C'mon pro-lifers. You knew this move by Senator Ben Nelson was going to happen. The "abortion compromise" language that Nelson agreed to over the weekend has traditional pro-lifers up in arms. Big Ben looks small in the eyes of countless pro-lifers. Hey Ben, don't expect an invite to any pro-life Christmas Parties this holiday season.
So now what? Well, for all those who think this now smooth sailing for the healthcare reform bill I have two words for you: BART STUPAK.
That's right. Pro-Life House Democrat Bart Stupak is NOT HAPPY with the Nelson compromise in the Senate. Stupak now has the ultimate control here. Because the abortion language in the Senate bill is not to his satisfaction, he can take a few of House pro-life Democratic buddies in the House and vote the healthcare reform bill down if the stricter Stupak/Pitts language is dropped. Pelosi, Reid and President Obama are all playing with fire here.
White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod says the healthcare reform bill is on the 1 yard line. I have a better example. Remember those horror movies where you think you've killed the monster but it makes one last appearance because its really not dead? That's more appropriate here.
With all due respect to Bart Stupak, the pro-life Democratic Congressman from Michigan could end up being Freddy Krueger from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies. Krueger just kept coming back. Pelosi, Reid and President Obama could end up having nightmares about Stupak.
Let's be clear: If Stupak decides to accept something less than his pro-life abortion language, then it's ballgame over for traditional pro-lifers. If Stupak holds firm and takes a handful of pro-life Democrats with him, then The White House has a whole new set of problems.
At that point, if Stupak won't budge AND if he has the numbers to bring down healthcare reform, then Pelosi, Reid and Obama are going to have to have a little talk with pro-choicers like Diana DeGette, Barbara Boxer, et al., and figure out their next move. Ben Nelson may have delivered pro-lifers a setback, but the chess game is NOT over.
More here on how Stupak does not like Nelson's compromise.