They call themselves the “Nebraskans Advisory Group” — a small band of citizens angry (yes, ANGRY!) about Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s ridiculous Demcare cop-out/sell-out/attempted shameless do-over. Group founder Susan Smith e-mails that a dozen members stood out in the snow for their first “Rat Rally” last weekend.
A few choice photos:
The protesters have plenty of company. Nelson’s approval rating has plummeted to 42 percent over his Cornhusker Kickback/Backtrack.
One month after Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) stunned pro-lifers across the country by casting the crucial vote allowing the health care bill to pass the Senate, the beleaguered Democrat caused a stir when he arrived unexpectedly at a private meeting of pro-life leaders Wednesday to explain his reasoning and insist that he was still devoted to their cause.
The atmosphere of the room grew tense, however, as it became clear that Nelson had not come to apologize for casting the 60th “yes” vote that dashed the hopes of pro-life leaders counting on the senator to stop the abortion-expanding bill in its tracks. Instead Nelson rebuffed the idea that he caved on his pro-life position, and said that the “compromise” language that he had offered just before the final senate vote – which segregated the taxpayer subsidy monies funding abortion-providing insurance plans – allowed Nelson to “hold true to my pro-life principles” in voting for the measure.
Nelson opened his prepared remarks by stating, “I haven’t changed one bit on the principles that you and I share, that every human life is precious and needs to be protected.” He defended his decision to pass the senate bill with weaker abortion language, saying he was saving “leverage” for a later conference committee vote. At that point, he said, he would have insisted on the stronger language of the Nelson/Hatch/Casey amendment that the Senate had earlier rejected.
Cryptically, Nelson also suggested that Republicans were failing to be adequately pro-life by not working harder to pass the health care overhaul. Pro-life leaders should “lobby [Republicans] for life,” he said, in hopes that “just one pro-life Republican” would step up to offer a vote for the bill if it included the Hyde amendment.
…In a question-and-answer session following his remarks, Nelson expressed frustration when one pro-life leader suggested that Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak, unlike Nelson, stood his ground for adequate pro-life language.
“Excuse me, I don’t want to give the impression that I didn’t stand my ground,” said Nelson. “We might have a difference of opinion about the language that was written, but there are some others who do believe that that was written in a way that it did bar the use of federal funds. It may not have been the language people preferred, I understand.
“But I’m not going to stand here and hear that I didn’t stand my ground, because I believe I did.”
Self-delusion is always a wonder to behold.
Nebraska GOP keeps up the pressure: Give Ben the Boot.