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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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May 2, 2013 - 2:48 pm

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) said legalizing same-sex marriage should make his home state a “hip, happening” place.

Chafee is expected to sign the bill into law this evening. The former Republican senator said on MSNBC it’s a natural step for his political career.

“Well, I always was what they used to call ‘Rockefeller Republicans’ that was very liberal on the social issues and more conservative on the financial issues — very wary of deficits and the like, but very liberal on the social issues. That was a whole genre across the country, with Mark Hatfield in Oregon, or Nancy Kassebaum in Kansas, Chuck Percy. And then in the Northeast, of course, many, many Rockefeller Republicans,” he said. “That changed over the years, but I’ve stayed the same. Now I’m an independent, but the values are the same.”

The governor said the GOP “getting away from those core values of fiscal conservatism” was why he left the party.

“The Bush and Cheney administration brought back the deficits and then focused on the social issues. It was a reversal of the old style Republican — Eisenhower, Rockefeller type of Republican — Republicanism,” he said.

Chafee said the gay marriage argument can be won with conservatives by using “studies that show a correlation between tolerance and economic prosperity, and I believe those studies.”

“Whether it’s Cambridge or Austin, Texas, or Palo Alto. Communities that have a lot of tolerance are going to prosper economically. It’s young, talented people that like that kind of atmosphere. And there is a correlation. I believe that,” he said.

“And so, I want Rhode Island to be one of those hip happening places, and tolerance is a big part of it.”

The Rhode Island House just passed the bill adding the state to nine other states and the District of Columbia where same-sex marriage is legal.

“I want to sign it as soon as they finish that vote,” Chafee said.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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It'll be fabulous!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm a native Rhode Islander born and bred and, though I haven't lived there since the early '60s, my ties remained strong until the death of my parents. I met John Chafee, Lincoln's father, as a teen-ager when I represented my school and presented a paper on anti-Semitism to the State House of Representatives where the elder Chafee was the House Leader. He was very impressive to a timid youngster, as I was at the time, and I recall that he treated me with respect and kindness. He went on to become a great Governor and Senator and we Republicans could surely use another like him right about now.. His son has coasted through life on his father's incredible record of public service and when this moron was elected Governor of Rhode Island I felt that the state had finally succumbed and slid into The Great Swamp that lies in it's middle.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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