Meet John Loughlin (R CAND, RI-01).

(H/T: Hot Air & JammieWearingFool) A lot of the focus of this article is on the abysmal performance of Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D, RI) in it – when asked if he deserved re-election, only 35% of his constituents said ‘yes’; 28% said ‘no,’ and 31% asked ‘what are our options?’ – and we’ll get back to it (and John Loughlin, who’s running for the job) in a moment.  But I would like to highlight these two paragraphs about Sheldon Whitehouse:

Just 33 percent approved of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s job performance, down 11 points from a mid-December Brown University poll.

Fleming said a factor may have been the senator’s controversial December statement that floor opponents of health-care reform were fueled by fanatics, “right-wing militia” and Aryan support groups that hate President Obama.

The NRSC would be well-advised to start atoning for its error in 2006 by finding an acceptable candidate to oppose this fellow in 2012.  And by ‘acceptable’ I don’t mean ‘acceptable to the NRSC.’

Moving along, Rep. Kennedy is, of course, a fool and reprobate who keeps getting pulled over for DUIs.  Thanks to his last name – or, more accurately, the last name of his late father – those three conditions have never quite managed to torpedo the man’s political career in RI-01.  Except that now the Senate seat that protected Partick Kennedy is held by a man who Kennedy rather foolishly attacked the other day.  I always enjoy watching someone on the Other Side have their egos write checks that their bodies can’t cash; and Kennedy was always overdrawn anyway.  RI-01 is D+13 and not currently listed as competitive by Cook, it’s true; but I wonder how long that will last, given the above poll.

Meanwhile: John Loughlin.  Military veteran, businessman, making the right sounds on domestic energy production and smaller government, doesn’t have a history of substance abuse… as you can see, if Patrick inherited any ability from his father it’s the ability to drastically lower the bar of what makes for an ‘acceptable’ opponent.  I very much like the idea of pruning back the Kennedy clan’s influence still further, to the point where they have to ask Maria to ask her husband to talk to somebody unofficially if they need a favor done; how about the rest of you?

Moe Lane

Crossposted to Moe Lane.