July 6, 2006

Ian Donnis Sets Up the Republican Senate Stretch Run

Carroll Andrew Morse

Ian Donnis sets up the stretch run for the Rhode Island Republican Senate primary in this week's Providence Phoenix...

With recent polls showing the two Republicans in a neck-and-neck race, [Steve] Laffey's Senate hopes will live or die on how well he can extend support beyond his conservative base in the state's tiny Republican Party. Most Rhode Island voters are independents and it is they who will likewise decide [Lincoln] Chafee's fate. And with little more than three months until the September 12 primary, the sizzling campaign -- already marked by a steady stream of back-and-forth negative advertising between both camps -- is about to shift into a higher gear.
Despite a few quibbles here and there (for instance, Donnis goes with the "moderate" label for Senator Chafee, when Senator Chafee's record tends to be moderate on tax-and-spend issues, but liberal on almost everything else of importance, averaging out somewhere well to the left of moderate; or maybe Senator Chafee really does seem moderate if you hang out with Phoenix staffers all day long) Donnis' article is an excellent view of what the non-political junkies who make up the bulk of the electorate are/will be seeing as they begin to pay closer attention the Senate race as primary day draws closer. As they say, "read the whole thing".

If readers mention in the comments that they find certain sections especially interesting or important, I'll excerpt them for a more specific discussion.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

I'd say the bigger point, little touched upon in this story, is that Whitehouse is likely the only winner when all is said and done. The level of personal animosity between the Laffey and Chafee camps, which the general public is just starting to grasp, guarantees that the loser's camp will back Whitehouse out of spite. This hig-profile animosity wasn't present in Carcieri-Bennett or Almond-Machtley.
I'm sure Laffey will get a radio talk show out of this campaign, though - think Barber will last much past the elections?

Posted by: Rhody at July 6, 2006 3:42 PM

If independent voters want a guy who will fight day and night to lower taxes, make our country energy independent, shrink and economize the federal bureaucracy and minimize the influence and cost of lobbying and corporate welfare then there is only one candidate running for the US Senate to vote for: The Rhody Reformer Steve Laffey. Period.

The others are about pretense, insider politics, tax and spend, pedigree, and themselves.

Good government is coming whether you like it or not, and Rhode Islanders are ready to make a change for themselves, their children and their grand children. We won’t get fooled again.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at July 6, 2006 3:53 PM

Rhody -

I have to disagree with your assumption that the Chafee / Laffey "loser's camp" will automatically "support" Whitehouse.

Under this scenario, I suspect that if Laffey loses the primary most of his supporters will merely "sit out" that race in the general election, for they could never bring themselves to vote for Whitehouse - his liberal positions being an anathema to the average Laffey supporter.

On the other hand, it is possible that if Chafee loses the primary his supporters will support Whitehouse. Since Republicans are supposed to support small government / low taxes and conservative social values, those who support Chafee are not "real" Republicans ... and Whitehouse's liberal positions are much closer to those of Chafee supporters than are Laffey's.

As for Barber on WPRO, that station's selection of him amounts to one of those "what were they thinking?" mysteries.

I nominate myself to replace him!

Posted by: Tom W at July 6, 2006 4:29 PM

The only thing you need to know about the Senate race is there is one outsider running against two liberal insiders with nearly identical beliefs. In an election year that may generally not favor incumbents or political insiders, Laffey has a great shot using his outsider / clean up the mess message to his political advantage.

The main problem that Chafee has is that he consistently votes against the Republican Party as a whole, but every once in a whole, when his vote is absolutely necessary, he serves as the administration's waterboy and throws us a bone -- which has the net effect of pleasing almost no one left or right.

Although I am a supporter of President Bush, I'm also aware that his poll numbers in Rhode Island are even lower than those of the incumbent Senator Chafee. A close association between the administration and the junior senator is not going to help Chafee at all.

Posted by: Will at July 6, 2006 4:37 PM

I was a big Matt Allen fan. I listened to Barber for 2 weeks to give him a fair shot and in that time I think I spent more time screaming at the radio than the rest of my life combined. He should go work for Air America.

