A choice not an Echo (updated and expanded 50th anniversary edition) with forward by Ron Paul by Phyllis Schlafly (original edition 1964, this edition 2014)
This woman proves the point that a single person can change the world. Alas, the implication is generally that the world can be changed for the better. Not so with Phyllis Schlafly who fucked a generation and more of women while living a life she wanted to denied the rest of us. And her big bogeymen, mixed sex bathrooms and women in combat and subject to the draft arrived anyway! Meanwhile we are still underpaid, undervalued, and fighting for personal autonomy and against forced birth. And she’s still alive (91), dammit. And still self-righteous. And still an evil horrible human being. But that doesn’t maker her wrong about everything. And I was shocked and a little horrified that this book contains many facts that everyone should know, although perhaps interpret them somewhat differently.
Yet it is funny because, unlike the deep and resounding hatred I hold for Henry Hyde (deceased 2007), Jesse Helms (deceased 2008), and the blessedly dead (2016) Antonin Scalia, somehow I seem to be acting in a sex discriminatory manner for not hating this woman as much as these men. Don’t get me wrong, I do hate her and what she did to stop the simple ERA and her absurd belief that women should stay home and have babies and be good Christian Madonnas serving and servicing their husbands regardless of abuse, adultery, or financial withholding. She is a smart Harvard-educated woman, a lawyer, and a mother of six. She remains a plague upon our nation continuing her involvement with Republicans “usually as a delegate, at every Republican National Convention since 1952” (back jacket copy).
Her heir apparent is the revolting Ann Coulter who did a back jacket blurb that will give me nightmares:
A Choice Not an Echo “changed the Republican Party forever. . . Without Schlafly, without that book, without Goldwater’s candidacy [and Hillary Clinton as a supporter], it is unlikely that RONALD REAGAN would ever have been elected president.”
Oh for a time machine! Of course the problem with that is you cannot tell if you would make matters worse (such as killing Hitler alternative histories, though with him never born, pretty sure the world would have been better off under any scenario). I try to picture a world without her effect, without Reagan, without Hyde and Helms, and especially without the legacy of Scalia (and Thomas and Alito and Mitch McConnell and all the other slime we are living with that are killing democracy and the rights of women. Toss in the rise of the un-Christian theocrats, the American caused rise of radical Islam (that is, the rise of murderous bullies and thugs in the name of religion, oh wait, that applies to the forced-birther Christians too!), and the state of perpetual war, the rule of the few, the theft of economic security and rise of the debtor slaves, oh the dominoes go everywhere and reach everyone. To my sorrow. The damage she has done really needs an in-depth historical review.
Another back jacket plug is more amusing:
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Here is a back jacket quote by good ole guns, God, and grits himself, Mike Huckabee:
A Choice Not an Echo was a tremendous influence in my life as a young teenager and helped me to understand the intellectual framework for the why of the conservative movement. Phyllis Schlafly is one of the champions of the INTELLECTUAL DEPTH of the conservative movement.
Schlafly may be smart, but there is no fucking intellectual depth to anything about the conservative movement. It is all lies, repeated so often, rubes and exploiters, behave as if they know the facts when all they are doing is repeating propaganda from right wing media and unscrupulous so-called preachers and other fundamentalists.
Toss her crap in with the selfish Ayn Rand (Alan Greenspan was an acolyte!!!) and her Social Darwinism greed-is-good fundamentalism, and we suffer from them both too much today. Everyone who is mind-numbingly without any self-awareness imagines themselves as the best of the best, John Galt, and the rest of us all deserve to be left to die outside their mountain sanctuary away from the “takers” along with the few “real” good people, the “makers” – like Paul Ryan (gag) or the anti-Christ, Ted Cruz.
Where did all the brilliant polymaths of the Enlightenment go? Why do we worship the Ivy League graduates and yet have contempt for other people who are smart or talented or capable but not smug selfish self-serving sociopaths?
