Alex C. from over at the SantorumBlog asked me to weigh in on the Green candidacy of Romanelli. Alex cites this Joshua Holland post that runs down some of the predictable reaction from blogtopia: Romanelli is a useful idiot. The Greens are selling out to their worst enemy just to get on the ballot. It's Ralph Nader all over again. ... Meanwhile, the Casey campaign is whining about how the tactic is all about "stealing votes" from their guy.
Alex doesn't cite my favorite analysis of the whole thing, which comes from the insightful BFS:
I don't think there is any chance for Romanelli to affect the outcome of this election. But he could have a salutary effect by forcing Casey to move a little left (which would take him towards the center) as he tries to shore up the Democratic base in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. If that happens, that would be a bonus, as far as I am concerned.
I'm going to interrupt here: that won't happen. Casey will run the same campaign he's been running, which is to say as little as possible about as little as possible and bang the I'm Not Rick Santorum Drum as loudly as he can hoping to make it to election day without revealing too much of anything about his plans for the future. He won't reach out to people who vote on Choice. He won't explain his support for Alito. He won't talk about getting money from many of the same places that Man on Dog does. He's not Santorum. He's Santorum-lite. But he doesn't need to go into that.
But, if he does affect the outcome, it will not be Santorum's fault nor Romanelli's -- the fault lies in the Democratic leadership. Those among them who pushed Casey -- at Rendell's suggestion to Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid -- they are the ones that the Democrats would have to thank for blowing yet another US Senatorial election.
And then I have this, from my friend Liz, about the lessons the Casey family has taught us:
Let's not forget that Robert Casey Sr. did NOT support Bill Clinton, the party's choice for President in 1992; did NOT support Harris Wofford when he ran for Senator in 1994; and did NOT support his own Lt. Governor, Mark Singel, when he ran for Governor in 1994, assuring the election of Tom Ridge. Casey Sr. changed the politics of this state and of the PA Democratic Party by sticking to his guns. I hate what he did to both, but the lesson is not lost on me. You want change; stick to what you believe and stop voting for what you deplore.
Getting on the ballot in PA is insanely difficult. That needs to change. If the Greens found a way on by sleeping with the enemy, then that says more about the process than it does about the Greens. To be fair, I'd feel differently about the situation if they did this to run against someone I considered acceptable, but I'd accept it just as I accepted the candidacy of Alan Sandals. The fact is that the Greens are offering a Democratic alternative to two rightwing candidates. As BFS said, that's on the Democrats, not the Greens.
So Liz and BFS basically have my position on this covered. The question I want Casey and the people who anointed him to answer is this: How can someone steal votes that you threw away? The worst the Greens can be accused of is garbage picking. And, since I am speaking from somewhere deep within that garbage pile, let me say that it feels more like a rescue than a theft.