Some Mustard for Ian’s Baloney
I wrote that title with the most collegial of intentions… but I do think WRNI’s Ian Donnis is way off on this one:
Rhode Island’s GOP has long been split between its moderate and conservative wings. The message sent yesterday by Rhode Island voters was that they favor a more moderate kind of Republicanism.
The 36% of the vote garnered by Linc Chafee — notably an RIGOP “moderate” whom the conservatives arguably ousted — is well below the 57% that went to the (conservative) Republican and (relatively conservative) Democrat, both of whom ran well to Linc’s right. Meanwhile, John Loughlin, arguably the most conservative candidate on the ticket, came surprisingly close to beating Democrat David Cicilline, who ran some of the most disingenuous political ads I’ve seen, locally, and engaged in a “scare the seniors” campaign (and who benefited from an explicit national strategy among Democrats to shore up seats that would normally have been safe).
Elsewhere on the ticket, Ian cites the near success of Catherine Taylor in her bid for Secretary of State and notes her history with Chafee senior and junior. But that office is a throwaway on voters’ lists, and Democrat Mollis is hardly an endearing character, meaning that the vote was a good candidate for those who wish to feel that they’re not straight-ticket voters. In the race for Attorney General, (conservative) Republican Erik Wallin finished a reasonably strong second, well ahead of literal Moderate Christopher Little. And Kerry King, in the General Treasurer race, may or may not be on the “conservative” or “moderate” side of the Republican divide, but it seems to me that he’s most often associated with (conservative) Don Carcieri.
That leaves Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung — both incumbents, and neither justifiably evidence of what “Rhode Island voters want.”
By the way, while I’m reading through Ian’s WRNI blog, this statement from Linc Chafee has a telling subtext:
[Uniting people] is really critical to moving our state ahead — everybody working together — and that’s what I talked about during the campaign. One of our impediments has been too much fighting.
As with President Obama, Chafee’s version of “unity” and “working together” is likely to require everybody to unite in supporting his own prescription for the state. “Too much fighting” means too much opposition to the position that he and his political supporters — mostly leftists and unionists — wish to impose on the state.