Ah well, this book provides a thought-provoking look back at a volatile time in the United States, albeit from a right-wing religious zealot. That doesn’t necessarily make her wrong on everything, however. And it seems that some things may never change:
The Congo, as a direct result of the coalition policy forced upon it by the Democratic State Department through the UN, is in utter chaos, with GANGS OF SAVAGES TERRORIZING AND KILLING missionaries and other white people. (p. 6)
Guess she didn’t the memo about racism yet in 1964. But in truth, there are still plenty of savages there (and elsewhere including the Bundy gang here). Boko Haram and the kidnapped girls for sex slaves and killing is an ongoing terror. The Rwanda genocide it indelible (read Elmore Leonard’s book Pagan Babies)
She lists a bunch of the countries we gave money too, and again, I have to agree that it is horrifying to go back and look at how little that money did for us. Cambodia, Vietnam, of course but also Pakistan and India, and now freaking Iraq and Afghanistan. Blood and money. We have decrepit infrastructure but spent $43 million to build a gas station in Iraq that no one can use. How STUPID are the people in charge — or more likely, corrupt to the bone (Halliburton no-bid contracts $$$ for Dick Cheney who should be in prison for war crimes).
She cites Algeria and I had to think a bit to remember where it was or if it still existed. Wikipedia (to which I donate $ because I LOVE IT) had an entry about the war to end colonialism, but sadly it was also noted at the top that it had to be disambiguated from their Civil War. This was a war I don’t remember even hearing about, and it was recent too — 1991 and onward some. And as I read about the cause, surprise surprise — Islamic jihad and “extreme violence and brutality against civilians.” Of course Shafly’s concern back in 1964 was still obsessed with communism!
In Algeria, communist Ben Bella, who was welcomed to America by the Democratic Administration with a 21-gun salute on the White House lawn, is building a Castro-like state. (p. 7)
I can’t for the life of me imagine why we would give a salute to any foreign leader, but dammit, she is telling the truth! This happened under President John F. Kennedy in 1962, a year before his assassination. The video is especially poignant because not only do we know Kennedy is going to be assassinated in a year, but Jackie is wearing the pink Chanel suit she would wear on that day as well. And even worse, the very young John John, known for the cute picture under the desk in the Oval Office, and the sad little salute he would give in honor of his father when the funeral cortege passed by him.
Bay of Pigs really got her going. She called the blockade “phony” and “a triumph for Khrushchev” and noted the problem [Castro] was “still with us.”
No one knows how many Soviet missiles are still in Cuba, aimed at the United States. No one knows how many Soviet troops and “technicians” are directing military operations in Cuba and training Latin America for subversion.
We do have documented evidence that Castro is a fountainhead for subversion in Panama, Venezuela, throughout Latin America, and all the way to Zanzibar. (p. 7)
Unlike the recent right-winger books I have read that are actually full of easily disproved lies, I think, to her credit, Schlafly actually might be speaking some truth in this book. Once you have seen what Bill Clinton did to welfare, prisons, repeal of financial regulation, and the planned effort to privatize Social Security in a pact with Newt Gingrich and waited for hope and change with Obama only to have him maintain the status quo, and the run amok Scalia et al, plus now the Democratic election rigging and theft for Hillary Clinton Wall Street’s darling and the media blackout on Bernie Sanders’ crowds and progressive intent on issues like single payer that both Obama and Hillary have given up on, not to mention the minimum wage, fracking, climate change, and a host of other issues, it is no longer hard to believe that the Democrats are not and have not been for the people since FDR.
On January 17, 1964, Khrushchev repeated his claim that he had moved missiles out of Cuba only in return for a United States pledge not to INVADE that island. He said:
We got a pledge that there will be no invasion of Cuba.
Not a single responsible official of the Johnson Administration DENIED Khrushchev’s boast. The American people can only conclude that the Democrats in fact did make such a pledge, and that the Johnson administration intends to fulfill it. Worse the Democrats not only pledged no invasion of Cuba by the United States, but they are using our Navy and Coast Guard to prevent the Cuban Freedom Fighters from conducting guerrilla warfare against Castro. (p. 8)
From the perspective of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the crumbling of the Soviet Union, and the now normalized relationship with Cuba, these concerns seem ludicrous. However, at the time, people really did believe that if we invaded Cuba, the Soviets would launch nuclear weapons on the U.S. and no one in their right mind would want to take that chance. This was not a time to play chicken.
And given how we have fucked up so many countries already, like Grenada, I mean, what the hell was that all about? Just so St. Ronnie could have a war notch under his belt as a President? Anyway, such a pledge does seem a reasonable action to me given the sincerely held fear of nuclear weapons. Just as it would be reasonable to expect the powers that be to be deceptive about compromising rather than promote the mano a mano tough guy illusion.
