The Chafee Indictment of Our Political System


Given the title ,”Why Chafee for President actually makes sense,” I wanted to be able to lay into Ted Nesi’s essay, but I really can’t.  It’s smart and well reasoned.  But for all that, it’s a discouraging statement on the state of our political system.

Here’s a guy who had no real success as a U.S. Senator and was arguably a disaster as governor.  His go-to talking point is that unemployment dropped during his term as governor, but that’s only the case because people’s hopelessness drove them out of the workforce.  By all appearances, he opted not to run for a second term because he realized he had no chance whatsoever and might very well be heavily chastened by the vote totals.

As Ted suggests, though, he’s rich; he’s got an outsized ego; this will get him some attention; and he’s got nothing else to do, right now.  Here’s the depressing part:

During his time as governor, Chafee’s aides would marvel at the warm response he’d receive when he traveled out of state, a marked contrast with his 30%ish approval ratings at home. Many Democrats still appreciate his votes as a GOP senator against the Iraq war and the Bush tax cuts, as well as his repeated argument that the Republican Party is no longer open to pro-environment, pro-choice, dovish moderates like himself. Most Iowa and New Hampshire primary voters have never heard of 38 Studios – and Chafee has no reason to tell them about it. (Although, Chafee being Chafee, he probably will anyway.) His authenticity and quirkiness could play well in the retail politics atmosphere of those early states, particularly with Clinton skeptics searching for an alternative.

Political statements are fine… valuable, even.  If subgroups of the major parties can have an effect on important races, then that’s a positive feature of our political system.  But going with Chafee would be worse than going with somebody who is either completely unknown or who has name recognition, but hasn’t really done anything.  He’s demonstrably not a competent executive or a good leader of large, diverse populations.

The statement isn’t even, “Hey, let’s give this guy a shot.”  It’s more like, “What’s governing have to do with elections?”

  • Max

    If nothing else, this could get interesting. Behind that Gump demeanor
    is a viciously vindictive small man. He may just be encouraged by those
    that want to push Hilary further left as well as those that want to
    portray Hilary as not as bad as the hardline lefties. The prior will
    want her to agree with some of his principals while the latter will hold
    him up as the lunatic he is.

  • brassband

    Is there anyone who actually believes that Lincoln Chafee would be even marginally competent as President of the United States? I’d like to know who they are.

    • Max

      At best he’s a tool but we already knew that.

    • William B. Palazzo

      He has got to be vastly better than the current POTUS. The question to be asked is who is Dumber?

    • Tommy Cranston

      Is he any more of a delusional, deranged, polemical leftist piece of s*** than the Unholy Trio (Nobama, Pelosi, Reid) that ruled this country from 2009-2011?
      He’s actually a better match than the kleptocratic, corporate whore Clintons with the activist base that votes in Democrat caucuses and primaries.

  • William B. Palazzo

    Does he really mean that the Lemmings in the State House aren’t doing a good job? I’m shocked, absolutley shocked.

  • guest

    Is the truth that much of a threat to you, Justin? Why all the deleting?

    • Justin Katz

      No deleting is happening. You got caught in spam. Your comments aren’t worth taking seriously enough to actively delete them.

  • Justin Katz

    There is no censoring. As an anonymous commenter who’s probably hiding his/her IP address, you got caught in the spam filter. Don’t blame me. Blame your own desire not to take ownership of your own statements.

  • Mike678

    Yes Justin–you must be honest while I don’t have to be. The hypocrisy of the uninformed is breathtaking.

  • Max

    I’m not sure why you think the 38 Studios blunder vindicates the incompetent Chafee but your probably still blaming Bush for everything after six years of the legacy chasing Obama.