Super Trooper Stupak and Brother Pitts
American women will pay the price for the Democratic dithering that allowed Saturday’s passage of the Stupak-Pitts amendment, a worm virus
inserted into the House healthcare reform bill with surgical precision. But the Democratic Party will suffer collateral damage.
Stupak-Pitts isn’t just “the biggest restriction on women’s right to choose in our generation,” as Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado puts it; it’s also evidence that on abortion the Democratic Party is now captive, just like the GOP, to Christian conservatism. Of course, Republicans traded away their party’s moderate wing for real electoral gains, a base that propelled them to power for decades. The Democrats, already in power, sucker-punched themselves, and all they have to show for it is a big fat shiner in the shape of Bart Stupak’s knuckles.
But if Stupak, a former state trooper from Michigan, provided the muscle, his partner, Joe Pitts — a Pennsylvania Republican with decades in the trenches of the antiabortion battle — may have brought the brains, and more, a new Christian right coalition custom tailored for the Democratic Party’s growing religious conservatism…
Jeff Sharlet is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004) and co-editor of Believer, Beware (2009). Sharlet is also the author of Sweet Heaven When I Die, (2011), C Street, (2010), and the New York Times bestseller The Family (2008).