Wednesday, September 28, 2011

McMahon’s Second Throw Of The Dice

Linda McMahon having thrown her hat once again into the political ring, the question arises: What are her chances? Mrs. McMahon will run for Senator Joe Lieberman’s soon to be vacant seat in the U.S. Congress.

On the left, the media once again is preparing to draw their long knives from their scabbards. Mrs. McMahon’s background as CEO of World Wide Wrestling, since renamed World Wide Entertainment (WWE), has freed much of the left of the necessity of thinking seriously about her positions, such as they are and will be, on important issues of the day. In lieu of reasoned criticism, Video clips of Man Mountain Indian wrestler Dalip Singh Rana hoisting a victim over his shoulders and slamming him to the mat may be deployed against her, as was the case in her last campaign.

The cast of characters this time around will be different: Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has moved up in the world into the U.S. Senate. He was a formidable opponent for a number of reasons. The Attorney General’s reputation as the St. George of Connecticut politics was difficult for any Republican candidate to overcome. His popularity, larger in Connecticut and more expansive than that of Dalip Singh Rana, much of which was self-generated in a twenty year series of seemingly endless, self-absorbed press releases, tends to clot the analytical synapses of voters’ brains. Going in, Mr. Blumenthal, trailing behind himself a cloud of military murk, enjoyed what turned out to be an insuperable advantage. Mr. Blumenthal lied, several times, concerning his service in the military. He said he had served in Vietnam when he had not and was called out by the New York Times and others. The imposture did him no good, but Mr. Blumenthal squirreled himself away from media stalkers and survived the ordeal un-decapitated. When as a newly minted senator Mr. Blumenthal applied for a position on a committee overseeing veterans, none of his comrades in the congress so much as blinked.

But Mr. Blumenthal is, as is said in the Icelandic sagas, “now out of the story.” And whatever may be said of Democrats vying for Lieberman’s seat, neither U.S. Rep Chris Murphy or his likely primary opponents are Mr. Blumenthal, including former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, whose rubberized reputation easily rebounds from blows that would shatter Mr. Dalip Singh Rana.

The 2012 campaign script is likely to be different as well.

President Barack Obama, the lodestone of the last presidential election, has, according to polls even in bluer than blue Connecticut, fallen out of favor. Mr. Obama’s positives have crashed along with the economy, and no one in Connecticut expects the economy to improve any time soon. The state was ten years recovering from the post-Lowell Weicker recession. The Obama recession will be deeper, longer and more intractable. As jobs go, so goes the presidency. Some so called “moderate” Democrats in the congressional delegation have put a three foot pole between themselves and their Democratic leader; as the economy continues to go sour, the pole, like Pinocchio’s nose, will elongate.

There are differences of strategy between Republicans and Democrats that easily could be exploited by Mrs. McMahon.

Democrats, as a general rule, are concerned with creating jobs, preferably stamped “made in Washington,” for they are not interested in fostering for example energy jobs tied to non-green producers they wish to discredit. Republicans generally busy themselves with increasing prosperity – not the same thing -- and continued prosperity depends to a large extent on an interrupted supply of developed and available energy products. Democrats want to regulate everything but government. Republicans are interested in regulating and reducing targeted rather than general governmental regulations they perceive as binding down a no longer competitive bound Gulliver, the private economy. Democratic programs of a “made in Washington” variety privatize the rewards of companies too big to fail, while at the same time socializing debt, which is assumed by taxpayers. Taxpayers thus bear the costs incurred by failed “too big to fail” companies, while earned profits, including taxpayer subsidies, are parceled out to failed CEOs and somnolent boards of directors.

In the next election, Republicans will be attempting to convert the above paragraph to an easily digestible bumper sticker?

The McMahon campaign must discover some means of corralling women’s votes. Mrs. McMahon very easily could surprise those in the legacy media who suppose her upcoming campaign will be a reprise of her previous losing battle by, for instance, unreeling three or four major speeches on topics of general interest that will satisfy the media’s lust for intellectual probity, not considered to be her strong suit. Those who know Mrs. McMahon well know she is a very quick study passionately committed to certain conservative propositions that just might surprise the state’s blue media. The bump on her – that there is no political there there – is a wildly exaggerated piece of Democratic campaign propaganda.

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