Off the Turnbuckle

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As a resident of Connecticut I am concerned about the race for Senate to claim the seat vacated by Chris Dodd. On the Democratic side the candidate is Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. I shouldn’t badmouth Mr. Blumenthal, because I interned for the AG’s office last summer, but I doubt that Blumenthal would consider it an insult if I called him a traditional liberal Democrat. Blumenthal is popular in Connecticut, and, in spite of the exposure of his blatant lies about serving in Vietnam, I am afraid that he is probably going to win.

Still, the election is not over yet. Linda McMahon is expected to be the Republican candidate, after spending $16 million of her own money to beat Washington insider Rob Simmons and Republican Liberty Caucus-endorsed libertarian Peter Schiff. Libertarians might be upset over Schiff’s anticipated loss, but McMahon is running on what could be called the libertarian-fiscal conservative platform, so now is not the time to mourn. McMahon’s campaign has focused on economic issues, and she has said that she would vote against cap and trade, that she opposes deficit spending, and that she favors job growth by means of helping entrepreneurs through tax breaks and deregulation. McMahon has a refreshing voice, and experience in managing a successful business. There is virtually no difference between Schiff’s and McMahon’s campaign promises; the only difference is that McMahon spends far more money on advertising and consequently has a far better chance of winning.

But there is something weird about McMahon: she made her millions by running World Wrestling Entertainment, the company that produces fake wrestling matches featuring spandex-clad bodybuilders with names like “the Rock” and “the Undertaker” jumping on top of each other and slamming chairs into each other’s heads. It is almost too perfect an irony to think that the most genuine candidate is the one whose career was built around staging phony fights.

Republicans should present themselves as the party of change in the 2010 elections, and it would be a change to have a senator with a background as unorthodox as anything one could imagine. McMahon has no political experience, and she probably won’t beat Blumenthal, but she does have what amounts to theatrical experience, and politics is theater.

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