Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On Congressman Bart Stupak: Like Christ or Neville Chamberlain?

When I was a ferociously political teenaged Nerd, the Prime Minister of England, Neville Chamberlain, deplaned in London after a person to person meeting with Adolph Hitler. Der Fuerher was then threatening the whole of Western Europe with the frightening sounds of war. At the airport, Chamberlain waved a piece of paper (signed by Hitler) as he shouted with delirious joy “ Peace in our time. Peace in our time.” He, the experienced sophisticated diplomat, really believed that he had made a peace agreement with a man he could truly trust, the author of Mein Kempf. Within a very short time, thereafter, Hitler’s armies stormed across the Polish border to throw the world into the most terrible and violent war in human history. The famous piece of paper was no more than that, a mere piece of paper, the so-called “agreement” not worth the paper itself.

While there are enormous irreconcilable differences which cannot be even implied, the above is a faint analogy of the recent “cave-in” of Congressman Bart Stupak, a Democrat from Michigan. For over 30 months he had been leading other members of Congress who are called “Pro-Life” Democrats in what looked like a heroic defense of the vulnerable unborn. He had introduced an Amendment explicitly banning the use of any Federal funding for abortions. He rejected promises that at some future and indefinite date the defenseless unborn children would be fully protected “if only he would back the President’s bill for passage”. He, so it seemed, bravely resisted pressure, the political arm twisting and what he called the “tomorrow never comes” promise. This position of his seemed unwavering and steady. Until……..

On the day of voting for the Bill, Bart was “mysteriously” called to a meeting with the President who was showboating his fear lest his whole legacy be flushed away should the Bill fail to pass. The Congressman, within a few hours of the vote, then announced that he would reverse his previous position and would support the Bill. His personal followers would do likewise and the Bill passed that day by a close vote. Like the unbelievable nuns who vigorously supported the bad bill with its loopholes for abortion on the grounds that there were good things in it, Stupak abandoned his integrity.

Stupak, looking embarrassed and uncomfortable claimed that all would be well and that the babies would be safe. The President had promised that he would sign an executive order banning federal monies being spent on abortion. Interestingly enough, the President did sign such an order without fanfare and almost “behind closed doors.” We learn from people like former Senator Rick Santorum that such an order is immediately rescindable either by a sitting president or by any of his successors. In effect we are told that such an “order” is not worth the paper it is printed on. There was no outcry of rage from extreme feminist groups. No protests. No demonstrations. It is quite clear that Law, i.e., the new Bill, trumps executive orders in every instance. The new Bill provides, de facto, all the opportunity pro-abortion people want.

Bart Stupak, shortly thereafter, announced that he would not seek re-election in November. A realistic move since he would be trounced or massacred by his local constituents who, like so many other Americans are weary and disgusted with the back room sleazy politics we have seen in Washington in the past year. Whether or not he is a kind of traitor is difficult to know. We do know that he caved in. And for what? Airport facilities or roads or new office buildings? Whatever the reason, millions of human beings will never have the chance to root for their favorite baseball team. Compared to this the fuss to arrest the Pope in England seems like a bed time story. Did Stupak act like Christ or Chamberlain?
I can answer that question. Can you?