I’ve been thinking about this since Chris Shays, or at least a guy that used to be Shays, appeared on WFSB’s Face The State during a GOP candidate debate last weekend. If the 11-term Congressman even has a shot at becoming a U.S. Senator, it’s because Connecticut remembers him as an independent-minded and free-thinking politician — the sort of common-sense centrist who would stand out in the increasingling polarized U.S. Congress.
The Shays that sat centerstage on Sunday seemed to be trying to outmuscle everyone in a race to the far right. The tea-partyin’ Shays 2012 seems intent on pretending that he wasn’t one of the few Republicans who voted against impeaching Bill Clinton, who favored gun control, abortion rights and strong environmental protection.
Instead, we got the “Complete Opportunist” Shays – as Peter Lumaj calls him – who blathered about bigger border fences and English as the official language (these are issues facing Connecticut?) and who appeared at a recent Tea Party rally to tell them “I’m your choice.”
Shays should look back and remember who he was and stop pretending he’s something that he isn’t.