WHY SHOULD RHODE ISLAND BE DIFFERENT FROM ANYPLACE ELSE? Chafee Very Unpopular in Rhode Island. “Just 18% would vote to re-elect Chafee if the election were being held today, 33% would consider another candidate and 42% would vote to replace him.”

UPDATE: From Justin Katz:

People across the United States should consider Rhode Island as a canary in the ObamaCare coal mine, whistling the tune of the President’s larger public welfare project.

When he spoke on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, RI’s Lincoln Chafee introduced himself as “the nation’s only independent governor.” That’s “independent” as in belonging to no political party. He went on to claim the mantel of “moderate” and to upend the dictionary with a new, inverted definition of “traditional conservative,” applying that label to himself, as well.

Actual moderates and conservatives should be wary of Chafee’s brand of independence. The most stunning reason is his state’s status, in July, as one of only three to have lost employment since the end of the U.S. jobs free fall in February 2010.

A more subtle, but profound, reason is the vision of health benefit exchanges toward which he is hurrying his state. The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, a free-market think tank, has derisively dubbed the concept a “dependency portal,” linking all public subsidies, handouts, and services together.

“Dependency Portal?” Kevin Williamson, call your office!