After playing a central role in the bid to ensure that federal funding for abortion is removed from the Democrats' health care bill, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said in an interview on Friday that he is suddenly feeling left out.
"They're ignoring me," he told National Review Online in an interview "That's their strategy now. The House Democratic leaders think they have the votes to pass the Senate's health-care bill without us. At this point, there is no doubt that they've been able to peel off one or two of my twelve. And even if they don't have the votes, it's been made clear to us that they won't insert our language on the abortion issue."
The "us" Stupak is referring to, are twelve anti-abortion Democrats in the House (also known as the "Stupak dozen"), some of whom are now considering siding with the White House and Democratic congressional leaders to vote "yes" on the final health care package.
For his part, Stupak is not budging.
"I am a definite 'no' vote," he told National Review. "I didn't cave. The others are having both of their arms twisted."
After his NRO quotes, will he become the newest FOX News analyst?
But while more and more Democrats have been rallying to Connie Saltonstall, the former Charlevoix County commissioner who just decided to run a primary race against Stupak, he ran to his anti-choice conservative allies whining that the Democratic leadership has been ignoring his deranged and infantile outbursts.
Just by mentioning that Connie was in the race, Blue America has raised nearly $4,500 for her in a few days. Now that Digby has traveled to meet her in person and speak with her about a broad range of issues, kick the tires and determine that she's of good character, our PAC will be formally endorsing her on Wednesday morning. (She'll be live blogging with us at Crooks and Liars at 3pm (EST/12pm PT)
This is how it's done. Move On acts at the behest of its membership, which registers in the millions, and they want the bill passed. Since it's only Democrats who are in play, threatening primary challenges is one of the legitimate, institutional ways to do it.