Thursday, February 09, 2006

Who Will Be "Laffey"ing in November? UPDATED

I wanted to elaborate on something I noticed on CPAC, and was reminded of when I saw this picture. Cranston Mayor "Steve" Laffey who is primarying incumbent Republican Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, had ALOT of support at CPAC. I just continue to be baffled by the craziness of these people. There is ZERO...let me restate that....There is ZERO chance that is Laffey beats Chafee he will be elected Senator from Rhode Island. I know you all want to say "He's a R.I.N.O Vincent" "He voted against Alito!"...well I tell you all this... The Progressive Punch online has given Senator Chafee a 42.92 progressive rating based on votes. If Chafee is not in office, we will have another Chuck Schumer liberal in the seat who received a 90.74 progressive rating. There is no other option but to support Senator Chafee(whom I have met, and like a great deal) over Laffey. I'd more rather have half a liberal, than an all-out socialist. Anyone who supports Laffey is illogical, and is a "R.I.N.O" in my book. So to the Laffey crowd I ask this: When Laffey loses in November..who will be "Laffey"ing then? UPDATE: The folks at "Save the GOP" have left this message in the comment section Stephen said... I'll take National Review over Too Conservative anyday.(BTW: This is why we call you a squish.)Hopefully no one deletes this, like the NRSC is fond of doing when someone criticizes Chafee supporters. Now TC Readers if you all looked at the National Review article it states:Even if Laffey were to win the primary but lose the general election, beating Chafee would send a helpful message to the kind of Republican who thinks Chafee's "independence" is something to admire and emulate. (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine come to mind.) That message: that Republican voters will not be taken for granted just because they are in the minority in their state. Then there's the tantalizing possibility that Laffey might actually win both the primary and the general election. It's a chance worth taking. What do conservatives have to lose? The worst possible outcome is only that Rhode Islanders will trade a virtual Democrat for a real one. Listen guys-Chafee may not be a Tom DeLay, or Tom Tancredo...but he carries his state, and helps elect Republican leadership in the Senate. He is also not even above 50% in ANY progressive rating I have seen. So to call him a "virtual Democrat" is far from true. As far as me or this blog being a "squish" for actually wanting Republicans to stay in office, I consider people who want Chafee out the real squishes and R.I.N.O's because they are the ones who are destroying this party. There should be NO arguement here, as to support Laffey in a primary is to seal one's own doom. Again I give you evidence with a poll recently done by Brown University: The poll found Chafee almost evenly matched with Democratic Secretary of State Matt Brown. Chafee would take 38 percent of the vote if the election were held today, compared to 36 percent for Brown. The poll is based on a statewide sample of 785 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The Republican incumbent would fare better against former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse, the poll found. In that potential matchup, 40 percent of those polled picked Chafee, compared to 34 percent for the Democrat. and lets look at Laffey- But the poll showed Laffey weak against potential Democratic contenders. He scored only 24 percent against Brown's 47 percent, and 29 percent versus Whitehouse's 44 percent. Ouch.Ouch.Ouch. I do not support Senator Chafee on alot of issues, I am personally more of a Laffey guy, and would be no where close to a 45% on the progressive scale, but come people are simply NUTS to think it's better to have Chafee out than in. How many ways can I say it..? Nuts, Crazy, Psycho, Unrealistic, Illogical...all these words come to mind. It is the EXACT same premise we are continuing to deal with in Virginia, illogical Republicans stating it's better to have a Republican out of office than in office. Sorry to tell the fine folks from "Save The GOP" but the title of their blog is a hypocricy, and that their way of "saving" does nothing but kill our party nationally.


At 2/09/2006 06:48:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...


Your comments imply that an incumbant should never be primaried. There are lots of reasons to primary people. One may be to remind the incumbant he is beginning to reach a point in his straying that should not continue.

