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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stupak Is Not Beneficial To True Pro-lifers

TV Watch: Being Erica from last week was pretty good, more focus on her own life "now." Rules of Engagement had its moments, but wasn't as good as last week. Russell's assistant was added to the opening credits. Congrats.

Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Not that some will be convinced, I don't think the Stupak Amendment is necessary to uphold the existing law as to funding abortions; in fact, I think it will push it the other way. Thus, it is not a reasonable demand. This has been covered by past posts and by others.

So, moving along, it is notable that many self-proclaimed pro-life individuals (in and out of Congress) support a health bill without such a provision. It is doubtful that every one of these wouldn't support Stupak it they had their druthers. But, as with T.R. Reid and others, they realize the perfect is the enemy of the good.* On the whole, the bill would do more to cut abortions and/or for "life" overall than focusing on worrying about $1s somehow going to abortion. The bill even "increases the adoption tax credit and makes it refundable so that lower income families can access the tax credit," part of why a Catholic group defends it.

Stupak on paper is not as myopic as he appears. He has supported efforts to cut down abortions by decreasing the need for them in the past. But, he isn't out there repeatedly underlining that. He is making dubious statements (not only rejected by Noah or Rachel Maddow, but ABC News) on a narrow issue that many "pro-life" members of Congress deem a sideshow to true reform. In the process, he puts a black mark on that movement, a movement that repeatedly is smeared as only caring about life before conception, not after them.

A local notes here that Rep. Stupak has become more conservative as his district has. Another reply suggests that it is proper for him to "vote" the way they want. As I noted above, I don't think -- push come to shove -- that he really is representing their interests even on this one issue. Of course, being a representative means more than that. If his constituents want him to lie or b.s. on this issue, he still doesn't have a "right" to do so. Some have low opinions of conservatives and think that this is all they want. I am not quite willing to do that.

Finally, his motives are of some importance (including to those who have to negotiate) but on some level are of little consequence. The general public and media take him at face value. We cannot try to psychoanalyze each public servant, especially since most are in some way -- quite rightly -- following the public's demands, not some "true feelings." Mayor Bloomberg, who bs-ed about term limits and so forth (and his party line for political reasons), is said to disrespect Sen. Gillibrand for changing her positions on guns since when she represented a conservative upstate district. Others sneered when she seemed to do so on same sex issues.

Oh please. The system encourages representatives and senators (or mayors or presidents) to act somewhat differently depending on whom they represent. The big picture has to be looked at, even if a total plastic public servant is something to worry about at times. So, I'm not going to be concerned about that. I think Sen. Gillibrand is starting off on the right foot overall. She is truly representing her state, including on various liberal issues. She is not just grandstanding in a way that appears to be counterproductive. This is overall, of course.

But, objectively, Stupak doesn't come off that way. Maybe, his electors are satisfied by what he is doing. If so, they are aiming low. Meanwhile, for questionable gain, he has to deal with a primary challenge. Hmm.


* This ability to compromise includes those who call themselves pro-choice but are willing not to re-fight the battle on the Hyde Amendment, which many strongly oppose. They don't want to move the law past Hyde either. Of course, that side often tends to lean left and has compromised on a lot of other things too.