First, to the 19 House Democrats who have told Nancy Pelosi to include them out of any health care legislation that funds abortion. From the Michigan perspective, notably present is the reliable pro-life soldier Bart Stupak (a good reason to relocate to the UP) and notably absent is the usually, if not perfectly, solid Dale Kildee of Flint. Time to hit the phone.
Second, to the Democrats for Life of America, who have given Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio two cowhide accessories: a belt in the mouth and a boot to the ass. The scent of power has given Ryan a bad case of Richard Rich's Disease, it seems.
Third, to Michael Sean Winters of America Magazine, last referred to on this site as a "two-faced jackass" and "brazenly dishonest shill." Neither of which I retract as to the posted issue. But it's only fair to give the man the fullest credit where it is due:
My sources in the Obama administration tell me that the White House understands that overturning the Hyde Amendment could kill health care reform and that they do not want to have this fight despite pressure from pro-choice organizations to hijack health care reform to achieve this long sought goal of theirs. Catholics should stiffen the administration’s resolve on this. To be clear: I have never voted for a Republican in my life. My mother told me my right hand would wither and fall to the ground if I did. But, if the President or my representatives in Congress support federal funding for abortion in any way, shape or form, I will never vote for them again and I might risk my right hand in the next election by voting for their opponent.
So, call your Senators and Representatives. Call the White House. Many of us pro-life Democrats have given the President the benefit of the doubt on the abortion issue because of his repeated commitment to trying to lower the abortion rate, a commitment he reiterated to Pope Benedict XVI last week. All the good will he has earned among Catholic swing voters, and all the arguments on his behalf progressive Catholics have mounted, all could be swept away if abortion is part of a federal option in health care. Politics is the art of compromise, but on this point, there can be none.
Great all over, and impeccably well-argued. Furthermore, his point about Robert Casey, Jr., deserves emphasis--the Bishop of Scranton needs to drop a love bomb, stat. Health care coverage was an issue near and dear to his late, great, father's heart, and he should be commended for standing tall here.
[Thanks to Jay Anderson for the last two stories.]