Monday, January 25, 2010

Nelson pleads his case at Right to Life meet

Ben Nelson crashed** a Right to Life meeting last week, and continued to preach his Pro-Life bona fides.

This we learned from an article in last week.

The story states that Nelson, "arrived unexpectedly at a private meeting of pro-life leaders Wednesday (1/20/10) to explain his reasoning and insist that he was still devoted to their cause."

Leavenworth Street dug a little deeper and found out that this was an annual gathering of about seventy-five Pro-Life leaders before the March for Life.

[** Update 1/26/10 ** Kristen Day of Democrats for Life of America informs us that  Nelson was invited to  the meeting, and that LifeSiteNews got it wrong.  We are waiting for answers to some follow up questions to her.]

Well, not only did he attend, he also gave prepared remarks and had a Q&A.

It goes on...

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.


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."

What's interesting in all of this is the pre-bill posturing and the final language.

In the weeks that led up to the December cloture vote, Nelson stated over and over that he couldn't support a bill that didn't have language like the Stupak amendment in the House version.

Now the legislative director for National Right to Life says that he knew abortion language was not Nelson's number one priority in the bill. He wanted some abortion language, but apparently Johnson knew that Nelson could be swayed by other issues.

National Right to Life (and Nebraska Right to Life) has a series of problems with the language in the Senate version (read more here), but as Nelson will continue to argue, they are problems with what could happen under the bill. In other words, the bill has gaping holes through which abortion supporters could jump to achieve their goals.

But while the bill doesn't have the restrictive Stupak language, it doesn't (seem) to have outright open abortion language. For this, Nelson sees it as Pro-Life, and thus feels that he "stood his ground".

For history buffs, see "Chamberlain, Neville" waving a piece of paper in the air.

So the kicker in all of this, is that Nelson will continue to plead his case that he is "Pro-Life" no matter where he goes. We were frankly shocked that he didn't get pizza-parlored out of the Right to Life meet, but maybe they were just in shock when he showed.

We aren't sure if voters (if there are voters, in the end) will buy what Nelson is selling -- particularly if this version of the Health Care Re-form bill isn't passed.

But it will be interesting if it comes to the point where Nelson is on TV saying "I'm Pro-Life." and there are competing ads saying, "Like hell he is!"

How long 'til he goes on the air with that?


And while on the subject of Nelson getting booed, here was one out of...Reno?

This was the Safari Club International meeting in the Biggest Little City in the World, for big game hunters -- one of which Nelson is.


Nebraska’s Sen. Ben Nelson, scheduled to receive honors for his pro-hunter work, was a no-show at SCI, and when his name was mentioned, the crowd booed.

Wonder if they were serving pizza...


And piling on the Benator, this from TIME Magazine (online):

The deal now known as the "Cornhusker Kickback" may have been one of the biggest blunders in modern political history. Normally, you'd be surprised if people in Massachusetts even know who the Senator from Nebraska is. But the number of people I talked to who brought up Ben Nelson's name, unprompted, was striking. I'm also told, by some who were doing phonebanking, that they got an earful about it over and over.


Principles? said...

Why is it that a man who is supposedly a 'principled' Nebraskan and not a 'politician' spends so much of his time (and money) explaining to voters that he is principled? Most of the people I know with 'principles' spend their time living them and not talking about them.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why Mike Johanns isn't running commercials?????

One Out In The Third said...

There was a guy once that was caught by his wife while in bed with another woman. The guy repeatedly told his wife "Don't believe your lying eyes," as they crawled out of dressed...and the woman left. The more ads ol' Benito plays on the telly...the more he reminds me of that guy.

Anonymous said...

Nelson's ads make him look like an idiot. Everything he claims has been so overwhelmingly refuted you'd have to have lived under a rock not to think "what is this guy talking about."

I guess if he keeps saying it, over and over again, he might even believe it.

Buh Bye Ben!

Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law called from Omaha, said Channel 3 ran a news story of a billboard at 72nd and Pacific that says something like, "Harry, thanks for the bribe, Ben." Any truth to that?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:49,

I'm not sure about that billboard, but there is a Give Ben the Boot billboard just outside McCook, NE!

Lie-News said...

Why did Life News lie? Why did Leavenworth repeat the lie?

Street Sweeper said...

You can ask LifeNews.
We simply noted the story -- and you'll also note that we updated our post.

I'd say "thanks for reading", but apparently you don't.

Lie News said...

Sweeper -
Don't you need to change your entire post? the fact that Nelson was INVITED to speak to the group kinda negates the pizza parlor cheap shot (another fabricated story) and the Chamberlain cheap shot.

