Not really a big surprise from my standpoint. I always thought the moderate Democrats were spineless and it was just a matter of time.
It seems that Stupak and his gang of twelve six who knows how many, met with the White House today and just announced that he’s voting yes to this ruinous healthcare bill. What was the payoff? The President signed an Executive Order essentially banning any stipulations in the bill from funding abortions. It’s basically a worthless piece of paper (see EOs closing down Gitmo), so Stupak bought into the Obama charm fest hook, line and sinker.
And, of course, there’s the hypocrisy of it all:
We spent the eight years through January 19, 2009, listening to Democrats complain that President Bush had purportedly caused a constitutional crisis by issuing signing statements when he signed bills into law. Democrats and Arlen Specter (now a Democrat) complained that these unenforceable, non-binding expressions of the executive’s interpretation of the laws Bush was signing were a usurpation Congress’s power to enact legislation.
But now Democrats are going to abide not a mere signing statement but an executive order that purports to have the effect of legislation — in fact, has the effect of nullifying legislation that Congress is simultaneously enacting?
This particuar EO is also a nullity — presidents cannot enact laws, the Supreme Court has said they cannot impound funds that Congress allocates, and (as a friend points out) the line-item veto has been held unconstitutional, so they can’t use executive orders to strike provisions in a bill. So this anti-abortion EO is blatant chicanery: if the pro-lifers purport to be satisfied by it, they are participating in a transparent fraud and selling out the pro-life cause.
But even if all that weren’t true, how do we go from congressional Democrats claiming that signing statements were a shredding of the Constitution to congressional Democrats acquiescing in a claim that the president can enact or cancel out statutory law by diktat?
It’s monotonous at this point to highlight the hypocrisy. As McCarthy notes, the left had spent the past decade lamenting the alleged “imperial presidency” of George Bush. But that of course, is ok when you’re a liberal Democrat pushing through a radical agenda.
Also, this should teach Republicans to never have to depend on Democrats to stop liberalism, no matter how “moderate” they appear:
[T]here was always a danger in letting the outcome hinge on pro-life liberals who in principle supported this approach to health care reform — indeed, would support a bill to the left of this one — as long as it contained satisfactory language on abortion.
Elections have consequences.