That’s Our Chafee
To be honest, I’ve been a little surprised at the intense interest in Senator Chafee’s vote on Alito. From conservatives’ standpoint, the only intriguing turn of events would have been a “yes” vote on the nomination and the questions that it would have raised about whether Chafee might make further efforts to court us.
What Chafee actually stated in today’s announcement — and it isn’t but so surprising — is that, no, he isn’t particularly interested in solidifying support among Rhode Island’s divided Republicans. One can find a measure of sad humor musing that this attitude is precisely what the national GOP likes about Chafee for the next election cycle, but otherwise, the episode is just another instance of our own Linc Chafee doing what he does best: disappointing constituents to his political right.
So, as much as I’d like to reward Kathryn Lopez for directing NRO Corner readers to Anchor Rising for “RI backlash,” I’m not sure that there’s much lashing to go back to. Whether related to the war in Iraq or the Senator’s wishy-washy partisanship or some other matter, there probably weren’t that many on the Rhode Island right who had yet to have their “I’d rather vote for Patrick Kennedy” moments. Apart from a few resurgent squawks, the only backlash that remains to be seen will come in the form of our own “no” votes.