Politico reports that the notorious anti-choice congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich) is retiring. Stupak claims that he abruptly announced his departure on a Friday afternoon for no particular reason. He told Politico that he’d been thinking of retiring for the last couple election cycles and, now that health care reform is law, his work in Congress is done. In other words, since he failed to scuttle health care reform over imaginary federal funds for abortion, his work in Congress is done.
It’s a good time for him to go. Realistically, Stupak is facing a tough reelection battle in his Michigan district with a primary challenger on the left and a “tea party” candidate on the right. That and he has no friends.
Stupak’s preening and grandstanding made a lot of enemies within the Democratic caucus. At times it seemed as if Stupak’s personal crusade against abortion would derail all of health care reform. Just when the Democrats thought they’d taken abortion out of play, Stupak would drag it back in.
He also made a lot of enemies on the right during the final moments of health care reform when he refused to vote with Republicans in a last-ditch effort to scuttle the bill. An anti-choice group rescinded a pro-life award they gave him. He and his family started getting death threats from “pro-lifers.”
So, Stupak the failed pro-life power broker is shuffling off into the sunset. Good choice.