Behind the Curtain


This year should be a blowout for Republicans. 2010 is a year when voter dissatisfaction is extreme, high unemployment lingers, and Republican turnout is expected to be strong. Yet one group of Republican candidates is performing poorly in races from coast to coast. Why did Republicans choose such a weak bunch of women?

Original DVD cover

Arguably, deep pocket millionaires like Linda McMahon, Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman chose themselves by tapping piles of personal cash to wage bitter, expensive primary campaigns. But that doesn’t account for Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. These grand dames of the lower middle class won largely unfunded – and unexpected – primary victories.

Though neither Angle nor O’Donnell was the party’s first choice, both were seen by voters as most consistent with the party’s platforms and pronouncements. In other words, Republican primary voters saw two women who spoke Republican and they chose them over candidates who could cruise to general election victories. The party became victim to its own hyperbolic rhetoric.

In O’Donnell’s case, her weakness is that she has a long history as a youth spokesperson for the ideas of old farts. As a teenager, she got seduced into playing the Pat Buchanan role – I’ll oppose anything you want, for airtime – to appear on Bill Maher’s old show. It was her pinnacle and like other child stars she’s still playing the role, never realizing that she was cast to make your jaw drop, not for her wit.


Next up, Linda McMahon. She’s co-owner (with her husband) of World Wrestling Entertainment, the fake-wrestling show popular with teenage boys and high school dropouts. McMahon should have had the easiest race, but she never caught fire, despite spending tons of personal cash. Her opponent, Richard Blumenthal had claimed he’d served in Vietnam when he’d only served during Vietnam. It should have killed his campaign. But McMahon undid that herself. Most recently, she was caught lying about whether her fake-wrestling empire used the same Washington lobbyists she’d blamed for everything.


Heading out west, the strongest of the candidates is also the craziest. Nevada’s senate race also should have been a cakewalk. Harry Reid had some of the highest unfavorables in the nation. But Republicans apparently visited the bar before visiting the primary, and chose Angle over a sure (and woman) winner.


Angle’s latest gaffe was being taped talking like a Washington insider, promising favors and access to an opponent if he’d drop out of the race. She claimed she could open doors and named insider names, which didn’t quite fit her outsider appeal. Voters may ultimately elect Angle because they hate Reid so much, but maybe not. Nevadans are prepared to elect a boob over Harry, but they won’t pull the lever for a boob who is also a hypocrite.

Lastly, we have the tech-boom, rich-ladies of California, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Recently, I described Whitman’s strategy as treating the race like an eBay auction. She’s spent $140 million on her campaign, attempting to win by outbidding everyone else.

What seems to be sealing her coffin is the story of her nine year employment of an undocumented maid. The revelation resonates for its hypocrisy – she’s played the illegal immigrant card once too often – and because it seems to reinforce an image of heartlessness that’s always dogged her. That started at eBay when she punched an employee (and had to pay a big settlement.)


Carly Fiorina, is running on a platform of obfuscation, pretending up is down. She casts her time as CEO of HP as evidence that she’s a highly competent manager who is ready to lead. In truth, she failed at HP and was fired.


Why are these women losing? Mostly because of whom they are and what they have done. They all arrive with baggage and broomsticks. (Sorry.) Another thing they have in common is that each thought they could play from the Sarah Palin playbook and – by controlling media access – could prevent their images from being tarnished by their realities.

Weak candidates such as these can make a big splash in the rhetoric-heavy, turnout-light Republican primaries. The Republican faithful have always been more concerned with what they hear than whether it was true. But these women can’t appeal to an audience that is willing to look behind the curtain.


Filed under California, Harry Reid, humor, Immigration, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Senate, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

14 responses to “Behind the Curtain

  1. sorry so late, kids. had to make an unscheduled trip up to the offspring’s place, and i hadn’t finished my homework last night.

  2. The worst part is that you starred the three least nutty of the bunch in your poster. Of course, they’re also the richest.

    Too bad not all the self-funders are blowing themselves up. Rick Snyder looks like he’s going to cruise to victory here in Michigan.