Posted by: Greg at July 6, 2006 4:42 PM

Tom, whether the primary loser's peeps votes for Whitehouse or stay home (or skip it i they come out to support other Republicans), the GOP can't put a candidate over statewide without a united party.
And Will, after Laffey put his boy Manning in the RNC spot and held the $500K from the national party hostage, he forfeited any claim he had to being an outsider. He couldn't pull that and Traficante's ouster off on his own.
As for Barber, maybe his act played well in Michigan, but it doesn't translate here. WPRO would be better served with a more knowledgeable local host, no matter his/her political pursuasion.

Posted by: Rhody at July 6, 2006 7:05 PM

RI is a strange state. Politics is a closely watched sport in RI and Dave Barber doesn't have the local background to be successful.

As for the Senate race, we may very well have already handed the Democrats a seat. The question is whether Chafee can bounce back in the few short weeks between the primary and the general election to keep the seat.

If Chafee can stay where he is at right now, he should be OK provided that the national GOP comes through with some cash. It's going to take an all-out effort and hopefully at least some of the Laffey's people will see that its better for the Republicans to keep control of the Senate.

Fortunately, the gubernatorial election will draw pro-Carcieri voters to the polls and the majority of those voters will go for Chafee over Whitehouse. The undecideds appear to be shrinking in both races, so at least a clearer picture has begun to emerge.

Posted by: Anthony at July 6, 2006 7:46 PM

I know we are all on the verge on rehashing the same arguments. But I will point out three things quickly.

First, this sentence from the article written by a liberal reporter was very revealing: "Blessed with a keen intellect and supremely comfortable in his own skin, Laffey is the most personable candidate in the Senate race — the kind of guy who can easily chat with average folks at a diner in Pawtucket or Woonsocket."

That sentence is just one reason why Laffey can win in November.

Second, read the ProJo story abou the Traf take out- it was all Laffey, the establishment was taken totally by surprise.

Third, I am glad to see that people are finally acknowledging that Chafee is in trouble in November and will need to "bounce back" if by some miracle he won in September.

Posted by: Fred Sanford at July 6, 2006 10:01 PM

I can attest to the validity of Fred's comments. Indeed, the establishment was taken aback. In fact, Patricia Morgan and Dick Fleury, the party legal counsel at the time, tried their hardest to come up with some way of keeping Traf on, despite their acknowledgement that he was not a registered Republican, one of the primary requirements for the job. (Imagine that - to be the Republican National Committeeman you had to be a registered Republican) These establishment idiots weren't incensed that Traficante deliberately disaffiliated from the Republican party, they were mad at Laffey for the "way he went about it". That's right, he should have given Traf the opportunity to correct his wanton, deliberate finger in the face of the party. In the end, they understood what they were up against, and begrudgingly accepted reality. It goes a long way in explaining why this is the minority party, and will be until all of these clowns are kicked out on their butts. Until Carcieri smartens up and realizes that good strong party leadership actually make his job easier he is getting exactly what he deserves.
You reap what you sow.

Posted by: Jim at July 6, 2006 10:55 PM

"And Will, after Laffey put his boy Manning in the RNC spot and held the $500K from the national party hostage, he forfeited any claim he had to being an outsider."

A quick response, because dredging that up is pretty lame at this point ... you got what you wanted ... eventually. Robert Manning has his own brain and he used it. He was on the right side of the issue. He submitted the issue to a vote and kept his word, unlike certain party elites which shall remain nameless.

Since we're on that subject, just where is that huge pile of RNC assistance now? Seems to be in hiding at the moment (much like Chafee ducking debates). Specifically, who is it now helping? The party sure doesn't seem to have any money available to support the few candidates it managed to scrape up to run.

Posted by: Will at July 7, 2006 2:42 AM

1. If Laffey were to convince every undecided voter to vote for him, he'd still lose the election by a double-digit margin unless he convinced some of Sheldon Whitehouse's supporters to vote for him. Not very likely.

2. Undecided voters in RI DON'T tend to break towards challengers. As Carroll Andrew Morse's post points out, they tend to break along lines more closely mirroring poll results than just to a challenger. Maybe some Rhode Islanders voters just don't want to tell a pollster who they're voting for?

2. For someone who doesn't believe in polls, Laffey sure spends alot of money on polling.

3. Chafee is the only Republican who can win in November. Before the primary started, he would have walked into office. Now its a close race, but Chafee should still win.

4. Anyone who thinks the primary is about Steve Laffey's chances of winning is wrong. It's about many things:

the Club for Growth trying to knock out a incumbent Republican moderate so that it can put a notch on its belt;

Steve Laffey attempting to get national name recognition so he'll have a stepping stone after the campaign is over;

the Democrats desiring to fan the flames of a heated primary and get control of the Senate.

