Ex-Con Counts on "Faith Community" to Pass Health Care

December 7, 2009

The media furor over the White House state dinner crashers ignores the convicted felon who was invited to attend with the approval of Obama's inner circle. The ex-convict, Robert B. Creamer, is a friend of White House adviser David Axelrod and the husband of Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois. A major Democratic Party political strategist, he is the author of a 628-page book that describes how the Democrats can become the permanent majority party by passing a national health care bill and giving amnesty to illegal immigrants.

With the support of major elements of the "faith community," the first part of Creamer's plan is on track. 

Creamer's Stand Up Straight! How Progressives Can Win, is the book "penned in the pen," as one observer described it. "I did much of the preliminary work on this book while spending five months on a forced sabbatical at the Federal Prison Camp at Terra Haute Indiana," Creamer says. Creamer emerged from federal prison in November 2006 after serving five months for financial crimes. His prosecutor was the famous Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who also nailed disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

But this didn't stop Creamer from being invited to the White House for the first state dinner. Indeed, it makes complete sense in view of the fact that Creamer's book is full of praise for Obama and even reprints Obama's 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address.

The acknowledgements section of Creamer's book describes how he, like Obama, was influenced by Saul Alinsky, described as "the legendary community organizer." Book endorsements are featured from David Axelrod; Greg Galluzo of the Gamaliel Foundation, which originally sponsored Barack Obama's work as a community organizer in Chicago; and Andy Stern of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Creamer notes in his book that Bush aide Karl Rove had predicted in 2004 a "permanent majority" in Congress for the Republican Party. That prediction fell apart just two years later, in 2006, when the Democrats picked up 30 House seats and 6 Senate seats. Nevertheless, Rove subsequently landed a job as a Fox News political analyst.

Creamer's predictions have turned out to be more accurate. Released in 2007, Creamer's book said that a successful campaign "to reshape the structure of one-sixth of the American economy," the health care sector, would depend on getting 60 Democratic votes in the Senate and the election of a "progressive Democrat" in the White House. Today, of course, the Democrats have that significant advantage.

Creamer can take some credit for these developments. His firm, Strategic Consulting Group, still boasts an impressive client list that includes ACORN, SEIU, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and dozens of other "progressive" or Democratic Party state organizations.

Creamer, who went to prison for ripping off non-profit entities, emphasized using "the faith community" to mobilize support for universal health care by highlighting the morality of providing medical care to people in need.  

It has not worked out as planned, but it has worked out. As we saw in the House, when the bill was in trouble, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to a demand from Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was in Rome, to hold a vote on an anti-abortion amendment introduced by Rep. Bart Stupak, a Catholic pro-life Democrat. At the same time, Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), told House Republican Leader John Boehner, a faithful Catholic, not to undermine the amendment. Boehner complied. As a result, the amendment passed, 240-194, with 64 Democrats and 176 Republicans in favor. This provided conservative Democrats enough cover to ignore the other objectionable aspects and vote for the final bill.

Washington Times religion reporter Julia Duin confirmed all of this, but noted in a story filed from the recent USCCB meeting in Baltimore that "Cardinal McCarrick walked away when I approached him about his call from the Vatican…"

Pelosi and many "progressives" acquiesced in the anti-abortion ploy, realizing that the provision could eventually be nullified through subsequent legislation.

Nevertheless, the Bishops are pursuing the same strategy in the Senate. Their chosen vehicle for anti-abortion language in this version of the bill appears to be Democratic Senator Robert Casey, a so-called "conservative" and "pro-life" Catholic Democrat from Pennsylvania. Casey says, however, that if his effort to water down the pro-abortion tone of the legislation fails, he may still vote for the bill. 

It looks probable, therefore, that the Senate health care bill will pass. Then, the two versions will be combined in a congressional conference and the compromise will come before Congress for a final vote.

If passed, as Creamer understands, this will hook millions of Americans on another federal program, and they will depend on¯and vote for¯Democrats to grant them more benefits.

It is important to note that the Bishops, who have a reputation among some commentators as being politically "conservative," have not been objecting to the "public option" in the Senate plan. Indeed, they have long favored a government guaranteed "right" to health care and federal funding to make that a reality.

The latest USCCB statement on the health care legislation urges Senators to "improve the Senate health care bill in the key areas of affordability, immigration, federal funding and coverage of abortion and conscience rights." Translated into common-sense language, this means coverage for illegal aliens and more federal funding, in addition to the pro-life language that will enable some "conservative" Democrats and possibly some Republicans to vote for it. 

Creamer himself spoke in his book of a "public plan," which is supposed to guarantee that "right" to health care and which eventually became the "public option" in the actual legislation. In a speech captured on YouTube, Creamer's wife, Rep. Schakowsky, candidly said that a public option is a Trojan Horse for a complete federal takeover.

As we can already see, however, there is an overlap into the health care debate. And again, the "faith community" is playing a major role. In fact, the Catholic Bishops are not only vigorously lobbying for giving illegal immigrants access to a national health care plan but favor amnesty for them. In his recent testimony before the Senate, Cardinal McCarrick called it "legalization for the undocumented."

It looks bleak for Republicans if the Bishops have their way and continue to play Creamer's tune. GOP agreement with the Bishops on a pro-life provision in the bill should not distract attention from how this part of the "faith community" has become a major component of the "progressive" base that elects Democrats and keeps them in power. The facts show that most Catholics voted for Obama, and half or more of the Bishops, according to Catholic TV host Raymond Arroyo, voted for him, too. The USCCB staff is known to be overwhelmingly left-wing.

This is why some conservative Catholics think that the Catholic hierarchy is pursuing a strategy on health care that pays lip service to the pro-life cause but plays directly into Obama's (and Creamer's) hands.

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