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Lukewarm Support June 20, 2006

Posted by papundit in Uncategorized.
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The phrase “hold their noses” appears in numerous blog posts about voting for Casey.  The message behind these posts: Democrats might come out to vote for Casey, but many of them won’t enjoy it. 

Here are a few of my favorite posts:

1) Booman Tribune- “The Ultimate Violation of Progressive Ideals”  The main post proposes the Democrats should vote for Casey even though they disagree with his position on abortion. But many people posting comments disagree with the concept of “holding your nose” in order to vote for Casey.  This post was particularly good:

“I wonder if some history wouldn’t be helpful here.  Didn’t Alice Paul and the National Women’s Party refuse to support President Wilson in his re-election because he wouldn’t support a constitutional amendment giving women the vote? I don’t think the civil rights organizations of the 50’s and 60’s got much support from the Democrats in their initial efforts. Can’t imagine what would have happened if they had tried to create change by working within the Democratic party. Doesn’t seem to me that the strategy you are proposing about ‘hold your nose and vote’ has worked much better in our history than it has lately.”

2) Booman Tribune- “Why Bob Casey will Lose” The poster describes attending a ward meeting and talking with a Casey staffer: 

“What particularly struck me was the emphasis of the staffer on what Bob Casey has done in the past. There was no mention of what he might stand for as a senator. Of course, vague, appealing platitudes were thrown out towards the end – that Casey will fight for education, for lobbying reform, and so forth – but when you’re speaking to a room full of people at a ward committee, this isn’t your average American who may like the sound of those words. These are folks who are politically involved, politically aware, and will be able to detect a bullshit line right away.

Afterwards, there was time for Q&A, and it was clear that there was an ‘elephant in the room’, so to speak. That would obviously be Casey’s anti-choice stance, but while the staffer acknowledged that he was ‘pro-life’ (I can’t bring myself to call anti-abortion folks that anymore, given how the current administration’s policies could not be less ‘pro-life’), she brushed around the issue, stating that there were more important issues to be discussed in the race. I agree with this, but the political reality is that social issues, whether we like to discuss them or not, will be prominently displayed during the campaign. I raised my hand for a question, speaking about how, as a Democrat, I believe in largely broad ideals such as equality, justice, freedom to make one’s own choices, helping out those who need help, etc. How then, I asked, can I support someone who denies these things on social issues – whether it be with abortion, gay adoption, and other important social issues?…

The staffer had the audacity to say that Casey stood for gay rights, even though the answers he provided above are clearly hostile to such rights. The staffer made a point about making me visit Casey’s website to see his positions on the issues. I did visit this morning, and, not to my surprise, there is nothing on the website about his positions on social issues. It’s the sign of someone who is clearly scared to showcase their positions on the social issues; after all, it is a no-win situation for Casey: he can lose the support of his base for his extremely conservative social views, and he can lose the support of independents and moderates who are more socially liberal but may be more inclined to vote for Santorum if they see that Casey essentially holds the same views.”

In response to the post, one reader commented:

“Women will be forced to hold their noses, and frankly I think a lot of them will just stay home….The party won’t change if the base keeps acting like a battered spouse. DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS BETRAYAL.”

Another wrote:

“If Casey does wind up being santorum’s opponent, the Repubs (sic) won’t even need to use dirty tricks or smears to shot (sic) him down. All they’ll have to do is point out the truth about his positions on the issues.”

3) MyDD- “Michelman for Senate in PA? Please no”

“Some will hold their noses and vote for Casey because he’s the establishment candidate, and I’m sure a lot of Republican women in suburban Philadelphia will vote for Santorum because they want tax cuts and are confident that abortion will never be outlawed across the river in New Jersey.”

4) Rowhouse Logic- “Breathtaking Inanity”

“Forget the idea that Bob Casey’s positions on a few dozen issues will enable him to pick up the votes of people who will never vote for a Democrat. Forget the idea that people who would love nothing better than to see Rick Santorum out of the U.S. senate, will hold their nose and vote for Bob Casey’s lesser evil. Forget the notion that Bob Casey can beat Rick Santorum. He can’t.”

5) Whips & Buggies- “Just Shut Up and Vote for Casey”

“Kos and Atrios don’t seem to get that Casey has done almost nothing but antagonize the Democratic base, and it began with how he was hand-picked by out-of-state D.C. insiders….

Kos, Atrios and other unlikely Casey supporters offer a couple of strawman arguments against Pennacchio, one of which goes something like, “A vote for Pennacchio is a vote for Santorum.” Folks, this is the primary — not the general election. Of course a few Pennacchio supporters have gone on record as saying they wouldn’t vote for Casey in the general. But most of Chuck’s supporters believe that ‘we need this seat to have Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and subpoena power‘ so they’ll hold their noses, vote for Casey in November, and hope for the best.”

Doesn’t seem like Democrats are that excited about Casey’s candidacy, does it?

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