Group blogger Garrett Quinn told me on Monday that he was 5 years old
when the Berlin Wall came down. I've wondered why I don't remember the
event itself; I heard about it later from Washington-based taxpayer
activist Grover Norquist, who was in Berlin during that period.
I dug out my
old appointment calendars, and saw why I missed it: In November 1989,
Citizens for Limited Taxation was finishing up its petition drive to
repeal the Dukakis tax hikes. I wouldn't have noticed if the Berlin Wall
merged with my little stone wall out back.
enough signatures, but lost the 1990 ballot campaign; tried again on the
income-tax rate 10 years later, and won a rollback. But the thrill of
watching the end of the Cold War, live on the news, was forever lost.
going to miss the next potentially earthshaking event in United States
history, so I spent last Saturday evening live-blogging the House debate
on Obama/PelosiCare with Garrett and people named Eabo Clipper, Cool Cal
and obi juan.
I can fly! Into the Internet Never Never Land of
Red Mass Group,
the conservative balance to liberal-run Blue Mass Group. I logged on
with a password Garrett gave me around 4 p.m., and blogged on until
none of whom I know by their "real" name, joined us through the evening.
It took me a while to get the flow — not so much the technology, but
what was almost certainly an age difference of roughly 40 years. It took
my full attention to watch the debate on C-SPAN and type responses to
what I saw; the younger bloggers seemed to be doing four or five things
at once, including following football and soccer games, checking other
Internet sites for commentary and data, cooking pasta and drinking to
each platitude that was uttered by Democrats in debate ("social justice"
— drink! "Kennedy reference" — drink! "Hope" — drink!).
added value was apparent. When Congressman Mike Pence, R-Ind., gave an
inspiring speech about freedom, a You Tube link was immediately posted
to send to friends; Michele Malkin was twittering in with her own
ongoing analysis; and roll calls appeared right after they were taken. I
know Massachusetts legislative rules, but occasionally needed Cool Cal
to tell me what was happening in this congressional debate.
By 5 p.m. we
were discussing the Stupak Amendment to the bill. This would be a
separate vote, before the final vote on Obama/PelosiCare, to forbid
government funding of abortions either directly or by subsidizing
private abortion coverage.
Bart Stupak of Michigan is a pro-life Democrat whose amendment could
deliver other pro-life Democrats who might otherwise vote against the
final bill. Republicans, united for a planned nay vote on Obama/PelosiCare,
had a decision to make. Even pro-choice Republicans have traditionally
been opposed to forcing taxpayers to fund abortions; a yea vote on the
Stupak Amendment would be consistent with that position, but could
deliver Democratic votes that would pass the entire package in the end.
And a nay vote on the overall bill could save the country from a
government takeover of the health-care sector of our economy.
learned of a possible strategy: Republicans would vote present instead
of yea or nay, to indicate continued opposition to abortion funding.
This would not add to the yea votes necessary to pass the anti-abortion
amendment that would free pro-life Democrats to vote for the final bill.
Unfortunately, the national Right to Life Committee immediately sent a
stern warning that it would count a "present" vote as a vote in favor of
taxpayer-funded abortion, essentially threatening all Republicans with
political oblivion after the next election.
Republicans voted yea and the amendment passed. A short while later,
Obama/PelosiCare passed 220-215, with only one Republican, pro-lifer Anh
Cao of Louisiana, now supporting it. By the next day, Philip Klein of
the American Spectator had ascribed 16 of the final 220 yea votes to the
passage of the Stupak Amendment. So it looked as if the pro-life lobby
was responsible for a House vote that could bring an end to America as
we know it.
Senate will debate its own version, which at present has no specific
language to forbid abortion funding, and may not have the votes to pass
same. But if it does, a House-Senate conference committee will create a
compromise bill. Many pro-choice Democrats have vowed to vote against
the package if the Stupak Amendment isn't removed before the final
votes. They apparently can't wait to force all taxpayers to pay for
fortunately the foolish right could be balanced by the foolish left,
both of which seem to think this is a debate about abortion. In fact, if
ObamaCare passes, it will be only a matter of time before abortion
funding is added again, along with "death panels" for frail elders. Once
the liberal government is in charge of our health and our lives, it will
be actively encouraging abortion in order to "reduce the carbon
footprint" of the American family.
The Berlin Wall came down, and ObamaCare can still be defeated.