Re: Cognitive Dissonance with Charlene Lima
Justin, along with many of us avid watchers of the State House, was a little startled to learn that former Speaker Pro Tem Charlene Lima (D, Cranston) had not only dropped by the Tea Party Thursday but had offered expressions of camaraderie.
Converted politicians are certainly welcome to the good government cause. It is difficult, however, not to be a little non-plussed by the presence of Rep. Lima inasmuch as she has a multi-year record of voting for exactly the sort of things that the Tea Party and other good government organizations oppose.
Additionally, as Andrew references, what to make of her recent falling out with leadership? If it has caused her to permanently see the light, terrific. But will the Speaker, occupier of the most powerful political office in the state, offer her something that brings her in due course back into the fold? And who could blame him, by the way? This year, with a record number of rank and file members looking at a stark choice of political survival or adherence to a big government philosophy that is distinctly out of favor with voters, leaders on both Smith and Capitol Hill will need to count and curry their political allies more assiduously than they have in a very long time.
It would be wonderful if Rep. Lima’s conversion is genuine. I hope that it is. I also hope that she will forgive us if we are a little wide-eyed in her presence until her voting record catches up with her new words.