HAMMERNEWS- Michael Hammerschlag

Current Political Commentary by journalist Michael Hammerschlag; Thoughts on foreign policy, Republican outrages, liberal strategies, science by 8 year correspondent in Russia/Ukraine over 22 years and longtime commentator; Website: http://HAMMERNEWS.com

Friday, August 11, 2006


CHAFEE FADING in RI- Bizarre Ad Loses Support by Michael Hammerschlag

SENATOR CHAFEE's support vs expected Dem. nominee Sheldon Whitehouse has dropped to a 6 point deficit in the slow steady decline he's suffered since he had a 6 point lead in February. This means Dems are really going to take 1 or 2 houses, so this will be THE DIRTIEST ELECTION IN US HISTORY.

parentheses show earlier polls fm. RIFuture
Sheldon Whitehouse (d) - 44% (46) (42)
Lincoln Chafee (r)- 38% (41) (44)

Chafee hasn't by helped by his right wing pandering to beat extremist Mayor Steven Laffey in the Repub primary. Witness this bizarre Chafee mailing I got, "LAFFEY IS STRADDLING THE FENCE ON IMMIGRATION" excoriating Laffey for not being the real right winger because he:
"said we should recruit illegal labor at the border"
"accepted controversial (Mexican and Guatemalan ID) cards"
"visited the border to sympathize with illegal immigrants"

This is sure going to fly in RI, which has a massive immigrant pop, both new- Hmong, Liberian, Guatemalan, Cambodian; and older unabsorbed- Italian, Portuguese, French (maybe 70% immigrant total pop in last 70 years).. and always had a welcoming open arms position towards immigrants, since the Indians welcomed Roger Williams (under death sentence from fundamentalist Pilgrims). They would of course, be sorry 40 years later when they were annihilated in one of the first Indian genocides-The Great Swamp Massacre.

I can't think of a single anti-immigrant rally or position anyone has ever taken in this state. Laffey is widely considered a clown, and runs 30 points behind Whitehouse. So what explains this insane ad, sure to alienate virtually everyone, and Linc's paranoia about a marginal challenger. Simple- Sheldon has someone writing Chafee's ads.


Lamont's win is great, and the flipping of every Dem towards his side amazing, but I don't think at all it's a done deal. He only won by 4 points in a mid-summer primary, which draws a more liberal crowd, and Joltin Joe hasn't left and gone away- he can be assured of 10-15% more of the state from the 40% Republicans (most of whom are moderates), since the Repub nominee, Alan Schlesinger, is supposedly a nobody.

From Hartford Courant: "A Quinnipiac University poll released in July showed that 51 percent of likely voters would support Lieberman in a three-way race. That's compared with 27 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Schlesinger, an attorney who was formerly a lawmaker and mayor. Though having both Lieberman and Lamont on the ballot could split the Democratic vote, Schlesinger is not considered a major threat. His campaign stumbled in July after revelations that he used a fake name to gamble at a Connecticut casino and had been sued over gambling debts at two New Jersey casinos."

It's still an uphill battle for Lamont, though the Dem's pressure, and the media ridicule has to have taken a heavy toll on the Joe-mentum. We should see a wholesale flight of Dems and Repubs from Bush and all of his sick positions- including beating him down on some votes to "show their independence". It may mean the Rovian "cut and run" and "weak on Nat. Security" slanders just won't fly. This will depend on the Dem's having the courage to call the Repub liars and fools, and hammer the strategic criminality of invading Iraq.

I've long had a beef with Joe, since he came out with the stunning self-serving attack on Clinton during the pre-impeachment in July? 1998 that came a hair from causing the wholesale flight of Dems and Clinton's destruction. "I am the voice of morality", Joe intoned, as he did just after he became the Veep candidate. We helped save Clinton in an org I started a week or so after Move-On that hand delivered petition-letters-argument books to 22 Repub Senators in Jan-Feb 99. I think we swayed maybe 3 Senators into voting against conviction, (and also did one of the very first blogs).