A Big Reason to Oppose Steve Laffey in Rhode Island Race


What kind of Republicans do Rhode Islanders want? Pugnacious, anti-internationalists who despise global institutions of all sorts? That sounds like Lincoln Chafee’s primary challenger in the Rhode Island Republican primary — Steve Laffey.
I’m hoping that Lincoln Chafee is disgusted enough by Bolton’s views and antics that have undermined American diplomatic objectives that he does vote firmly no when given that opportunity finally. However, I respect a thoughtful, deliberative person who — from his perch in the legislative branch — expects that his questions be answered by the executive branch.
Steve Laffey just sent out this criticism of Chafee:

Mayor Laffey Takes Chafee to Task for Vacillation on Bolton
According to the Associated Press today, Senator Chafee “pulled the plug” on John Bolton’s confirmation as UN ambassador, “saying he had more questions that needed to be answered.” Once again, Senator Chafee has demonstrated how indecisive he is on the critical issues. Whether it is his vote on Justice Alito, or his vote in the 2004 Presidential election, or his vote on Bolton, Senator Chafee clearly lacks the decision-making skills required of a US Senator.
Over the past year, John Bolton has demonstrated that he is a capable and effective representative of America’s interests in the United Nations. It is because of him that the U.S. has achieved unanimous Security Council resolutions condemning North Korea’s missile tests and ending the Israeli-Lebanese war, as well as a near-unanimous resolution setting a deadline for Iran to suspend its nuclear program. Even previous critics of Ambassador Bolton have admitted that the Ambassador has proven himself over the past year as an effective leader and defender of U.S. interests.
“All the other Senators have made up their minds on how to vote except Lincoln Chafee, who, like always, can’t figure out where he stands,” said U.S. Senate candidate and Mayor Steve Laffey. “It is outrageous that a vote had to be postponed because Senator Chafee can’t make up his mind. Rhode Island and America deserve better.”

Well, Laffey doesn’t get it — and if he wants to criticize a guy for thinking things through, asking for more material that he needs to make a decision — then I support the guy with a mind rather the one that wants to follow blindly, which is what Steve Laffey would have done in that position.
Besides — Laffey needs to be told by someone quickly that LINCOLN CHAFEE WOULD HAVE VOTED “NO” TODAY AGAINST BOLTON if Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar had not postponed the vote.
That would have been decisiveness and independence that Steve Laffey doesn’t come close to exhibiting.
— Steve Clemons


13 comments on “A Big Reason to Oppose Steve Laffey in Rhode Island Race

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  2. Pissed Off American says:

    You just start posting here and now you are going to dictate the terms to us? Its really simple, ahem. Don’t read my posts if you don’t like them. If you don’t see the overlap of issues here, that ain’t my propblem.


  3. ahem says:

    Pissed Off: please, comment on topic or get your own blog.
    I’m equally sympathetic to Steve’s desire to retain some form of moderation and basic foreign-relations competence within the Republican Party.
    But not right now. If the rump GOP in RI, aided by the Club for Growth, wants to put forward someone as clueless as Laffey, then that’s their right and privilege. It was obvious that Laffey would jump on Chafee’s concerns about Bolton, but Laffey’s campaign ends, for all intents and purposes, next week: if he wins, he goes down to defeat in November.


  4. not stupid says:

    Been from RI, I have heard a lot of complain about Laffee, but I would prefer him against Sheldon Whitehouse. Chaffee is not his father. He got the jobs after his father died in office in 2000 after announcing that he would not run again. His son was appointed and having no real records was elected for lack of competition. Now is his first re-election, and by what I have seen, I do not want him back.
    I have seen for the last 6 years the repubs passing laws that where so detriment to the middle class calling them as “doing the peoples work!” What a joke, I always feld like throwing up.
    The corruption in that party is so flagrant that all should be kick out of office.
    I believe they will all come back as lobbyists for the companies they voted for. I do not have that much believes in the Democrats, because they are all made of the same cloth, but we only have 2 choices. You have to pick the lesser evil.
    Bush stolen 2 elections. Wayne Madsen has the picture of a fraud vote card.
    They were very inventive!


