(VIDEO) McCaskill’s “Clarification” Further Confuses

Jodi Jacobson

There are many Democrats who can be counted on to show their cards to the opponent, equivocate, vacillate and wave the white flag before the game has even started, as did Senator McCaskill this week on the Stupak Amendment.

I’ve learned there is one thing I can count on many Democrats to do.

That is: To show their cards to the opponent, equivocate, vacillate and wave the white flag of concession before the game has even started.  Not the Diana DeGettes, Lois Capps’, Jan Schakowsky Democrats, but the "pro-choice-only-while-campaigning-and-until-it-gets-too-hard-to stand-up-for-choice" Democrats.

At a time when the Democrats should not be giving the ultra conservatives an inch, a number of them are instead using 100 feet of rope to hang themselves and… us with them.

This week, Senator Claire McCaskill did just that, undermining efforts to remove the Stupak amendment from the health reform bill before debate on the bill in the Senate had even begun, and hundreds of organizations and while tens of thousands of women throughout the country are mobilizing to defeat the Amendment.

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First, McCaskill got on MSNBC’s program Morning Joe the Monday morning after the House vote, and said she in effect she didn’t think Stupak was all that bad because, after all it will most adversely affect only those poor women who need public subsidies.  (She was wrong, it’s way worse than that but nonetheless that was the context of her comments).

Then, having recieved what I can only imagine was angry reactions from pro-choice advocates throughout the country, she backtracked, sending the following messages out on Twitter:

First Tweet: "Oppose
Stupak.Don’t think we should change current law which is no public $
for abortions,but amndmt goes too far limitng private funds too"

Then, she sent a confusing message to a pro-choice advocate who asked about her position:

Second Tweet: "It’s too early to say,We all need to keep talking and working toward a good bill.I hope it’s not in it and will vote that way."


The third Tweet said:

Asked this
morning my opinion on whether Stupak amndmnt would kill the bill(said
prob no) and NOT asked my opinion of the amndmnt.Im opposed

Huh?  I think she gave her opinion on Morning Joe, but you decide:


Then… a fourth Tweet:

@hb4president That IS the current law which no one is trying to change. Longstanding Hyde federal law= no public $ for abortions.

Actually… someone is trying to change it.  They are called anti-choice conservatives and they live within the Republican and Democratic Party and represent religious, male patriarchal fundamentalisms across the spectrum of Christian ideology.  In fact, as many articles published here this week have shown, they did change the law in the House bill with the Stupak-Pitts amendment, and they are trying to change the law in the Senate bill.  It’s called "banning abortion coverage from private insurance with your premiums" changes in the law." 

And I am a bit mystified as to where McCaskill has been while the debate is going on.

So, apparently, was Rachel Maddow, whose staff called McCaskill’s office to see if she would support the Senate bill with Stupak, and was told effectively… "we’ll see."


How’s that for the face of Emily’s List?

I would have expected someone who calls herself a "longtime pro-choice candidate" to say something different. 

Something like:

I oppose Stupak and am going to do everything in my power to stop it. 

But that may be asking too much.  Because she is after all apparently a Democrat of the "give-up-the-ship-before-it-sails" variety, and maybe that is why she was co-chair of the Obama campaign.


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