For what do we Democrats stand? Is it privacy? Perhaps it is equality and the separation of church from both state and science. Do we believe in protecting the environment? Do we favor diplomacy over preemptive war? Should we asking the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes? In short, do we believe in the common good?
The watershed moment occurred during the Supreme Court confirmation process of Samuel Alito. Replacing Justice O'Connor with Mr. Alito represented a genuine threat to the balance of the court. In an unsuccessful effort, 42 Democrats voted against his nomination. However, only 25 voted to support the filibuster of Mr. Alito. The 42 Democrats who voted against Alito's nomination could have stopped his ascent to the court by supporting the filibuster, but they didn't. 17 Democrats feared being labelled "obstructionists" by the right and voted against extending the filibuster. Instead of stopping a legitimate threat to the court, the Democrats, appeased the right and sold out their own.
Bob Casey Jr. represents everything that the Democrats should not be: conservative, disconnected with the base, and boring. Casey would make a wonderful challenger to Rick Santorum in the Republican primary. He opposes reproductive choice, universal health care, an Iraq exit strategy, stem cell research, a living wage and yes, he supported Samuel Alito. For good measure, Casey accepts money from scores of the same PACs as Santorum.
Pennsylvania's Democrats must avoid voting for Bob Casey Jr. in tomorrow's primary election. A Casey victory tomorrow will only serve to validate the Democrat's paradoxical notion that electoral success is contingent upon a slide--or in Casey's case a leap--to the right. While Bob Casey might be a marginally better Senator than Rick Santorum, there is no acceptable reason for a Democrat to vote for Bob Casey in the primary election. Primary elections are a time to vote for one's beliefs, not one's fears. Many people choose to stomach Casey, because they believe that he can beat Rick Santorum in November. While Casey has had a large advantage in the polls, his lead is slipping-drastically. Over the past year, Casey's lead has fallen from near twenty to less than ten percentage points. Casey's success in November is no longer imminent.