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SBA List Is the Dick Butkus of Politics

The Susan B. Anthony List is the Dick Butkus of politics. Yup. The Dick freaking Butkus of politics.

Like quarterbacks with great offensive lines, self identified pro-life Dems who actually weren't pro-life at all ran the political field almost without fear for years. But last night the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List went Butkus on them. Last night, the SBA List brought hurt like Santa brings toys.

The SBA List raised and spent millions in ads so awesomely awesome that at least one Democrat (Steve Driehaus) sued. The SBA List was even threatened with jail time. JAIL TIME! And how did the SBA respond? They didn't just take away Driehaus' job. They took away the jobs of fourteen of his friends too.


Dick Butkus just made quarterbacks lose consciousness for a few minutes. The SBA List did much worse. They took away their opponent's jobs. No, they took their jobs and found other people to do them but better.

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said, "Last night, the SBA List accomplished its overall goal and delivered on our promise that votes have consequences."


And just in case Dems calling themselves pro-life didn't get the message, the SBA List put out a press release (aka -a warning) to ensure they understood:

Today, the Susan B. Anthony List announced that it successfully defeated 15 of its 20 targeted self-described "pro-life" Democrats who voted for the pro-abortion health care bill as part of its "Votes Have Consequences" project.

"Last night, the SBA List accomplished its overall goal and delivered on our promise that votes have consequences," SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. "In these races, the abortion issue was a determining factor. We flexed the muscles of the pro-life movement. Our project started more than a year ago when we targeted these districts to strengthen pro-life Democrats' resolve to vote against abortion funding in health care reform. When the so-called 'pro-life' Democrats caved, our mission had to change. By defeating 15 of 20 these self-described pro-life Democrats, we have sent a clear message to Washington that voting against the deeply held pro-life views of your constituency has serious political consequences."
Targets defeated included Rep. Brad Ellsworth (IN-SEN); Rep. Steve Driehaus (OH-01); Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-04); Bart Stupak (Retired, MI-01); Alan Mollohan (Primary defeat, MI-01); Baron Hill (IN-09); Paul Kanjorski (PA-11); John Salazar (CO-03); Jim Oberstar (MN-08); Bob Etheridge (NC-02); John Boccieri (OH-16); Chris Carney (PA-10); John Spratt (SC-05); Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23); and Charlie Wilson (OH-06).


Remaining pro-life Dems in name only are currently looking for a change of underwear.

And make no mistake, just like every quarterback knew exactly where Butkus was on every play and imagined all the horrible things he was going to do to them when he got into the backfield, pro-life Dems will be very wary of crossing the SBA List. Because the SBA won't just break into the backfield, they'll break into the huddle, kneecap your fourteen best players and start calling plays. Dems now know that if they double cross pro-lifers, this is what they'll see right before their jobs are taken away from them:

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Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Uh, the picture you have of number 60 is not Butkus but Chuck Bednarik of the Philadelphia Eagles.

LarryD said...

Maybe it's a picture of Bednarik doing his "Dick Butkus" impersonation...

JOB said...

And he just took out Frank Gifford, if I'm not mistaken...


Anneg said...

Great article that I've forwarded, but, leave it to a bunch of guys to know that a really old football picture where you can't see the player isn't Dick Butkus!

Fr. Rick Heilman said...

Ahem ... or, Ray Nitschke?

quigley said...

Awesome Matthew! My daughter works for SBA ... they are an awesome bunch! They did indeed kick butt... VOTES HAVE CONSEQUENCES!

Yon said...

You mean to say that it's not a joke name? Like... Sillius Soddus?

steye said...

