Keystone- Buckeye Senate semi-prognosticationDebate has begun in the blogosphere about just how bad the carnage will be for the Republican Party nationally come November. Rob Huddleston maintains that casualties will be light and that the GOP will maintain a majority in the House and Senate. In particular, he thinks that Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania may stage a comeback victory against Robert Casey Jr. I'd like to believe that is true, but I am not sure that I agree with Rob's assessment here. Casey is more than just a legacy. As a nominally pro-life Democrat whose father was a very pro-life governor, Casey is just the kind of man that a lot of traditional Catholic voters feel comfortable with.
There are a whole lot of orthodox or traditional Catholic voters in Pennsylvania, and the Casey name is magic for these folks. Yes, Santorum is Catholic, and yes, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation (which has a lot of pull in Pennsylvania) has endorsed him. A lot of the voters who will vote for Casey on election day, however, are people who loved his father for being one of the last great pro-life Catholic Democrats. That Casey was also endorsed by Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, and still has the distinction of coming closer than any other person to seeing Roe v. Wade overturned. We often forget that this most pro-life of cases did not come from a Republican governor.
Here's a shocker for you: Roger Abramson and I agree on something pretty significant. Abramson's comments on the Ohio Senate race between incumbent Senator Mike DeWine and Democrat Sherrod Brown are (I'm terribly afraid) right on. However, DeWine's impending defeat should not be viewed as any sort of defeat for conservatism by Ohio voters, or as an indication of some great Ohio political shift. Rather, the impending defeat of DeWine should be viewed as a defeat of-Mike DeWine.
DeWine, the former Ohio Lt. Governor under the even more repulsive sellout George Voinovich, campaigned as a conservative for the Senate. In his time there, he has been anything but conservative. He has led the way in pork-wasting more federal tax dollars than Howard Metzenbaum-now that's bad. On top of all that, DeWine's relatives have a sense of entitlement to their seats. Kevin DeWine is a State Representative from Greene County, Ohio, and isn't even bothering to have a decent campaign against a pro-life Democrat opponent who is actually more conservative than he is. How do I know this? I went to college with the opponent in question, and he is a rabidly pro-gun, pro-life person. If his campaign had more money, two DeWines would go down.
Pat DeWine is another DeWine who feels entitled. That one beat a sitting Republican incumbent for county commission in Hamilton County (Cincinnati) in a closed Primary, no easy feat, because he campaigned as being more conservative than the incumbent, and he won. Almost immediately, Pat DeWine turned around and ran for Congress to replace Rob Portman. The media darling, he ultimately lost because of questions surrounding the fact that he abandoned his wife and children in order to co-habitate with GOP activist Betty Hull-all the while having his Dad's full backing.
Defeating the DeWines should not be viewed as anything other than a rebuke of the DeWines, a group of slimeballs (no, I am not afraid to say it) who deserve to get a whipping.