Day By Day

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pennsylvania Politics -- The Abortion Issue

The Philadelphia Daily News reports:

Don't count on many "Women for Casey" bumper stickers this year.

Lots of Democratic ladies are steamed that the party's leading U.S. Senate candidate, Bob Casey Jr., is anti-abortion - saying that women have been overlooked in the quest to take out despised Republican incumbent Rick Santorum.

"A lot of women feel ignored, like the boys decided that this is a throwaway issue," said Kathy Miller, outgoing president of the Pennsylvania branch of NOW.

But party insiders say that state Treasurer Casey - son of popular former governor Bob Casey Sr. - is their best bet. Reportedly Gov. Rendell and U.S. Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada and Chuck Schumer of New York recruited him to run.

"Democrats viscerally dislike Santorum and have gotten very pragmatic about that," said G. Terry Madonna, a political scientist from Franklin and Marshall College.

This move towards Casey comes as the national party has been softening its stance on abortion in an attempt to woo back more socially conservative voters.

Read the whole thing here.

The maneuvering in this race is interesting and important. I have long argued that the abortion issue, more than anything else, has made the Democrats a minority party and kept them there. Casey in many ways is a trial case for the national Democrats. If he succeeds as a pro-life candidate he may well provide an example for other candidates. Feminist control of the Democrat party mechanisms is weakening. Casey could be the guy to break that hold and free the party to adopt majoritarian positions again.

If Casey wins, I can guarantee that the Clintons will not block him from speaking at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, as they did his father. In fact, he will be prominently featured.

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