Granted Nelson deserves most of the criticism he's getting but it seems to me to be a bit over the top to continue the fabrication and the misrepresentation of facts. The Life News reporter set out to mislead their readers and people like you who simply echo other's fabricated stories.

Life News has embarrassed itself and shown its true cards - it is nothing more than a partisan bullhorn and clearly not interested in a legitimate debate over the issue - and neither are you.

Street Sweeper said...

Well, let's clear a few things up:

1) We updated our post to note that he was invited. We left in our original statement that he "crashed" so that viewers can see what we originally wrote, based on the LifeNews story.

2) The rest of the story addresses what Nelson SAID when there.

3) Our statement that we are surprised that he wasn't booed, still stands. We are surprised.

4) The pizza parlor story has been verified in numerous places.

5) Why would you think the Chamberlain analogy goes away? Nelson steps out of his meeting with Nancy Pelosi, waving the bill in the air saying, "No abortion language!" Only later will he realize when abortion is allowed under the law (if it gets that far) what he gave up under the bill. (Sorry that was too complex an idea for you to grasp.)

6) Get a grip.

Julie Schmit-Albin said...

I'm not following what the "Lie News" post is all about. I spoke with Doug Johnson from NRLC this past weekend as he was in the meeting of pro-life leaders and he said Sen. Nelson said anything he(Sen. Nelson) told them, was for the public record. Apparently Doug got to ask the first question of him and his question involved juxtaposing the Stupak language against the Nelson/Reid language and how could Sen. Nelson still maintain that it was adequate language when NRLC went through all of it and refuted that? I believe he said Sen. Nelson's response was similar to what we've heard, that he and others felt it was adequate, etc. Seems the article presented the story from what it heard from folks who were there. Naming sources other than Doug Johnson might have fleshed it out better but yeah, I heard that Sen. Nelson came into the meeting with someone who was a regular invitee to the meeting but I don't think others knew he was coming. Guess if I had been in the room I would have availed myself of the opportunity to ask him a question as others did.

Lie News said...

The point Julie - is that Life News LIED when they wrote Nelson crashed the meeting. Their entire story was framed in a negative way based on that lie. LS repeated the lie. LS updated. But left the storyline that Nelson crashed and the negative connotation of the meeting.

Fact is he was INVITED to the meeting and by all accounts other than LifeNews it was a cordial and friendly meeting. Even now, Life News has changed its story admitting Nelson was invited but that his appearance somehow still "caused a stir."

All Lies. Lie News. We Report the Lies. LS and Julie repeat them.

Street Sweeper said...

Listen you clown:

We really don't know whether LifeSiteNews knew whether Nelson was invited or not, but the fact that their article has now changed completley would indicate that they did not know, originally, that he was invited.

In any case, in our post we stated what the LifeSiteNews story said. Plain and simple.

When we were corrected, we edited our post. We left the original language in, b/c we feel that better represents what was written. The "Update", in the body of the post, is double starred, bolded and in red. Sorry you can't get your head around that concept.

As far as LifeSiteNews's reporting that "The atmosphere of the room grew tense", well that's their version of it , isn't it?

Guessing that YOU weren't there, we'll take their word for it. If someone who was there disagrees, they are certainly welcome to post their views on this here comment board.

In the mean time, feel free to get off your freaking pedestal.

Lie News said...


Ben Nelson was INVITED. There is no excuse for how LifeNews presented the meeting. My understanding is the author or someone frome LifeNews was in the room.

Sweeper, why so touchy? Feeling used by the anti-choice movement?

Street Sweeper said...

No, it's just that I'm a literacy advocate, and the commenters here don't seem to know how to read.

Give a hoot: Read the post.

Lie News said...

I did read the post. Still full of Life News' lies. I realize in your haste to post anything and everything to damage Ben Nelson, no matter how weak or thin, you can sometimes get tripped up like this. Maybe, next time, you'll consider the source, their motives, and their credibility (or lack thereof as in this case) before echoing the lie.

Same for you Julie - oh wait, you are the lead liar in the anti-women's rights community.

Concerned Mom said...

Lie - Seems you are wearing your astroturf well. Ben Nelson is done in Nebraska -- no matter how you try to spin it. We can do soooo much better -- and WE WILL.

Anonymous said...

Lie News must be Ben's mouthpiece, Jake Thompson. The moniker is sad since he used to be a journalist.

Lie News said...

Concerned Mom: you must not be concerned about health care for 220,000 of your Nebraska neighbors which makes you not very concerned at all.

Anonymous said...

That's right the "Cornhusker Kickback" is one of the biggest blunders for politicians. Ben thought he could buy off Nebraska voters, and Reid thought the buyoff compromise would save the health care bill. Rather Ben got the label of being bribed, and Massachutts voters killed Reid's "clever" buy off, partly because of the buy-off.