The Democrats’ hopes of retaking the Senate in November may well hinge on what happens in today’s Senate primary in Rhode Island.
Green Republican Linc Chafee — who has been all that stood between George W. Bush and much of his most atrocious evironmental legislation, and who was the Senator who last week scuttled the re-nomination of John Bolton to his temporary post at the U.N. — is in the fight of his life against movement conservative Steve Laffey.
And here’s the difference between today’s modern GOP and the Netroots Revolution Democrats. Republican leaders have taken the most unusual step of declaring they won’t invest a dime in Laffey’s campaign if he wins the primary. Although Chafee is clearly a Republican In Name Only and routinely undermines the GOP’s national agenda, they’d rather have this RINO to caucus with than support an true believer who is destined to lose the seat to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.
Compare this to the Quixotic and largely self-destructive Netroots quest to oust Joe Lieberman, a campaign which now seems very much at risk of having pushed old DINO Joe into the arms of his Republican backers.
One party is pursuing power. The other is pursuing purity. It pains me to say it, but: Power trumps purity every time.