I may just be curious enough to fact check more of her claims. For example, she cites three policy documents of the Democrats:
- State Department Publication 7277 “freedom from war . . . to abolish our military and nuclear weapons and submit to a U.N. peacekeeping force.
- The Rostow Report on foreign policy that required us to abandon our first-strike capability and do many other things to appease the “mellowing” communists.
- The Phoenix Report by the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency that (okay now some of this really sounds nuts) we should seek detente, “that the president should trick the American people into unilateral disarmament by a tax cut which would force a decrease in spending on national defense, and that we should seriously consider ‘unification’ of the U.S. and the USSR” (pp. 10-11 paraphrased)
The chapter title, incidentally is “Who’s Looney Now?” and it is rather apt. However, it is also footnoted, unlike the other right wing propaganda I’ve read.
The Panama Canal. In early January 1964, communist-led mobs rioted in Panama and marched on OUR Panama Canal. The role of RED agents trained by Castro has been confirmed by our secretary of state and the army.(footnote 9) Since Castro’s UNSUCCESSFUL INVASION OF PANAMA IN 1959 [!!!!!], he has built up a cadre of 700 hardcore agents operating in side Panama. (p. 12)
I don’t ever remember hearing about any Cuban invasion of Panama. So I Googled and dammit, she is right again, sort of; apparently Panamanians based in Cuba and joined by some Cubans were involved in a coup or something, I don’t have time to research it all yet. But there was a Cuban presence. And Cubans were involved in Grenada!
She even predicts the give-away of the Panama Canal!
Then she goes on to say that 648 State Department employees were determined to have been involved in Red activities in some fashion including “94 perverts” but that “President Johnson and Dean Rusk are trying to sweep these facts under the rug for fear of another Alger Hiss scandal in an election year.” (p. 13)
Other tidbits to astound and bemuse but probably true:
Oppenheimer getting a $50,000 award but also being suspected of communism and so no republicans showed up to see him get the award.
The Edmund Wilson Award. Johnson awarded the Medal of Freedom to him, but she notes no Americans have probably heard of him, so she proceeds to do so starting with establishing him as immoral: “He had four wives.” Then proceeded to lambaste him for writing a book that was banned, not paying income taxes “a favorite failing of Democratic liberals.” And more dastardly deeds like voting communist or socialist! And still getting the Medal of Freedom! The horror!
Other tax evaders are cited too, but you know that the Republicans were doing it too but probably just had better lawyers and more money to bribe as necessary and do a better job of hiding their misdeeds. Or she simply only investigated Democrats and did not lift the Republican rock.
She asserts that the Democrats “hope and pray the Republicans will fulfill the chief responsibility of the opposition party — which is to oppose the present administration.” (p. 21)
This was news to me, that the purpose of Republicans is, apparently, to thwart the democratically elected will of the voters when they elect a Democrat! I thought they were meant to compromise and respect the majority while protecting the minority party. But hey, that’s politics I guess.
Okay, so the book is due back at the library and I finished reading it but don’t have time to comment on some of the many other aspects of it that, oh the horror, I find that I might actually agree with her on far too many points (apart from the evil success to make the “Right to Life” for everyone but pregnant women a plank in the Republican platform — “strengthened” in 1984 but due, it seem,s to her efforts, from when Roe v. Wade decriminalized and affirmed the constitutionality to the right to an abortion.
Maybe she discusses this fanatic position more completely in one of her other 20 books, but she is a zealous Catholic so maybe that is enough. I would love to hear the Pope declare that women’s lives are sacred and every child should be wanted and fully support birth control (especially condoms to prevent AIDS and STDs) before she dies and see if she is a good Catholic girl and changes her long held views to conform what the Big Daddy tells her to believe. I suspect she would rebel and declare the Pope brainwashed by liberals or some such thing.
She is a really interesting conspiracy theorist and I did not expect that at all. But the troubling thing is that this book, at least the first half that was originally published in 1964 is a CONTEMPORANEOUS documentation of the people and events of the day as she lived them. That makes this a whole other kind of book with much more validity than historical assessments by people who did not live during the times and in the MIDDLE OF THE ACTION.
