Chafee is a disgrace. In February 2002, I was invited to give some remarks at the North Kingstown Republican Town Committee’s Annual Lincoln Day Dinner. This is a big event each year and all of the Rhode Island Republicans are there. The title of my speech that night was “Abraham Lincoln, the American Founding, and the Principles of the Republican Party,” which I think at some point was published on NRO. In any event, Chafee was there and sitting at a table right in front of the podium. When I reached the penultimate paragraph of my speech, I looked right at him and said:
“As the country music philosopher, Aaron Tippin, said in a song a few years back, “you’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.” Republicans have traditionally stood for limited government to protect equal rights. If the Party of Lincoln ever abandons its fealty to the principles of the Declaration, it will become little more than a pale imitation of the redistributionist Democratic Party. And Republicans can never hope to match the Democrats in offering a government solution for every problem, real or imagined.”
Chafee’s face turned absolutely scarlet. I heard from a party guy later that evening that Chafee was livid. I was elated.
Shortly after 9/11, I was talking to a friend of mine who is a TV reporter. He is a great guy but his politics are conventionally liberal. He was disgusted with Chafee because when he asked for Chafee’s response to the attacks, our senator wouldn’t give him an answer. Apparently, he needed to see what others thought first. Even liberals are disgusted by Chafee’s lack of backbone.
I voted for him in 2000. I will never pull the lever for him again. As a Southerner, I come from a long line of “Yellow-Dog Democrats” and in keeping with this legacy, I will vote for a yellow dog before I will vote for this spineless disgrace.