February 1, 2006

Projo Editorial Board: "Sen. Lincoln Hamlet"

Carroll Andrew Morse

An unsigned editorial in today‘s Projo provides a pretty accurate snapshot of Senator Lincoln Chafee's political situation (though I doubt that the Senator himself would use the word "entertaining" in this context)…

The politics around a GOP senator who is more liberal than most Democrats are murky, if often entertaining. But we'd guess that Senator Chafee's apparent long indecision and then final contortions in the Alito controversy have reduced his influence….

At this juncture, Lincoln Chafee remains a very interesting politician, but an increasingly marginalized one.

As we say in blogland, read the whole thing.

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Very interesting editorial. I'm surprised it was published anonymously; there's nothing about it that the author shouldn't be willing to stand behind in public. But, I suppose that's neither here nor there.

I guess we can draw one of two conceivable conclusions:

1. Chafee is insane. We all know that Laffey presents a serious primary challenge to Chafee, and that his Republican base in the state is very dissatisfied with him. There is no way on earth that the decision could have been politically motivated to better his chances in the primary.

2. Chafee made this decision based on something other than political calculation, like principle. I don't agree with the apparent principles, but a principled decision could have been made with the knowledge that there would be a political cost. If so, the man has more guts than most other Senators (especially the Democrats who supported Alito because they represent red states--those are cowards).

Sure, you can go off about how he didn't announce the decision until the last minute, but I think Harry Reid's indication weeks ago (sorry, I can't find a link, but I think it was referenced on this blog) that there was one Republican Senator planning to vote against Alito suggests that Chafee made up his mind a long time ago, he just waited to announce. If I knew my decision was going to cause me to be crucified by my base, I'd probably wait until the last minute to announce it as well.

Posted by: rich at February 1, 2006 12:28 PM

when I read "rich" on this blog, three things always happen:

1. I am reminded of "James" who went postal here at 1:00 AM a few weeks ago.
2. That tune "hopelessly devoted" starts playing in my head.
3. I think of my arch nemisis, Wyle E. Coyotee, who, as hard as he tries...always comes up the loser.

Nice try Rich, but now, only Stehpanie and M. Charles Chafee-Bakst and you think Linc is "principled". He's lost NARAL and he's lost the real republicans... He's lost...he has lost!

Posted by: roadrunner at February 1, 2006 12:57 PM

Editorials like this one crystallize for me that the often-syrupy and flowery language used to put Chafee in a positive light is just plain wrong. Dangerously wrong. 1984-like wrong.

Chafee's strategists are extremely clever, masterful manipulators. They are intelligent, granted, but in an underhanded and deceitful way. Compare this to Laffey's smarts - which show up in issues mastery, ability to connect with people, common sense, debate skills, extemporaneous speaking skills, and wry sense of humor.

Examine some of the more common words used to describe this guy Chafee: Plucky...maverick...independent...courageous.

Would these words describe him - even remotely - if he were a democrat or independent? The clear answer is NO. The word choice would be more like "ordinary, lazy, ineffectual, uncharismatic, and poorly-qualified"

Name any other organization that would have someone like him as a member. He would be thoroughly excoriated and labelled disloyal at a minimum and, if punches were not pulled, referred to for what he really is - a traitor. Chafee himself brags about being a Benedict Arnold.

The main (and possibly only) thing Chafee has going for him politically is this Republican party affiliation during a time when the party mistakenly thinks it needs him.

This charade will end soon and will not be pretty for Chafee. His true motives are becomingly increasinly clear - as are his egomania, narcissism, and complete lack of integrity.

Posted by: bountyhunter at February 1, 2006 5:28 PM

I thought that Projo editorial was pretty harsh (albeit accurate), considering that it was published in the Chafee Family Newsletter. He's in trouble.

As for "Chafee's strategists are extremely clever, masterful manipulators. They are intelligent, granted, but in an underhanded and deceitful way," you've failed to point out something. Several of them in his DC office are also quite liberal registered Democrats.

Posted by: Will at February 2, 2006 1:51 AM

Sounds like the dems have quite a fifth column going in the Chafee bunker/strategic headquarters! Great example of underhandedness and deceit.

What percentage of his key people are indeed democrats, Will?

Posted by: bountyhunter at February 2, 2006 10:33 AM

"Home, home on the range."

The crucible of this race will allow Rhode Islanders to see with their own eyes what Chafee is all about. He’ll wilt like a dandelion on a dry summer day.

The guy has no plan, no positions, and no pugnacity.

He should get back to the ranch, and quickly at that.

J Mahn

Posted by: Joe Mahn at February 2, 2006 11:09 PM