Sunday’s First Page, Above the Fold, Part I: Chafee Quits the Party!
In a piece that was apparently written yesterday, the Providence Journal’s Bruce Landis explains that Lincoln Chafee didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left him:
Lincoln D. Chafee, who lost his Senate seat in the wave of anti-Republican sentiment in last November’s election, said yesterday that he has left the party.
Chafee said he disaffiliated with the party he had helped lead, and his father had led before him, because the national Republican Party has gone too far away from his stance on too many critical issues, from war to economics to the environment.
“It’s not my party any more,” he said.
Chafee’s departure is another step in the waning of the strain of moderate Republicanism that was once a winning political philosophy from Rhode Island and Connecticut to the Canadian border. For the first time since the Civil War, the six New England states combined now have only one Republican U.S. House member, Connecticut’s Christopher Shays.
At least Linc’s finally made an honest man of himself, even if he did take a buggy’s worth of national party money in an attempt to hold on to power:
Ironically, after all of Chafee’s opposition to the Republican policies he disagreed with, the party helped him survive a primary challenge from the right, from former Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey. National Republican leaders supported Chafee, having concluded that even though Chafee had voted against many of President Bush’s initiatives, including authorizing the Iraq war, he was the only Republican who could win in Rhode Island.