But one thing that this campaign is definitely NOT about is Laffey winning anything.

If you call yourself a Republican and you don't care about keeping Republican control of the Senate, you should look at yourself in the mirror really hard.

Posted by: Anthony at July 7, 2006 7:01 AM

"If you call yourself a Republican and you don't care about keeping Republican control of the Senate, you should look at yourself in the mirror really hard."

I proudly call myself a Republican. My concern is that Chafee does too when he has no right to the moniker. I'd rather a democrat get the seat than a RINO.

Posted by: Greg at July 7, 2006 7:17 AM

That's fine if you'd rather have a Democrat in office than a moderate Republican. At least your not trying to perpetuate the myth that Laffey has any chance of winning.

Just make sure you accept responsiblity for your actions and don't complain when taxes go up, liberals are on the Supreme Court and RI has an all Democrat congressional delegation for the next 20 years.

Posted by: Anthony at July 7, 2006 10:05 AM

>>That's fine if you'd rather have a Democrat in office than a moderate Republican. At least your not trying to perpetuate the myth that Laffey has any chance of winning.

Anothony -

The "Laffey can't win" is the soundbite / mantra du jour of the Chafee campaign, attempting to scare real Republicans into holding their nose and voting for Chafee in the primary by promoting the idea that a vote for Laffey is an exercise in futility.

It is false.

Laffey may be an underdog, but do you really believe that Sheldon Whitehouse will EXCITE anyone but the Democrat faithful and hard-core liberals????

If anything, Laffey has a BETTER chance of defeating Whitehouse than does Chafee.

All Chafee does is mirror Whitehouse, and if you're inclined to vote liberal, then might as well vote for the real thing AND advance the prospects of the liberal party itself, i.e., Whitehouse and the Democrats.

Conversely, if you're not inclined to vote "tax and spend" / pro-abortion etc. etc. then Laffey is your only alternative.

Plus he is a scrapper and has a personality, which RI'ers tend to be attracted to no matter the candidates positions or record (e.g., Buddy Cianci). Whereas Sheldon "Whitebread" Whitehouse is boring, un-dynamic and presents an agenda of nothing more than more tax and spend.

Posted by: Tom W at July 7, 2006 12:05 PM

"Whereas Sheldon "Whitebread" Whitehouse is boring, un-dynamic and presents an agenda of nothing more than more tax and spend."

That's not true. According to his commercials, he has a plan to get the troops out of Iraq before he even takes office!

Posted by: Greg at July 7, 2006 12:41 PM

Laffey further strained his credibility by putting out the word that Chafee was bolting the party to run as an independent (and Chafee didn't have the safety valve Joe Lieberman does, either). There's a thin line between scrapper and thug, and Steverino has crossed the line so often it's been erased from view.
Sure, Whitehouse has the personality of a thimble. But Rhode Islanders elected a barrel of good times called Claiborne Pell to the Senate six times. That wild and crazy Ed DiPrete got elected to three terms before the law caught up with him.
Would love to get people's takes on the Lieberman situation - sounds like the mirror image of Chafee.

Posted by: Rhody at July 7, 2006 12:58 PM

Anthony, Rhody, and the blind everywhere:

#1 Chafee is one of the biggest spenders in the US Senate. He always says yes to higher spending and higher taxes. That’s his record.

#2 Chafee's voting record is as liberal as almost any liberal Dem. In fact he votes more often with the opposition party on major issues than any other Rep. but he seems to minimize any impact he may have by waiting until his vote is irrelevant.

#3 Chafee calls himself a maverick, and he is just that. He is predictably self motivated, self absorbed, and out of touch with his constituents.

#4 Chafee is about as Republican as Kerry and Clinton.

#5 Chafee rarely speaks publicly. Some people are smart, know what they are doing but just don’t do well speaking in public. This is not the reason for Linc’s silence. He has nothing to say. He is sadly an empty suit. If he debates Laffey (which I say he won’t) it will be on the radio and not in the public eye. Joe knows.

#6 Chafee is a nice man but a very weak senator. He is not good for RI or the nation.

#7 Chafee and the NRSC went very negative first, and they continue to be a negative influence.

