Monday, October 31, 2005

Is Casey different from Casey?

Some murmurs have come up recently about the 1992 court case Casey vs. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. This was a case in which Pennsylvania Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr., sued Planned Parenthood, challenging the right to abortion and the integrity of the Roe vs. Wade decision in general. This old case is coming up because Bush's attempt to smooth over his Harriet Miers nomination screw-up involves the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court instead, and Alito worked on this case.

This throws a whole new monkey wrench into the challenge of Robert P. Casey, Jr., to Senator Rick Santorum. I'd be surprised if this weren't already part of the Bush team's calculations. As much as I've been eager to see Santorum tossed out on his ear, I've never been more than tepid about Casey who, like his late father, opposes abortion rights as well. The emergence of this case sure won't help his national campaign, even though the fact is that a Democrat who opposes abortion rights is better for the Senate than a Republican who does, if for no other reason than the fact that even conservative Democrats count toward Democratic control of the Senate. It's kind of like the Republicans having Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island: Chafee may have principles that oppose those of mainstream Republicans, but since he's part of that party, he still helps them control the Senate.

We could do a hell of a lot better than Casey, but at this point it's too late. I don't want to have to wait until 2012 to eject Santorum from the Senate. I really think Barbara Hafer could have done the job better, but it's all spilt milk now.


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