Earlier this week, it was announced that Lincoln Chafee, the Governor of Rhode Island, would be giving up his independent status and join the Democrat party. To those of us from Rhode Island this comes as no surprise. Mr. Chafee is a scion of an old political family who should thank his lucky stars that his father came before him. Lincoln tried to follow a path that his father, John Chafee, had trod before him. He followed in shoes many sizes smaller.
Back in the day, I knew John Chafee slightly and supported his political career completely until his last campaign. John was a Republican. What in those days was called a Rockefeller Republican. While politics has always been hardball, it was a little more civilized then. There were the liberal, Rockefeller, Republicans in the northeast along with the liberal Democrats. Many of the southern democrats were conservative and the mid-westerners were mostly conservative Republicans. Back then they talked and made deals and got things done.
But then liberal Republicans became RINOs and conservative Democrats became blue dogs and lines were drawn and talking stopped. It has gotten to the point where the present administration considers the opposition party to be an enemy that must be destroyed.
But getting back to John Chafee. I first knew of him as the Governor of Rhode Island. He was a smart man and a good governor. The people liked him and re-elected him in spite of Rhode Island's Democrat heritage. He later became Secretary of the Navy and after that was elected U.S. Senator. He had a long and distinguished career and was well thought of by the electorate. Unfortunately, from my point of view, as he got older, he got more liberal. To the point where he lost my support and that of many conservatives.
Lincoln Chafee picked up where John left off on the march toward liberalism. This was not a terribly big issue when he was Mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island. He was appointed to take up his fathers position in the Senate on his fathers passing and was re-elected for one term. As time passed his liberal convictions became more apparent. In 2010 Chafee anounced a run for Governor as an independent. He supported Barack Obama, unions, and higher taxes so everyone expected that one day he would announce as a Democrat.
Now that doesn't sound like much of a big deal. But it puts one more nail in the coffin of Rhode Island as a one party state. A wholly owned part of the Democrat party. So, the abysmal business conditions won't improve. The roads are a mess. The population is aging. The cities are broke and deeply in debt to the public service unions. We could ask a neighboring state to adopt us. We're only little. But they're no better off than we are. Welcome to the world of long term liberal politics.