Stupak will have good place in history

One of the Democratic negotiators who most outraged the Tea Party forces during the health care debate has decided to retire from Congress. Bart Stupak of Michigan provided the decisive bloc of House Democrats to vote for the historic bill after securing President Obama’s agreement to issue an executive order prohibiting any funds from the law to be used for abortions.

Stupak has been reviled by tea partiers for pushing health care reform, and by the far Left for his anti-abortion stand. But I expect that when the history books are written about this monumental time, Stupak will be recognized as a courageous leader of the ever-shrinking businesslike middle that actually tried to negotiate and get things done in Congress.

Contrast Stupak with Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, a red-state Democrat who ran for cover and voted against the health care package, siding with the Republican “Party of No” minority juggernaut. No bipartisan negotiating allowed. No one will remember Matheson’s role, except that he was frightened by tea partiers.

Stupak said he’s tired and has been thinking of retirement for years anyway. The Tea Party campaign against him may have played a part too. But he can go out realizing he provided the final puzzle piece for unprecedented health care reform, albeit an imperfect concoction.

Republicans always eventually embrace social programs such as Social Security and Medicare, after first pulling out all stops to prevent them. It will be the same with health care, especially the pieces of the new reform that prove to be the most beneficial for rank-and-file Americans — and voters. The future GOP candidates will be able to thank Obama and Stupak, but of course that will not happen.

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4 Responses to Stupak will have good place in history

  1. Doug Gibson says:

    I think Pelosi probably had the votes of a few “no’s” but getting Stupak and a couple others made it so one lawmaker couldn’t be targeted as “the one.” Frankly, the executive order was a face-saving measure for Stupak that has no authority. The Senate bill’s language has not changed. People with subsidies will choose plans that include abortion services.

  2. dan s. says:

    As you know, the Standard-Examiner front page highlights this site’s ten most recent blog posts. As of this morning, these blog posts deal almost exclusively with national and state-wide issues. The only local political issue mentioned (in passing) is a pair of potholes in South Ogden. There’s also a very brief blog post about a local sports figure.

    So I’m getting the impression that you bloggers at the local paper would rather be working for the Trib or the Times (in Doug Gibson’s case, that’s the Washington Times). That’s fine, but who’s gonna cover the local news? You can’t leave it all to half-assed amateurs like me and RudiZink!

  3. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Point taken about the ratio of local subjects in our blogs. It does depend on the interests of the particular blogger, though. Doug Gibson’s Political Surf blog has a red state vs blue state theme, but he does tie it to Utah angles often. Charlie Trentelman is a generalist, and he often does hook his posts to local happenings. My blog’s also a general thing, if not all over the place, based on what pops into my head, what captures my interest. Other bloggers cover Weber State sports, veganism and tech gadgetry. None of this precludes adding more locally focused blogs, which is something we want to do.

    Meantime, thanks for reading. You never know when I might run into another yawning crater on a local road and hurry to rant about it here.

  4. Catherine Burt says:

    Dan – national/statewide issues ARE important to us locally. They apply to us – the things that our “representatives” (to use the term loosely) vote for/against, and why they do is something we need to be paying attention to. Apathy is the worst enemy of a free nation.

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