03 April, 2006

Vague-a-ries: A Walk Through My Grey Areas

For the first time in my expatriot life (16+ years) I have received my absentee ballot in a timely fashion (usually arrives beyond any hope of returning ). As it's for the Pennsylvania primary, and I'm a lifelong Dem (sorry to you friends in the once Grand old Party), there's really only one possibly tricky choice to make. Who to pick to bring down Senator Rick Santorum?

Now this seems like a bit of a walk. Bob Casey Jr. seems to be the pick of the party machine, current State Treas. former State Auditor General (nice boy for the fiscally conservative), son of former PA Gov Bob Sr, hell, he's supposedly ahead of Santorum already (if surveys this early mean anything). But after a morning research on the web, I have a mild quandary, Bob is anti-choice (I don't like the term pro-l... as it leaves the definition of life, when it begins etc. up to anyone with the most extreme opinion), and more importantly he is anti-embryonic stem cell research.

This stance is fairly consistent with his Catholicism, and given that he seems OK on many other issues, and most importantly he is not Rick Santorum, I should be able to stomach this. Even within his C'ness, he does walk the line, he's OK with Rape/Incest/Life-Saving abortion (or at least he'd support an anti-abortion bill with these exceptions), just as long as we don't pay for it, and he seems happy to pay for contraceptive "services".

It's really the stem cell thing that bugs me, now granted, my little research turned up Bob's quote supporting the current status quo and rejecting the Castle bill to expand stem cell funding, was on one of his Dem opponents sites (which also tries to infer that he wants to overturn R v W,
in a slightly specious manner). If he is willing to split the hairs that a bunch of cells that are the result of rape or incest can be removed without a stain on the conscience of the physician, how about using a similar bunch of cells, that will never be viable or implanted, to help solve our worst health problems?

I can see that the other Dems in the primary are pretty lightweight, and probably can't take the primary anyway. I'm tempted to give a token primary vote to Chuck Pennachio who seems to represent my dyed in the wool lefty liberal side.

And so dear friends, I solicit any opinions or info you may have to contribute to my possibly spurious exercise of democratic political perogative. Many of you are in PA or have the contact or political nouse to know what's happening. Are there any other things I should be considering?
Is it worth trying to get a candidate that can't win, but represents the historical stance of the party better than one who might drag things further right (oh, if only more GOP's had asked that about ten years ago)? I'm also posting this sucker up on to my blog just in case anyone other than spammers selling pharmaceuticals reads it (OK it's nearly a year since I posted to it, but I will be returning to regular publication this week).

Thanks for any help on this. I'd like to make that more informed choice by the weekend so I can get this ballot back in time, for at least this once, I can.



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