Retirement Day

for Blue Dog Dem anti-abortion crusader Bart Stupak 😯

Rep. Bart Stupak, an anti-abortion Democrat targeted for defeat by tea party activists for his role in securing House approval of the health care overhaul, said Friday he’s retiring after 18 years in Congress now that his main legislative goal has been accomplished.

Stupak said at a news conference that he decided within the last 36 hours not to seek a 10th term. He said he had considered retirement for years but was persuaded to stay because of the prospect of serving with a Democratic majority and helping win approval of the health care overhaul.

So the ‘baggers carve a notch in their “not-retreated-reloaded” gun stocks.

In spite of Stupak’s recalcitrant assholishness over abortion during the health care reform debate, I almost feel sorry for the guy… this obviously isn’t an immediate career move he was considering before the passage of the bill resulted in a deluge of spittle-flecked death threats to him and his family from his so-called “pro-life” cohorts.

You lie down with dogs…

UPDATE: When I said I “almost” feel sorry for Stupak, the key word of course was “almost”.  But what little sympathy I had for this attention-seeking anti-choice drama queen evaporated when I read this.

It’s like the old fable of the woman and the snake… you knew what they were when you picked them up, Bart.

19 Responses to “Retirement Day”


  1. 1 Brian Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I’d sure like to know what it was in FACE that made Stupak vote against it. Was there one specific item that stayed his vote, as there appeared to be one single issue that held him up on HCR?

    It’s so often the case that politicians slip a pet item into a bill that otherwise largely addresses some really popular issue. I’ve seen their tricks so often I just don’t figure I really know the score from a bill’s title or summarization.

  2. 2 Rob F Friday, April 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Speaking of retirement days… Justice John Paul Stevens of SCOTUS has also announced his retirement.

  3. 3 JJ Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Brian – The FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act basically makes it a crime (federal, I think) to do vandalism like glue the locks on clinic doors (which Dr.Tiller’s assassin was caught on video doing shortly before he killed Tiller), or prevent access to the clinic in other ways, like physically blocking entry.

    Stupak’s concern might have been that it could possibly have the effect of criminalizing clinic protesters who try to slow patients down from entering so they can give them pamphlets etc.

  4. 4 JJ Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Rob F – Meh — why can’t it be Scalia?? I hope O appoints the most flaming liberal he can find to keep the balance of the court the way it is now.

  5. 5 Rob F Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    @JJ: If you read Scalia’s dissent in Lawrence, you should have no difficulty seeing what he thinks of LGBT people. Perhaps, if Pam Karlan and Kathleen Sullivan, who are both lesbians, get on the court, Scalia will bite it from having to work together with them.

  6. 6 Brian Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I know that FACE basically does that (and I, too, believe that it is federal). But there still is the point that knowing the basics of a bill often does not actually show why a given person holds out against it.

    As has always been the case, freedom of speech opens the door to conflict and contention. There is no need to protect speech that everyone wants to hear, as no one tries to stifle that. Speech freedom protection is necessary for the undesirable sorts of things people might say. Freedom of speech has always had exceptions, however. Conspiracy to commit a crime, inciting a riot and so on have always been banned.

    Legislators vow to uphold the Constitution. If Stupak felt some element of FACE restricted free speech beyond what was necessary to address the concerns the bill itself was addressing, I could see him (and others) being not willing to vote for it. For instance, if people supporting the clinic would be allowed right at the door, but those who opposed it needed to stay 500 feet away, that would be content based restrictions, which restrictions usually are held to be unconstitutional.

    The thing is, I just don’t know what exactly made him vote against it. Do you have any news item from the actual period of the vote? (I don’t know if you have access to Nexis, or whatever.) I’d be interested what was the deal.

  7. 7 Bleatmop Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Good riddance. The guy should have been ejected from the party anyway. Democrat strategists were morons to try and replace Bush et al with candidates that act like Bush. Could you imagine if they actually had 60 progressive senators and a 2/3 progressive house members? Obama’s first 100 days could have been the best ever. Health care, don’t ask don’t tell, banking reform, all done with a single vote and no need to try and beat a filibuster.

  8. 8 JJ Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Rob F – Good grief, that man’s a swine. Hopefully the pressure of having to work on a SCOTUS infiltrated by Teh Ghey will be enough to make him retire.