I do not agree with many of her skewed beliefs of the meaning of the events she describes, but after fact checking a number of them, and finding them to be true, I can no longer dismiss her description of events as the deranged product of the anti-woman queen. I suspect she probably has as much contempt for the new would-be-queen, Ann Coulter, as I do. Coulter, who is also smart, but a cheater so-to-speak when asserting absurd positions in discussions with normal, reasonable and fair-minded people. Her ego and over weaning ambition is all to obvious for wanting her 15 minutes, unlike Shlafly who may be wrong about the ERA, equal pay for equal work much less comparable pay for objectively equal but female dominated jobs or professions, and of course, the dedicated deadly consequences of forced birth for women, at least Shlafly is sincere and a true believer. Alas, would that she would have come out of the Catholic dogma with a compassionate and non-judgmental heart.
The true believers are a real danger to democracy because of their desire to impose THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS on our secular and diverse nation. It is antithetical to the noblest ideals of the founders of this nation, rich white men though they were, and dreadfully deficient in regards to the treatment of women. And obviously pretty much every one else despite their Enlightenment ideals.
But wow, much to my horror, I have to say that this is a MUST READ BOOK. Not a “must buy book” lest she gain $ for her ill-considered cause, or equate sales with agreement rather than informational to understand how we got in this mess and who we can blame!
Kissinger comes under scathing indictment. I never cared for him, and the fact that Hillary Clinton considers him a good counselor was terrifying to start with, but after reading about him from Schlafly’s point of view, however skewed that is, his legacy really should be reevaluated. (Note to self, check some biographies on him.)
The whole book is organized chronologically by presidential election years which is a fantastic way to organize it. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out who was president during any given historical reading I do. It is also fun to read because all the characters are well-known to me because much of this material has been the life I lived too, however unaware I was on many of the machinations of the politicians. Today I no longer have a belief in the inherent goodness of the Democratic party, the ideals that I believe in have been destroyed — not just by the likes of Schlafly, but by Bill Clinton in particular. His free trade, workfare, repeal of Glass-Steagall Act of 1932, and other actions caused more damage than imaginable for a DEMOCRATIC president. He did things no Republican could have ever gotten passed. NEOLIBERALISM is a fake theory, wrapped in meritocracy, and delivered to make the rich richer. He did not stop it. Hillary, by his side, could not get a simple Medicare for all policy developed (like, in one paragraph, versus loopholes and exemptions and all the other crap she had in her excessively complex plan, so now she is saying it can’t be done.
Bernie Sanders thinks as I do, that it can easily be done. She just hasn’t got the will to do so. Like her failure to demand the return of Glass-Steagall so the now even bigger to-big-to-fail banks get reined in — or best case scenario, BROKEN UP. But this and many many things will never occur with her as president. Status quo all the way, and that is a living hell for the rest of we 99 percent.
Trent Lott, a name now infamous (but hard to tell from the Wikipedia entry), comes up in the Dallas 1984 convention. He was the Chair of the Platform Committee.
The pro-life plank wasn’t particularly controversial except for a couple of tantrums staged for the media by Senator Lowell Weicker and Representative Nancy Johnson, both from Connecticut. A lone feminist delegate’s attempt to reinsert the Equal Rights Amendment in the platform lacked any support. The full convention adopted the platform on a voice vote. (p. 180) [note the prejudicial language]
Having experience the herd or mob mentality a few times now, and watched The Donald’s rallies/mobs/riots [hard to avoid with 24 x 7 all Trump all the time news], I do not believe a single delegate would have the physical courage it would take to stand against the Republican mob. [tee hee, language is fun] I will have to go back to the historical record to find out who the “lone feminist” (said like it is a dirty word of course, clearly shows through even in print) was that dared to call for ERA plank return. Schlafly wasn’t nice enough to name her, though I have to believe she knew full well who it was and just didn’t want to give her credit. I am surprised she named the Connecticut contingent, but I suspect she did so only to shame them.
So there are tons of fun facts, amusing skews on the facts, and lots of fascinating talk about the “Kingmakers” which might have sounded “looney” [sic] back in the day, but it has become more and more evident that, in fact, their are such people like the Koch Brothers, the John Birchers, the authoritarian fascist theocrats of the Heritage Foundation, that are actually buying the politicians to do their bidding. She even recognizes that these kingmakers are not Republican Party loyalists, but are in it for themselves! They are willing to sacrifice poor presidential candidates on the altar of achieving higher goals for themselves. However, she does seem to believe that liberal goals are a driving force but her own evidence seems to me to make it clearly for the oligarchy and corporatists, certainly not for regular wage earners and certainly not the poor single mothers they force to give birth and then call them Welfare Queens and sluts for having had sex without the contraception they also refuse to support.
