The Narcissism Of Small Differences

by James Kirchick | May 28, 2008

A few days ago in the book store, I perused a copy of former Rhode Island Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee's new book, Against the Tide, and read this on the inside front jacket:

A political iconoclast, Chafee was the only Republican senator to have expressed support for same-sex marriage; the only Republican to vote in favor of reinstating the top federal tax rate on upper-income payers; the only Republican in the Senate to have voted against authorization of the use of force in Iraq; the only Republican to vote for the Levin-Reed amendment calling for a nonbinding timetable for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq; and the only Republican to vote against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Chafee favored increased federal funding for health care, supported affirmative action and gun control, supported women’s reproductive rights, and endorsed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

In other words, Chafee held the position of a liberal Democrat on a smattering of the most significant public policy issues. The fact that he was the last person to realize he didn't "fit" with the GOP betrays an astonishing lack of self-awareness. 

--James Kirchick 

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