A Retraction and a Challenge on Abortion and Health Care Reform
I must first of all print a retraction. I had my facts incorrect on the number of Stupak supporters in the Senate (in my own defense, when the vote was taken I was preparing for major abdominal surgery). I had thought that there were 54 votes for Stupak in a cloture motion. This was incorrect, there were 54 votes to table Stupak. This is important, because there is no way that Stupak will ever be included in reconciliation in its current form and pass. Unless Harry Reid, Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, Joe Biden and one other Democrat (maybe Jim Webb?) support Stupak, then Stupak is dead in reconciliation. I apologize for saying it would be easy to do.
Now comes the challenge. If the Church wants Stupak, it needs to line up some Republican votes for final passage. Indeed, it needs to find at least 30 and get the President to promise 30 Democrats. If they can pull that off, then Stupak can be added back to the Senate Bill as an amendment in the House and then sent back to the Senate who would accept the amendment. Of course, that would require amending Stupak so Olympia Snow et al would support it. Oh, and turn off the war of words against reconciliation.
Of course, I doubt this challenge will be accepted. The Church can't even get the National Right to Life Committee to designate Health Care cum Stupak as an RTL vote - requiring a yes vote for a perfect rating. If it can't even get NRLC to play ball, it is playing poker with a busted flush (which is worse than trying for an inside straight, which is what Obama is doing in the House - probably successfully). The bottom line is, until they can get Bunning, McConnell and Cantor to vote for final passage they have no business asking me to get Webb, Warner and Moran. My message to the bishops, especially my own Bishop Loverde, is to not even think about playing hardball with Catholic Democrats until you first get NLRC on board for final passage.