realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Pennsylvania Senate Race

In relation to my earlier post on Andrew Sullivan dodgy analysis of "the abortion issue" as a barrier between Reps and Dems, current Pennsylvanian state treasurer Bob Casey is expected to announce his running for Dems against sitting Rep Rick Santorum.
Santorum was embroiled in a little right vs moderate conservativism battle, which I followed with interest on NRO in doing what politicians do – backing one guy over another – he backed Arlen Specter, who later disagreed with Bush’s position on pro-life Supreme Court justices, over pro-life Pat Toomey. Santorum has been one of the most outspoken pro-life politicians in recent history.
But much more interestingly, Bob Casey’s father, the late Robert Casey Snr, Dem Governor of Pennsylvania was denied the opportunity to address his party’s national convention in 1992 simply because he was pro-life.
Among others the Freedom Institute have reported that Barbara Hafer, a former state treasurer herself, supported by the pro-choice Emily’s List will run for the senate seat as well. The funny thing is that Casey Snr crushed Hafer in the 1990 governor election, she was a pro–choice Republican (now a Dem) – he won 66 of the state’s 67 counties and won by over 1 million votes. James Carville ran his campaign at that time and urged him to drop his pro-life views but Casey refused.
Abortion is probably the hottest of political potatoes right across the world and is particularly important post-W’s re-election – how this issue plays out in this particular campaign with all the partisan war thrown in will be very interesting. For more on pro life Democrats check out this article and Democrats for Life.
Robert Casey Snr spoke on abortion in 1995 at Notre Dame and spoke of the questions that abortion raises for America - “The silent figure at the center of our great cultural debate is the unborn child. For a generation now - over twenty years - we've lived with abortion on demand. It was sold to America, this idea, as a kind of a social cure, a resolution. Instead, it has left us wounded and divided. We were promised it would broaden the circle of freedom. Instead, it has narrowed the circle of humanity. We were told the whole matter was settled and would soon pass from our minds. Twenty years later, it tears at our souls. And so, it is for me the bitterest of ironies that abortion on demand found refuge .. found a home - and it pains me to say this - found a home in the National Democratic Party. My party, the party of the weak, the party of the powerless......
Since when does America, the strongest, the most powerful country in the world, abandon in despair an entire class of people - the most defenseless, innocent, and vulnerable members of the human family? How can we justify with our experience in this country - our tradition, our heritage, our history - how can we justify writing off the unborn child in a country which prides itself on leaving no one out and no one behind?"


These are questions that Ireland's party of the left, the Labour party, should perhaps ask themselves in the light of its pro-choice party platform.

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