Why is Land running? Simple—she’s a woman, and she has MONEY!!! Land has put up at least $2.9 million of her own money, and has run on her honorary victim status as a women against her white male Democratic opponent Gary Peters.
But she’s not unique. For example:
Yet Connecticut Republicans were persuaded (twice) that Linda McMahon was the perfect representative of their party. And maybe she could have turned her unique background into a strength by targeting Reagan Democrats. But she instead apologized for the very things that made her who she was. The WWE retroactively erased some of its “edgier” past content and reoriented its shows in an effort to make McMahon more family friendly. [WWE Scrubs ‘Dated And Edgier Footage’ Amid Linda McMahon’s Connecticut Senate Campaign, by Nick Wing, Huffington Post, September 14, 2012]
McMahon defeated primary opponent (and liberal immigration patriot) Chris Shays in 2012, and Rob Simmons in 2010, through the sheer weight of money [Sarah Palin: Please Endorse Rob Simmons, by Ann Coulter, AnnCoulter.com, June 9, 2010]. McMahon then ran as a caricature of a New England liberal Republican, supported Barack Obama’s halt on deportations, and explicitly favored a pathway to citizenship for many illegals [Candidate Notes—Linda McMahon, NumbersUSA, October 25, 2012]
Yet, even though McMahon spent more money than any other person in history to win a federal seat and more than Ross Perot did when he ran for President, she is still back at work selling professional wrestling [Personal Cost for 2 Senate Bids: $100 Million, by Peter Applebome, New York Times, November 2, 2012]
What’s going on? Three factors are in place:
This kind of nihilism can be positively breathtaking to those who engage in politics for ideological ends. For example, Mike Murphy, Meg Whitman’s chief strategist (but only one of her total of 56 “strategists”), made more in a month ($90K) than most Americans make in a year. Asked to explain his catastrophic failure in California, he replied blithely: “It’s a very blue state and getting bluer.” (In fact, California is still eminently winnable for GOP/GAP candidates).
GOP consultants specialize in telling candidates that they need to abandon popular positions, like restricting immigration and taking on racial preferences, in favor of issue-free campaigns that require immense spending on soft-focus image-boosting direct mail and especially television advertising, from which consultants can draw commissions. This requires candidates to raise vast amounts of money from wealthy donors for the benefit of consultants. What’s lost are the small donors, volunteers, and grassroots support that actually attracts, you know, votes.
Despite the poor track record of such consultant-driven campaigns, candidates like Land, Whitman, and McMahon seem irresistibly attracted to “expert” advice. But self-financed candidates—male and female—are an easy mark for such political parasites and actually have a very poor record of winning elections. [Self-financing candidates can’t buy love; wealthy challengers rarely win the elections, by Luke Rosiak, Washington Times, May 30, 2013]
(A possible contrast: Iowa Republican Senate nominee Joni Ernst, currently in a dead heat with Democratic Bruce Braley. When retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harkin called her “good looking,” apparently a sexist comment these days, Ernst formulaically decried the remark—but also used the opportunity to play up her experience as a Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard and as a state Senator to dismiss the Democratic “War on Women” as “phony.” [Ernst on Harkin Taylor Swift remark: ‘Shake It Off’by Jeremy Diamond, CNN, November 3, 2014] To her credit, Ernst has also identified the Gang of Eight immigration bill as “Amnesty” [Ernst, Braley spar over immigration in first Iowa Senate debate, by Seth McLaughlin, Washington Times, September 28, 2014]
(As Republicans refuse to learn with their endless pointless “outreach” to minorities, you can never out-PC the Democrats and their allies in the MSM. At best, a female candidate can appeal to some moderates and provide a trap for Democrats to fall into, as we see with Tom Harkin. But the idea that Republicans can win the female vote just by running a woman is as misguided as the persistent idea that they can win the black vote by running a black guy.)
Bur money and “me too” identity politics can’t compensate for the lack of a popular program that can appeal to workers and struggling middle class voters.
The result: campaign after campaign full of wonky economist slogans that appeal to the Hollow Men of the Beltway Right and are PC enough for the MSM but have no appeal to those who don’t make enough money to care about upper class tax cuts.
Still, party bosses and greedy consultants eager to keep the gravy train on track have no reason to change the status quo. The parasite has taken over the host. Women candidates who pointlessly blow their fortunes are simply necessary to keep the Beltway Right in business.
Republicans are often caricatured as portraying the rich as somehow “victims.” But by taking advantage of politically-clueless, financially-flush females, Conservatism Inc. has actually found a way to make it true.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.