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View Diary: The Big Senate Picture, one week out (94 comments)

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  •  Exactly (none)
    No point for Chafee in switching if Cheney is still around to break ties, and the Rethugs only take, they don't negotiate (re Kos' power-sharing thing).

    But I think Chafee's "R for life" declarations, earlier this year, though sincere I'm sure (he's a very decent person, which distinguishes him from most congressional Rs these days), were also spoken as a little reassurance.  When the entire organization of the Senate is on the line, which means very important things like what legislation comes up, how they deal with conferences (the Senate Rs recent caves to House R extremism), and most of all judicial appointments, Chafee will have to reconsider how staying an R will be against everything he stands for.

    Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that were not so.-- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    by Steady Eddie on Wed Oct 27, 2004 at 11:01:25 AM PDT

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    •  Kerry win = Chafee stays R (none)
      Chafee hasn't said being a Republican is against everything he stands for; his beef is with Bush and the right-wing fervor in the government. Thus, knocking Bush out of office alleviates that problem to a substantial degree and increases Chafee's odds of staying Republican. (And as someone pointed out, if he was ever going to switch, he probably would've done so already.)

      If Kerry wins, the Senate Goopers will have to change tack at least a bit; there trusted rubber stamp will be gone from the White House. They will have to be at least a bit less rabidly partisan. In fact, moderates like Chafee would be a valuable commodity to both parties in that situation.

      Of course, being in the minority party means he loses out on chair positions, legislative priority and other perks. But that alone certainly isn't enough to abandon one's party, or else everyone would switch parties whenever theirs became the minority.

      So a Kerry win lessens the already slim chance of a Chafee switch, but that's a risk we'd all sure as heck take.

      •  I don't buy it. (none)
        Chaffee is loathed by many Republicans. The party will only move further to the right in backlash to Bush's loss (that's what they did in '92) and any moderacy will only be a sham, on the surface. Chaffee will still be isolated and would be a fool to stay Republican.

        The best bet would be for Kerry to pull some Republicans like McCain out of the Senate so that D governors can appoint their replacements.

      •  Don't go puttin' words in my mouf (none)
        I never said Chafee has felt that being a R IS against everything he stands for; and agree that after a Bush loss he would have a strong reason to remain an R to try to fight to reclaim a little of the soul of the party.

        What I was writing about was ENTIRELY on the subject of a 50-50 Senate split.  I really don't know what he'd do in the event of a Bush win and a 50-50 Senate split, because his inclination to do a Jeffords based on substance and the desire to reduce the damage of a Bush presidency would be tempered by the knowledge of the damage that his defection could do to RI in political/fiscal punishment by the Bush Admin.

        What I'm talking about is more a 50-50 split and a Kerry presidency, because of the strong effect that a R Senate will have in harming Kerry's ability to do many things that Chafee substantively wants done.  (Note that a lot of Clinton administration senate-confirmed appointees stayed on for long periods of time because of the policy costs when nominees were held up for extortion of pork or policy by the R Senate after 1994.) That's Chafee incentive for becoming an independent; plus the benefits to RI from a Kerry Administration if Chafee turns a split Senate Democratic.

        Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cocksure of many things that were not so.-- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

        by Steady Eddie on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 09:49:34 AM PDT

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