February 11, 2006


It’s Not DiMaggio for Williams, But It’s Time for a Trade (Stuart Rothenberg, 2/6/06, Roll Call)

It’s true that I’m not, and have never been, a general manager of a Major League Baseball team. Those guys make much more money than I do, and these days you have to be under 35 to be hired for one of those jobs.

But I have a trade that is just screaming to be made, and I’d like to put it on the table right now.

I propose that the Republicans send Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee to the Democrats in return for Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson. No Members to be named later. No future draft picks exchanged. Just an old-fashioned one-for-one deal. Rocky Colavito for Harvey Kuenn.

Let’s get totally real about what’s going on here. Chafee is a Democrat, and Nelson is a Republican. They just find themselves trapped in the wrong parties. It’s like one of those “Freaky Friday” movies. [...]

Chafee voted for extending the assault weapons ban for 10 years, against a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, against criminalizing harm to a fetus in an attack on its mother, and against extending middle-class tax breaks. Nelson was on the opposite side on each vote.

Politically, the trade might well be in Chafee’s interest. His vote against Alito will be another nightmare for his political strategists and a gift for his primary opponent, Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey (R).

For Nelson, his chance to vote for Alito was a gift. While he is a clear favorite for re-election in November, his vote for confirmation is another high-profile example of his political “independence,” of his assertion that he isn’t a knee-jerk Democrat.

As the column goes on to imply, Sen. Nelson's party affiliation is his biggest weakness in a state where Democrats just aren't all that popular. Of course, it would be nice to get him without any kind of trade, but many Republicans would get some emotional satisfaction in telling Lincoln Chafee to take a hike.

Posted by Matt Murphy at February 11, 2006 1:04 AM

Rocky Colavito for Harvey Kuenn.

Nelson is the analog to Colavito, which makes the Democrats the Cleveland Indians, and subjects them to (drum roll, please) The Cures of Rocky Colavito!

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 11, 2006 8:45 AM

*Curse* of Rocky Colavito. Curse!

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 11, 2006 9:25 AM

Why would R.I. want a minority party senator? The Chaffees have served the GOP rather well.

Posted by: oj at February 11, 2006 10:56 AM

Nelson for Chaffee? Nah -- just do a swap for Ben with Chuck Hagel, who gets a pre-Valentine's Day love letter in the New York Times Magazine this Sunday. It would be like a Yanks-Mets swap, players change teams, but they can keep their homes and their families won't have to be uprooted by a move halfway across the country.

Posted by: John at February 11, 2006 11:29 AM

Lancelot Linc is one of those guys who really never should have got beyond AAA and the fans just don't understand why management keeps insisting he be on the roster, where he's gotta be blocking the development of some prospect who will help the team far more in the long run.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 11, 2006 1:53 PM


Read that list of his Senate votes again. He doesn't really belong in the GOP, even if he is named after Abraham Lincoln -- in fact, if I recall correctly, he strongly implied before the 2004 election that he wouldn't vote for Bush. He's a classic goo-goo Republican and he inherited his seat.

I'd like to keep him in the fold, but I'd drop him to get Nelson if such a deal came up.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 11, 2006 2:24 PM


Of course, this is pretty hypothetical, since politics unfortunately isn't baseball.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 11, 2006 2:29 PM