I don't know Laffey, but who is to say he cannot win? If the grass-roots Republicans support him enough to make him their candidate, shouldn't that speak for something? Are we to just "give up" in blue states and not try to convince people there that conservatism works better? Part of having election campaigns is to explain our vision for holding office and our reasons. If Laffey is able to convince enough people, he will win. If not, he won't. If RI is such a lost cause for conservatives and yet a conservative can be selected as a candidate over an incumbant liberal Republican, that doesn't say a whole heck of a lot about the Republican Party organization in RI.

At 2/09/2006 06:50:00 PM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said...


What do you think of his chances? Personally, I think Chafee will lose as well.

Rtwng Extrmst:

"I don't know Laffey, but who is to say he cannot win?"


"If Laffey is able to convince enough people, he will win."


"If RI is such a lost cause for conservatives and yet a conservative can be selected as a candidate over an incumbant liberal Republican, that doesn't say a whole heck of a lot about the Republican Party organization in RI"


At 2/09/2006 07:01:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

I think Chafee loses a primary.

And Laffey loses General WITHOUT a doubt.

Rtwng Extrmst-HE CANT WIN.

he's in rhode island..look at polling numbers, he is TOAST, TOAST , TOAST.

To say he is a chance is so is like saying tom delay could win in san francisco.

There are just some places people cant win..and laffey cant win there.

Chafee for SENATE!

At 2/09/2006 07:20:00 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

RWE: I think I see a thought process that not only can ensure us minority status in most jurisdictions, but may just ensure our complete extinction. But all is not lost - we'll always have the primaries for bloodsport.

At 2/09/2006 07:32:00 PM, Anonymous Sarek said...


No, we shouldn't give up. But we have to be realistic in recognizing that not every state is as far along in their pursuit of true, logical, libertarian-style conservatism. Hence Rhode Island's fear of totally rejecting socialist emotionalism and embracing the total logic of true, libertarian-style conservatism.

Vince is merely asking that all Republicans take a realistic, long-term view of their political destiny. It is illogical to select a nominee who will only hand that Senate seat over to a liberal who will undo years of slow, but nonetheless, conservative progress.

Should incumbents never be challenged? Of course not. It is always proper and appropriate to challenge and question incumbents, leaders, etc. However, each person should develop the proper logical, situational awareness to understand that the movement of true, libertarian conservatism is more important than the political ambitions of one person. In this case, Mr. Laffey.

At 2/09/2006 07:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


These people are asking for your opinion.

Do they people realize your only an intern on the "Hill."

Do they realize your not even 21?????

At 2/09/2006 07:48:00 PM, Anonymous suesnydersapsycho said...



the sense is returning



At 2/09/2006 07:49:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...


that was established..oh about 3 months ago.

thanks for the newsflash

At 2/09/2006 09:12:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

Couldn't agree with you more here, Vince. This is exactly the type of long-term viewpoint that wins general elections. I have no doubt that Laffey would get crushed, while Chafee's experience and more moderate record gives him a real chance to hold the seat. The problem is, much like what we're starting to see in Virginia, some members of the GOP are so focused on winning the immediate battle that we lose the war. It happens in both parties (i.e. Leslie Byrne). The party that realizes this first and commits to the end game instead of just the primary in front of them will have a huge advantage.

At 2/09/2006 09:48:00 PM, Blogger nova_middle_man said...

Wow This post and the 8th district guys letter from MD show why the "old way" of doing things in NoVA needs to change unless you want a solid Democratic area in the very near future

At 2/09/2006 10:38:00 PM, Anonymous Stephen said...

I'll take National Review over Too Conservative anyday.

(BTW: This is why we call you a squish.)

Hopefully no one deletes this, like the NRSC is fond of doing when someone criticizes Chafee supporters.

At 2/09/2006 10:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Stephen, what a stunning rebuttal. Next time try to avoid logical fallacies .(

At 2/09/2006 10:57:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...


Rhode Island is a very, very strange state. By outward appearances, it seems like a pretty blue Democratic state. The GOPers from RI that most people know are Linc Chafee and his late father, John Chafee, both of whom served in the Senate.

My grandfather grew up in Rhode Island. I still have family all over the state there, so I have something of a unique insight into the demographics and political workings there.

