Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Deal Says the USCCB Had to Keep Stupak on Task

From tomorrow's New York Times comes a story by Jodi Kantor about Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI).

It contains the following very interesting tidbit:

Mr. Stupak says he urged the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to toughen its stance on the legislation; representatives from the conference and the National Right to Life Committee did not return calls

The parenthesis are from the original story. Why are they there? Perhaps Kantor did not know what a bombshell this statement from Stupak would be among many Catholics.

It makes you wonder what Stupak thought the USCCB should be tougher about? The abortion issue? Or abortion and other issues as well? And did Stupak mean the USCCB should be tougher behind the scenes or in the public eye?

But if Stupak feels he is hanging tougher than the USCCB then how do you make sense of all those stories about lobbyists from the USCCB keeping Stupak on message?

Certainly the USCCB has studiously avoided a tough public stance, preferring not to risk their internal negotiating position.

I wish Kantor explored Stupak's meaning here -- perhaps Stupak went off the record at this point, and Kantor had to call the USCCB and National Right to Life for comment.

That the USCCB did not return her call is surprising given the prominence of the NYT and the importance of the issue raised by Stupak.

Link to original Inside Catholic...

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