Brian Chidester and Shaun Joseph assess progressive strategy in Rhode Island.
As summer slouches into fall in these United States, most of the nation is wondering whether, come November, it will be thrown under the control of claque of racist wackadoos. Excitement! And indeed, the kind of organic excitement that you can’t get at the movies, because it can’t be reproduced in explosions or even IMAX 3D.
Still, as mentally stimulating as the prospect of Tea Party America is, it is at the same time the cause of some anxiety. From this angle, the politics of Rhode Island must seem like a refreshing oasis; its GOP is vile, no doubt, but also so superlatively disorganized that it is sure to capture not a single statewide office, and a mere handful of seats in the General Assembly. (You may need more than two hands to count them, but certainly not all your digits. Male readers can keep their shoes on in any event.) Sunk well in the deep blue “D,” Rhode Island is thus delivered in advance from the depredations of teabag rule—right?