January 30, 2006

Chafee to Vote No on Alito

Carroll Andrew Morse

From Jack Perry on the Projo's 9-to-5 blog...

U.S. Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee announced this morning that he will vote against the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court.

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Well, M. Charles Bakst will certainly approve.

In a weird sort of way, I'm relieved. I've always intended to vote for Steve Laffey in the primary, simply to knock Chafee out of office (as regards the general election, I do have reservations about Laffey; we'll see).

If Chafee had come out for Alito, I would have felt compelled to at least reconsider my primary-vote decision.

Not now. I want to flush Chafee.

And if that eventually means a "Senator Whitehouse" or a "Senator Brown" so be it ... at least even that would mean that six years hence there might be a real Republican running in opposition.

Posted by: Tom W at January 30, 2006 10:18 AM

I win the pool! :)

Posted by: Will at January 30, 2006 10:28 AM

Well, that does it. I was going to abstain from the Republican primary election, b/c Laffey had not won me over as of yet. However, with this decision, I have been "pushed" into voting for the Mayor.

Posted by: TCC3 at January 30, 2006 10:49 AM

Is Chafee now going to run as an independent? With this vote, he has alienated a large percentage of those that will vote in the Republican primary/

Posted by: Leon Berg at January 30, 2006 10:58 AM

I lost…wow.

As I said, I plan to send a letter to the national and state Republican National Committees. The Central Committee is meeting tomorrow and I think I'll ask some there as well. To me this smacks of Chafee banking on beating Laffey in the primary and not having this as an attack point in the general election.

And when I think about the independent voter, perhaps this isn't a bad strategy after all. Yet, how the national and state committees can stand behind Chafee after this is confusing, to say the least.

Posted by: don roach at January 30, 2006 11:00 AM

I was able to attend the press conference, and I admit I had thought Chafee was going to tow the party line on this one, but walking away from this thing (literally with the press people that were there) I could not help but question whether this is going to truly hurt Chafee in the long run.

It definately gives ammo to laffey, who will obviously use it with pleasure, but the fact still remains that the coverage Chafee will get out of it from the projo (despite their recent editorial) will almost certainly be favorable. I mean, Charlie Bakst was practically gushing with approval. Look for articles with "principled stand" and the like to come out of this.

This should be an interesting two-step for Linc.

Posted by: john b at January 30, 2006 11:26 AM

The key vote is how Chafee votes on cloture (whether to halt debate). If he votes Yes on cloture then his No vote on Alito is absolutely meaningless. Just designed to fool the voters and the ProJo's headline writers.

Can you say Flip Flop?

Posted by: bren at January 30, 2006 12:46 PM

...or how about "I voted FOR Alito before I voted AGAINST him?

Posted by: bren at January 30, 2006 12:49 PM

Don, you are right the RNC and the State Central Committee need to hear from us on this. The fact that they can back Chafee and reward his behavior is just unfathomable. Lets jam their phone lines:

NRSC: 202 675-6000
RNC: 202 863-8500

Posted by: Stretch Cunningham at January 30, 2006 1:09 PM

That giant sucking sound you hear is that of RI Republicans (and a fair number of conservative Republicans across the U.S.) moving over to Laffey's camp en masse.

I find it hard to believe that Elizabeth Dole did not see this day coming.

Probably heard at Chafee HQ..."But I simply must vote against Alito, I have a perfect record with NARAL. Libby will understand, she always does."

Posted by: Mark at January 30, 2006 1:17 PM

This is a disgrace. It would be better for the Dems to hold the seat outright than to allow an idiot son who lucked his way into office to hold his seat after rejecting one of the greatest legal minds of our generation, the son of immigrants who worked his way up to the highest realms of intellect, a man beloved by all who know or have worked with him, left, right, and center. Chafee's actions give the Dems cover for their disgraceful vote on this nominee. He must be defeated in the primary for this deep betrayal.

Posted by: MarineOne at January 30, 2006 2:05 PM

Tom W.

What the H### is that statement? Like you were going to vote for Chafee even if he said yes to Alito. The though of a Democrat in the Senate should put shivers down you spine since if you win 2 elections in Rhode Island you are in that seat forever. Tom you might have to put a Laffey Bumper sticker on your Car.

Posted by: Fred on the Blog at January 30, 2006 7:05 PM

Fred on the Blog:

Well, there is room on the bumper.

I know the argument about RI Senators for life, and it has validity.

But Chafee is just so off of the farm, I think he does more harm than good - better the devil that admits to being the devil (Democrat)than one who claims to be an angel (RINO).

I'm beginning to wonder if all of the "Laffey can't win a statewide election in RI" is disinformation being planted by Chafee / Democrats in an effort to make it "the conventional wisdom" and try to keep Laffey from gaining traction.

I still have serious doubts about Laffey. I will vote for him in the primary. And if he is in the general election, I'll decide closer to that time (perhaps I'll just sit that race out).

Conversely, if Chafee is in the general election, I will sit it out, for essentially it'll just be a Democratic primary, with a "moderate Democrat" Chafee running against a "mainstream" (liberal / closet-socialist) Democrat.

Posted by: Tom W at January 30, 2006 9:43 PM

Well, if any of you need Laffey bumper stickers, I always make sure to have a good supply with me. I also have lapel stickers, chip clips, hats, and even some old "Laffy Taffy." You can never be overprepared! :)

Do you think I'm missing Tuesday's RIGOP state central committee meeting? Not on your life!

Posted by: Will at January 31, 2006 1:15 AM

What, exactly, is a "chip clip"?

Posted by: Anthony at January 31, 2006 5:19 PM

A "chip clip" is a plastic, hinged device used to reseal bags, usually of potato chips, in order to keep them fresh for later consumption. They're often given away, as they can be printed with a logo, tend to be used repeatedly for a long time, and they are fairly cheap to make.

Posted by: Will at February 1, 2006 3:40 AM