    • i picked a theme and ran with it. it occurred to me that i haven’t picked on linda mcmahon enough, so i decided to go with the rich ones who are trying to buy their way into office. besides, can you think of anyone else who would look better than queen nutmeg in that pic?

      if there was a huge gotv in michigan, do you think that bernero could still win? why is he so far behind?

  3. Greetings from the high Sierras. After miles of travel, going over deserts and mountain passes aplenty, and a run in with the Arizona State kitten police, I have arrived at the Raisin Ranch. Will venture out soon seeking rich veins of republican gold buried under tons of paranoia and self loathing. Have seen Angle signs in NV and awful Whitman ads here. Sis has voter registration form so I can vote for the “other” gold in CA refferendum on ballot (prop 13 was taken). Will send more info and get caught up on things as soon as settled in. No news or politics for a whole week, kind of nice. Will be back in touch soon as the burro rest up for another trip to town.

    • jerrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! 😀

      i’ve missed you sooooooo much!! i’ve been hoping that you would check in, just so i’d know that you were okay.

      i’ll let you catch up in your own time. in the meantime, be kind to the burro. pat him on the head for me and give him a carrot (do burros like carrots?)

      can’t wait for you to get the internets fulltime. 😀 <—that's me smiling from ear to ear!

  4. Missed you too! If I had just one place to go a day, it would be HR because it’s fun and intelligent. And for your amusement I must share this encounter in a AZ rest area off of I40. After realizing my vehicle & tow wouldn’t park in a motel lot, the long parking of the truck area was sought to relieve 930 miles of driving. Pull in, park, out like a light (9PM). At 1:30 AM get rude awakening from a rather youngish Arizona State Trooper shinning a flashlight in my face wanting to play 50 questions. Struggling with lethargy I attempt to satisfy his noseyness when he start harping on and on about the kittens in the Ranchero and just wants to know what the hell the deal is, then threatens to run me in for animal cruelty to which I reply if left behind my home city would kill them at first opportunity. Yes, there is a catbox by the pedals. “What do you feed them?” Tell him they get a package of chicken weenies twice a day. “You can’t do that, they require proper cat food!” So here I am in the middle of the night on the high desert, rudely waken to get a lecture from a punkass cop about feeding weenies to cats. Then when they all jump in the back window I have to name them for him. “What’s wrong with that one?” he sneers pointing to Pearl, the runt. This goes on and on and on. Of course the cats were underage and were being transported across state line for possible immoral activity which would violate the Cat Act.

    • tell the truth, jerry. they were meowing in spanish, weren’t they?

      • Ain’t sayin, must avoid entrapment but will allow TSA to come over and feel them up if they want to (the cats would get off on that). That trooper would be really pissed if he knew I fed them dog food for several days this week. They haven’t started barking yet but give ’em time. Man. this catching up is wearing my ass out. Must sleep. Try again tomorrow….

  5. That cast has had their souls pummeled with the ugly stick! And ugly is as ugly does.

    I wonder what races are slipping my attention because of these human cankers.

  6. jeb

    Meg Whitman punched an employee? Maybe that’s why Chris Christ Christie de Crisco waded into the audience for her when that person had the temerity to question her. Perhaps he was sent by the party overlords to keep her from going Rambo on camera and losing possible votes?

    Since there seems to be an internal contest in the Rethug party to see who can be the most bizarre and extreme character evah, these ladies must be ginning up something new to overcome the ground they lost to Wiking Waffen SS candidate in Ohio. I wonder what the over/under is on one of them coming out against women’s suffarage?

  7. Chris Christ Christie de Crisco 😆 it looks like everything he eats has been cooked in crisco.

    do you think the ladies might put on bathing suits under nuns’ habits to recreate the scene in history of the world about the spanish inquisition? i don’t think the goopers have offended enough people yet.

  8. Going to have to wait till tomorrow for the cliffhanger ending of the saga of Tex West. Fortunately, the mighty Sierra provides some mighty cliffs for said hanging. Will Tex make it? Will 12,000 pounds of cars a crap make it over the steepest climb of the east side? Will there be an epiphiny?….tune in tomorrow (we may need to double the oxen).