Anh Joseph Cao and the Vietnamese Government

Friday, May 7, AD 2010

One of my personal heroes is Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (R.LA).  I have no doubt that he is more liberal politically than I am, but he is a man of the highest principles.  Pro-life to his core, he voted for ObamaCare only after the Stupak amendment passed.  He voted for ObamaCare, even though he knew such a vote was anathema to almost all Republicans, including the one writing this post, because he thought it was the right thing to do.  When Stupak caved, Cao refused to vote for ObamaCare because of the abortion issue, even though he knew that the vote against ObamaCare was anathema to most of the voters of his liberal district, because he thought it was the right thing to do.

Recently, the Communist government of Vietnam wrote to the Congressman hoping that as the sole Vietnamese-American Congressman he could help clear up some “misunderstandings” between the Vietnamese government and Vietnamese-Americans.  Congressman Cao’s response is memorable and may be read here.  So his meaning could not be mistaken, Congressman Cao also wrote his response in Vietnamese here.

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10 Responses to Anh Joseph Cao and the Vietnamese Government

  • If I could, I would contribute to his campaign as well.

    What an outstanding human being and American!

    I will certainly be praying for him and his re-election campaign.

  • What a great letter!

  • Don:

    He voted for Obamacare knowing the Stupak amendment was a sham that was going to get scrubbed out in committe, which it eventually was.

  • I am willing to give Cao a pass on the original vote in favor the healthcare bill.

    First, as profoundly disappointed as I am with Congressman Stupak’s cave-in and subsequent votes, I am unsure any of us can say that a vote for the original House version of the healthcare bill was a participation in a knowing sham … even Bart Stupak. I certainly believed Stupak all the way up until the end.

    Next, Cao’s lone ‘aye’ was not dispositive, in that Speaker Pelosi by all accounts had several more Democrats ready to vote yes. Cao is basically holding a “safe” Democratic seat, vacated by Congressman Cold Cash Jefferson. So I am willing to ‘pass’ Cao on that ground as well.

    Finally, I recall that the Roman Catholic Church and other pro-life religious and secular entities, during the amendment phase, expressly took the position to treat the Stupak langugage as legitimate and not to vote against it during the amendment phases (i.e., not to join with pro-abortion reps) in a political ploy to defeat Stupak’s amendment and force Stupak et al to vote against the final version. As we can surmise now, that might have been disastrous.

    If the Church was correct that pro-lifers can not play games like that, then I find it hard to fault Cao on these grounds either.

  • Greg,

    You might as well blame the entire House GOP Caucus, then. Obamacare would never have made it out of the House without the Stupak language, and the only reason the Stupak language was included was because every Republican in the House voted for it. If the Stupak amendment was a sham, then blame John Boehner and every other Republican.

    Blame the Bishops, who pushed for the Stupak language. Hell, blame me, and Don, and several other folks, since we pushed for it, too. If it was such an obvious “sham” that everyone “knew” it was going to get scrubbed out in committee, then all of us who pushed for the Stupak language are guilty.

    It’s a little unfair to single out Cao in that regard.

  • It isn’t, however, unfair to blame Cao for voting for a bill that–even with the Stupak Amendment–provided massive funding for Planned Parenthood and for contraception.

  • If the GOP had a chance to kill Obamacare in the House and didn’t, then shame on them too. As far as the Bishops are concerned, we all know they are a bunch of big government leftists who routinely distort Church teeaching to tickle their iedological fancy. How many bishops even raised the question of whether or not the massive government control of healthcare violates the principle of subsidiarity, which is a bedrock of Catholic social teaching?

  • Ultimately the passage of the Stupak Amendment made no difference to the final passage of ObamaCare as the Democrats were able to arm twist enough votes without the Stupak amendment (with the help of Stupak). Unlike Stupak, however, Cao is a real opponent of abortion, and when ObamaCare finally passed it passed without his vote, in spite of the very high political cost he will probably pay as a result.

    The Republicans were wise in their strategy: by voting for Stupak they indicated that they put the fight against abortion first, even above the fight against ObamaCare, while most “pro-life” Democrats revealed that they really are not foes of abortion in any meaningful sense. The Republican party fortified its pro-life strength, while the Democrats did their best to repel pro-life voters.