It seems what they really did was eliminate the growing prolife voice from within the Democratic party. The SBA list (it could appear)is not just interested in electing prolife legislators, but Republican pro lifers.
I fear they may do more harm than good in the long run. Prolife Catholics can use the Republican party, but should not identify with it. The Church does not agree with Republican stands on capital punishment or guns or immigration or many other issues.
Catholics should be above party affiliation and work to see Catholic values promoted within all parties.
The Democratic party has much to offer with regard to Catholic social docrine. But we have to get beyond their extremist views on sex and gender politics --not make them more entrenched!
Polarizing and demonizing "the enemy" is short-sighted, imprudent, and unChristian. Work for the truth; don't play petty party politics (as you might not like the party you end up with!)

matthew archbold said...

Yeah, just because they vote to fund the killing of babies with taxpayer money doesn't mean they're not pro-life, right?

steye said...

to matthew archbold: Actually I'm saying that that is exactly the problem! And your sarcasm only serves to dismiss and demonize them. Prolife Democrats are the only hope for that party, and Catholics should be doing everything they can to support them, not weed them out!

Are you Catholic or Republican? Seriously, everyone has to ask this: which allegiance comes first?! I say my prolife Catholicism comes before any party and I resist any party affiliation because neither one represents me or my faith, and I will do what I can to transform both. I fear the SBA is just prolife and very willing to marry the Republican party.

steye said...

I should add that if SBA wants to gloat on their victory and if you really want to call them Dick Butkus, then you have to concede that part of their victory is having gutted the Democratic party of ANY prolife voice. A pyrhic victory if ever there was one. Win the battle, lose the war. Congratulations.

So to whom do you defer more? Limbaugh or the bishops? Really!! Was it healthcare that was the real problem and that's what you want gone? That's the Republican position! But it's not the Catholic position.

The US bishops were wholeheartedly behind healthcare, and worked overtime to see that it not fund abortions. Yes, and so did Stupak and co.

When the healthcare bill came to a vote without the Stupak provisions, the prolife Dems were in a fix...did it have to be all or nothing? They managed what is called a prudential decision, and essentially coerced the president into signing an executive order forbidding funding of abortions. He hated doing it and hid it. I know SBA claims the executive order is toothless, but not moreso than Reagan's or Bush's enforcement of the Mexico City policy (forbidding funding of overseas abortions), which all prolifer's love.

You cannot love the Mexico City policy and despise Obama's executive order at the same time. The fact is that the prolife Dems managed a very effective compromise, which both allows universal health care and bought time until a Hyde-like law can be passed. No matter what, it was a prudential decision, which good and intelligent people can differ on, but SBA has demonized and destroyed the prolife Dems, and insofar as you celebrate that, I think you've compromised your own integrity.

"Creative Minority" should be just that! Not a wing of the Republican party!

Denise said...

I was a member of "Pro-life Democrats" run by Kristin Day. They had zero success moderating the abortion anytime, any reason, preferably tax-payer funded plank of the Democratic platform at the Convention. The Democratic Party chose to LIE (remember the Matthew 25 website) about Obama's abortion stance (they claimed he was a moderate. They CAVED to an executive order and still maintain the fiction that the healthcare bill doesn't fund abortions.

Pro-life Democrats are still welcome - they just need to really be pro-life.

Personally, as the majority of people call themselves pro-life and oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, maybe the rabid pro-aborts will break off (or be kicked out) of the Democratic Party. If the Democratice Party drops its abortion support - they could appeal to practicing Catholics.

Anonymous said...


Amid your self-righteous indignation at the SBA, you seem to think that everyone accepts your premise that Nationalized Healthcare is wanted and needed and that there is a "Catholic" position in the debate. The primary concern of the bishops was the ensuring the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

Republican Catholics like myself can oppose Obamacare without the need to seek absolution.

steye said...

I am not being self-righteous at all in this, thought I am indignant that Catholics would put party affiliation and short-term policy goals above their faith and the long term common good.

There actually is a "Catholic" position on national healthcare. The US bishops have been emphatic in insisting on some such policy. Of course they were concerned with protecting the sanctity of life, but they were in this debate, and vigorously so, precisely because universal healthcare has been a priority of their own agenda.