  5. REALLY Pissed Off American says:

    Meanwhile, as we debate who we will vote for in a sham electoral process that has been proven irrefutably to be corrupted……
    And as we wonder if a rabid asshole masquerading as a diplomat will keep a job he never should have held in the first place…….
    And as these lying sons of bitches at ABC feed the American public a cartload of horseshit propaganda about 9/11…..
    And this Little Lord Fauntreloy prick Bush looks us in the eyes and says we have secret gulags around the world where we use “forceful interogation techniques”, but don’t worry about it, take our word for it, they’re only for terrorists……
    ‘Gaza is a jail. Nobody is allowed to leave. We are all starving now’
    By Patrick Cockburn in Gaza
    Published: 08 September 2006
    Gaza is dying. The Israeli siege of the Palestinian enclave is so tight that its people are on the edge of starvation. Here on the shores of the Mediterranean a great tragedy is taking place that is being ignored because the world’s attention has been diverted by wars in Lebanon and Iraq.
    A whole society is being destroyed. There are 1.5 million Palestinians imprisoned in the most heavily populated area in the world. Israel has stopped all trade. It has even forbidden fishermen to go far from the shore so they wade into the surf to try vainly to catch fish with hand-thrown nets.
    Many people are being killed by Israeli incursions that occur every day by land and air. A total of 262 people have been killed and 1,200 wounded, of whom 60 had arms or legs amputated, since 25 June, says Dr Juma al-Saqa, the director of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City which is fast running out of medicine. Of these, 64 were children and 26 women. This bloody conflict in Gaza has so far received only a fraction of the attention given by the international media to the war in Lebanon.
    It was on 25 June that the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was taken captive and two other soldiers were killed by Palestinian militants who used a tunnel to get out of the Gaza Strip. In the aftermath of this, writes Gideon Levy in the daily Haaretz, the Israeli army “has been rampaging through Gaza – there’s no other word to describe it – killing and demolishing, bombing and shelling, indiscriminately”. Gaza has essentially been reoccupied since Israeli troops and tanks come and go at will. In the northern district of Shajhayeh they took over several houses last week and stayed five days. By the time they withdrew, 22 Palestinians had been killed, three houses were destroyed and groves of olive, citrus and almond trees had been bulldozed.
    continues at…..


  6. gq says:

    I am sympathetic to Steve’s apparent desire to have moderate Republicans. However, I think the GOP’s coalition is made up of extremists elements on most issues: neocons, Grover Norquist anti-government privatize everything types, religious fundamentalists, Buchanan racist types, etc.
    The only way for the GOP to be a viable party again is for the current coalition to be dismantled so that more pragmatic, grown-up conservatives can have a shot. At this point, there are so few “moderate” Republicans that, at best, they only act as enablers for the extremists. I wish moderates had any power within the GOP, but that seems like a fantasy.


  7. Gregor Samsa says:

    I really wish that this was a matter of principle for Chafee. Instead I think that the committee is trying to giving him political cover during the primary. That is Laffey can’t nail him on the Bolton vote if it’s postponed until after the primary. After the primary Chafee needs to move way left to be more in line with RI voters so he votes against Bolton. A truly principled individual would vote how he believes and wouldn’t try to hide his beliefs from the primary voters. I agree with the others that Chafee’s voting record leaves MUCH to be desired. Laffey would be a cakewalk for Whitehorse, and a reliable vote for progress, safety and freedom. Chafee has shown none of those traits.


  8. kim says:

    I want Laffey to win the primary because if he does, the Dem candidate Whitehouse will beat Laffey. With Laffey as the Repub candidate, it will not even be close.
    Sorry, but the only thing that matters to me is increasing the Dem numbers in the Senate.


  9. grytpype says:

    Here’s hoping Laffey wins the primary and loses the general.


  10. bakho says:

    The criticism from the GOP right, is that Chaffee is not enough of a yes man. The criticism is for not voting yes today instead of demanding more info. This is GOP harball tactics. Don’t vote their way, face a primary challenge or lose a committee chairmanship. This is not about issues. It is raw power politics.


  11. Marky says:

    Let me put this another way, Steve,
    You seem to really admire Republicans with the guts to stand up to Bush. However, even the most vocal Republican critics like Hagel and Chaffee vote like aged geldlings most of the time.
    The value of a “principled Republican” is vastly overstated, IMO. Replace every one of those enablers by a mediocre Democrat and you’ll have a solid bloc to fight Bush. On the other hand, replace 6 Democrats by Hagel or Chaffee clones, and the jackboots will hit the streets before the end of 2007.


  12. marky says:

    You’re inconsistent, Steve.
    Recently, you were saying that the racist George Felix Allen should be the GOP presidential candidate in 2008. Why are you going to bat for Chaffee, who is almost as worthless as Hagel, when a Laffey victory will ensure that the seat goes to a Democrat? Do you not agree that the single most effective check to Bush’s powers would be a Democratic majority Congress—both houses? Or would you rather see split control?


  13. jonst says:

    I hate this guy Laffey. And think he is stone cold phony who bulldozes over people who let him get away with it. But I say this from the bottom of my shoes… Lincoln Chafee can go to hell. At times like weak people like are the last people the nation needs.


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