When I first heard that Chafee was voting against Alito, I thought then and there that would cost him either the primary or general election. RI has a VERY large Italian-American community -- enough to have an impact in an election. With both the National Italian American Foundation and the Order Sons of Italy in America coming out big for Alito and the number of members they have in RI, that spelled trouble for Linc.

As Robert Novack wrote the other day:

"Republicans in Rhode Island say that Sen. Chafee had given private assurances that he would be supporting the Alito Supreme Court nomination. His reversal on this issue drew a public rebuke from his most reluctant supporter, popular Gov. Don Carcieri (R), and endangers him in his primary race against Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey (R). Laffey must now be considered the narrow frontrunner in the Republican Senate primary after crossing the $1-million mark and outraising Chafee in individual contributions for the quarter.

"Chafee maintains a two-to-one cash advantage after beating Laffey with PAC money and making himself a $330,000 campaign loan. But he may need a lot more than that to survive. Another negative for him on the Alito issue is the fact that it is probably impossible for him to win a Republican primary in Rhode Island without significant support from the state's large Italian population.

"Rhode Island's primary doesn't happen until September. If he sees the writing on the wall, Chafee could well choose to run as an independent."

Gov. Don Carcieri is a conservative Republican who succeeded another conservative Republican, Linc Almond. In fact, in the last 20 years, RI has elected and re-elected a few conservative Republicans statewide to the Governor's mansion -- Carcieri, Almond, and DiPrete.

The other thing being overlooked by people who think someone like Laffey can't win the general in Rhode Island is the Democrats in the state are your traditional ethnic Catholic Democrats -- primarily Polish and Italian. These people (and I'm talking relatives of mine here included) are some of the most conservative people you'll ever meet regardless of party. Some may still give lip service to the Democratic Party, but they'd make George Allen look like a liberal by comparison.

Mayors in RI are pretty big things. In fact, Linc Chafee served as Mayor of Warwick before being appointed to his father's senate seat. Cranston is roughly the same size as Warwick (approx. 85,000 people.) Only Providence has a bigger population (and they've elected GOP mayors, too, including Buddy Cianci who was convicted twice of different offenses and has had a documentary and a musical made about his life.)

So, I'd give Laffey a shot in the general election. If he only had an Italian sounding name, I'd give him the edge. Don't write Laffey off too quickly here.

At 2/09/2006 11:01:00 PM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

Oh, if Carcieri has a big showing in his reelection bid as it looks like he will now according to current polls and if Laffey wins the primary and Chafee runs as an independent, look for Laffey to win a plurality of the vote with Chafee and the Dem splitting the lib demographic.

At 2/09/2006 11:09:00 PM, Anonymous Stephen said...

Anon 10:49,
Way to try and attack my position without saying anything. I linked the NR article b/c they say it all. Now, it would be a fallacy to do so only if...
1. "The "authority" cited is not an expert on the issue" I think NR is an expert on both conservatism, Republican politics, and politics in general having examined all three for 50 years.
2. "The authority is an expert, but is not disinterested." NR is no less disinterested than a member of the party apparatus.
3. "While the authority is an expert, his opinion is unrepresentative of expert opinion on the subject." If anything this would be TC, who resorts to quoting the "Progressive Punch" - ever heard of them? me neither - instead of, say, the American Conservative Union. (Chafee lifetime ratings for ACU: 41. Uber-RINO Arlen Specter: 44.)

If all you want is a majority, feel free to fall in the Chafee column. If you want a majority that stands for something, vote Laffey.

At 2/09/2006 11:11:00 PM, Anonymous Stephen said...

We don't believe in the "Republican cause" (which is what exactly?). We believe in conservatism. Don't forget Lieberman got elected in part because of Bill Buckley and National Review's support, and we are the better for it. Even if the Republicans are the worse for it.

At 2/09/2006 11:12:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...


I respect that your grandfather is from there, but to ever think Laffey could win is simply a logical fallacy.

You have to know in your mind he can't win.

Look at every single poll...even done by hard-right institutions..

Chafee wins, and Laffey loses.

