The Smear, Part 2: Stupak Attacks Catholic Bishops
This is a follow-up to my post from yesterday titled "The Smear", in which we examined Bart Stupak's remarks from the floor of the House of Representatives and discovered that he had attacked pro-lifers (who were merely seeking to enact his own Stupak Amendment) utilizing the stinging words of the enemies of the pro-life movement.
In response to my post, I heard such things as "Oh, he wasn't attacking pro-lifers, he was criticizing the Republicans who were merely politicizing pro-life rhetoric in order to defeat health care."
Well, with this full frontal assault on the U.S. Catholic Bishops, I think any benefit of the doubt that Stupak might have received may now be officially removed:
Stupak says Catholic bishops and pro-life groups hypocrites for condemning health-care voteIt's almost as if the show of loyalty the former rebel must pay to be fully accepted back into the king's good graces is to offer up the blood of his former compatriots.
Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat whose support for President Obama’s health bill ensured it was passed into law Sunday, on Tuesday accused the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and pro-life groups of “hypocrisy” for condemning the executive order that sealed the deal.
“The [National] Right to Life and the bishops, in 2007 when George Bush signed the executive order on embryonic stem cell research, they all applauded the executive order,” Stupak said in an interview with The Daily Caller.
“The Democratic Congress passed [a bill] saying we’ll do embryonic stem cell research. Bush vetoed it in 2007. That same day he issued an executive order saying we will not do it, and all these groups applauded that he protected life,” Stupak said.
“So now President Obama’s going to sign an executive order protecting life and everyone’s condemning it. The hypocrisy is great,” he said.
Obama will sign the order at the White House on Wednesday, the White House announced Tuesday night. Stupak and 12 other pro-life Democrats who voted for the health bill are invited to the signing ceremony.
Stupak also said he suspected groups such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Right to Life, and others were actually “just using the life issue to try to bring down health-care reform.”
“I question, did they want to protect the sanctity of life, or did they want to defeat health care?” he said. [ED.: Yeah, it's not like the U.S. Bishops have been pushing for universal healthcare for close to a century, or anything. It's rather funny in a pathetic sort of way that Stupak is now accusing the Bishops of doing exactly what the opponents of the Stupak Amendment were accusing him of doing. Besides, I thought the whole point of the Stupak Amendment, and the Bishops' involvement therein, was that protecting the sanctity of life and promoting health care were not only NOT mutually exclusive, but that you couldn't have one without the other.]
The pro-life groups said their criticism had to do specifically with Obama’s executive order, which they say can do nothing to override provisions in the health bill.
“We haven’t said anything to suggest we think executive orders are never of value,” said Douglas Johnson, NRLC’s legislative director, in a phone interview.
Johnson said that Bush’s 2007 executive order, which followed his veto of legislation that would have expanded embryonic stem cell research, did not contravene existing law, but instead supported it, making it more “airtight.”
In addition, Bush’s 2001 executive order banning the use of most embryonic stem cell research simply undid authorization that had been put in place by federal regulations, not legislative action.
The problem with Obama’s executive order, Johnson said, it is “it basically just recites what’s in the Senate bill.” [ED.: For Stupak not to recognize the distinction between Bush's executive order prohibiting federal funding of ESCR when there was no federal law in place providing for such funding and Obama's promised executive order "clarifying" a federal law regarding funding of abortion exposes Stupak either as not very intelligent or as being a mendacious fraud.]