It is truly fascinating to read her take on events that, it turns out, are not at all what I expected to read from her point of view.
Well before the 1992 election, the financial crowd had established its ties to Rhodes scholar Bill Clinton. They knew he would pursue their BIG GOVERNMENT and GLOBALIST agenda and carry out initiatives for their version of a “new world order.”
The eager opportunist from Hope, Arkansas, was already a globalist and would be easy to adapt to their purposes. Clinton’s education and patrons had enabled him to adopt the goals of the financially powerful who don’t care WHICH PARTY one belongs to, just so long as an internationalist agenda is followed. Their spokesman, David Rockefeller Jr., announced their choice in an op-ed in the New York Times on October 16, 1992 titled “Why I Trust Clinton.”
Bill Clinton was a college protege of the Georgetown University professor Carroll Quigley, author of the 1,348-page book Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (1966), in which he revealed his personal aquaintance with the DYNASTIC families of the super-rich. Quigley wrote in admiration of what he called the “network” of “international bankers” and other men who wield “the secret use of financial influence in political life.” Quigley described the political conflict between grassroots Americans and the big financial interest as “the Midwest of Tom Sawyer against the cosmopolitan East of J.P. Morgan and Company.” (pp. 196-197, footnote 1)
This is seriously spot-on. I would never have believed it would come from Schlafly. the next bit ties in dramatically well with the Thomas Frank book, Listen Liberals that is crucial reading for anyone in this election year (and which I will finally edit and post soon). It is just so bizarre to have a leftist and right-winger both acknowledge there is a problem with the “professional” class of Ivy League and Rhodes scholars in the Obama administration now, but it turns out, she mentions it as a Clinton failing!
After Clinton moved into the White House, he outdid President John F. Kennedy in putting fellow Rhodes scholars in charge of U.S. policy.(2 see below) Senator John H. Chafee, a Rhode Island Republican, [see Lincoln Chafee below] commented at a confirmation hearing in 1993, “They seem to be everywhere.” Clinton may have looked like Tom Sawyer when he came out of Hope, but he learned fast how to make himself an errand boy for the cosmopolitan East.
As governor of Arkansas, Clinton had cultivated a profitable association with a Little Rock bank owned by the Riady family of Indonesia, a Chinese banking family that had some five billion dollars of business investments closely interlocked with the Chinese governement, the Chineses Communist Party, and Chinese military intelligence. When battered by the Gennifer Flowers scandal in the spring of 1992, Clinton’s faltering campaign received a multi-million dollar transfusion from the Riady Arkansas bank. Throughout 1992, millions of dollars of Riady money poured into states that were vital to Clinton’s nomination and election.
After Clinton became president, he paid of the Riadys by giving their man in America, John Huang, a key job in the Commerce Department with TOP SECRET CLEARANCE. This gave [John] Huang access to extremely sensitive CIA information of great value to the Riadys and their associates in Chinese Intelligence. Clinton later moved Huang, with his SECURITY CLEARANCE INTACT, to the Democratic National Committee in order to strut his skills as a fundraiser for Clinton’s television campaign for reelection. (pp. 197-199)
[Note: John Huang was born on Mainland China, fled to Taiwan, before coming to the states and getting an MBA and then worked for a Riady bank in Arkansas. It is really hard for me to understand how a non-native born person could be granted TOP SECRET clearance; there is no mention in Wikipedia as to whether or not he became a naturalized citizen and if so, when.]
Once again, Schlafly is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about the financial scandal (I don’t even remember hearing about it at all!). I would sure love to know where the $8 + million fine went! Note: Wikipedia cites a lower amount of fines.
Looking further down the Wikipedia entry, I found this shocking additional tidbit, only with HILLARY CLINTON and President Obama being involved in the event. And oddly enough, W had been the one to ban Riady from re-entering the States. Although that may have been in support of conflicting interests of his good pals in Saudi Arabia.
Obama Visa Waiver
In January 2010, the Washington Post revealed how the ‘disgraced’ Riady had received a visa waiver by the Obama Administration to re-enter the US, despite having been banned by the Bush administration. Riady’s old friend, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton claimed she had no knowledge of the visa waiver. A State Department official, embarrassed by the Post’s revelation, said “the reality of his past remains a significant obstacle for future travel to the United States.” Riady received a waiver from a rule that forbids entry to foreigners guilty of “a crime involving moral turpitude,” a term that government lawyers generally interpret to include fraud. 
