The Moose praises Bob Casey.
Middle income social traditionalist voters used to constitute the mainstream of the Democratic Party, particularly in a state like Pennsylvania. Many of these former Democrats are Catholics who are alienated from a party that is perceived as shunning pro-lifers and mocks people of faith. Yet, these folks would be comfortable in a party that embraced these "seamless garment" voters who both are pro-life and pro-universal health care.
Governor Bob Casey was one of the few Democrats in the nineties who was able to maintain the loyalties of these voters. And his son is someone who ably appeals to these estranged Democrats. That is why Rick Santorum genuinely fears Casey as an opponent.
The lefties are now in a rage against Casey for endorsing Alito's nomination. They should take a Xanax and settle down. Since when did a Supreme Court nomination become a litmus test in a party? Could it be because the Judiciary Democrats did such a swell job in persuading the American people that Alito was a threat to the Republic? Probably not. After all, a slew of Republicans voted for Ginsburg and Breyer, and it did not emerge as a test of party loyalty. Russ Feingold bravely voted for John Roberts and that is not evidently held against him.
Casey has a clear tie to Alito because he upheld the abortion related case concerning the law that was advanced by his father. More importantly, the Santorum forces were attempting to pry progressive pro-lifers away from Casey on the issue of judges. Now, Santorum ran into a political brick wall.
Will the Democratic base now abandon Casey because of this move? Probably not - real Democratic voters want to defeat Santorum, above all. But despite all of the claims of the lefty bloggers that they want to defeat Republicans, first and foremost, they are making more difficult for one Democrat who has the sense to appeal to progressive traditionalist voters who once reliably identified with the donkey.
It's refreshing to have a Democratic candidate who can do better in a Knights of Columbus Hall than at a People for the American Way confab. --