Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) - Pro-life Democrat now famous for caving in to pro-choice ObamaCare

By: Brian Sikma

Mike Fichter, the executive director of Indiana Right to Life, and the chairman of the IRTL PAC, has made news lately with his PAC’s decision to adopt a no-Democrat endorsement policy. The board of the PAC voted to end the organization’s practice of endorsing Democrat as well as Republican candidates that are pro-life. The American Spectator ran a lengthy editorial highlighting the PAC’s decision and how it relates to the overall debate unfolding in the pro-life community after Rep. Bart Stupak’s (D-MI) flip-flop on ObamaCare.

The Right to Life organizations that form a key part of the broader pro-life movement have, on the whole, worked to stay non-partisan in their approach to politics. Because the pro-life movement rightfully transcends political parties, it has been difficult in recent years for some in the movement to see the need to become more hard-line in their political activities. Although fewer in number, pro-life Democrats have been an important part of state and federal legislative strategies since the pro-life battle began in 1973. Pro-life Republicans often provide the majority of the votes needed to deliver on a pro-life bill or amendment, but even when they are the majority party, the handful of pro-life Democrat votes that are in a chamber can mean the difference between victory and defeat.  

Since the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, and as control of the Indiana House of Representatives has shifted back and forth over several cycles, it has become increasingly apparent that when Democrats are in the majority, the value of the pro-life members of their party decreases. Because the rank-and-file pro-life Democrats often vote for liberal caucus leadership, or get out voted if they do choose to vote their conscience in leadership elections, an increase of Democrats in any legislative body, even if they are pro-life, spells doom for pro-life legislation.

In adopting a no-Democrat endorsement policy, IRTL PAC has really done the only thing it could have done to maintain a forward-thinking, smart political strategy to advance its values and principles. While it is unfortunate that Democrats, once in power, cannot be relied upon to even bring some pro-life measures up for a vote, let alone pass such legislation, that stark political reality should be acknowledged by pro-life leaders across the country. The Democrat party of today is even more liberal than it was when the pro-life movement began, and its heavy-handed tactics which are evident at both the state and national level justify a complete rejection of the party by a movement defined by principle and not party affiliation.

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If you’ve kept an eye on the U.S. Senate this week you know they’ve been debating the merits of the largest tax increase in human history.  Only in the Senate would the merits of a tax increase running into the trillions of dollars be given serious consideration.  

Of course, supporters of the tax increase don’t call it a tax increase.  The call it a ”cap-and-trade” policy that will help the country fight global warming.  What they don’t like to talk about, and what has taken the Heritage Foundation, among others, to figure out, is that the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill contains mandates for a new government bureaucracy (actually one of 45 new bureaucracies) that will oversee the operation of 85% of the American economy.  The last time a large country practiced top-down management of an economy millions of people suffered and, ultimately, the economy collapsed on a massive scale.

As of today, the Senate failed to end debate on Lieberman-Warner (a bill, by the way, who’s basic policy concept is endorsed by John McCain) and so it is highly unlikely that the Senate will continue to debate this bill.  It takes 60 votes to end debate on a particular matter and only 48 Senators voted to end debateand move to the next phase, which would be an up or down vote on the entire bill.  Unfortunately, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) voted to end debate and keep the measure moving forward. 

Read more below the fold.

Over the past few days the Heritage Foundation has been posting on its blog a state-of-the-day analysis on the impact of Lieberman-Warner on a particular state’s economy.  Yesterday the state they focused on was Indiana.  According to their research, Indiana would lose 11,917 jobs in the year 2025 alone as a result of “cap-and-trade” policies to combat “global warming”.

Below is the text of a letter that I submitted to Sen. Richard Lugar on Wednesday presenting to him the case for why he should oppose Lieberman-Warner.

Dear Sen. Lugar:

As a staunch supporter of Republican candidates and as one who deeply cares about the future of this country, I am writing to you in regard to a significant piece of legislation that relates to climate change and the American economy. The legislation, submitted by Senators Lieberman and Warner and titled America’s Climate Security Act of 2007, contains serious flaws premised on dubious assumptions about the best way to combat climate change.

Under S. 3036 the American economy would be subjected to a new and unprecedented era of regulation that would burden our industries, cripple our current energy market, and saddle many average Americans with indirect taxes in the form of higher energy bills and indirect cost of living increases. Not to be overlooked are the thousands of jobs that would be lost as a result of the new federal regulations.

While proponents of S. 3036 declare that the revenues from the cap-and-trade program will be used to establish new “green-collar” jobs, what they fail to acknowledge is that the hundreds of pages of regulations and the astronomical collective impact of tax increases (in the form of carbon credit auctions), a significant drop in GDP, and soaring energy prices (according to the EPA gasoline prices could increase more than 53 cents simply as a result of the policies contained in this bill) will combine to create an economic nightmare for our country.

The theories of collective central control of industry and commerce were discredited by the spectacular failure of the old Soviet Union, yet today Lieberman-Warner sets up a regulatory body that will regulate 85% of the American economy. This proposed venture stands in stark contrast to America’s heritage of freedom and free enterprise. A system where entrepreneurs are free to dream and pursue a better way of doing things; a system where hard-working, freedom-loving and God-fearing folks can make a better life for themselves and their children.

Senator, I submit to you that we cannot tax our way to prosperity or regulate ourselves into a robust economy. The provisions of Lieberman-Warner are inconsistent with the American dream and the ideals of our founding. America doesn’t need more government regulation and interference. America needs strong leadership that will reject policies and proposals that will lead to failure and hardship. Senator, I humbly and sincerely ask you to cast a “Nay” vote on the Lieberman-Warner climate change proposal.

Sincerely,

Brian Sikma