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Should Bart Stupak have quit?
The pro-life Democrat is retiring after upsetting liberals by pushing for anti-abortion language in health-care reform, then angering Tea Partiers by ultimately voting for the bill. Is Stupak doing the right thing?
 
Bart Stupak holds the executive order prohibiting federal funding for abortion: Will pro-life activists miss Stupak when he retires?
Bart Stupak holds the executive order prohibiting federal funding for abortion: Will pro-life activists miss Stupak when he retires?
Corbis

Pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak, who announced his retirement last week, says he's looking forward to stepping off the public stage. Stupak was vilified by both the Left and the Right over health-care reform. Pro-choice groups were determined to keep Stupak from being reelected because of his stand against federal funding for abortions; Tea Partiers had vowed to defeat him because he ultimately voted for the reform bill. With so many people against him, was Stupak right to step aside? (Watch a Fox report about the Tea Party's opposition to Bart Stupak)

Yes — Stupak turned his back on his constituents: Bart Stupak "betrayed" his constituents by voting for Obamacare, says Cat Corben in RedState. Voters in his conservative, rural Michigan House district didn't want a "government health-care takeover, nor did they want to pay for abortions." Stupak snidely says he's glad Tea Partiers wasted money on ads aiming to defeat him, but the important thing is that he's gone.
"Bart Stupak's disdain and vengeance towards Americans"

The angry Right may regret showing Stupak the door: Tea Partiers and "anti-abortion fanatics" are cheering now, say the editors of the Detroit Free Press, but they "may yet rue the day this conscientious public servant decided he'd had enough." In 18 years in Congress, Bart Stupak was a defender of rural America. He was also "one of Right to Life's most tireless standard-bearers in Washington."
"State loses conscientious representation in Stupak"

Liberals shouldn't be crowing, either: Contrary to what you may have read, Bart Stupak wasn't a conservative Democrat, says John Nichols in The Nation. He was "one of the House's steadiest supporters of education funding," he protected the rights of gays and lesbians, and he was "one of the few Democrats from an overwhelmingly rural district to vote against authorizing President Bush to attack Iraq." Liberals will miss him when he's gone.
"What Bart Stupak got right"

 

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