Sunday, March 30, 2008

In bed with the Devil

It pains me that my two state Senators are Democrats. It bothers me more than you know. Yeh, I know Arlen Spector is a Republican, but you can't really prove it.

The other day, our supposedly "pro-life Democrat" Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, Jr. endorsed Barack Obama and committed to "riding the bus" with the candidate as he campaigns across the Keystone State.

Sen. Casey, you'll recall, is the son of the late pro-life Democratic idol Bob Casey, former Governator of PA. He's also the man, if you can believe it, who defeated conservative Catholic Rick Santorum in 2006, winning his seat in no small measure by gaining the confidence of Pennsylvania's many fabled "pro-life", but politically moderate, Catholic voters.

And now he has quite literally gotten on board with the candidate who vows the first thing he'll do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.

Let's just take a quick look at our Senator's pro-life voting record, shall we? In 2007 he voted for an amendment by Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), to preserve the federal government’s so-called Mexico City policy, which prohibits the granting of federal funds to overseas groups that refer and perform abortions.

Great. Fine and dandy.

Twenty minutes earlier, however, Casey had voted for an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) that not only overturned the Mexico City policy, but also increased funding for overseas groups that perform and refer abortions. Certainly, Casey had not had a change of heart in the space of 20 minutes.

The contradictory votes received little attention, but certainly neither made sense in the context of the other. Shortly afterward, Casey resolved the tension. He went to the floor of the Senate and announced that on the Brownback amendment, “it was my intention to vote ‘nay.’ Therefore, I ask unanimous consent that I be permitted to change my vote since it will not affect the outcome of that vote.”

Casey’s vote in favor of funding abortion providers has been duly updated on the Senate website. Casey’s view is indisputably different — opposite in fact — from that of his father. Two-term Gov. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania had been revered in the pro-life movement. He was denied a chance to speak at the 1992 Democratic National Convention because he wanted to give a pro-life speech.

Not so with the younger Casey. His spokesman, Larry Smar, denied that Sen. Casey has changed the pro-life position on which he ran. “He does not support public funding of abortion,” Smar wrote. “The amendment he voted for would not allow public funding of abortion, which is illegal”.

Thanks Bobby, now we know where you really stand. But some of us already knew.

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