#8 Chafee and the NRSC underestimated Laffey and they continue to do so. The voters know what is going on. Laffey turned Cranston around from bankruptcy to surpluses, and from the lowest bond rating in the country to a historic six upgrades in two years to investment grade. That’s a true governing performance.

#9 Laffey makes no bones about who he aligns himself with. The taxpayers. He is accessible, personable, and reliable. As a pol he is a gladiator in the arena. He can take the big hits and he can dish them out. Some would see this as a liability where in reality it is an asset. The founding fathers are looked upon as great statesmen. They are, but they also told the King to pound sand. Laffey is a leader where Chafee is a follower. And where Chafee is a leader he ends up standing there all alone. Chafee isn’t independent, he’s a recluse and a loner.

#10 Laffey scares the crap out of people like you, Linc and the NRSC. His intellect, vision, leadership skills, political savvy, and all out desire to solve persistent problems related to corruption, special interests, corporate welfare, big government, high taxes, inefficient and overstaffed public services, etc. etc. should be and are your worst nightmare. Here’s a guy who can get it done.

Bottom line: Your nightmare is about to become a reality. The taxpayer revolution that you refuse to see is percolating under your radar. People who want reform, good government that works for their interests, and strong and honest leaders know that Steve Laffey is fighting for them right now against you and the very people you support.

All fact. No brag. And that's only the half of it.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at July 7, 2006 2:19 PM


All of your points regarding Chafee's negatives are dead on. So why couldn't we get a republican challenger to Chafee that hasn't raised taxes on us and invited the illegal aliens to move in next to me and get sanctuary?

Posted by: Greg at July 7, 2006 3:27 PM

Anthony, Chafee is a "moderate" republican???

You've been reading WAY too much M. Charles Bakst!

beep beep

Posted by: roadrunner at July 7, 2006 4:23 PM


Its late, I'm tired, and you need a history lesson.

You know that Laffey had to raise taxes to make payroll and get the city back on track financially. The situation is well documented. Lowest bond rating in America. Remember? Rainy day fund gone. Remember? Paying off debt with pension money, leaving the fire and police pension fund at $0. Remember? Part time Crossing Guards making $100 per hour with full family health benefits. Remember? Two-year late budget audits, red Projo headlines of crisis in Cranston, and the State of RI about to take over. Remember?

The turnaround is historic. Cranston is now a model of financial perfection. Laffey has literally saved the city. Last year no tax increase. This year a 1.5% tax rate reduction. If you are paying more property taxes it is because of the State mandated property evaluation.

Laffey’s position on illegal aliens is also well documented. He has stated publicly that the current laws, if enforced, would turn the problem around. Stop illegals from coming in. Impose stiff penalties on employers who hire illegals. Document workers coming in for specific jobs, and make no exceptions.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at July 7, 2006 10:35 PM

A briefer response to Greg ... don't buy the Chafee campaign's propaganda. Laffey had an unprecidented fiscal crisis to deal with and raised property taxes to cover a huge budget gap, when presented with too little time, and no other realistic alternatives. He didn't have the leeway to run a deficit year to year, like the feds. He couldn't cut contractually obligated spending. He didn't want to raise taxes; the crisis situation forced him to do so. Laffey has clearly stated that he believes we tax and spend too much and will do what he can to change that.

As for Chafee, he simply doesn't believe that the American people are taxed enough. Since he has been a member of the Senate, he has yet to vote for a tax cut. While he was Mayor of Warwick, he raised taxes 4 straight years in a row, without even having a fiscal crisis to deal with. His grand "solution" to solve the federal deficit is to raise taxes enough to "cover" the deficit, not to rein in federal spending, disregarding the impact on the economy. He has been one of the senate's worst offenders regarding wasteful pork barrel spending. Despite his campaign's propaganda, Chafee's no "conservative," fiscal or otherwise. He's done.

Posted by: Will at July 8, 2006 12:44 AM

I know it's chic to Chafee-bash in our little salon here, but is this sentiment catching on with the electorate-at-large that doesn't get into blogging as much as we all do? Ned Lamont may be a blogiverse phenomenon, but his chances of beating Joe Lieberman in the general are only slightly better than a snowball's in hell, even if he wins the Dem primary.
I'm not counting out Laffey in the GOP primary, but he'll have nowhere to go but down after primary day. I'm not sensing a groundswell toward him from people I talk to and deal with outside the most rabid followers of political inside baseball. Once voters learn that his populist talk is only a fig leaf for social conservatism, Democrats who may have been willing to look beyond Whitehouse (and vote for Chafee) won't buy.
And really, has a Republican ever won statewide here with a party as badly fratcured as this? Much better GOP candidates than Laffey have failed statewide when there was no Democratic split to take advantage of.

