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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Dump Chafee?

Senator Lincoln Chafee has a conservative opponent in the upcoming Republican primary: Stephen Laffey. But, a new poll shows Laffey running much weaker against potential Democratic opponents than Chafee. (Hat tip, Captain's Quarters).

So who should conservatives support? Many have commented that losing the Senate seat wouldn't be much of a loss. Chafee, after all, voted against Alito and didn't even vote for President Bush in the 2004 election. What difference would a Democrat in his seat make?

I'm not so sure. In many ways, the most important vote a Senator makes in any term is the first: which party slate for leadership do I join. Chafee votes, in this vote, as Republican as any other Republican Senator. And that vote determines every committee chairmanship, that Republicans get a majority of every committee, and a whole host of other benefits that come from being the majority party.

This is not an easy call.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Unless we are willing to put a boot to the rear of such a pretender as Chafee, we will eventually lose other Senate seats, and Congressional seats, and governorships, and school board members, because there will be no reason for the man on the street to vote Republican.

So I say, Aye. Cash in your Roth IRAs and send every legal dime to Mr. Laffey.

Do not forget that incumbents tend to enjoy their incumbency in the polls, and that once there is a legitimate campaign waging and war chests built, these numbers will be mere puffs of smoke. Poof.

9:43 AM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

Time was, I would have been sending money to his opponent anyway, but the spirit of rebellion is gone. I actively supported Spector's opponents in the good old days.

9:50 AM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Scribbler,

What is the evidence behind the assertion "Unless we are willing to put a boot to the rear of such a pretender as Chafee, we will eventually lose other Senate seats, and Congressional seats, and governorships, and school board members, because there will be no reason for the man on the street to vote Republican."

If you are correct in this prediction, then, of course, I agree with you that Chafee needs the boot. But I don't see your assertion as obvious.

10:42 AM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

To examine this point, let us imagine there are little Chafees everywhere, in all levels of government, some not quite as moderate, but all with essentially the same flaw -- they represent very little to nothing of the Republican platform.

Now let's take our man on the street off the street and plop him down in front of a television where he can learn all about the things Republicans stand for before he runs off to vote. He can learn, from all the little Chafees, that Republicans oppose cutting taxes, oppose cutting spending, like to inaugurate new programs and extend those that have failed.

I don't think I'd bother to get off the couch to go vote either.

12:01 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Its a tough call. Chafee is a Republican in a very blue state. If a democrat were to hold that seat they would certainly not be a conservative democrat. Further Chafee allows democrats to claim they are doing "bi-partisan" things when they get Chafee on board.

The taxpayer league said Chafee was at 50%. I suppose 50% is better than 0%

1:41 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

I should add that, were there only 50 or even 52 Republican Senators, I would not be so quick to advocate giving Chafee the boot. But with 55 Senators, I think the play has a good benefit for risk ratio.

12:13 PM, February 10, 2006  
Blogger Air Marshall said...

I think Scribbler is right only not strong enough. If the conservative revolution is ever to regain momentum we have to attack accross the board. Our own libs as well as theirs. 1994 wasn't about being cautious, it was about being aggressive.

12:32 PM, February 10, 2006  

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