Has anyone stopped to think that Chafee may be voting certain ways because HE knows his state better than us..that HE knows that he should have voted for/against Alito to help him become re-elected?

While I agree Jim that they were both mayors..and thats a big deal...

when Chafee was mayor I am sure he wasn't a staunch-right wing Bolling type guy living in RHODE ISLAND!

This is all just insane to me to be arguing with people who claim to want to help the Republican cause...that are doing everything to destory it.

At 2/09/2006 11:22:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Using your numbers..

lets trade someone with a 41ACU rating..

for someone with a 2 ACU rating.

Does this make sense?

At 2/09/2006 11:30:00 PM, Anonymous Stephen said...

If you're interested in having a party that stands for something, it does. I don't believe in the "Republican cause" (can you define that, please?) but I do think that in a two party system it is good to try and take over one party. If there is an obstinately liberal party member, however, I have no problems taking them out even if it means a Democrat coming in.

Case in point: even if Russ Potts and Fred Quayle were removed from the VA Senate and replaced with Democrats, their replacements on the Senate Ed & Health would most likely be better on the issues. Yes their are fewer R's, but that simply empowers the conservatives.

In the same way, we would be better to have Chafee out and have someone better on Foreign Relations. (And, probably, on Environment and Public Works and Homeland Security and Government Affairs.)

At 2/09/2006 11:39:00 PM, Blogger criticallythinking said...

This quote says it all: that HE knows that he should have voted for/against Alito to help him become re-elected?

TC, you have been arguing for the past three months this very point, that we should abandon our principles because it is more important to get elected than to stand for something.

You are wrong, dead wrong. You are so wrong that I can only imagine that you have been TOO involved in political campaigning to understand the real world.

Politics is not a game where you want to "win" for "your party". I won't turn my back to a person I agree with simply because others are too short-sided to see that winning issues requiring winning candidates.

Otherwise we could all just vote for democrats and say "we won".

At 2/09/2006 11:41:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...


The Loss of Chafee is one less Republican Senator to vote for Republican leadership in the Senate.

If we continue to try and put these Laffey's and Toomey's up..eventually we will lose the majority..our committee chairmanships..and not be in control of policy.

The Democrat who would replace Chafee would be MUCH more of a liberal than he was on social and fiscal issues. For all we know, one of these two guys could end up being a Bernie Sanders type.

Why risk it? Why risk a good moderate Republican, for some wacko-lefty? It's simply not worth it. To call Chafee a Democat as the paper did is also very misleading to readers, and is the same thing many republicans do to each other in virginia.

To put labels on other Republicans without facts to back it up is just a simple lie.

Besides Nelson and Pryor , I would venture to say Chafee votes much more conservative than the rest of the Democrats..and not a Democrat.

Usually never is a Democrat better than a Republican. Not in Reeses case, Dillards case, Potts case, or this case.

"The Republican Cause"-To advance Republicans through elections...and to support Laffey is not doing so.

At 2/09/2006 11:42:00 PM, Blogger Virginia Centrist said...

They don't care. The very existence of Chafee - the fact that he's even allowed to breath our air - it infuriates people like Steve.

At 2/10/2006 01:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rhode Island is a fairly liberal state.

Whomever the senator is, it will be a person who is at center or slightly left of center. It will NOT be someone who is significantly right of center.

Those are the facts. Wanting a "staunch" republican in office doesn't make it otherwise.

So, the Republican party needs to decide - do we have a moderate Republican who helps us maintain a Senate majority - OR - do we want a Democrat who helps us lose a Senate majority.

It's really that simple.

Winning the battle and then losing the war is just stupid.

At 2/10/2006 01:21:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's all give money to Laffey in what will ultimately be a futile effort while a conservative who's got a good chance to pick up a seat like Michael Steele or one with a tough race to keep a seat like Jim Talent, comes up short. And forget ensuring that we keep Bill Frist's seat in the hands of a good conservative, let's spend tons of money so we can boot out a liberal Republican and replace him with a liberal Democrat, because that's much more important. In fact let's primary George Allen because he's not conservative enough, and if John Warner runs again we should primary him too. Let's primary every Republican that is not as conservative as me and only then should we worry about defeating liberal democrats, right Stephen?

