More Notes From Last Night
Many Democrats seemed disappointed with Mark Warner's low-key keynote. I found it refreshing – a bit of DLC thinking at an ADA convention. Warner praised entrepreneurship. He mentioned "safe neighborhoods." He talked of the need to "rebuild the military" and "defeat terrorism." He appealed to the "common good" and referred to "common ground." But it all seemed strangely out of place – like the ghost of New Democrats past. The Democratic Party has moved on – but not necessarily forward.
I was deeply disappointed, however, with Sen. Bob Casey Jr.'s speech. His moment at the podium contained some inherent drama. His father – the late Gov. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania – had been prevented from speaking at the 1992 Democratic convention because of his pro-life views. Last night the younger Casey briefly mentioned that he is pro-life, but he didn't actually make any pro-life arguments or appeal to pro-life voters. The elder Casey – one of the great Democratic advocates for the weak and helpless – would not have missed that opportunity. Courage, in this case, is not hereditary.
In his remarks, the younger Casey quoted his father as saying: "What did you do when you had the power?" The more appropriate question for Sen. Casey is this: "What did you do when you had the podium?" And the answer is: nothing of note.
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