September 16, 2007

Sunday's First Page, Above the Fold, Part I: Chafee Quits the Party!

Justin Katz

In a piece that was apparently written yesterday, the Providence Journal's Bruce Landis explains that Lincoln Chafee didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left him:

Lincoln D. Chafee, who lost his Senate seat in the wave of anti-Republican sentiment in last November's election, said yesterday that he has left the party.

Chafee said he disaffiliated with the party he had helped lead, and his father had led before him, because the national Republican Party has gone too far away from his stance on too many critical issues, from war to economics to the environment.

"It's not my party any more," he said.

Chafee's departure is another step in the waning of the strain of moderate Republicanism that was once a winning political philosophy from Rhode Island and Connecticut to the Canadian border. For the first time since the Civil War, the six New England states combined now have only one Republican U.S. House member, Connecticut’s Christopher Shays.

At least Linc's finally made an honest man of himself, even if he did take a buggy's worth of national party money in an attempt to hold on to power:

Ironically, after all of Chafee’s opposition to the Republican policies he disagreed with, the party helped him survive a primary challenge from the right, from former Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey. National Republican leaders supported Chafee, having concluded that even though Chafee had voted against many of President Bush’s initiatives, including authorizing the Iraq war, he was the only Republican who could win in Rhode Island.
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Justin, my favorite this morning was also just above the fold. "Nonbelievers raise voices, not in prayer." It was the subheading that really got to me: "In the United States and Europe, atheists react against resurgence of Muslim and Christian extremism."

Truly disgusting to equate the two.

The article begins by interviewing a British atheist angered by Muslim extremists "blowing themselves up in God's name..." Of course, these extremists are not doing so in the uninhabited regions of the Arabian desert. They are trying to take as many innocents along with them. They are murderers.

The atheists are apparently equally outraged by Christians "condemning gays, contraception, and stem-cell research." The Washington Post writer couldn't see a distinction? One is immersing itself in current political dialogue, while the other is killing people.

Interestingly, the article only speaks with British atheists. One wonders why the Journal felt this important enough to be a top story for RIers.

It saddens me how pathetic and inane the Journal has become in such a short amount of time.

Posted by: mikeinRI at September 16, 2007 11:10 PM

I'm gettin' there. I'm gettin' there.

Posted by: Justin Katz at September 16, 2007 11:19 PM

Didn't I say that there would be a story in the "old media" about it pretty quickly? Glad Laffey got some additional face time for the book as a result of it. Good timing.

I also agree, the Republican Party did leave Licoln Chafee ... in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan.

PS By the way, does anyone still take Darrell West seriously? I heard him on Ch. 10 tonight basically insinuating that Chafee's departure was some kind of blow to the RIGOP. On the contrary, this is possibly the best thing that has happened to it in a generation.

Posted by: Will at September 17, 2007 12:20 AM

Yes, there are still people who take Darrell West seriously . . . the ProJo, and Channels 6, 10, and 12.

Remember that old Calvin Coolidge quote, "When people are out of work, unemployment results"?

That's similar to the insightful analysis we have come to expect from Professor Obvious. (Although, in the case of Chafee's departure as a "blow" to the R.I. Republican party, maybe it should be "Professor Oblivious.")

Posted by: brassband at September 17, 2007 6:09 AM

>>On the contrary, this is possibly the best thing that has happened to it in a generation.

(To the tune of Disney's "Hi Ho, Hi Ho"):



It's independent he'll go

No more feckless Linc

Whose family did the party sink



Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at September 17, 2007 9:43 AM

Chafee is as asshole (pardon my french)! How do all his supporters feel now, how about all the people the national GOP made write him checks? Laffey called this early in the primary season, saying that if re-elected Chafee was likely to pull a Jim Jeffords.

Well, Linc. is really a scumbag, let's be honest, throughout the campaign he got this question ALL THE TIME from the media and his answer was always the same , "yes the national party has moved away from me but it will move back to me eventually and I'll be here when it does". Do all those Chaffee people out there remember this "pendulum" bullshit!!!!!

Obviously, he stayed a Republican because he need the money to beat Laffey, he lied to EVERYONE, basically stealing their money. What a scam.