  9. 9 JJ Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Brian – No, I don’t have Lexis Nexis (wish I did). But you could be right — Stupak is a former law enforcement guy, and the bill was about enforcement so he should have been all over it. But if he had 1st Amendment concerns about it, then that might have trumped his Inner Cop.

    I don’t believe there’s any free speech issue with the FACE Act in reality. Even if it keeps protesters from doing their thing right outside the clinic doors, the 1st Amendment only guarantees the right to free speech, not the right to an audience.

  10. 10 JJ Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Bleatmop – Well, he was also going to be primaried by a progressive Dem who has the support of Move On etc., so his seat was in a bit pf jeopardy anyway. But the fact that he just made this decision in the last 36 hours, after the teabaggers announced that they’d be holding a protest against him, tells the story. And frankly, having heard some of the messages left on his home voice mail, I can’t say I blame him.

  11. 11 fern hill Friday, April 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Good riddance.

    And on the Supreme Court appointment, I’d say this is pay-back time for the women who got thrown under the bus in the healthcare reform. Obama should appoint the most pro-choice broad he can find and if she’s a lesbian to boot, all the better.

  12. 12 Brian Friday, April 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    …the 1st Amendment only guarantees the right to free speech, not the right to an audience.

    That is an accurate statement. Many people incorrectly parlay freedom of speech into a right to be heard.

    Have you noticed that the Westboro Baptist “church” won a ruling that they can accost grieving attendees at funerals of fallen soldiers? They even won damages!

  13. 13 Janus Friday, April 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    “Have you noticed that the Westboro Baptist “church” won a ruling that they can accost grieving attendees at funerals of fallen soldiers? They even won damages!”

    The case is on appeal, and will now be heard by SCOTUS (who turned it down when WBC applied — does that tell anyone which way this particular breeze is blowing?). And the plaintiff is refusing to pay those damages. Whaddar they gonna do, sue him?

    Some “win.”

  14. 14 Reality Bites Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 6:22 am

    When it comes to the WBC, I think the Ottawa approach is best.

    When they announced they were coming in 1999 or 2000 to protest the M v H ruling (that gave common law rights to same-sex couples) by burning the Canadian flag on the steps of the Supreme Court, someone in authority – I think with the Ottawa police, but possibly RCMP – made the point that they couldn’t guarantee their safety.

    Not actionable – after all, the police can’t absolutely guarantee anyone’s safety, can they – but sends a clear message.

  15. 15 JJ Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    fern hill – Unfortunately Stupak’s district is largely conservative Catholic — he is a Catholic himself. The Dems don’t seem to be getting behind his primary challenger, a progressive pro-choicer, so I suspect they’ll run someone similar to Stupak to hold the district.

  16. 16 JJ Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Brian

    Have you noticed that the Westboro Baptist “church” won a ruling that they can accost grieving attendees at funerals of fallen soldiers? They even won damages!

    I saw that 👿 Disgusting. Yes, the idiots should be able to do their thing somewhere, but not right outside a funeral home. It’s absolutely unconscionable that this poor family lost and will be forced to pay damages. I think they are appealing the decision, and hopefully they’ll win.

  17. 17 JJ Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Janus – That’s how Phelps makes money — 1st amendment lawsuits. Much as I support free speech, there’s a limit to what you should be able to impose on people.

  18. 18 JJ Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    RB

    When they announced they were coming in 1999 or 2000 to protest the M v H ruling (that gave common law rights to same-sex couples) by burning the Canadian flag on the steps of the Supreme Court, someone in authority – I think with the Ottawa police, but possibly RCMP – made the point that they couldn’t guarantee their safety.

    That’s freaking awesome!!

  19. 19 Brian Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    …idiots should be able to do their thing somewhere, but not right outside a funeral home.

    Much as I support free speech, there’s a limit to what you should be able to impose on people.

    Issues like free speech derive from analysis, reasoning and philosophy (and elsewhere), in some cases starting from the premise, “I think, therefore I am.” This includes the integral nature of people being a “being,” rather than a collective, and so on.

    Part of where this leads includes the right to be free from harassment.

    WB”C” has freedom to speak, but the families have a right to freedom from harassment.

    Naturally, this sometimes leads to conflicts as to when one person’s speech becomes harassment of another. But if you track them down to yell at them, that is always harassment, and is not protected.


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