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Democrats: Lincoln Chafee deserves a free pass

craigfarmer

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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm...e=3&u=/ap/20050326/ap_on_el_se/kennedy_senate

We all know that desperate times demand desperate measures, and for Democrats the immediate future potential of capturing power in Washington D.C. certainly qualifies. Yet, the true visionaries among us will implore that we always retain a long-term view and agenda. In that light, the Democratic Party needs to relinquish any desire to defeat Republican Lincoln Chafee of R.I. in the 2006 election season. As a party, we should not support any major opposition because ultimately it would be counterproductive.

First, what would the issues be? On every major issue facing this country, and Rhode Island in particular, Senator Chafee votes the same way a Democrat would. Not only that, he votes as a left-wing Democrat would on the very important issues. He's not even a reliable procedural vote for the Republicans when it matters. He is their Zell Miller, albeit with a smile and nice deameanor.

He refused to vote for the President's re-election. Everyone knows if the Senate was truly 50-50, he'd switch to independent and caucus with the Democrats.

We should be loyal to someone, who has been loyal to us.

Where the Senators from Maine, often talk moderate and liberal on many issues; A quick check of the Roll Call often shows they are very often voting to support their party's position when it really matters.

Lincoln Chafee has supported Democratic positions when he could have easily went along to get along with the Republican majority.

We as Democrats should encourage a liberal wing of the Republican Party. Just as we should encourage a right-wing in our own party. At the end of the day, its' about who controls the agenda, and which coalition has the votes to win.

The best and most forthright way of doing that is to not challenge members of the other party who are doing a great job.

President George Bush had this same decision in 2002. There were many Democrats who worked with him on key issues, yet he used his power to defeat them. Republicans, I'm sure were delighted: They won policy battles with these democrats' support, and still banished them in the next election cycle. Worse, many of the races were bitter, and the voting records were distorted to make moderate Democrats appear as extreme left-wingers.

The end result is that President Bush has alienated a potential swing vote in the Democratic fold, and lost the ability to govern on many issues.

As Democrats plot a path back to power, it is important we remember who our friends are.

Lincoln Chafee deserves re-election. With our help.

Craig Farmer

making the word "liberal" safe again!
 

ShamMol

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You speak some truth there, but I think the Democrats feel the need to pick up all the seats possible, so there could be that little factor there...
 

RightinNYC

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I agree - people from both sides get too hung up in their attempts to make every member of their party as far to their left or right as they can.

Senators like McCain, Specter, or Lieberman are often the most effective and important.

Moderates are always necessary, if only to keep the transition of power every 4 (or 8) years from being too drastic.
 

ShamMol

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RightatNYU said:
I agree - people from both sides get too hung up in their attempts to make every member of their party as far to their left or right as they can.

Senators like McCain, Specter, or Lieberman are often the most effective and important.

Moderates are always necessary, if only to keep the transition of power every 4 (or 8) years from being too drastic.
Unforntutely Lieberman really isn't a good example of someone who is even a member of his party...he never, and I mean, never votes with the Democrats when it matters...
 

RightinNYC

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ShamMol said:
Unforntutely Lieberman really isn't a good example of someone who is even a member of his party...he never, and I mean, never votes with the Democrats when it matters...
And neither does Specter really, but they're both good politicians. If you want to vote for another Democrat to beat him in a primary, fine. I just hear a lot of talk from the left about how the right is becoming increasingly right-wing and stifling moderates, and then I see things like this happening to people like Lieberman.
 

ShamMol

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RightatNYU said:
And neither does Specter really, but they're both good politicians. If you want to vote for another Democrat to beat him in a primary, fine. I just hear a lot of talk from the left about how the right is becoming increasingly right-wing and stifling moderates, and then I see things like this happening to people like Lieberman.
specter and lieberman are examples of people who have strayed from their parties, true, but specter has been reigned in.

Everyone is becoming more right-wing to get elected by the social conservatives dammit...which sucks for america to be honest. there will be no balance if that happens..
 

RightinNYC

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So you're saying that politicians are shifting toward the right wing so that they can more accurately reflect the will of their constituents? And that's a bad thing?

Maybe instead of balance being removed, a previous imbalance is being rectified...
 

ShamMol

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RightatNYU said:
So you're saying that politicians are shifting toward the right wing so that they can more accurately reflect the will of their constituents? And that's a bad thing?

Maybe instead of balance being removed, a previous imbalance is being rectified...
nope, not what i was saying at all. i am saying that they think that is their base and they are moving that way. if they were accurately reflecting the population (well, in the south and midwest its fine...) then i would have no problem with it.

there used to be a balance that has just errodded since 2001
 

RightinNYC

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ShamMol said:
nope, not what i was saying at all. i am saying that they think that is their base and they are moving that way. if they were accurately reflecting the population (well, in the south and midwest its fine...) then i would have no problem with it.

there used to be a balance that has just errodded since 2001
How can you say that they're not moving to reflect their constituents? Why would these politicians move away from their base? There is no evidence to support this theroy.

Maybe the country has grown slightly more conservative, and the "shift" of Congress, if you can call it that, is a reflection of that.
 

ShamMol

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RightatNYU said:
How can you say that they're not moving to reflect their constituents? Why would these politicians move away from their base? There is no evidence to support this theroy.

Maybe the country has grown slightly more conservative, and the "shift" of Congress, if you can call it that, is a reflection of that.
there is no evidence to support your theory as well
 

RightinNYC

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ShamMol said:
there is no evidence to support your theory as well
Yes, there is.

My assertation is that politicians are shifting to the right in order to reflect the shift in their constituency.

Evidence for this?

How about the last election?

The poster boy for the new right was re-elected, and Republicans in the House and Senate continued their 10 year gains, solidifying a hold on both houses.

Aside from all that, there was a massive shift in party identification.

For the first time ever, as many people identified themselves as Republicans as Democrats, 37% to 37%. Not under Eisenhower, Nixon, or Reagan, did that ever happen.

These facts, among others, would imply to me that there was a shift in the general populous.
 
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