Like father, not like son
Sen. Bob Casey's endorsement will come as Obama begins a six-day campaign swing through the state Friday, campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Casey is the son of a popular former governor of the state. His support could help Obama make inroads among Catholic voters who make up more than 30 percent of the state.
Robert Casey Jr.'s big claim to fame is that, like his contientious father, he is a pro-life Catholic Democrat. The Obama campaign is doubtless hoping that a Casey endorsement will help win over blue-collar, socially conservative Catholics whose roots in the Democratic Party were born in a different place and time, but they are Democrats because their parents and grandparents were Democrats. There are a great many such people in Pennsylvania.
There seems to be a real difference, however, between Junior and Senior. I can't really say one way or another whether Junior has sold himself or his principles short, but I can say that his father would not have endorsed Obama or Clinton. Robert Casey believed in a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro-American, working man's Democratic Party. He was not, as some Democrats believed, a closet Republican. He believed that the Democratic Party could not claim to be the champion of the poor, the defenseless, and the indigent without championing the dignity and the rights of the helpless unborn. He believed this so strongly that the court case that has thus far come the closest to overturning Roe v. Wade bears his name. Those of us within the pro-life movement daily live with the legacy that the one elected official who was able to do the most to stop abortion in the courts since 1973 was a Democrat-and Robert Casey was an old-school Democrat through and through.
Casey was a man of principle, however. His beliefs were not hollow and they weren't for sale. I remember that in the same speech that he would rail against conservative economic policies, he would speak out so strongly in favor of the right to life from conception that it caused many Democrats to be shamed. The party that abandoned him when he was alive seeks to utilize his name and memory now that he has entered Eternal Life. They all need to be reminded that Casey made it a habit to quit endorsing and aiding abortionists, and he would not have endorsed either Obama or Clinton so long as they refused to embrace the pro-life cause. He was the true and consummate Catholic, in that the right to life trumped all else with Robert Casey. As the Church taught, Casey believed, he lived, he acted upon-and he ran one of the most open State governments in America (even if the taxes were absolutely ridiculous).
Once asked about whether his pro-life views were "out of step" with his party, he remarked that if there were a pro-life Democrat running for President, that man or woman would win the nomination. "A lot of Republicans say the same thing," he said, "but how are the pro-abortion Republicans doing."
Now Junior is his own man-he is free to endorse who he pleases, and he must answer to God for his own actions. However, he and everyone else who has followed his political career knows that he has made it as far as he has because of his father's name and his legacy.
Would one of America's most pro-life governors want his name linked to Barack Obama?