In MA Race, Martha Coakley Opposes Health-Care Bill Over Stupak Amendment

The conventional wisdom about the Stupak bill among the male-dominated media: Why won't the women just sit down, shut up and let the men folk do the

The conventional wisdom about the Stupak bill among the male-dominated media: Why won't the women just sit down, shut up and let the men folk do their political bidness? What is all this talk about "rights"?

Instead, ask yourself these questions: Why is it that the moderates conservatives always get their way - at the expense of liberals, and of alleged Democratic party values? Why is the compromise always on our end? Why aren't people like Bart Stupak being told to "put on their big boy pants" and swallow compromise to get health care reform?

And why isn't some progressive politician introducing a bill to cut off funding for special education or any other services at Catholic schools? After all, how is providing the services from a trailer at the far end of the school parking lot not an "accounting trick"? Why aren't liberals aggressively challenging the tax-exempt status of the Catholic church?

I was under the impression we had freedom of religion in this country. Apparently, I was wrong.

WORCESTER - Opening up a major fissure in the US Senate race, Attorney General Martha Coakley said yesterday that she opposes the landmark health care bill approved by the House Saturday because it contains a provision restricting federal funding for abortion.

Coakley, in her boldest gamble of the campaign, said that fighting for women’s access to abortions was more important than passing the overall bill, despite its aim of providing coverage for 36 million people, establishing a public insurance option, and prohibiting insurers from discriminating against patients with preexisting conditions.

“To pretend that now the House has passed this bill is real progress - it’s at the expense of women’s access to reproductive rights," Coakley said in an interview, after making similar comments yesterday morning on Boston radio station WTKK-FM.

[...] Coakley’s opposition to the bill put her squarely at odds with her three rivals for the Democratic nomination, including US Representative Michael E. Capuano, who voted in favor of the plan and blasted Coakley’s stance yesterday, calling it “manna from heaven" for his campaign.

“I find it interesting and amazing, and she would have stood alone among all the prochoice members of Congress, all the members of the Massachusetts delegation," Capuano said in an interview. “She claims she wants to honor Ted Kennedy’s legacy on health care. It’s pretty clear that a major portion of this was his bill."

He went on: “If she’s not going to vote for any bill that’s not perfect, she wouldn’t vote for any bill in history. She would have voted against Medicare, the Civil Rights bill. . . . Realism is something you have to deal with in Washington."

Why is it that "realism" is always and inevitably at the expense of women, gays and minorities? Is that the new Democratic value?

UPDATE: Apparently Capuano has since changed his position, saying he'll vote against the bill if Stupak amendment stays.

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