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                                       politics + culture

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Casey endorses Alito

Hardly surprising or shocking.

Casey figures he can do whatever the hell he wants at this point, and he's probably right.

Some folks say give $$ to Chuck Pennachio, Casey's Democratic primary opponent. I can't argue with that, even if that seems a pretty hopeless cause.

My money would go to Klobuchar in Minnesota.

If you're angry about Casey...help Amy Klobuchar defeat "Santorum-wannabe" Mark Kennedy (R) for the MN Senate seat that Democrat Mark Dayton is leaving. Casey / Kennedy replacing Santorum / Dayton would be a net negative, if you ask me.

Truth is, Amy Klobuchar will need all the help she can get.

8 Comments:

  • If a Democrat will not stand against Alito, what the hell will he stand for? Seeing this makes me ashamed to be a Democrat.

    By Blogger Matt, at 10:42 PM  

  • I think this is a well-judged post, both in its analysis and its suggestion.

    My reaction to Casey's comment is somewhat different than Matt's. It's true that Santorum's numbers are currently in the toilet. The numbers only slipped, if I'm remembering this correctly, after Casey had been recruited to run and launched his candidacy.

    However, one needs only a fairly short memory to recall just how *scary* the junior Senator from Pennsylvania is. Let me just quote these two simple sentences from Wikipedia: "In 1994, Santorum was then elected to the U.S. Senate, defeating the incumbent Democrat, Harris Wofford, who was 32 years Santorum's senior. Santorum was re-elected in 2000."

    What's most disturbing to me is not Casey's comment so much as the reality that Santorum was chosen by the majority of Pennsylvania citizens in 1994 and then reelected -- after he had clearly shown all of his rabidly right-wing tendencies -- in 2000. *Seeing this* makes me ashamed to be a Democrat.

    Rick Santorum is an extremely aggresive, extremely ideological person: he exudes what, in its fairly obvious ramifications, I can understand only as a politics of cruelty. Very rarely, as an American citizen, have I felt more scared than listening to Santorum at the height of his powers on the Senate floor. Very rarely, as a Jewish-American or urban American or liberal or feminist, have I felt less represented than in listening to Santorum's demagogic and divisive political rhetoric.

    There's lot of ways to put these things. I find Casey's comments infuriating. But I found Santorum fundamentally scary. And to me there's a pretty big difference between these two things.

    I don't know why Casey came out with this statement -- it's obviously very dispiriting to hear it. At the same time, we're fooling ourselves to think that whatever the Democratic candidate says in PA is going to change the reality of the Supreme Court or the fundamental politics of this nomination. And I think we're fooling ourselves to diminish either the consquence of this Alito nomination or to think that there's *any* strategy or stance the Democrats could take which would be likely to dramatically improve this situation. To blame the Democrats for, essentially, their subjective, intentional, or individual responses to this frightening situation risks obscuring (or allowing us not to see) the truly disturbing but objectively real situation that we're in.

    Maybe it's jesuitical but I think it's still important to remember the fundamental difference between those who actively promulgate a politics of cruelty and those who respond ineptly or, in some cases, quite accomadatingly to this politics. In the paradigmatic example: John Kerry acquiesed to Bush's war but we all know with something approaching certainty that he never would have prosecuted this war if he were president. Casey might give lip-service to acquiesing to Bush's choice. But we can know, for a certainty, without even knowing that much about the man, that as a Senator he would not actively participate in or feed the political movement that generates this nominee and wants to stuff the court with more such nominees. Even in this piece, Casey takes issue with "his rulings which too often result in corporate power prevailing over the interests of consumers and workers."

    I'll stop here. I hope the Democrats in the Senate can hold the line this week. I hope Klobachur can clobber Mark Kennedy in November.

    By Blogger awol, at 1:27 AM  

  • Matt says he's ashamed to me a Democrat -- but because of our behaviour in Iraq (and around the world) and the total shambles of our so-called healthcare system, I'm beginning to be ashamed to be an American.

    All Democrats will say something wrong, or silly or stupid -- I'm not going to judge myself as a person based on that.

    But, I'm not going to support Democrats who consistently support those policies that make me ashamed to be an American.

    Does Casey have any Democratic opposition? Is there any hope of finding someone?

    By Blogger katiebird, at 4:48 AM  

  • Kid Oakland -- I like your idea of sending money for targeted campaigns. But, I'm giving the Democracy Bond idea a chance for my out-of-state contributions. I really like the idea of the DNC putting year-round staff in every state (they're already in every state -- now they're going to hire even more).

    They are hiring local people to build the party at the local level. I think it's a fantastic idea. These people will be recruiting candidates for all levels of offices.

