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By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 27, 2008

Senator Bob Casey, Jr., has an innovative strategy for dealing with the abortion issue as a Democratic office holder: change the subject.  Here he responds to the question of how he'll handle the controversy in his convention address:

One way to [bring both sides together], and neither party has done enough on this, is to be very supportive of pregnant women. And the Pregnant Women Support Act is the only vehicle and the best vehicle to do that. It’s a challenge to the left and a challenge to the right and helps not only bring the sides together but provides affirmative options for women.

And isn't that sensible?  If we could just get both sides to ignore the question of the justice of abortion we could bring ourselves -- together, as a nation -- to ignore the question of the justice of abortion. 

I haven't heard Catholic Democrats speak the same way on the issue of, say, the death penalty, but I'm certain they'd applaud efforts by the Republican Party to "grow beyond" the absolutist positions that have led to the death penalty stalemate and to seek common ground -- what P.J. O'Rourke has dubbed togetherheid.  Following Senator Casey's lead, the following editorial ought to appear in the NCR any day now:

The problem with hard-line opponents of capital punishment is that they're only concerned with what happens to the prisoner at the termination of his or her sentence and don't care about what happens to him or her before that.  Instead of standing outside prisons holding candles and shouting slogans, states rights opponents should seek to address the hardships and anxieties that cause communities to feel they have to execute the felons in their midst.  One place to start is to empower citizens by making cheap defensive firearms available to every household, which both discourages intrusive and violent crime and gives the family a greater feeling of control over its own destiny.  Regrettably, too many Catholics who oppose the death penalty forget that we are a church of both/and, not either/or.  We live in a diverse society.  Absolutist stances against hanging, electrocution, and lethal injection may gratify sectarian demands, but do little to heal the divisions that tear the fabric of our pluralist society apart. 

And isn't that sensible?  If we could get both sides to ignore the justice issue, why then the justice issue could be ignored.  I expect Senator Casey, in keeping with his principles, to withdraw his opposition to capital punishment and seek bipartisan support for a new Lock and Load Act, making Second Amendment freedoms available to every American, regardless of income or marital status.  Now who could object to that?

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