An Airing of Weaknesses

It seems to me, Don, that the well-poisoning of your closing question elides precisely the benefit of a Laffey run for U.S. Senate. Tweak your perceptive hypothetical of a primary-free Chafee’s positioning:

While sitting on the sidelines eating popcorn, Chafee would have been able to size up his opponent, research weak points, and come out swinging after the Democratic primary.

A primary race with a rumbler like Laffey will undoubtedly expose Chafee’s weaknesses (even more than the Senator has managed to accomplish simply by being in view of the public in a post–9/11 world). Of course, one should offer the passing disclaimer that citizens benefit whenever candidates’ weaknesses are exposed, but that byproduct of a primary race is even more valuable for Rhode Island Republicans: No matter who wins the primary — or the election, for that matter — the political calculus will have become less of a factor in our state.
One thing that Laffey has shown successfully as mayor of Cranston is that Rhode Island needs to be shaken up a bit. If that means that we have to fall to form with another Democrat in a key government position for the time being, at least we on the right will have the opportunity to offer a different vision without a might-as-well-be-a-Democrat Republican blurring our voices with the mild morphine drip of political power that he represents.

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15 years ago

Laffey is offering a vision of a second party for a one-party state. Maybe the voters will take him up on it, maybe not.
Is anyone following the Japanese election? Apparently Koizumi was tired of having his reforms blocked by the old guard of his party, so he dissolved the government and is trying to prove that the LDP can win without them.
It’s kind of like the GOP throwing out the old Rockefeller wing altogether. (That would never happen, because there would be too much campaign money lost in the trade.)

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