Neugebauer apologized immediately for saying it. Like many pro-choice liberals, Albom’s scale of values assigns calling someone a baby killer a much worse ranking than, say, actually being a baby killer.
I’m not saying Stupak is a baby-killer. But Albom defended George Tiller because his murders of the unborn are “governed, sanctioned, and allowed,” (actually, they were not), while criticizing broadcasters like Bill O'Reilly for pointing out that Tiller made his living butchering unborn infants.
Albom’s idea is that, because Stupak’s been reliably, consistently pro-life until last Saturday, pro-lifers have no right to criticize him for utterly flopping last week when the most important pro-life decision of his career was staring him in the face.
This all puzzles Albom. Why, he asks, does Stupak have to suffer these slings and arrows now, when he has “an intractable anti-abortion record”?
No, Mitch. Stupak’s being criticized now because his record ceased to be “intractable” when he allowed himself to be bought off by the President’s meaningless executive order. Now his record has a big, red “TRACTABLE” stamped on it.
But Albom can’t get this at all. He doesn’t understand why you can’t be pro-life, but able to compromise on the issue from time to time. “If we go to your favorite restaurant tonight, why can’t we compromise and go to my favorite restaurant tomorrow night?” Because, is the answer of the pro-life cause, every time we go to your favorite restaurant, we have to pay in dead babies. Albom:
Now, remember. It's not as if Stupak suddenly turned pro-abortion. He is -- and always has been -- adamant on the subject. He was cosponsor of the amendment that insisted no federal money be spent on such procedures.He was adamant on the subject, Mitch, until he wasn’t. “Yeah, I cheated on you, but only after being faithful for 30 years! Doesn’t that count for anything?”
Stupak’s decision may not mean he suddenly turned pro-abortion. But it does mean that, after a career of pro-life votes, he voted pro-abortion in one of the most significant pro-life battles in 40 years. It was down to him, and he blew it.
And for the Stupak Amendment: the reason Stupak was willing to face a hail of criticism from his Democratic side over that was because he didn’t trust the President that the Senate bill wouldn’t cover abortion.
Stupak always knew that, and he knows it now.
So how does Albom explain pro-life anger against Stupak?
Goddamn right, how dare he trust the President. Being pro-life means guarding the unborn against people like Barack Hussein Obama.
But his crime this past week, in the minds of his pro-life critics, was accepting Obama's executive order to enforce something that already has been enforced for more than 30 years.
How dare Stupak trust the president?
Albom, Barbara Walters-style, wants to know how all this makes Bart feel. Bad, says, Stupak. He doesn’t like the personal attacks:
“Maybe these so-called groups for life are not really standing up for the sanctity of life," Stupak said. "Maybe they're there for political purposes. Maybe they've lost their mission.”They’ve lost their mission! I hate to see any pro-lifer lost to the cause, but this sounds suspiciously like the way pro-lifers talk when they’re getting ready to take that dive to pro-abortion. First they attack the pro-life cause as too extreme, insulting them as insincere, “so-called groups for life.” Next they wake up and realize abortion is a “personal choice” that obviously should be left up to the mother. Eighty percent of the Democratic pro-abortion caucus came to it by this route.
I hope Stupak doesn’t do that. I hope that, once he gets thrown out of office by voters, that life presents him an opportunity to undo what he just did. This doesn't have to be the end of the story. But the fact that he’s been faithful so long only increases the tragedy of his failure at the critical moment. There’s a lesson in that, and a reminder for a Christian of the warning of St. Paul, to let any man who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall.
These are grave matters. Maybe Neugebauer’s outburst was his way of warning him away from the cliff.