  • If the GOP had voted against Stupak en bloc, then Bart would have had a free-pass to (a) demagogue the GOP on a core issue; (b) rely on Democratic Party assurances that the Hyde amendment covered/covers the entire bill anyway; and (c) accept an Executive Order solution back then. He always wanted the healthcare bill. And the pro-life movement would have sustained severe political damage.

    In any event, Cao voted the right way in the end. It was Stupak who caved (or was bought).

  • I really like this guy. He’s focused on the clean up of the oil on the coast while Senator Landrieu is only focused on getting operations going again, not to mention, he’s co-sponsoring legislation to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This may make him popular to conservatives and may cause them to label him a RINO because of so-called political orthodoxy, but I really like Rep. Joseph Cao.

11 Responses to A Good Republican

  • Indeed, he is foremost a good Catholic.

  • Wow. That is an absolutely outstanding speech.

  • Oh, I should add btw, I’m not implying that voting for the health care reform bill is what makes Cao a ‘good’ Republican. I just thought the speech was remarkable for a Congressperson.

    At the same time, his vote on health care reform was an interesting, principled, and risky stand to take. It seems to me that as a strategic matter, it’s smart for a committed pro-lifer (as Cao appears to be) to offer his vote for health care reform in exchange for the Stupak language that appeared in the House bill. After all, it appeared the bill was going to pass either way; a substantial pro-life change like the Stupak amendment was a real achievement. I’d say Cao deserves a lot of support from the pro-life movement, particularly if he ends up facing a challenge in the primaries. It’s great to see people like him and Stupak working together across the aisle to protect human rights.

  • I would vote for Representative Cao because I think he is a remarkable Catholic attentive to the common good. He, in fact, went to Mass before the vote and prayed for God’s guidance.

  • So how do we get him in the Oval Office?

  • With friends like this who needs enemies.

    Why do we have such faithful, pro-life advocates who don’t have the foresight to realize that socialized medicine in the United States would, with near certainty, lead to an increase in the # of abortions as well as to a blatant disregard for the conscience of Catholic healthcare professionals?

    He may be a Mother Theresa at heart but his head is stuck in the clouds.

  • That is not the case by necessity, particularly with language barring that from happening by the letter of the law…

  • Certainly it is not by necessity, on that we can all agree.

    On the other hand, it is not by necessity that the Democratic Party is the “party of death” either but history has taught us that it is so.

    I only wish that the good Congressman’s exemplary moral courage wouldn’t outpace his prudence.

  • “I only wish that the good Congressman’s exemplary moral courage wouldn’t outpace his prudence.”

    Congressman Cao’s district is 67 percent balck and very DEM

    He has that tough road of representing his District and then deciding what core belief of his will he fall on his sword before.

    Plus it was not helping that Obama adminsitration seemed to be holding crucial projects hostage in New Orleans

  • Eric Brown-
    given the record of any law restricting abortions in most any form, it’s a good bet that any baby-protecting language would be shot, gutted and hung up to cure before benefits even became available. (depressingly….)

  • While I applaud his convictions, the problem with any piece of legislation (and law in general) is that it is never static. A future amendment, when Cao has moved on or is even further outnumbered, can undo everything that has been done. Once the beast gets in place, it can always be tweeked to meet the goals of those who hold the reigns.

True Audacity

Tuesday, December 9, AD 2008

New Catholic Congressman

President-Elect Obama used the word audacity a lot in his rise to the presidency but how much audacity does it take to be a liberal state senator, representing a liberal district, in a liberal state? True audacity is going against the odds and against the consensus on pundits. That is exactly what Joseph Cao did in Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District. Cao is a devout Catholic Republican Vietnamese immigrant in an overwhelmingly African American and Democrat congressional district. Although his opponent is undoubtably corrupt politician facing serious indictments, he was still not given a chance at winning. Unfortunately, voters, especially it seems African American voters, often overlook these flaws in the name of some sort of racial solidarity. Nevertheless, Cao won! Let’s pray that he can help rebuild the wonderful city of New Orleans and provide true opportunity for its amazing people. Cao, like Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin, is already getting attention from Republican leadership as the future of the party.

After Katrina My HometownAlthough Cao probably hasn’t even had a chance to organize his staff, yesterday I heard Al Sharpton say that he would be working to “fix” this situation. Seems for Sharpton and his ilk working with a person who cares about the district and its people is trumped by partisan and racial politics.

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4 Responses to True Audacity