Right up front, I am not pleased that Bart Stupak has decided to retire from congress. Also I find myself wondering what part we of the left had in his decision to retire. It’s hard for me think of anyone who was more between a rock and a hard place than Rep. Stupak was during the entire health care debate. I always thought (and publicly stated) that at the end of the day the congressman would return to the fold and vote in favor of health care reform. But like many others of the left I found the congressman’s tactics enraging. Then of course after the congressman did vote for health care reform we all got to witness a torrent of hatred from the right that sadly is becoming all too common place in American politics these days. Make no mistake, I don’t for a moment compare the left’s treatment of Stupak before he came around to the disgusting and menacing behavior of the right after Stupak came around and voted yes for health care reform. None the less I don’t think we have much to be proud of in our treatment of the congressman prior to the vote.
Now don’t for a moment get me wrong, I think on the issue of “choice” Rep. Stupak is 100 percent wrong. But on just about on every other issue he has a voting record that pretty much falls in line with my own political beliefs. I think in the wrenching days leading up to the health care debate we on the left may have sometimes lost sight of the trees for the forest. I think there is a lesson for us to learn here. Consider this thread my mea culpa.