James Riady lives with his family in Lippo Village, Karawaci, surrounded by security aides. He has been demonized by the media because of his involvement in the campaign financing scandal. Hendardi, an Indonesian human rights activist, once stated that Riady’s “major achievement was to export corruption to the U.S.”
And the man has converted from Muslim to FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN. How freaking weird is that! Of course, he has a collection of art that he will spend millions on one picture that he likes (Wikipedia next paragraph). But I guess he still has plenty to spend to proselytize Muslims who would rather he did not.
(2) footnote from above on Rhodes scholars (p. 279)
Three of President John F. Kennedy’s most influential advisers were Rhodes Scholars and ardent anglophiles: Dean Rusk, Walt W. Rostow, and Senator J. William Fulbright[yes, the man who started the Fulbright Program of grants; also BTW from Arkansas]. President Clinton appointed a record number of Rhodes scholars, including Secretary of Labor Robert Reich[who resigned after disagreeing with Clinton policy]; his special adviser on Russia and number-two man in the State Department, Strobe Talbot; the director of Central Intelligence Agency, James Woolsey; his communications director, George Stephanopoulos; Secretary of the Navy, Richard Danzig; his senior advisor for policy development (and the author of Clinton’s health care and education proposals [now works for the Clinton Foundation]), Ira Magaziner; the director of the National Economic Council, Bonnie St. John Deane[WOW she is a NOTABLE WOMAN!!!]; the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Franklin Raines[Fannie Mae director and one of the 25 people to blame for housing crisis according to Wikipedia]; Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Walter Slocombe; the supreme commander of NATO, Wesley Clark (who directed the bombing in Yugoslavia) [Ran for President in 2004 vs. Kerry, but dropped out after; considered by the DNC in 2008 for Democratic presidential nomination but ended up endorsing HILLARY, then Obama when she dropped out]; and his [Bill’s] impeachment defense attorney, David Kendall [now also the lawyer for HILLARY regarding her EMAILS and private server]. For a more complete list, see Dennis Laurence Cuddy, Secret Records Revealed (Oklahoma City, Hearthstone Publishing Ltd. 1999), especially pages 152-153.
Well, this book has certainly been eye-opening on many levels. I especially like the naming of names. Too often we are actually being governed by unelected agency heads and who the heck knows who they are and how they have been selected. Pretty obviously, Clinton definitely sought out or was sought out by a bunch of theoretically smart people, but it would be really nice to have more news coverage on these people and what they are doing. But I suppose, most Americans don’t care, maybe it is learned helplessness, so many I know just say “they’re all crooks” and sigh as if there is nothing to be done. Which is just the way the oligarchy likes it and why Bernie Sanders has so resonated with his “not going to take it anymore” run for President. But the oligarchy, the Democratic party machine, and all the entrenched interests are not going down without lying, cheating, and corrupting the entire process of the illusion of choice when voting.
As an idealist, though, I have to believe there is actual HOPE and CHANGE possible, not just an empty campaign slogan of a too eager bipartisanship believer.
Lincoln Chafee is the son of the aforementioned Republican who complained about the excessive number of Rhodes scholars in the Kennedy administration. YES this is the same Lincoln Chafee who had everyone scratching their heads over as a candidate for the DEMOCRATIC presidency in 2016. So we are (a) still living in a dynasty of politicians as we have always been it seems, present president excepted, (b) his dad was a Republican and Lincoln got his first leg up by being appointed to his father’s RI Senate seat upon the father’s death. Lincoln went on to be elected in his own right (incumbent advantage, not clear if he did anything notable as an appointee). He seemed so still and out of his league, that one has to wonder at the arrogance or motivation or just Democrats wanting a sacrificial lamb to make it look less like Hillary was always going to get the nomination and so he was just a beard. Also, I’m sorry, but a Goldwater girl, a Clinton wife, a failed Senator, and a regime change war hawk is not Democratic enough for me. Lincoln Chafee, a converted Republican did not seem quite comfortable in the role of also ran. One might even begin to believe some of Schlafly’s ideas that ringers are offered up so the real sneaker candidate of the oligarchy gets in by comparison. Bernie Sanders and The Donald didn’t get the memo.