Posted by: Rhody at July 8, 2006 1:04 AM

Why do you just post things that are just plain factually wrong?

You make comments that Chafee is just a liberal as any liberal Democrat, but every single independent evaluation of Chafee's voting record, such as the National Journal, says just the opposite. He falls right in the middle. So show me a non-partisan ranking that justifies your assertion. Prove me wrong.

You say that Laffey aligns himself with the taxpayers although he has no problem raising taxes when he feels it is "necessary".

The funniest comment that you made was that Laffey's leadership and political savvy scares anyone. He's LOSING by 30 POINTS. What scares me is the total LACK of political instincts shown by the Laffey campaign.

It was only a few days ago Laffey's people were predicting that Chafee was going to run as an Independent. Before that Laffey was saying that Matt Brown was in the Senate race for the duration and that he would wear down Whitehouse. I've never seen such a series of miscalculations and total lack of understanding of the RI electorate by such a well-funded campaign.

You call Chafee "self-absorbed". HELLO! He's running against Steve Laffey, Webster's definition of "self-absorbed".

Joe, if you're going to make comments at least make them plausible and back them up with some facts that justify your comments.

By the way, the taxpayer revolution and reform is not my worst nightmare. It is my dream. I just don't see how electing Sheldon Whitehouse to office will do that.

Rhody, I agree. I don't know of many independents who say that they would vote for Laffey. And most of the independents that I know are to the right of center.

As for the Lieberman race, there's not much of a comparison. Don't forget, Chafee is winning in every Republican primary poll that has been taken to date. That's not true with Lieberman.

Posted by: Anthony at July 8, 2006 12:20 PM

A few months ago, Marc compiled Senator Chafee’s ratings from a number of taxation-and-spending policy interest groups, showing the Senator to be a legitimate moderate on these issues. However, Senator Chafee is also a strong supporter of the PAYGO rules which, in their current form, will require huge tax-increases at the same time that they turn the Federal government almost exclusively into a social security, medicare/medicaid and welfare delivery system.

The highest-profile liberal -- not moderate -- positions that Senator Chafee has taken on major issues that trouble many Republican voters are 1) the vote against banning partial birth abortion and his opposition to parental notification laws 2) the vote against the Syrian accountability act, a warmer-than-was necessary embrace of Hugo Chavez and, of course, the Senator's position on using force in Afghanistan after September 11 and 3) continuing support for empowering big bureaucracies at the expense of individuals, including opposition to individualized social security, opposition to school choice, etc.

To his credit, Senator Chafee has recently taken positions against the really strange stuff some Democrats favor, like a hard deadline, ignore the circumstances on the ground withdrawal from Iraq and setting up a race-based government in Hawaii.


Much of what you perceive to be the “bashing” of Senator Chafee is nothing more than honest disagreement -- and concern -- with the positions the Senator has taken (see above). If, on the other hand, the best you can come up with to criticize Steve Laffey’s issue positions is that “he doesn’t really mean them”, you essentially concede that the ideas he is discussing are better than the alternatives. Some people are going to vote for the ideas they support, despite what the negative ads tell them to do.

It is the near-total abandonment of any sort of issue oriented appeal to Republican voters by the Chafee camp that created this primary in the first place, and is guaranteed to keep this race close right up to primary day. I know that some people think it’s silly to discuss issues when discussing politics, but there is a segment of the electorate that does believe it to be important. And lots of them vote in primaries.

Posted by: Andrew at July 8, 2006 3:26 PM

Andrew, reasonable people can argue on whether opposing the partial-birth abortion ban is too liberal a position. But I'm not hearing Laffey make that case, at least not within Rhode Island borders. He probably already has hardcore Catholic voters, but the exposure of his abortion stance would cost him independents and moderates here. Once an opponent (Chafee or Whitehouse) smokes that out of him in a debate...
Should've stayed in Tennessee, Steve. Your act would play much better in the Bible belt.

Posted by: Rhody at July 8, 2006 6:03 PM

I agree with most of what you said-

1. Chafee would never have had a primary if he didn't alienate the GOP conservative base.

2. Chafee is a liberal on some social issues, although contrary to the beliefs of some on this blog, his overall voting record is the definition of a moderate.

