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Lincoln Chafee: Awful Bad, Awful Sad

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

For the first time in national history, a Rhode Island native son is running for President: Lincoln Chafee. “Stumbling” is more accurate, since shortly after declaring an exploratory committee, he fumbled into making himself a full-fledged candidate, and all the campaign finance hoopla which accompanies it. A one-term Republican US Senator, then one-term Independent Governor, Chafee entered the 2016 Presidential Election as a Democrat. Confused? Cable news program Common Sense openly derided his ambitions: “Are you kidding me?” MSNBC took his campaign seriously enough, asked him serious questions, and Chafee already looked like a deer in headlights. Joining the repeal of Glass-Steagall then, and the Housing Crisis that followed, Chafee now admits that he voted for something he didn’t read.


Washington Post columnist George Will gave him a back-handed boost (he had summarily diminished the Independent In Name Only Bernie Sanders). As the most left-leaning of Republican US Senators, Chafee voted against the Iraq War and a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag burning. Incidentally, he voted against George W. Bush more than Senator Hillary Clinton, before losing to “greenhouse guru” Rhode Island attorney general Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006.

Today, Chafee rightly calls Clinton “a war hawk” and holds her responsible for the chaotic cauldron of multiple Islamic extremist movements which threaten Israel and the Middle East. Then again, his dubious dalliances with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and his appeasements efforts with for with deceased Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, will also invite penetrating and embarrassing questions. His simplistic idealism, and his plainspoken honesty (read, naivety) would merit approval if not for his fatuous praise of President Obama and his moribund, myopic foreign policy. Chafee suggested: “Make more friends and fewer enemies.” Not much better than “Don’t do stupid stuff!” or “What difference does it make?” Chafee’s domestic policy will be more of Obama drama, plus the adoption of the metric system. With one foot (or meter) in his mouth, Chafee advocated to bring Edward Snowden home without punishment.

Rhode Islanders have likened the former governor to an empty-headed deer in headlights. Others have mocked him as “Governor Gump.” Too bad he cannot compare to Ocean state Founder Roger Williams, who bucked the impure Pharisaical Puritans, then established a colony based on religious toleration. Chafee embraced a secular, progressive agenda. The capital city, Providence, has the morally bankrupt distinction of “least Biblically literate”, plus the fiscal bankruptcy soon to hit. He even christened May First “Reason Day”. His reason? To placate atheists. He made war on Christmas by renaming the state Christmas tree a holiday tree, then attempted to justify this decision on Bill O’Reilly’s No Spin Zone. Roger Williams paid the native inhabitants for their land, Chafee has transformed Rhode Island into a Sanctuary State, not for religious and political dissidents, but illegal aliens, welfare recipients, and public sector unions.


Rhode Island was the first colony to break away from the British Crown, the last to adopt the US Constitution, and site for the American Industrial Revolution. Under Chafee, Rhode Island has turned into a launch pad subsidiary for federal take-over, government overreach, and unconstitutional governance. Industry and manpower are fleeing, too.

I have mentioned Rhode Island’s unique history. Littly Rhody has interesting cuisine, too. From pizza strips and Johnny cakes, to Del’s Lemonade and clam bakes. The more I read, the more I want to visit. In sharp contrast, the more one reads Chafee’s record (if once can call it that), the less one would want him to pursue Presidential aspirations.

One Rhode Island delicacy best symbolizes Chafee’s bad bid: The Awful-Awful.

SoRhodeIsland describes this sweet treat:

Not quite a milkshake, definitely not a frappe, this creamy creation has delighted Rhode Island kids and adults for decades. When Newport Creamery opened its initial location in Middletown in 1940, they used this name for their drinkable ice cream treat, but it wasn’t until the ‘70s that they officially owned the “Awful Awful” brand. Whatever your flavor preference (vanilla, chocolate, coffee, mocha, strawberry, chocolate mint, cookies and cream), it’s going to be “awful big, awful good.”

Chafee’s lamentably liberal views belong in the 1970s, along with the economic and foreign policy malaise of Jimmy Carter. Like a different flavor of the month, from his Republican US Senate days, to his liberal Independent status as governor, then his Presidential aspirations as a Democrat, Chafee is not quite a milkshake or a frappe. Nothing solid or certain, tasty to left-wing progressives, Chafee is the light and airy after meal treat, but will not feed the American need for real leadership looking to right a ship sinking under heavy regulations, economic job growth, and diminished prestige on the global stage. He can’t even raise money, and has been polling so low in Democratic Presidential polling, he could sit in a room with his family, and ask: “Who’s against me?”


To sum up Chafee’s Presidential bid and election chances: “Awful bad; awful sad.”

For this California Conservative writing on Rhode Island and national politics, I am awful glad. Chafee’s campaign (along with the rest of the slapstick Democratic bench) is a not-so-guilty pleasure, allowing conservatives to expose to a still unaware nation how extreme, and extremely disturbing yet unserious, the Democratic Party has become.


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