    The idea is that if 1 million people will contribute an average of $20 a month -- that's $20 million a month, and wow! Think of the organizing they can do -- for the campaigns you mention and campaigns against every Republican Senator, even in states like Kansas (where I am).

    Keep up the good work, I really appreciate your articles.

    By Blogger katiebird, at 4:55 AM  

  • re: Katiebird

    Yes, the opposition is Chuck Pennachio, whom I've linked to in my post now.

    re: Matt

    You're not alone.

    re: awol

    For me it's the timing of the "announcement" that is galling.

    It's actually a pretty stark mark against Casey, and puts the lie to the "benificient" image of "pro life Dems" that has been promoted.

    The talk has been as if "pro-life Dem" were a passive concept. It's not.

    In this case, Casey's position alone might actually give one or two Dems cover to support Alito and change the tide. Casey, without even being elected to office, might have changed the shape of Democratic opposition to Alito.

    The entire premise of the hullaballoo on dkos about NARAL was that any dem would vote AGAINST bad judges.

    Not true. Not true at all.

    While I am impressed with Democracy Bonds, thanks Katiebird...I am appalled by the legacy of the Dean waffle on choice in a year with two nominations to the Supreme Court.

    "Embracing pro-life Dems" is VERY DIFFERENT from embracing Dems of differing views and approaches into the "pro-choice tent".

    There's a real difference in that. It's not just semantics.

    I'm for a "pro-choice tent" open to most everyone whatever their personal views but where we vote together to support a woman's right to choose, for privacy, for equal rights.

    In terms of Alito strategy that means holding the line and, for dems who are privately "pro-life," holding fire. Casey should have voiced his concerns about Alito and left it at that.

    Instead he sent a very clear message to the party that Democratic unity doesn't mean shit to him.

    Casey is about Casey.

    We got the message.

    By Blogger kid oakland, at 8:49 AM  

  • I am appalled by the legacy of the Dean waffle on choice in a year with two nominations to the Supreme Court.

    You are just a one man marching band peddaling this lie. Perhaps you should write to Dean with your insinuation for clarification, since you are the only person who believes this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:06 PM  

  • re: anon

    You didn't reply to my response last time....and now you're back saying the exact same thing? This gets tiresome. Especially since I provide links.

    Fwiw, here's what Dean said. I discussed that at length in the previous thread. Further, here's a link Dean coming out strong for Casey at a campaign stop.

    "With an enthusiastic endorsement of Casey, Dean drew sustained applause from the crowd of several hundred at the Church Brew Works in Lawrenceville.

    "I have an awful lot of respect for pro-life Democrats," Dean said. "Pro-life Democrats care about the lives of children after they are born as well as before.""


    I disagree with using that term and that rhetoric. I did so last summer. I do now.

    My position has been clear. The term "pro life Dems" means inviting politicians who will VOTE pro-life to run as Democrats. It IS waffling on choice

    We are a pro-Choice party. It's a part of our platform. We can be a "Pro Choice Big Tent" party and welcome people who have differing personal views about abortion. We always have. But I draw the line at endorsing politicians who will join Republicans and vote for someone who would overturn Roe v Wade, or vote for restrictions on abortion and privacy rights that make Roe meaningless.

    Show me where Howard Dean says that in no uncertain terms. I can't find it. I'm all ears. Certainly Dean has been gung-ho for Casey.

    In fact, two weeks ago, in my response to you, I made it clear that Bob Casey Jr. would be less than convincing in defending a woman's right to choose.

    I was right.

    I don't think Howard Dean, or any of the bloggers who jumped on the anti-NARAL bandwagon look good right now.

    The Democrats need to have a clear message on core issues. Choice is one of them.

    I support Howard Dean when he's on track...like with Democracy Bonds. I oppose him when I disagree.

    I'd suggest to you, anonymous, that instead of being the "only person" who has this view, that my take is more typical of Democrats than you suggest. I would guess that there's a few Dean supporters who have concerns about this.

    In my view, we Democrats lost on Roberts and are losing on Alito because we have not made clear where we stand, and how firmly we stand there. Choice is one of the stands we need to make.

    In my view, in this media environment "embracing pro-life Dems" is AN AWFUL LOT like being Bush-lite.

    I have no problem saying that for the record.

    By Blogger kid oakland, at 5:16 PM  

  • Now here's where I can agree with you, kid. I like the idea of a Pro-Choice big tent party. And I wish we had one, but there are too damn many Dem politicians who think the right to choose is a distraction from the real stuff.

    Dead women, a distraction.

    By Blogger janinsanfran, at 5:51 PM  

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