A Catholic who identifies him or herself with a party (either one!) is simply naive and must compromise principles along the way. The Republicans have taken the prolife flag and used it to get elected, but have very little to show for it.

Surely you recognize that the national party has done almost nothing to actually fight for the cause. There have been a few skirmishes, but the party itself has never acted like this is an actual first priority, worth really fighting for. They put up a show to get the prolife votes, and then basically ignore prolife interests until they can find a way to get a political advantage out of ot.

I think all of this is tragic. Screwtape himself could not be more pleased when he sees prolifers and Catholics snipping at each other and taking each other down, and then celebrating it as if it were a victory!

My own consolation is in the revelation that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.

Anonymous said...


I did not know that there was a "catholic" position on guns any more than there was a catholic position on knives. Both are tools of violence and I do recall that it was Jesus who asked the apostles how many swords they had when they left the Last Supper. (BTW, the answer was two, and He replied that it was enough.)

Care, concern and love of your fellow man does not mean you must support government programs and intrusions into your life any more than you need to yield your posessions and life to a thug. Government is a parasite on the populous. Liberal "catholic" support for government charity programs has resulted in the church being driven from the square and out of its mission to help the poor. That's why I support CATHOLIC charitable organizations and vehemently oppose the government's attempts to aid anyone. The government is ineffective and supports a lot of things I cannot in good catholic conscience. Supporting "pro-life" democrats is like supporting Stalin against Hitler; a means of last resort.


Marco said...

It's simple to me. Any Democratic or Republican who supported the current Health Care bill which funds abortion is NOT PRO-LIFE no matter how much they try to say they are. These so-called Pro-life Democrates that voted for the bill that funds abortion got what they deserve and I commend the work of SBA for exposing them and anyone for what they really are. And no, they can not use the lame excuse that the Presedient made an executive order preventing the funding of abortion in the Healthcare bill because once the bill goes into law that executive order will be overturned in the courts in a heartbeat!

-Marco A. Fallon

steye said...

My real point in any of this is to challenge Catholics to get away from partisan politics or from any kind of party identity or affiliation. Prolifers get it that the Democrats don't represent Catholic values. But too many don't recognize that niether does the Republican party represent Catholic interests --Not across the board.

Catholicism, rooted in the incarnation and the paradox of Grace entering nature, is an embrace of the whole Truth, the WHOLE spectrum, from heaven to earth, and from left to right, ETCETERA!!! (faith/reason, scripture/tradition, God/man...) This is exactly what the adjective "catholic" means --universal, whole. It is BOTH/AND. Not either/or. Not all-or-nothing. Not a piece, but the whole. Universal.

"Heresy" is literally a picking and choosing, an either/or, a sectarian stress on a PART of the truth, to the distortion of the whole. Thus "cafeteria Catholic" is almost exactly synonymous with "heretic". But so is "partisan"... which is exactly where the word for a political "party" comes from.

Anonymous said...

On some points I agree with Steye. However, I would like to point out to him that SBA List is not a Catholic group. It has no religious affiliation or identification.

steye said...

to anonymous,
Of course sba is not religious, that's not in dispute; the issue at hand though is that religious folk, in this case Catholics, might so embrace organizations like them, or the republican --or democratic-- party.

I've enjoyed the Creative Minority Report since I discovered it a few months ago, and I check it regularly, but insofar as it just a conservative Catholic slant on Republican (and lately, teaparty) politics, I really do sense that it is not so creative anymore...just another windbag demonizing the bad guys and bloviating how great we are. (see their item on 'is there nothing the tea party can't do?)

Personally I find the tea partyers an embarrassment, especially as they are inspired by the former Catholic, and current Mormon (let's take care of our own and forget the poor)Glenn Beck. Any Catholic who takes him seriously should take a long look into his profoundly insular and paranoid (and therefore unchristian) worldview.

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