UPDATED: RI House Summary
The RI House now has 9 Republicans (ten, if you include John Savage, from East Providence). 12% is better than nothing, I guess.
At least both chambers will have heckling sections, now that Rhode Islanders have given the Democrats the run of Rhode Island, with Linc Chafee as a governor alternately to cheer buffoonishly as he spearheads reckless policies and to blame as a “former Republican” when the state continues to deteriorate.
The outcome brings to mind the conclusion of my Providence Monthly essay from last year:
If former Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey was correct, when he withdrew from the state and from speculative candidacy, that Rhode Islanders simply do not want to bring the feast to an end, then his opponent in the last Republican U.S. Senate primaries will prove to have the perfect head for that three-belled cap. Lincoln Chafee is an “independent” still bearing the stain of his years as a nominal Republican. His pretentions toward fiscal conservatism will make a target of free-market and small-government principles, even as his actual liberalism clears the way for increasing burdens on taxpayers and businesses and facilitates a drunken lurch toward the libertine left in the dark hours of apocalyptic night.
In any case, conservatives might find new liberty in lacking an ally in the hall of power; we’ll be free to venture out and rebuild the kingdom from the frontiers in.
All that’s left to us, now, is to begin rebuilding the shires, as it were, while the state continues to limp along toward wounded delirium. Too many potential reformers have made the calculation that leaving is the wisest course, and as other states pull out of the recession, leaving Rhode Island behind, that skew will only worsen.
Providence Journal reporter Gene Emery did me the honor of a personal PolitiFact check by email and corrected me on my total, above. The problem wasn’t that I miscounted, though; it was that, in my haste to move on to other investigations, I forgot to add the parenthetical note about John Savage that now appears in my first paragraph.