Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), one of the strongest champions of the conservative cause, is in the fight of his political life. He’s facing an uphill race for re-election in 2006 against Democrat Bob Casey Jr. Casey claims he’s "pro-life," but don’t be deceived:
When Casey has spoken about the abortion issue, he doesn’t approach the Santorum record — though Democrats who worry about such things hope the "pro-life" descriptor neutralizes discussion.
A few feminist abortion groups have done a little grumbling about his position on their issue, but backed by the likes of leading Senate Democratic obstructionist Charlie Schumer of New York, Casey has made his loyalties clear. Rather than being a fresh voice, singing a "break the gridlock" kinda tone, Casey fits in lockstep with the current Democratic senatorial club.
President Bush’s judge nominee Priscilla Owen waited for confirmation for over four years, largely over a parental-notification (barring minors from getting abortions without a parent’s permission) ruling. Instead of being miffed at the unfair delay she was subject to (and others remain subject to), largely because of abortion and religion, Casey mimicked Democratic senators’ talking points. He opposed changing the filibuster rule because it “forces bipartisanship.”
If he’s elected, Casey will be just another run-of-the-mill hard-left Democrat. He says he’ll vote against a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He says he’ll filibuster President Bush’s judges. Is there any doubt that he’ll also vote for tax hikes, against strengthening our national defense, and for increased government regulations of business?
What’s more, the campaign against Santorum is only the beginning:
The Pennsylvania Senate race is the eye of the storm in 2006. "This race is about Republican control of the Senate, not so much for control in 2006, but for 2008 and beyond," says Cesar Conda, a former adviser to Dick Cheney. "The Left recognizes it — that’s why MoveOn.org and other Democrat 527s will be pouring millions of dollars into Pennsylvania." A winning takedown strategy would make Santorum only the first of many.
The Pennsylvania race is about a lot more than Pennsylvania. Voters in every state would be wise to bear that in mind in the coming months as they watch the "Vast Left Wing Conspiracy" move into the Keystone state to take down the senator the media most loves to hate.
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