When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

10 September 2006

Strange bedfellows

How worried is the GOP about losing control of the U.S. Senate in the 2006 elections?

Witness the spectacle of the conservative-dominated National Republican Senatorial Committee marshaling their forces in support of the biggest RINO of them all, Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, in the Republican primaries.

Convinced that a "conservative" wouldn't survive a general election in Rhode Island, the Republicans are putting all their chips on the table for Chafee.
In an extraordinary pre-emptive announcement, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has said it will concede Rhode Island to the Democrats should Stephen Laffey, the mayor of Cranston, defeat Mr. Chafee in the primary. Citing poll data, Republican leaders said they saw no way someone as conservative as Mr. Laffey could win in a state as Democratic as this; as it is, they are increasingly worried about Mr. Chafee’s hopes in a general election.

The result has been the striking sight of the national Republican Party, dominated by conservatives, using resources to save the seat of a Republican who said he voted against Mr. Bush in 2004. He chose instead to write in the name of the first President Bush.

Mr. Chafee has opposed many centerpiece Republican policies, from the war in Iraq to tax cuts to most restrictions on abortion. This week, he helped force a delay on the confirmation of John R. Bolton as the United States ambassador to the United Nations.

For all that, Republicans said they expected to spend more than $1.2 million on advertisements attacking Mr. Laffey, saturating the television stations of this state, the nation’s smallest. One advertisement lifts a line Republicans have used in countless attacks against Democrats, mocking the mayor as “tax-and-spend Steve Laffey.”
To Hold Senate, G.O.P. Bolsters Its Most Liberal - New York Times

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