Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

Open Letter to Rep. Stupak

Posted by Dan Draney on March 14, 2010

Dear Rep. Stupak,

First I want to thank you and those who have stood with you for your opposition to the federalization of healthcare and subsidization of abortion. Please pass this message on to the others as, well.

I’m writing now to urge you to hold fast against this bill. Since I live in Nebraska, I’ll let you know a little more about what his vote in favor of the exact bill you are considering has done for Sen. Ben Nelson. He was one of the most popular political figures in this state over the past 25 yrs, but he will never be elected to anything in Nebraska again. He can barely go out in public without being booed and heckled by our fellow Nebraskans.

Everyone is aware of the so-called Cornhusker Kickback, and certainly Nebraskans are mad about that. We don’t like to be seen as cutting a special, dishonest deal at the expense of the rest of the country. However, the distaste for Sen. Nelson is much broader than that.

  1. The bill allows federal funding of abortion. After claiming he would not vote for subsidized abortions, he broke his word. Pro-life groups and leaders in the state who have long supported him rightly viewed this as a betrayal of fundamental principles. These former supporters will never be back, regardless of the ultimate fate of this bill.
  2. The bill itself is deeply unpopular. The more people know about this bill the less they like it. Just as the massive, wasteful, ineffective “stimulus” bill has become even less popular as people see what is in it, so it will be with this healthcare bill if it ever becomes law. It will be a millstone around the neck of every politician who supports it for the rest of his/her career.
  3. He failed to notice that the political ground has shifted under his feet. Sen. Nelson thrived as a senator by bringing home pork from the federal trough. Today Americans can see that Congress and the President have dropped all pretense of fiscal discipline. We know that this path leads to disaster, and people are paying attention. No one believes the healthcare “reform” bills will save money. We are not stupid. We know the existing entitlements are already bankrupting the country.

Senator Nelson thought the subterfuge embodied in the abortion clauses of the Senate bill would protect him from pro-life backlash. It did not. He thought it was business as usual, and he could sell us a bill that we don’t want and can’t afford by sweetening the deal with the “Cornhusker Kickback.” He was stunned to discover that the juicy pork he brought home just made things worse for him politically instead of better.

Do not vote for this bill or for any phony “self-executing rule” and/or reconciliation shenanigans. It is political poison. It is bad policy. It is fiscal insanity.

Addendum: I attempted to post this with Rep. Stupak’s web form. However, it states that he is “unable to reply to any email from constituents outside of the 1st District of Michigan.” I was not expecting a reply, but it appears that also means he is not accepting any emails from outside his district. If anyone reading this is in Rep. Stupak’s district, please pass this along to him.

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2 Responses to “Open Letter to Rep. Stupak”

  1. Ryne McClaren said

    A very striking analysis, Dan. One can’t help but think that many of these “centrist” and/or “Blue Dog” Democrats are very well aware of what has happened to Ben Nelson here in Nebraska.

    Of course, they should have been awakened in 2004, when Tom Daschle from my home state went down faster than a lead balloon, but they didn’t.

    As long as Democrats want to keep repeating these mistakes, I’m all but happy to oblige them at the polls. But Stupak seems to be cut from a slightly different cloth. One can always hope that he’ll see the reasons that don’t involve his popularity: that it is fiscal insanity, just like you pointed out.

    • Dan Draney said

      It has been reported the there are another 10-12 Dems in the House standing with Stupak. We’ll see how many are willing to stick with it when the full force of Pelosi/Obama carrots and sticks are brought to bear against them.

      From what I’ve seen so far a “Blue Dog” is a Democrat who only votes with the liberals when they need it. Let’s hope I’m wrong about that here.

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