March 16, 2006

Inconsistent Standard of "Careful Consideration"

Marc Comtois

While Senator Chafee toyed with the idea of censuring the President--based on the alleged illegality of the NSA wire-tapping program--he has since stated he's against the idea. Nonetheless, he's still convinced that the program is illegal...even though the Senate hearings on it have not yet concluded:

When Chafee was interviewed in January about the wiretaps program, he criticized it but said he would draw no conclusions about its legality or constitutionality until the Senate Judiciary Committee completed its inquiry.

Why, Chafee was asked Tuesday, has he come to the conclusion that the program is illegal, with the committee's inquiry still under way?

Chafee answered by reiterating his initial criticism of the program. "From what I've seen," he said, the wiretap program "is outside the parameters" of the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches and existing law governing such programs.

I recall that also back in January, Senator Chafee refrained from making another decision until he "heard all the facts" and considered them carefully. In that case, it was whether or not he was going to support now-Justice Alito and he stated that he wanted to wait until after the Senate Judiciary hearings were finished before making a (finger in the wind) decision. Apparently, he doesn't feel the need apply the same careful consideration here, does he? Maybe it was a January thing?

(Cross-posted at OSB).

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I don't know why he just doesn't go ahead and come out in favor of censure, because that is just the kind of vapid grandstanding scheme of which the guy is so fond. He can put up a billboard right next to the eminent Carl Sheeler's: "Impeach Bush"-Sheeler and "Censure Bush"-Chafee. Liberals can now have a wider variety of anti-Bush options presented to them during their commute.

These kind of antics accomplish very little other than to temporarily sate the politican's ego by ever-so-briefly garnering the spotlight. If Chafee really thinks all this is illegal, then why doesn't he regularly speak on the floor about it or - heaven forbid - introduce some meaningful legislation to the contrary.

Political theater is fine (even desirable) as long as it accomplishes something. The Chafee shenanigans (Bush sr, Alito, censure)do nothing except expose him as a pathetic attention-grabber devoid of substance.

Posted by: bountyhunter at March 16, 2006 10:52 AM

Is anyone out there even remotely surprised by this?

Shades of "I voted for it before I voted against it."

Posted by: Leon Berg at March 16, 2006 11:31 AM

I guess any opportunity to attack the President doesn't warrant the same "careful consideration" given to the Alito vote. What a joke, Chafee has no idea what to do on Alito for a week AFTER the hearings conclude but he can make a snap legal judgment about wiretapping BEFORE the hearings conclude? Does this guy have ANY political advisors, or perhaps they are no longer worried about the GOP primary? Could it be because they will not be in a GOP Primary?


Posted by: Carl Elliott at March 16, 2006 11:39 AM

Nice job young person, B. Hunter. Let me go a step further. This is it-- the young Chafee is out. O U T . Never have I seen such an outburst with so little common sense. Joining with Communist sympathizer--Feingold--You only Censure people when it is proven that they have done something wrong. He is so far off the reservation---I do not think I have ever seen anything like it. How to you say good riddance---gutes riddance!! Or perhaps verlassen sie hier....

Posted by: Ivan the Elder at March 16, 2006 11:41 AM

Steve Laffey has not been able to convince me to vote for him, but Linc Chafee is doing a pretty good job of pushing me into the Laffey camp.

Strike One -- The vote against Alito;

Strike Two -- The bizarre response to the Feingold censure resolution.

One more strike and he's out.

Posted by: brassband at March 16, 2006 2:22 PM

Dear Mr Band:

Although I believe Chafee watched strike three go by years ago (he isn't pro-active enough to swing at the ball), maybe you can use mental tivo and make it seem like strike three now. Some suggestions:

1) Writing in Bush Sr - an absolute perversion of our democratic voting process

2) Telling students that his vote doesn't really count- so theirs does not either.

3) Making impassioned speeches on the Senate floor about Toby the Bear - and about absolutely nothing else.

4) His complete disdain for the voter in general and the GOP specifically (that means you, Mr. Band). Recall that he hates meeting voters 1-1 and that he has openly said that all he needs is independents to win the primary.

5) His lack of sponsorhip of major legislation that became law.

6) His commentary that he willingly delivers pork for Rhode Island so we can belly up to the trough just like everyone else. Is this a "deficit hawk"?

7) He is itching to raise your taxes, and by a wide margin at that.

Posted by: bountyhunter at March 16, 2006 2:53 PM

Verwirrt, Verdutzt, Verschlagen, Verschmitzt.

Chafee is all this... and much, much more---as evident by his now notorious manner of garnering media attention.

He hasn’t the courage, nor skill, to introduce effective policy, so instead he relies on a series of nebulous comments to get his voice heard. It’s like a verbalized adaptation of “Win, Lose or Draw.” No one ever knows what he really means, but that doesn’t matter: as long as the media keeps on guessing, Chafee will keep on drawing...

Posted by: ian at March 16, 2006 3:05 PM

As if we needed any more proof, Chafee demonstrates again why he isn't fit to be a senator, from either party. The bigger problem is that Laffey doesn't show much promise either. The Republican Party desperately needs a third candidate if there is any hope of winning in November. The only other Republican with any current public success is the Governor. Are there only three Republicans with any recognizable profile in this state?

Posted by: Bob Newton at March 17, 2006 8:53 AM

Hey Bob Newton,

>>>The bigger problem is that Laffey doesn't show much promise either.

As an occasional reader and poster, perhaps I have missed some of your past insghts into your issues with Laffey. Please enlighten me as you seem to have half of the formula right - that we have a RINO not worth our representation in the weak Linc. Beyond the misguided beliefs that he is "unelectable" and/or "in it for himself", what say you?


Posted by: Tim2 at March 17, 2006 8:52 PM