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BAYHAM ON POLITICS: RINO Stomp: The Missing Linc Wins

Posted by kinchendavid on September 13, 2006

By Mike Bayham

South Louisiana  US Senator Lincoln Chafee, R-RI, is perhaps the least favorite Republican amongst Republicans — due in large part to his inclination to vote with the other party.

Yet his consistent record of contrarianism when it comes to Republican issues didn’t prevent him from winning renomination on Tuesday evening, Sept. 12, 2006,  thanks to being the scion of a longtime state political figure and a lot of help from an administration he has given little legislative support.

 Had Chafee lost to his primary challenger, Stephen Laffey, the pundits would have drawn a comparison to the party insurrection against Joe Lieberman across the state line in Connecticut.

Just as the Right mocked the Democrats for embracing the tinfoil hat crowd by dismissing their 2000 vice-presidential nominee, the Left would have retorted that Chafee’s primary defeat was proof of the GOP’s domination by conservatives who demand that their affiliated members of Congress toe the line or walk the plank.

Yeah — I wish that myth was fact!

 
Such a comparison would have been flawed, as the similarities between Lieberman’s and Chafee’s unpopularity within their own party begins and ends with their respective positions on the war in
Iraq.

Lieberman is a true liberal that rebelled on one issue made sacrosanct by MoveOn.org. Chafee, also a true liberal, tends to be off the reservation on virtually every bill of consequence. In 2005, Chafee’s ACU rating (a conservative barometer on congressional votes) was a twelve out of one hundred making him the most liberal Republican in the US Senate.

Seventeen Democrats, including arch-liberal Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, had a higher ACU rating than Chafee, who had the same score as Hillary Clinton.  

Chafee’s party registration card is about the only written documentation of his Republican affiliation since his voting record certainly doesn’t prove it.   Here are just a few of the ways the Rhode Island RINO earned his “horn” over the years:

 

Announced to the media that he wrote-in George W. Bush’s father as a protest vote in 2004.

The same day he bragged about casting a ballot for “Poppy” in lieu of “Dubya” Chafee publicly mused about leaving the GOP if the younger Bush was re-elected.

Was the lone Republican to vote against invading Iraq.

 Voted for legislation providing for taxpayer funded abortions.

Was the sole Republican to vote against the confirmation of Judge Sam Alito to the Supreme Court, which was not the only instance when Chafee, a member of the Gang of 14, opposed a Bush nominee to the federal bench.

Voted for an amendment that would have put American servicemen under the jurisdiction of an international court and a bill that would have mandated a backdoor implementation of the Kyoto Treaty.

And just in case you haven’t been keeping score, I should also mention he’s for legalizing same sex marriage and often votes against the pro-second amendment lobby.

This is what the National Republican Senatorial Committee spent a reported one million dollars to keep in office.  I am sure NOW and every other loony liberal group under the sun will be pleased that they can spend their money elsewhere now that a “safe vote”is guaranteed no matter which senatorial candidate wins in Rhode Island in November.

Chafee’s few conservative moments include and are almost limited to voting for the GOP organization of the Senate, confirming Chief Justice John Roberts and supporting John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations.   Blink and you risk missing Chafee making a good vote.

Clearly the NRSC’s money would have been better used in one of the five other competitive Republican defenses or in the five close US Senate races where the Democrats are hoping to hold seats than trying to prop up an incumbent who was unattractive to Republican voters, with good reason.

The NRSC believed that the incumbent was more electable in a state where Bush didn’t even receive 40% in 2004, which is the same argument the president and the national GOP used when they rescued Pennsylvania US Senator Arlen Specter from almost certain defeat at the hands of conservative Congressman Pat Toomey two years ago.

 

Sadly, Snarlin’ Arlen is like Jesse Helms compared to Chafee.

For the sake of the GOP, I hope the 2006 mid-terms don’t produce a fifty-fifty split in the US Senate.  Judging by his absence from the Republican column on so many previous votes, Linc might live up to his 2004 election threat and go missing.

 Mike Bayham is a political consultant in south Louisiana and can be reached at MikeBayham@yahoo.com.

        

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