morning to find many precious stones in their gallbladders. Fie and a pox on all of them.Posted by: Tom Ambrose at December 21, 2009 11:33 PM
There's still a chance Senator Byrd will keel over before the final vote...Posted by: truthseeker at December 22, 2009 1:39 AM
All they would do is get ACORN's help to prop this former klansman up and make him look alive and like he's voting. Heck, it wouldn't be the first time ACORN helped the dead to vote.Posted by: Mary at December 22, 2009 6:39 AM
"They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militias and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one."
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, DemocRAT, Rhode Island
It is difficult to imagine (and I have a vivid imagination) how anyone this devious/stupid could be elected to the United States Senate and what is even more unfathomable is that there are people who voted for and believe this empty suit.
The latest figure I have read say that 61% of American's are opposed to the B.O/democRAT hellish care proposal.
B.O. is a loser and he would be a loser in any color, any gender, and any relgion. His proposed poliecies are all losers. He does not believe in America nor Americans. He hates what America has been and is and B.O. wants to remake America in his own hopless, helpless, impotent image.
yor bro kenPosted by: kbhvac at December 22, 2009 7:35 AM
'GLOBAL WARMING' FIX? Hose up to stratosphere with balloons; Pump out sulfur particles...
Now this is a 'pipedream' is an entirely appropriate alternative to the hysteria ginned up by the 'gurus of man caused global warming'.
If these folks can find $250,000.00 in the private sector (I hope most of it comes from the hemp wearing, bicycle riding, Prius driving 'chicken litles'.)to fund this boondoggle, the as Larrt the Cable Guy' says, "Just gitter dun."
yor bro kenPosted by: kbhvac at December 22, 2009 7:46 AM
Don't we often look back in history and wonder how such educated intelligent people as the Germans could put an Austrian corporal into power based on little more than his incredible ability to speak and charisma? How people could blindly follow him right off the end of the cliff? How great military minds could carry out his insane orders?
Fear and intimidation yes. But 90% of the German people supported him. They originally voted him into power. Whatever his methods, he had the love and admiration of Germans.
I wish I had an answer. More important I wish I could understand why the American people did the exact same thing.
Hitler's critics were traitors, they were unworthy of Hitler, they were out to destroy him.
They were enemies of the German people
Listen to that lapdog Whitehouse. Sound familiar?
History repeats itself, again.Posted by: Mary at December 22, 2009 7:48 AM
but it appears he made a calculated political decision that didn't put unborn children first.
Posted by: Julie Schmit-Albin at December 21, 2009 11:15 PM
and that is the crux of it - always the unborn child sacrificed on the altar of power, greed and convenience
get use to the abortion-entrenched culture of death - it's on your doorstep now. :(Posted by: angel at December 22, 2009 8:17 AM
JS: "Human beings are fallible, and this was just another reminder our only hope is Jesus."
Isn't that the truth, Jill? The way I see it...I liken this country to an alcoholic. Every alcoholic has to hit "bottom" before waking up to the reality of their situation - if they wake at all before dying of their disease. The thing is, the "bottom" is different for every alcoholic. For some, a one-time black-out is enough. Others have to spend time in prison. Still others have to lose everything and everyone that is important to them. This final one is where I see this country is headed. We have a lot more to lose to the culture of death before most Americans wake up. Sadly, especially for our children, I think we have a way to go before our fight is over. The good news on the political front, as many have pointed out, is November is not far away. The November elections will be be a good measure of just how close to "bottom" we are.Posted by: MamaMT at December 22, 2009 9:37 AM