( - promoted by ctblogger)
Since Tuesday's election, we have had the pleasure of witnessing the further unraveling of the epic clusterf*** that is the Connecticut GOP. Over at CT Confidential Rick Green wrote a good post describing the "circular firing squad" that has embroiled the CT GOP, consisting mainly of recriminations and second-guessing about Linda McMahon's second failed senate candidacy. Sure you also have the Family Institute of Connecticut's Peter Wolfgang going after Andrew Roraback for being too moderate on social issues, and Larry Cafero lashing out at Tom Foley (seems pretty clear Cafero wants to run for governor in 2014), but the most wonderfully savage attacks have been saved for Linda McMahon, with Chris Powell asking "has Linda McMahon killed competitive politics in Connecticut?," Chris Shays saying Linda McMahon should have "taken Politics 101," and CT GOP Chair Jerry Labriola saying the "era of massive self-funders is over" and telling John Dankosky that he had deep concerns about McMahon all along. McMahon shill Corry Bliss has responded in kind, calling Chris Shays mentally ill and vowing to open up his oppo research binder against Shays should Shays ever run again for anything.
Of course, these GOPers now so critical of McMahon were singing a different tune when a poll came out in August suggesting the presidential race in Connecticut was just outside the margin of error (Obama won the state by 23 points in 2008, about 18 points in 2012), and Linda was tied or ahead of Chris Murphy in the polls. Until last Tuesday, the truth is that the Connecticut GOP couldn't get enough Linda. They loved her! She got 75% in the primary! Her coattails were going to help them win back the state senate and maybe even help Romney turn Connecticut red!
Earlier this year I wrote at MLN:
What is most amusing and perhaps pathetic about the CT GOP's optimism about Connecticut as a swing state is that they apparently believe that Romney will benefit from Linda McMahon's coattails, another sign of the flabbergasting discrepancy between how McMahon is viewed by Republicans versus how she is viewed in the reality-based community. As Labriola told the Associated Press: "The notion of putting Connecticut in play is supported by the great opportunity the Linda McMahon campaign is presenting." In reality, while McMahon may help energize conservatives, and she may be able to fund an otherwise nonexistent GOP turnout operation, overall she is likely to be a drag on other Republicans on the ticket, as she was in 2010.
Linda McMahon represents the advanced phase of degeneration into which the once-great Connecticut Republican party of William Buckingham, Colonel Ullmann, Stewart McKinney, and Doc Gunther has fallen. McMahon's Trump-like charisma and talent at mouthing platitudes about "job creators" and being an "outsider" may bring short-term gains but in the long term threatens to seduce the Connecticut GOP into further extremism, anti-intellectualism and irrelevance. The fact that she defeated Chris Shays by 45 points in the recent GOP senate primary indicates that Connecticut Republicans either don't understand or don't care about the long-term prospects of the GOP becoming competitive again in New England, and are willing conspirators in the slow-motion self-destruction of the Connecticut GOP. But in the eyes of the delusional Connecticut GOP, McMahon has not only succeeded in drawing even with Chris Murphy in the senate race with her lavish spending but also she has opened the door for Mitt Romney. That leaders of the increasingly extreme and delusional Connecticut Republican Party want Romney to expend precious resources campaigning in the Nutmeg State shows that they have been so bamboozled by their self-administered Linda McMahon koolaid that they are willing to damage the national GOP ticket as well.
If Connecticut GOP elites had reservations about Linda McMahon's miserable encore candidacy, they could have expressed them months ago before the primary, when it might have mattered. They didn't. And now they are suffering the humiliating consequences.