At 2/10/2006 01:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"2. "The authority is an expert, but is not disinterested." NR is no less disinterested than a member of the party apparatus."


NR is interested in keeping idiots like you from turning on them and calling them squishes.

And thanks for giving a great example of another logical fallacy, bifurcation-

"If all you want is a majority, feel free to fall in the Chafee column. If you want a majority that stands for something, vote Laffey."

"The problem with this fallacy is not formal, but is found in its disjunctive—"either-or"—premiss: an argument of this type is fallacious when its disjunctive premiss is fallaciously supported."

At 2/10/2006 03:15:00 AM, Blogger AWCheney said...

I've got to chime in here. I believe that people are missing the point of what most of those commenting are trying to say and that everyone is getting bogged down in emotions. IN MY OPINION (obviously stressing that), the vast majority are not demanding that anybody should give up their principles, regardless of whether they are coming from the right, left, or in between. I believe that the true issue of concern is (or should be) whether we are capable of respecting another opinion and finding common ground to work together toward a common goal...electing Republicans, for instance.

Part of this is being able to conduct primaries and intra-party elections without everybody burning their bridges behind them...screaming invectives and accusations (like baby killer, among many) at opponents just to arouse strong emotions and pick up a few lines in the local rag. Is it reasonable to assume that such things can be forgotten so easily once the primary dust has settled? I think not. It would seem that Republicans have been far better in recent years at running other Republicans out of politics (or making enemies of fellow Republicans) than effectively taking down the Democrats.

At 2/10/2006 09:58:00 AM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said...

I stand by my statement. Chafee loses a primary because of his vote against Alito -- not on account of infuriating conservatives (which it did), but on account of it infuriating Italian-American Republicans in RI. If Chafee bolts to run as an independent, Laffey wins the seat with a plurality of around 37-41%.

At 2/10/2006 10:05:00 AM, Blogger Riley, Not O'Reilly said... reported the following:

According to a new Brown University poll, Governor Don Carcieri (R) holds a comfortable lead for re-election in this solidly blue state, while US Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) is locked in a much tighter fight. In the gubernatorial contest, Carcieri leads Lieutenant Governor Charlie Fogarty (D) by a 46% to 35% vote. The margin is largely unchanged since September. In the US Senate race, Chafee leads former Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse (D) by a 40%-34% vote. When matched against a more liberal Dem nominee -- Secretary of State Matt Brown -- the contest is even closer. The numbers: Chafee-38%, Brown-36%. The poll also showed Brown moved ahead of Whitehouse in the Dem primary contest: Brown-31%, Whitehouse-25%. Oddly, the poll did not test the GOP primary between the centrist Chafee and conservative Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey. However -- when Laffey is the GOP nominee against either Brown or Whitehouse in general election matchups -- Laffey trails by margins of 23% and 15%, respectively.

That is interesting they didn't do a Chafee / Laffey match-up in this poll. Or maybe they did and didn't like the results. (This is Brown U. after all.) As far as Laffey trailing by those margins, I'd say part of that is name ID not having reached critical mass yet and the NRSC running ads against Laffey (stupid for them to do that in a primary situation when they might have to do an about face come Sept.)

At 2/10/2006 10:12:00 AM, Blogger too conservative said...


The poll is linked in the above post.

...Laffey will lose the general.

At 2/10/2006 01:53:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...


We have heard your prediction in the general if Laffey wins the nomination. You don't need to constantly repeat it. However, you cannot say with 100% certainty that you are right. Things happen in campaigns. We find out things about candidates. Environments of the electorate change. Who knows what will happen? I'm not saying Laffey WILL win, but I'm also saying NO ONE can GUARANTEE he will LOSE.

Now, as to primarying people. This comes down to a very simple formula. If the Republican Party in RI selects Chafee, fine. If they select Laffey, that's fine too. Don't whine about them having chosen the wrong candidate if your preference doesn't win, despite the likelihood of the win in the general. If so many people are behind Chafee, they should certainly be able to show their strength by getting him nominated. If they can't even do that, they are the ones who should be blamed for not making the party strong enough to win the Senate seat since they were obviously not powerful enough within the party to get their guy nominated.

