HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Thursday, May 30, 2013

 
Lincoln Chafee to join the neoliberal party. Rhode Island Dems should reject him.

by David Atkins

Lincoln Chafee has finally decided to switch parties and become a Democrat. The short and simple analysis is that Chafee faced an uncomfortable three-way battle in which many Democrats declined to endorse their own fellow Democrat Frank Caprio in order to assure that a Republican didn't sneak into the Rhode Island governorship. Chafee's switch to the Democratic Party means that he can potentially avoid that situation if he runs for re-election.

A lazy progressive take on Chafee's switch is that Republicans have become so extreme that they've driven the likes of Chafee out of their party, that more sensible Republicans should switch away also, that the GOP is facing death throes as the Bachmanns are laughed out of Congress while the Chafees become Democrats. Yada yada. But I'm not going to do that, because it would be whistling past the graveyard.

The reality is that while Chafee is reliably liberal on social issues, he largely remains an economic conservative. That makes him wholly inadequate as a Democrat.

Now, if Rhode Island were a tough red state in which Chafee was a reliable winner against a bevy of hyperconservatives, that would be different. Ben Nelson, for instance, will always get a pass in Nebraska because there aren't good alternatives. But Rhode Island is not that. Good progressive Democrats with real progressive economic values can and should win in Rhode Island. Lincoln Chafee is not the best of a bad bargain. He's the worst of a good bargain.

Not surprisingly, then, the Neoliberal-in-Chief has wholeheartedly supported him even as it rankles the state Democratic establishment in Rhode Island:

Obama has returned the favor: he declined to endorse a Democrat for governor in 2010, when Chafee was running as an independent in a three-way race. And when Chafee ran TV ads featuring archival footage of the president praising him, Obama and his aides did not object.

In fact, despite being officially neutral in 2010, Obama was perceived as so Chafee-friendly that the Democratic nominee that year, Frank Caprio, told Rhode Island radio station WPRO that the president could “take his endorsement and really shove it.”

Chafee ultimately won with 36 percent of the vote, while Caprio fell into third place.

While Chafee’s party switch is likely to avert the possibility of another messy three-way race, it is unclear whether other national Democrats will embrace Chafee as ardently as Obama has.

Both Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and state Treasurer Gina Raimondo are likely candidates in a Democratic primary. The Democratic Governors Association is not expected to take sides in a competitive nomination fight; in a statement, DGA Chair Peter Shumlin said he’s “excited” about Chafee’s switch but that the DGA will support “whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee” in 2014.

Taveras reacted to the news of Chafee becoming a Democrat with a wry rejoinder: “I have been a Democrat and a Red Sox fan my whole life, and I don’t intend on changing either.”
As Democrats, we can do better than Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, particularly now that he's saddled with bad approval ratings. We must do better.

And it must be the state party leadership in Rhode Island that stands up to the President and makes it clear that they expect and demand a real Democrat run for and win the governorship of the Ocean State.


.