A Liberal Marines Progressive Perspective

Marines are defenders of the republic and the Constitution. That is our oath, that is our purpose, that is our calling. Many are Democrats. This is the journal of one such Marine. This leatherneck's progressive perspective is as follows...

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U.S. Marine,0300 MOS,eight years in,honorably discharged,college-educated. To all the damned trolls, you better believe there are liberal Marines. Read "War Is A Racket" by 2-time Medal of Honor recipient Maj.Gen.S.D.Butler, plus Lewis B. Puller, Jr.'s "Fortunate Son" and maybe then you'll understand. Semper Fi!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Passing the Baton Forward: Patrick Kennedy, Lincoln Chafee and the 2006 Battle in Rhode IslandPosted by Hello
Morning everyone. Based on the reporting of reliable news sources, I have to say it is looking more and more like there will, in fact, be a real showdown in the "Ocean State" of Rhode Island for the 2006 Senate seat. This is a Republican held seat that is known, within Democratic and GOP circles alike, to be an "extremely vulnerable" and "up for grabs" spot. In short, the Rhode Island race is shaping up to be a real "barn burner": a political "battle royale" between Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI/1st District, http://www.patrickkennedy.house.gov/), who is the son of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA, http://kennedy.senate.gov/ ) a/k/a patriarch and icon of the Democratic Party, and GOP Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI, http://chafee.senate.gov/), son of the late John Chafee, the former Marine and long-time senator from Rhode Island. For more information on the subject, the link is as follows http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/03/28/kennedy.chafee.ap/. Actually, I broached this very subject on the 17 February 2005 blog posting, in terms of the prospects were looking good (at the time) for Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI/2nd District, http://www.house.gov/langevin/) if he wanted to take on and challenge Lincoln Chafee for the Senate seat in question. However, Congressman Langevin (in another example of the sterling character attributes he possesses: heroism, selflessness and devotion to duty. Character attributes that make Democrats proud to call Jim Langevin a fellow progressive, and Americans as a whole proud to know that people of his character are serving in public service) stepped aside sometime last week and cleared the way for Patrick Kennedy (his colleague and Congressional brother-in-arms) to carry the Democratic banner into battle against Lincoln Chafee...if Kennedy so desires (http://www.turnto10.com/politics/4308825/detail.html). Now, of course, Kennedy has not (at present) so stated that he will run for the seat in 2006 (albeit, all conventional wisdom and just good ol' common sense says he's chomping at the bit to get into this contest). If Kennedy does decide to run against Chafee (and he will: the internal, external and historical forces are far too strong for him to resist), Rhode Island will be host to a clash of political powerhouses unprecedented in the history of that state's political evolutions. Two powerful clans, "the House of Kennedy" and "the House of Chafee", will go head-to-head in a political struggle that can only be categorized as a "clash of dynasties". Succinctly, this will be a political contest that will most certainly bring the house down. Rhode Island will more than likely become the focus of the country, as another Kennedy once again takes on the mantle of an even heavier burden of public service and attempts to press forward into a greater arena (this time, out of the House of Representatives and into the Senate). Of course, the voters of Rhode Island won't actually choose between the two candidates until 2006, but now is the time for strategic and logistical maneuvering. Lincoln Chafee is (without a doubt) vulnerable and the latest polls and political intelligence bear this fact out (http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/print.php?article=LJS2004110901). Chafee's chief negative, more than anything else, is that he is (quite simply) a Republican in a VERY Democratic state, or in other words, he's "red" in a "blue to the bone" kind of state. If only to be challenged by a "fair-to-middlin' Democrat", Chafee would still have a tough time in terms of trying to hold on to the seat. But, to be taken on by a dyed-in-the-wool, "blue to the bone" Democrat, like Patrick Kennedy (or, for that matter, any member of the Kennedy clan, with the possible exception of Maria Shriver...I'm still getting over the Schwarznegger as California governor thing)... well, let's just say Chafee will have a real run for his money and have to endure a monumental struggle and put forth a maximum effort if he wants to keep his job. In fact, my advice to the moderate Republican Lincoln Chafee would be to SERIOUSLY (and I mean seriously) consider "switching sides" like his fellow New Englander, Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT, http://jeffords.senate.gov/) did in the early summer of 2001, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jeffords. Such a move, although cynical as all get out, would more than likely secure Chafee's position and (although not making him impervious to defeat) would certainly make the Democratic effort of "de-throning" him all the more difficult, even if a "Kennedy" is the standard-bearer. However, I doubt Chafee would do such a thing, although it is surely not outside the realm of possibility. Regardless of whatever Chafee decides to do or not do (in terms of staying with the GOP or bolting from it), it is shaping up to be a win-win situation for the Democratic Party...either way, this is a strong opportunity (a VERY STRONG opportunity) for Democrats to pick up another Senate seat. Of course, from the national perspective, EVERY election counts in the Democratic cause to regain policy control. There are also reports that Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY, http://schumer.senate.gov/ ; probably the best head of the DSCC/Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee we've ever had) has already spoken with Kennedy about throwing his proverbial "hat in the ring" and becoming the aquilifer for the Democrats in Rhode Island come 2006. It has also been reported that Kennedy is putting together a poll or polls (as would be expected) to gauge the kind of support he would get across the state (tepid/luke-warm support equals "no go", whereas boiling hot support equals "damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead"...I believe Patrick Kennedy will find that his statewide support numbers will fall in the latter category moreso than the former). If his poll numbers look reasonably healthy (and they more than likely will), then expect Patrick Kennedy to not only "throw his hat in the ring", but also go on to victory over Lincoln Chafee in 2006; thus, placing another victory in the "win column" for the Democratic Party and (more importantly) placing another Democrat in the United States Senate. Either way, I can't wait to hear Patrick Kennedy declare that he is, in fact, running for Rhode Island's U.S. Senate seat. I believe his entrance into that race will help to invigorate and rejuvenate a party (both at the state and national levels) that still longs and misses those members of his family that were great heroic figures, heroic figures that were taken from us far too soon. Semper Fidelis


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