A Foregone Conclusion (Or Is It “Forgone”?)
Ramesh Ponnuru raises a sore point for Rhode Island conservatives:
If Langevin wins the Democratic primary, I’d be open to the idea that conservatives should support him over Chafee. Langevin at least votes pro-life most of the time.
I’ll admit that I don’t get out there and network as much as I should, but my sense is that there’s a whole lot of antipathy to Chafee among Rhode Island conservatives. In fact, I’ve never observed even hesitance when I’ve half-joked that we should make it a cause to unseat him, regardless of who would take his place in the Rhode Island delegation.
Unless the choice is between Chafee and Patrick Kennedy, even a liberal Democrat may benefit from conservatives’ skipping that line on the ballot. Personally, I think there’s a strong argument to be made that our long-term interests are better served by letting the seat slip, clearing the boards for the looming intra-Republican scuffle, and attempting to rebuild the state’s political balance once that hard first step is over.
Of course, the wonkish wisdom of the move may not ultimately be a factor anyway. Especially taking into account Senator Chafee’s general conduct and demeanor since September 11, many of us just don’t have the mastery of our emotions to actively assist in perpetuating the embarrassment.