November 1, 2004

"REPUBLICANS" (via Danny Postel):

Even Republicans Fear Bush (The Nation, 10/31/2004)

The most divisive election campaign in recent American history has not merely split the nation along party lines, it has split the Grand Old Party itself. Unfortunately, most Americans are wholly unaware of the
loud dissents against Bush that have begun to be heard in Republican
circles. [...]

Scant attention was paid to the revelation that one Republican member of the US Senate, Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee, will refrain from voting for his party's president... [...]

Angered by the Bush administration's mismanagement of the war in Iraq,
record deficits, assaults on the environment and secrecy, the renegade
partisans tend to echo the words of former Minnesota Governor Elmer
Andersen, who says that, "Although I am a longtime Republican, it is
time to make a statement, and it is this: Vote for Kerry-Edwards, I
implore you, on November 2." [...]

"My Republican Party is the party of Theodore Roosevelt, who fought to
preserve our natural resources and environment. This president has
pursued policies that will cause irreparable damage to our environmental
laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the public
lands we share with future generations."
-- Former Michigan Governor William Milliken, from a statement published
in the Traverse City Record Eagle, October 17, 2004.

Senator Chafee's father was a liberal Republican too, but a party loyalist. The son should really just be a Democrat. The two governors they dug up are more amusing cases, both because no one remembers tham and because if anyone did they'd wonder why it's worth mentioning they oppose George W. Bush, Pseudo-Republicans for Kerry (John Gizzi, Oct 27, 2004, Human Events)
Asked if he was surprised Milliken was backing Kerry, veteran Michigan Republican campaign consultant Dan Pero responded, "About as surprised to find out the sun's coming up in the East and setting in the West. Milliken's Republican Party isn't the Republican Party of everyone else here. His is "Democrat Lite." Pero recalled how Milliken has long disagreed with conservatives on cultural issues and that in the 1970s and '80s he was a vocal supporter of abortion while the leading pro-life voice in Lansing was that of Democratic House Speaker William A. Ryan.

"But Milliken has never been a team player for Republicans," Pero said, recalling how he couldn't get the former governor to sign letters for GOP legislative candidates. Pero added that Milliken's support of Kerry "is not unexpected, when one considers his lack of support for Republicans here." Indeed, he noted, Milliken never supported 1982 GOP nominee Dick Headlee, Republican Gov. (1990-2002) John Engler, or '02 nominee Dick Posthumus, who narrowly lost the statehouse to Democrat Jennifer Granholm. In all of the gubernatorial campaigns since '82, the former governor's wife Helen supported the Democratic candidate, Pero noted.

Minnesota's Andersen became an overnight political star in 1960, when he unseated Democratic Gov. (1954-60) Orville Freeman, who had placed John F. Kennedy's name in nomination for President at the Democratic convention that year. In 1962, however, Andersen was turned out of office by Democrat Karl Rolvaag by a 91-vote margin. His assistant Ani Sorenson, who told me the former governor "was having a busy day" and couldn't come to the phone. However, she pointed out that his support of Democrats was nothing new, and that he had even contributed to a number of Democratic candidates in recent years. Which Democrats? "['02 gubernatorial nominee] Roger Moe, [the late, far-left Sen.] Paul Wellstone, and [present Sen.] Mark Dayton. Gov. Andersen contributed to all of them," she said.

These then are the latest "Republicans for Kerry."

Of course guys who opposed Reagan oppose his son.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2004 8:40 PM

Got a flyer today covered with pictures of Dwight Eisenhower, citing Col. John Eisenhower as a Kerry supporter. Think I ought to send it to Caroline Kennedy.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 1, 2004 9:01 PM

The me-too Republicans have been rather confused lately, now that their masters in the Democratic party are no longer calling the shots in Congress.

Posted by: Jason Johnson at November 1, 2004 9:13 PM

The best they can do is find one elected figure who is not going to vote for Bush (which is NOT the same thing as supporting Kerry)? I can think of at least 4 currently serving Dems who have openly stated their support for Bush, and retired Dems who people have actually heard of, as opposed to the non-entities quoted here...

Posted by: brian at November 1, 2004 9:23 PM

So Chaffee's not voting for W, quelle surprise.

Where's his tag-team partner, Snowe?

Posted by: Sandy P at November 1, 2004 9:47 PM

Lincoln Chafee is what happens when upper-class WASPs engage in too much in-breeding.

Posted by: Bart at November 1, 2004 10:01 PM

I met his dad John Chafee once, at a 4th of July fireworks show in Roger Williams park. He put his family's blanket down next to ours. When John was turned out of the Governor's office in 68 or 70, he was named Secretary of the Navy by Richard Nixon. Unfortunately, as RI didn't vote for Nixon, he moved the naval units based in Newport down to a base in the south. They had built the Newport bridge high enough for aircraft carriers to pass underneath, but the ships were moved before the bridge was completed.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at November 1, 2004 10:36 PM