It's not "crazy" for people to support candidates that they agree with. What is "crazy" is to assume people are going to support someone they greatly DISAGREE with even if that person has a good chance of winning the general.

If you want liberal Republican candidates, do the work within the party to get them nominated. Otherwise, get behind our candidates and work your butts off to get them in office if you want a strong Party. That means community involvement. Not whining and goping to the other side calling the candidate of YOUR party and "extremist".

I for one am a conservative first and a Republican second. I will always support the person I believe to be the best candidate who will most likely get things done that I agree with. I might even choose the candidate in a primary that agrees with me less of the time if I think that candidate will get more of the things I want done done. However at some point we have to ask ourselves, "is this candidate so far away from me that I wouldn't want him there at all?". Someone like Chafee I think is a good example of that. In cases like his, it might be better to turn power over to the Dems for a while.

In illustration, there is a good post today over at Commonwealth Conservative that talks about the risks Republicans are taking in being on the side of bigger government and more taxes under Warner and apparently Kaine. The same has been true in the US Congress recently. When people start to realize that more of their money is going down a hole that is not providing any measurable improvements, they will start to get angry and will start to change their voting based on this anger. Who will they blame if not those in power? Part of the reason I think we are seeing these losses in NOVA is not because of social issues, but more because voters are not seeing results on traffic issues and they see the Republicans in power as the problem for ignoring this. I don't even think this is an issue where people want more in taxes necessarily to solve it. They just want to see action to solve the problem and unfortunately they are not seeing it recently.

If we continue to elect people just to give us a majority, but those people constantly abandon the Party or bottle up conservative legislation that might actually improve our situation, we can expect nothing but defeat.

Our problem is not that we don't have a majority. Our problem is a lack of willingness in the GA to provide real solutions. I personally put that blame on the Good-ole boys in the Senate, but the bad reputation in the voters' minds is simply they don't see results and they therefore get mad at who's in power. We need to elect people that will work together to accomplish what the commonwealth needs. If we do that, people will support our candidates.

I personally believe conservatives can do this if given the opportunity and would be already if our "leadership" in the GA would stop playing games and get to serious business. There are lots of factors that determine good candidates, and their issue positions are only part of it. A willingness to be open to ideas and work with others is also something to consider. People like Chafee and McCain for that matter enjoy the spotlight too much for that.

At 2/10/2006 02:05:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

if you want to lose..

and not have any of your conservative principles supported..

than continue to support people who can not win.

At 2/10/2006 02:20:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

If you want to win, and believe that only moderate candidates can win, get them nominated and see if anything conservative gets accomplished...

At 2/10/2006 02:26:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...


Come on here..

I dont want to have to keep explaining myself, as you Jim and CT always distort what I say.

I dont believe only moderate candidate should be nominated.

The BEST most conservative candidates for the district should be.

Chafee is perfect for RI.

Brownback is perfect for Kansas.

this is logical sense here rtwng, your way of thought is hurting the party, and the conservative cause.

At 2/10/2006 05:46:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

I still disagree TC. I'm not saying moderates or even liberal Republicans shouldn't be nominated. However, the test of whether a candidate is strong enough should be in the party nomination process. Build your party from the grass roots in your state or region with people who are like-minded and you will nominate those that can win. If most moderates sit around and do nothing about nominating candidates, then shame on them when they don't get ones they like. Conservatives will always chose the candidate that they agree with if they believe they have a chance to win. If those in RI belive Laffey has a chance, they will nominate him. If they nominate him and are wrong, well better luck next time. There has to be some way to find the most conservative candidate that is "electable" and starting with the most liberal candidate is not the right way.

At 2/10/2006 05:56:00 PM, Anonymous Rtwng Extrmst said...

BTW, here's the link to the thread that was also referenced at Commonwealth Conservative today.


Post a Comment

<< Home