Tuesday, March 07, 2006


An opinion piece by Deborah Leavy in the Philadelphia Daily News expresses my Bob Casey views perfectly: Yo, Kate: Please don't jump!.

I also winced when I read that:

KATE MICHELMAN, ex-head of NARAL Pro-Choice America and a longtime Pennsylvania resident, is reportedly thinking of jumping into the race for Rick Santorum's Senate seat as an independent.

Her interest was sparked by Democrat Bob Casey Jr.'s endorsement of Sam Alito, whose elevation to the Supreme Court threatens Roe v. Wade.

The possibility of Michelman running as an independent reflects the unhappiness pro-choice women - and men - have with Casey's anti-choice views. Although I share Michelman's displeasure, I hope she decides against entering the race.

For pro-choice women like me, Casey's candidacy presents a real dilemma.

* * * *

I would love to work for, give to and vote for a candidate who embodies my ideals, and watch Rick Santorum go down in defeat.

* * * *

Some think Democrats made a huge mistake in picking a candidate who is not pro-choice to run against Santorum. Reproductive rights are a cornerstone of the Democratic platform, and some feel we shouldn't compromise what we stand for, even if it means losing. Some pro-choice partisans have vowed to stay home on Election Day to send a message that they will not be trifled with.

I'm not one of them. I don't like Casey's positions on reproductive choice, or stem-cell research, or gun control or, most recently, on putting Alito on the Supreme Court. I also have enough reasons to be against Santorum to vote for his opponent even if he's only slightly to the left of Genghis Khan.

But I want more than that. I want reasons to be for Casey, not just against Santorum. To my great relief, I've found many.

One of the most important to me as a pro-choice voter is that, unlike Santorum, Casey supports family planning beyond abstinence-only. This, as well as emergency contraception, which he also supports, will help reduce the number of abortions, a result we can all agree on.

Casey favors separation of religion and state and is not allied with the religious right, who will be working for Santorum. Casey's strong personal integrity stands in vivid relief against the ethically challenged Santorum.

Casey is passionate about the working poor who can't get health insurance, about jobs with decent wages, about poverty, about the environment. These are core Democratic values that clearly distinguish him from Santorum.

* * * *

That's a huge difference from Santorum, who votes with Bush 98 percent of the time and wants to dismantle government protections all the way back to the 1930s. "I'm the daughter of a New Deal Democrat, and I think Bob Casey is from that tradition of the Democratic Party," Abbe Fletman, a pro-choice, women's-rights, gay and lesbian activist working with the Casey campaign told me.

* * * *

These women told me something else, too: They're tired of losing. In the end, it comes to this: Casey is the one who has the best chance to beat Santorum.

Although I was too young to vote in 1968, I was against the war and hated the fact that Hubert Humphrey was the Democratic nominee for president. That kind of thinking gave us President Nixon. In these dangerous times, sitting out this election, or throwing away a vote for Kate Michelman, is just too risky.

I've grown up since 1968. While I disagree with him on some important issues, Bob Casey, a Hubert Humphrey Democrat, has my support.
I've expressed my opinion of Bob Casey before, Ricky's Gotta Go, and I agree with everything she says, other than the fact that she was against Humphrey in 1968. I was also was against the Vietnam War and too young to vote (I was the age my daughter is now). But I sure wanted to vote for HHH, my hero. In fact, my passion for politics is largely due to the Happy Warrior. I became a Liberal then and never looked back.

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