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Thursday, September 29, 2005

PA-Sen: Stances on Roberts Crystalize Campaign Strategies

Posted by Tim Tagaris

For months, I have a kept a very close eye on the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race. I have watched as meme after meme floated by the Santorum folks has been shot down by the mainstream media. First, it was "Casey the opportunist," running for four offices in eight years; that didn't work. Then it was Casey is a Liberal; yeah right. But now the media in Philadelphia has seemed to find the angle they are going to run with: Casey is the same as Rick Santorum.

And in this instance, both Casey and Santorum [heart] John Roberts:

After considering factors such as character, resume and judicial philosophy, and listening to Roberts' testimony before the Judiciary Committee, "I would vote to confirm him," Casey said in a statement issued by his campaign.

Casey's decision erases a potential contrast with incumbent Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, who says he will vote for Roberts when the Senate takes up the nomination today.

This line of attack is penetrating, putting the Casey camp on the defensive. Ironically, when responding, Casey's campaign manager attempted to focus on their differences and included Iraq, where the two have almost exactly the same position -- would still vote for authorization and funding if the vote were held today.

It's not that the two are the same, cause they aren't. The difference is in campaign strategy, as a local pollster pointed out:

Berwood Yost, a pollster with Franklin and Marshall College, said Casey's choice is politically safe. "Opposing Roberts runs a broader risk of alienating people who are in the middle," Yost said. [...]

Casey was unavailable to comment yesterday. But through Reiff, Casey said he was initially concerned that Roberts would "bring an ideological agenda to the bench." "Based on his testimony and statements, Bob Casey believes Judge Roberts adequately addressed this concern," Reiff said.

Aside from the fact that Roberts refused to answer any questions, the campaigns seem to have fleshed out their strategies for the next few months. Casey is going to follow the prevailing winds of public opinion (except on Iraq) and take the side of positions that avoids controversy at all costs (anti-choice/anti-stem cell research). Santorum on the other hand, is running around promoting his crazy book, still stumping for social security upheaval, and taking whatever controversial position he can...seemingly on purpose.

At the end of the day, Rick's camp will make the argument that "you may not agree with me, but I will take the difficult position, and you know where I stand." -- Sound familiar?

UPDATE (Bob): Stirling whacks Mighty Casey:

In Pennsylvania, Casey, the machine candidate, has said that he would vote to confirm Roberts, where as Pennachio, the insurgent, has said that he would not.

In the coming years, ask yourself how many progressive judgets Casey will kill, and how many reactionary judges he will vote to confirm. Over the course of 24 years in the senate, the some of these reactionary judges may well be on the bench in 2060. Every election matters, because your great grand children will be living with the results of them.

The Fourteenth Amendment is not a minor issue, over half a million Americans died to bring about a nation which assured citizenship to all, and it took another century to actually give that promise teeth. Voting for Casey is to toss away the lives of those who perished at Gettysburg. Think about what that blood cost, and what the freedoms it bought are worth.

Something to think about.

Posted at 11:06 AM in Pennsylvania | Technorati

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I just found out about this nice young man from outside Philadelphia who's a Democrat and believes in a woman's right to choose.

He's the only one we can count on to defend a woman's right to choose.
Chuch Pennacchio

From Chuck Pennacchio's website:
Understanding that Bob Casey, Jr., my Democratic opponent for the Pennsylvania's 2006 United States Senate seat for Pennsylvania, would vote for the Roberts nomination, speaks volumes about our differences as candidates and prospectives Senators. The decision on backing or opposing the Roberts nomination has nothing to with the politics of "right and left"; it has everything to do with the politics of "right and wrong." As an historian, political scientist, and citizen-candidate with years of experience dealing with and teaching about our Constitution, I alone will not stand down from a fight over the core principles that embody our American system, including rights of privacy, choice, due process, judicial independence, and separation of church and state.

Posted by: Judith Stein-Stevens [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 30, 2005 04:56 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment