Baking Bart

Has Bart Stupak's price been paid?
Prospects are good for resolving a dispute over abortion that has led some House Democrats to threaten to withhold support of President Obama's health-care overhaul, a key Michigan Democrat said Monday.
Is he ready to make a deal to get the senate bill through the House?
"I'm more optimistic than I was a week ago," Stupak said between meetings with constituents in his northern Michigan district. "The president says he doesn't want to expand or restrict current law (on abortion). Neither do I."
Stupak may just be trying to throw the president a bone, supporting the impression of inevitability that the White House has constantly sought, even if he and his fellow abortion foes plan on holding strong.
Stupak has emerged as spokesman for about a dozen House Democrats who supported health legislation approved by the House in November but contend a $1 trillion version that passed the Senate would authorize federal abortion subsidies. They insist on restoring stiffer restrictions Stupak added to the House measure.
But it's also hard to imagine that the White House, desparate to salvage something of the Obama presidency, isn't prepared to use any threat or promise to get this thing passed. That gives Bart incredible leverage.
Meanwhile, New York Rep. Eric Massa, a Democrat, is blaming his resignation on a conspiracy by House Democratic leaders to force him out before a crucial vote on health care, his third explanation for leaving office after he cited health issues and an ethics investigation.
On the other hand, how many Democrats are prepared to face defeat in the fall in order to save Obama's sorry handling of health reform?
One of 39 Democrats who voted against an earlier House version of the health-care bill, Massa said in his weekly radio address Sunday that Democratic leaders will "stop at nothing" to advance the overhaul.
The latest deadline from Obama comes up next Thursday.