Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee tells the Providence Journal he will vote for cloture — that is, to end a filibuster blocking Judge Alito’s confirmation. Obviously that’s good news.
But Chafee is still trying to have it both ways, refusing to say whether he’s going to actually vote to confirm the judge. Happily, Chafee’s vote isn’t needed for confirmation. But his attempt to satisfy everyone is (natch) satisfying no one at all. His Republican primary challenger attacks him for being too squeamish and timid. His Democratic challenger attacks him for caving to the party leadership.
Unfortunately, Chafee’s brief Senatorial career has been marked by this kind of pointless indecision. Rather than continuing his extended hand-ringing, he ought to pick a side and start articulating a position.
Of course, that might require a backbone transplant…