And the national GOP, they must have smelled this too, shame on them, they deserved to lose making bad decisions such as backing Chafee.

I hope two things come out of this little revelation, 1) Chafee is Never heard from again, and 2) Laffey sells 1 billion books.

Posted by: Carl Elliott at September 17, 2007 9:53 AM

DePetro has been playing a cut from Chafee's interview over the weekend.

Chafee keeps saying that he decided to leave the party when the Republicans re-elected the same leadership after the 2006 election, proving that they didn't learn anything from the loss of Congress.

Um . . . does Linc not know that both Bill Frist (who left the Senate) and Dennis Hastert (who chose not to seek election as Republican leader in the House) were replaced after the 2006 election (by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, respectively)???

Posted by: brassband at September 17, 2007 11:27 AM

Funny, I don't see any posts from the usual Chafee backers, strang for them to be so quiet now, don't you think?

Posted by: Virginia Redneck at September 18, 2007 8:44 AM

I'm quite certain that you will eviscerate me for saying this, but I support Senator Chafee's decision. He is an honest, honorable man and he did what he believes is right - as he always does. I maintain that Lincoln Chafee, like John Chafee, demonstrates that integrity matters and that principles are important.

Yes, I worked for him. Yes, my brother was his campaign manager. Yes, I'm biased.

I also disagree with you that this is the best day for the Republican Party in Rhode Island. I think it is a bleak day. I am a moderate. The defection of people like Lincoln Chafee and the abandonment of Rockefeller Republicanism means that people like me are less likely to support the GOP. We may be dissatisfied with the corruption on display in local politics and the abuses that come with one-party rule, but we find it increasingly difficult to vote for a party that has eschewed fiscal prudence, a respect for the separation of church and state, and a belief that government should "stay out of the bedroom." Don't forget that people like John and Lincoln Chafee are the reason many of us got involved in Republican politics in the first place.

Personally, I didn't care what his party affiliation was, I just liked the fact he had guts.

Posted by: Brent Lang at September 18, 2007 5:22 PM

As I have stated on this discussion group in the past I like Chafee and Laffey.
Chafee was the only NAME politician that contacted me after my opposition to big box stores in Hopkinton when I was on the Hopkinton Town Council.While I have his concern for his support for Patricia Morgan as State GOP Chair but understand it was based on the fact at the time the Governor wanted to keep her there.
The state GOP needs to work and enjoy the confidence of Republicans.It has some improvement with "Gio" Cicione but he has to reach out throughout Rhode Island.The heavy representation of Cranston and Warwick of at-large members of the Rhode Island Republican State Central Committee did not help.However the opening to both the voters and delegate candidates in the upcoming Republican Presidential Primary in Rhode Island was a GREAT PLUS!
Steve Laffey has NOT disappeared and was at the South County GOP breakfast which Hopkinton hosted this past Saturday.One of his children attended with him.Steve was kind enough to appear on the alternative GOP slate of delegates and alternate delegates in 2004,.That is greatly appreciated by me.His name appeared on BOTH slates but while the alternative slate was defeated it was easy to show that routine votes are not always gone along with by GOP State Committee Members.It should be noted the recent GOP State Committee At-large were NOT unanimously approved.
Patricia Morgan then GOP State Chair created DIVISIVE problems with the at-large delegate handling at the 2004 Republican National Convention and not being totally upfront with GOP State Central Committee Members on funding received from the national level to help Sen.Chafee.All the cards should be on the tables ESPECIALLY WITH YOUR OWN PEOPLE!
I like Rudy Giuliani which some if not many of you will disagree with.I do regret she is one of the prominent leaders in his Rhode Island effort.BOTH Steve Laffey and Scott Avedesian are supporting Rudy Giuliani.
Don't forget the GOP State Central Committee meets tomorrow evening at North Kingstown High School.I belive it starts at 7 PM?

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at September 18, 2007 5:40 PM

For what it's worth, I supported Linc Chaffee and think he's an honorable man. Disaffiliating from the Republicans only makes me like him more. I hope he gets out of politics and finds happiness in whatever he does.

Hello Brent, nice to hear from you. (I volunteered to help re-elect Linc until time constraints made it impossible.)

Posted by: michael at September 18, 2007 9:15 PM
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