The words "Senator Robert P. Casey Jr." would be music to the Moose's ears.
Yesterday's New York Times reported that the Pennsylvania state Treasurer and son of the late Governor is contemplating a challenge to Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum is essentially a poor man's version of Tom DeLay without the charm or brains.
Governor Casey was distinctive as being both progressive and pro-life. Son, like father, is a "seamless garment" progressive who embraces the imperative of promoting life both before and after birth. That is exactly the view of the Moose.
Governor Casey received nation-wide attention when he was shunned for a speaking slot at the 1992 convention. The Clintonistas explained that he was not allowed to address the convention because he had not endorsed Clinton. Nevertheless, the symbol of a popular pro-life Governor being denied a speaking slot has been exploited for all its worth by the GOP.
That is why a victory by Casey Jr. would have so much symbolic importance. The Moose would revel in a challenge to Santorum by a progressive pro-lifer. First, it would exploit the contradictions in the pro-life movement between those who lavish government support for pre-born life but withdraw it when the child leaves the womb and those who are pro-child, pre-born and post.
The other argument for support for Casey is that it would send a powerful message to socially conservative low and middle income voters that they are still welcome in the party. It is the Moose's suspicion that much of the erosion of the Democratic support in such key battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Iowa is the result of the defection of "progressive traditionalists."
The Moose acknowledges that the Democrats will remain the pro-choice party. Moreover, pro-choicers should realize that their best hope is having more Democrats in Congress and eventually occupying the Oval Office. Senator Schumer got it right,
"Mr. Schumer, for his part, said abortion rights groups should worry about Republicans, not Democrats, if they want to preserve Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion. "What we find is that even the most pro-choice Republican senators just vote down the line for judges that are chomping at the bit to overturn Roe," he said."
The Moose looks forward to hearing Senator Casey's speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention. --