run out

Rep. Bart Stupak: Tea Party’s First Victim

The nine-term often-independent Democratic congressman from Michigan isn’t going to seek another term, Rep. Bart Stupak announces today. That’s courtesy the on-going threat of Tea Partiers to unseat him, retribution for helping lock down Obama’s health care plan.

Officially, Stupak claims he is not being run out of office. Rather, after 18 years, he is tired. Yeah, tired of running from the Tea Party Express, who named Stupak, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, its top target.

And while Stupak didn’t make many liberal friends when he introduced an amendment banning the use of federal funds for abortion, the guy has been a consistent voter against terrible things like banning gay marriage in the constitution, and a supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

The real worry for Democrats, however, is not the loss of one of their own in what should’ve been an easy re-election campaign, but the invigoration of the Tea Party movement that it can, in fact, sack a congressman. Which is remarkable for an organization that’s so young; imagine if, say, certain federal Gay Inc. organizations had such cojones.