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Monday, February 06, 2006
NRO: Let's Give The Democrats One to Start

I realize I'm in the minority among Republicans on this issue, but tossing Lincoln Chafee overboard is not going to help the Republicans retain control of the Senate.

The argument that conservatives should support Chafee rests entirely on the assumption that he's the only Republican who can win in Rhode Island. This logic may be what has led the National Republican Senatorial Committee to continue throwing resources behind him. The assumption may or may not be true, but, whatever the case, it is far from clear that the GOP — to say nothing of conservatives — gains anything from Chafee's continued presence in the Senate.

But earlier in discussing Chafee's voting record:

It would be unreasonable to expect Chafee to earn a 100-percent rating from the American Conservative Union. Yet his lifetime score of 41 percent is pathetic. No Republican senator, including Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, ranks lower.

Let's flesh that out a little. There is no denying that 41 is a low score. Sounds pretty pathetic until you start looking where Democrats in the area rank. Jack Reed, the other senator from Rhode Island rates an 8; in other words, he votes the right way fewer than 2 times out of 20. So that's 6 fewer votes than Chafee. Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer rate a 9 and a 6 respectively. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry get a 3 and a 5. Joe Lieberman, who many Democrats apparently feel is in the wrong party? He's a 17.

You know how it is. If Chafee gets beat in the primaries by challenger Steven Laffey who goes on to win in the general election, I'll be happy. But if Laffey loses a close race that Chafee could have won, then the Republicans will have shot themselves in the foot. They will have lost the extra 6-7 votes that Chafee's rating represents.
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