Skip ahead to 3:10 for the key exchange. Or better yet, let me save you 10 minutes: He wanted to vote for the bill, so when they called his bluff by offering him nothing more than a flimsy EO, he took the deal and traipsed off to party the night away. The best he can do here by way of a defense is to note that, yes, while it’s true that The One could throw the order in the trash, it’s also true that had Stupak’s preferred abortion language ended up in the bill it could have been repealed by Congress later or even struck down in a court challenge. Which, while technically correct, is (a) dishonest, given that pro-choicers wouldn’t have had 60 votes in the Senate to undo it, and (b) surreal insofar as it amounts to an admission that the last few months of pro-life brinksmanship on his part were shadowplay. If the risk of pro-life legislation being undone was so great as to make an executive order an acceptable substitute to him, why the hell didn’t he negotiate an EO from the very beginning? Simply pitiful, but also appropriate as an exclamation point on how repulsive the O-Care process was from start to finish. The guy who made the biggest, noisiest show of standing on principle — who publicly admonished members of his own caucus for using abortions in their beancounting calculations — turns out to be the biggest fraud of all. Pitiful.
If you’re able to endure this to the very end, Kelly gets around to asking him about Republican Randy Neugebauer yelling “baby killer,” or rather “it’s a baby killer,” while he was speaking on the floor last night. Judging by my RSS feeds, the outrageously outraged media attention that’s getting this afternoon momentarily rivals coverage of the bill itself. I wonder why.