03.22.10 5:51 PM ET
How the People in My District Got Stupak to Change His Mind
Well, our full court press on my congressman, Bart Stupak, worked! Hundreds of my neighbors here in his Michigan district spent the weekend organizing thousands of voters to get busy and save the health-care bill. We called Stupak's congressional office non-stop and we got thousands of people up here to flood his email box.
And then a rare thing happened: An elected representative did what the people told him to do. It was nothing short of amazing.
And, that’s when Republican congressman Randy Neugebauer of Texas shouted out: “Baby killer!” Wow. I guess the fertilized-egg police felt betrayed by Bart.
Stupak, and his seven "right to life" Democrats who had said they would vote against the bill, reversed themselves after what Stupak said Sunday afternoon was a week of his staff having "really taken a pounding." Hey, all we did here in northern Michigan was let him know that we would be unceremoniously tossing him out of Congress in this August's Democratic primary. One of our group announced she would oppose him in the Dem primary. That seemed to register with him.
All of this made Stupak look pretty worn down at his press conference yesterday, pleading with people like us to stop calling his house and waking his wife "at two or three in the morning." Hey! That's not us. We never call during Carson Daly!
President Obama needed 216 votes in the House last night—and he barely got them (219 was the final number). Had Stupak not done a 180 in the last 24 hours, the health-care bill would have gone down in flames. Thank you, to all of you here in northern Michigan who did what had to be done. You and you alone saved this bill in the final moments.
Stupak stood on the floor of the House last night and, in a surreal moment, spoke against the "Stupak Amendment"! Once he got through his medieval meanderings about where babies come from, he gave one helluva speech.
And, that's when Republican Congressman Randy Neugebauer of Texas shouted out: "Baby killer!" Wow. I guess the fertilized-egg police felt betrayed by Bart.
Those of us here in Michigan will now decide what to do about our misguided congressman. We're a forgiving lot, but maybe not this time. We shall see.
Bart, I'm glad you discovered you didn't have a uterus. And, like the scarecrow, I'm glad you found a bit of your brain.
A good night it was—important little steps were taken to bring our country into the civilized world.
Now, we have some real work to do if we really want to say we have universal health care. The sharks who run the insurance companies have every intention of turning this lemon into some very profitable lemonade.
P.S. Someday, the Hyde Amendment is going to have to go. No Democratic president should ever agree to anything that discriminates against women.
Michael Moore is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and author. He directed and produced Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Sicko. He has also written seven books, most recently, Mike’s Election Guide 2008.