3. Some of the criticism directed at Chafee comes as the result of legitimate concerns about his position on issues, not just to "bash" him.

4. Laffey has put out some worthwhile proposals, notably his energy proposal, which while espoused by politicians in other states had yet to be adopted by anyone in Rhode Island.

4. Issues do matter.

But at the end of the day, you can't divorce politics from the issues anymore than you can divorce the issues from politics.

Laffey is divisive and mercurial. Because of his temperment, he has problems leading in any but the most hierachical organization--which a democracy is most certainly not.

Because of these reasons, Laffey has been like a lead weight in the polls. Rhode Islanders don't particularly welcome his style of leadership and are not responding to his campaign.

He is this year's version of Brett Schundler: a self-made investment professional with a tin ear for what the electorate of his state is looking for. You may recall Schundler was praised as the guy who turned around Jersey City, an overwhelmingly Democrat city in dire financial straits. The only difference is that Schundler was more likeable and polled better among independents.

In the end, Schundler's only real legacy was losing a GOP-held governor's seat. The seat went Democrat and a liberal Democrat remains in the office to this day.

Every poll shows the same thing will happen if Laffey wins the primary. Sheldon Whitehouse will be the next U.S. Senator from Rhode Island.

A vote for Steve Laffey is a vote for Sheldon Whitehouse and for Democrat control of the U.S. Senate.

If you disagree with Chafee on so many things that you can't bring yourself to voter for him, fine. Just don't vote.

But don't vote for someone when doing so will just elect another Democrat. It's the Republican equivalent of voting for Ralph Nader in 2000 and it won't help advance the conservative agenda.

Posted by: Anthony at July 10, 2006 12:53 PM

>>> A vote for Steve Laffey is a vote for Sheldon Whitehouse and for Democrat control of the U.S. Senate. If you disagree with Chafee on so many things that you can't bring yourself to voter for him, fine. Just don't vote. But don't vote for someone when doing so will just elect another Democrat. It's the Republican equivalent of voting for Ralph Nader in 2000 and it won't help advance the conservative agenda.

The whole point is to vote for Laffey in the September primary, no matter the outcome in the November general election.

If Laffey goes on to win the general election, good. But if he doesn’t, the primary beneficial impact will have been made. And what is that?

If the “conservative base” here in this bluest of states succeeds in knocking Chafee out in a primary, the tremors will resonate throughout the national GOP. So-called “moderates” – even in dark blue states - will recognize that they are not safe from the “conservative base’s wrath.” In turn, this will help start motivating the entire party to return to its roots.

And if having Senator Whitebread from Rhode Island is the price that must be paid, it will be well worth it.

Posted by: Tom W at July 10, 2006 1:24 PM

Tom W,
Excuse me, but I thought the whole point of voting was to elect a U.S. Senator, not to send a message.

Your approach is nihilistic. The message you want to send to senators like Snowe, Collins, McCain, Specter, etc. is that they should run as Democrats. That may drive out RINO's, but the GOP can not afford to lose the number of senators that CFG labels as RINOs without permanently becoming the minority party.

Posted by: Anthony at July 10, 2006 4:48 PM


Better a minority party that sticks to its principles than what we have now.

BTW, the point of voting in a primary is to choose the candidate that one believes would best represent the party.

>>Excuse me, but I thought the whole point of voting was to elect a U.S. Senator, not to send a message.

A Senator will be elected - the difference is will it be a Democrat, either by membership (Whitehouse) or de facto (Chafee) or at least somewhat Republican (Laffey).

It's a classic dilemma - principles or pragmatism. I prefer to stick to my principles.

Besides, supporting Chafee isn't even supporting the Republican Party - you obsess about permanent minority status. That is what the party had for decades by electing Chafee-like politicians. And it remained that way until the party started embracing the Reagan agenda.

Posted by: Tom W at July 10, 2006 8:40 PM

Tom W,
The GOP gained majority status after the Democrats forgot that they needed to include moderate Democrats, not just liberal Democrats, in their party.

The result was that the "Solid South" became Republican after the South's elected officials couldn't pass the litmus tests required by the northeastern and left coast liberal elite. If the Democrats hadn't screwed up so badly, we might still be the minority party.

You're recommending Republicans follow the same losing approach.

Posted by: Anthony at July 10, 2006 10:30 PM