Bart Stupak Failed Us


By: Deal W. Hudson

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men

The evening the Stupak-Pitts Amendment passed, I expressed the hope that a new era of pro-life politics had begun. For the first time in a long time, the Democratic Party had an advocate for the unborn around whom others could rally.

That was four months ago. Yesterday afternoon, that same man — Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) — who “made Nancy Pelosi cry uncle,” to quote the Wall Street Journal‘s Bill McGurn, made her shout with glee. The health-care bill, filled with funding goodies for abortion providers, was the legislative lodestar for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a self-described Catholic who shrugged off every appeal from her bishop.

Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass

Stupak looked hollow and shame-faced as he made the rounds of cable news shows on Sunday explaining the reasons for his change of mind. For the past 160 days, Stupak has been a hero to millions of Americans who believe the right to life is the basis of all other human rights.

Now, Stupak has become a hero to the other side and another example of why our young people view politics cynically — not as a vocation but as an excuse to put partisan interests ahead of transcendent truths.

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us — if at all — not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

After seeing through the deceptions of Sr. Carol Keehan’s Catholic Health Association, Catholics United, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and NETWORK, Stupak couldn’t see through the deception of an executive order to be issued by President Barack Obama providing “safeguards” against abortion funding.

“This is the principle we have fought for all these months — I am now comfortable voting for the bill,” Stupak told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News. Stupak admits an executive order can be rescinded at any time, does not have the force of law, and has no authority over those implementing the bill in the private sector, but still says he feels vindicated in his decision.

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

It was reported that Stupak relied heavily on support of staff from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in passing his amendment to the House bill barring abortion funding. Today, Stupak turned his back on those who sat with him through the turbulence of the November debate and put himself in thrall to the Democratic leadership who want nothing less than abortion on demand, paid for by the federal government.

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

This executive order is nothing more than a promise from one man to another, from Obama to Stupak. It can be withdrawn at any time — or, more likely, it can be ignored. Stupak should know that the promise of a man who once supported infanticide, and who on his first day in office repealed the Mexico City Policy, is not a man you can trust on the issue of abortion.

Stupak’s decision betrays Catholics and the faith he calls his own. As I said in my press release for Catholic Advocate, “Today’s vote will go down in history as one of the greatest expansions of abortion since Roe v. Wade.”

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.


Deal W. Hudson is the director of InsideCatholic.com and the author of Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States (Simon and Schuster).

Quotations above are taken from T. S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men.”

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