Skip to comments.Chafee vs. Laffey A populist conservative challenges the Senate's most liberal Republican.
Posted on 08/17/2006 5:16:06 AM PDT by Valin
PROVIDENCE, R.I.--If Lincoln Chafee has one thing going for him in his upcoming primary, it's fear--and don't think this perennial thorn in the GOP's side doesn't know it. In a recent debate against his more conservative primary challenger, he made the choice clear to voters: "Who can win in November?"
Rhode Island's few Republicans have been thinking of little else ever since Steve Laffey, the pork-busting mayor of Cranston, challenged the Senate's most liberal Republican to a showdown. The duel has forced upon them one of the more noteworthy choices in this year's election. Do they renominate Mr. Chafee, whose irritating voting record may make him more electable in this state that went 59% for John Kerry? Or do they vote their conscience for the upstart, and potentially lose a Senate seat--and even the majority?
Northeast "moderates" such as Mr. Chafee might comprise a dwindling bloc in the GOP, but in recent years they've been acting like they own the party. The Rhode Islander set the standard, using his crucial vote to help stymie an extension of the Bush tax cuts, death-tax repeal and budget reform--not to mention protest a partial-birth abortion ban and Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito. When this crew isn't blocking, it's pushing left, as evidenced by the recent House capitulation on a higher minimum wage.
Northeasterners explain that this is the price of re-election, and by extension the GOP's hold on Congress. But has it backfired? Despite a steady march to the left, Mr. Chafee and a dozen Northeast House members are on the brink of being routed this November. High gas prices, rising interest rates, concern over Iraq, these play some part. Yet there's something else going on, in particular in those highly gerrymandered Northeast districts......
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Laffey is the clear choice.
Would Laffey have a chance in Nov?
It really doesn't much matter. Chafee's no less liberal than the Dem.
(No more Olmert! No more Kadima! No more Oslo!)
I know but I just wonder if Laffey has a chance in Nov.
Probably only if you assume that the Dem will self-destruct for some reason. Maybe he's embroiled in a scandal, etc.
If I were a voter in that state, I'd be willing to make that bet, even though we've got less than 3 months for him to do so.
Is Bush/Rove supporting the liberal Chaffee the way they supported Spector's run in PA?
It is time to make the stand. The Republicans need to know what we expect from them and it is not acting like Democrats. The primaries are the only place to make the change. Let's roll.
laffey is giving Rhode Islanders a choice, not an echo.
I don't know. I DO know one thing Hugh Hewitt is not. Basically Hugh has said, Chaffee has got to go. And if that means a democrat wins...oh well, as Chaffee really is a Republican In Name Only.
Rush also said Chaffee has to go.
Even if Laffey loses, the Dem. couldn't be anything but about the same as Chaffee.
I wouldn't even worry about losing the majority in this case. Chafee's vote for a Republican majority in organizing the Senate is probably only safe if the Republicans hold a 52-48 majority, i.e. when it doesn't really matter. If the majority drops to 51-49 or even 50-50, I wouldn't count on Chafee staying a Republican.
I've heard that the Italian-American population in Rhode Island is not happy with Chaffee voting against the nomination of Alito. There's a chance that if the RI voters were faced with the choice of Chaffee or the Democrat (who pretty much vote the same), they would vote against Chaffee on this basis.
RI Republicans should nominate Laffey and give the voters of RI a clear choice in Nov.
That's Hugh Hewitt's point.