The RI Republican Party has sunk to a very low point. Its single contender to be the next governor, Rory Smith, has abruptly withdrawn his candidacy; the party can't even come to an agreement on its position plank; and now Lincoln Chafee castigates his former party as being the victim of the national party's drift to the hard right. "The wolves are at the door,' says Linc.

I've always thought that the RI GOP stood apart from the divisive social issues focus that characterizes the national party. RI Republican candidates and officeholders (such as they have been) haven't made waves locally by banging the drum on issues like abortion and more recently gay rights. The RI GOP has a tradition of moderation reflected by the likes John and Lincoln Chafee, Claudine Schneider, Lincoln Almond and Scott Avedesian. Governor Carcieri on the other hand has embraced the national party's signature issues (add immigration to abortion and gay rights with him).

Having the RI GOP in such disarray is not good for our state. As Lincoln Chafee suggested, it's place is being taken by the new moderate Party. In the near-term, a moribund RI GOP only makes the Demcratic hold on power here in RI that much more unbreakable, which is a disaster for us.

Where is Steven Laffey in all this? Socially conservative himself but not a wing-nut over it, he at least has the experience and the strong conviction to be a party standbearer. But having lost the Republican primary against Chafee, he's on the sidelines. It seems to me that the RI GOP and Mr. Laffey need to start talking again.

What's your take on this RI Republican mess.


  1. I agree with you. It's very difficult to be a Republican these days when the National GOP has gotten so far away from it's roots. I am embarrassed to be part of a party that cavorts with the likes of Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and God forbid, Joe the Plumber (who's not really a plumber!). There seems to be no leaderdship on the national or state level. What to do?

  2. Does anyone listen to Chaffee??

  3. When you listen to Lincoln Chafee's woe-is-me tale about how "they drove me out of the party", it's a big lie. Chafee acted like a fat whore by taking money from the national GOP, allowing the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee to spend a couple of million bucks on his campaign, then he goes and leaves the party. The thought that "they drove him out" is mere hallucination on his part.

  4. The state has a lot of issues, but the financial issues (budgets, taxes, expenses, lack of adequate revenue, unemployment, etc) override all the other problems we have. We need a strong financial leader like Laffey to lead us in a new direction. I would love to see him be the Moderate Party leader because they want to bring in a new slate of legislators who will support the new governor. Other than Steve, John Hazen White would be an equally qualified and effective Governor.


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