Saturday, September 11, 2010

Petty Politics in Connecticut Jeopardizes America

By Chris P. Janelli

September 11, 2010


“But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country . . Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty . . .”  --  Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

In a perfect world we would have perfect candidates and elected representatives. Welcome to reality, particularly to Connecticut’s US Senate race between World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) co-founder and former CEO Linda McMahon and the state’s twenty-year Attorney General Richard “Dick” Blumenthal.

If you listen to McMahon’s detractors, you would think that voting for her would be akin to sending the Devil to DC; no doubt he’s already in residence. Their list of grievances against her is long and, according to many, unforgivable.

Sadly, at a time when America needs every soldier to defend and champion free enterprise, capitalism, small business and entrepreneurism -- no matter their human inadequacies that make them less than 100% perfect, but at the same time make them 100% human -- there are those who would rather destroy the lesser of two evils and thereby put the greater evil in position to jeopardize the future of America. To the detractors I ask, before this election, where were you in your crusade again McMahon and the WWE?

Political differences at pivotal moments in America’s history are not new. With Massachusetts occupied by British military forces, Patrick Henry was viewed by many Virginian loyalist leaders a traitor. In 1774, at the first session of the Continental Congress Henry declared, “I am not a Virginian, but an American.” So I ask those who attack McMahon, after two years of watching Democrats make despicable deals behind closed doors to pass some of the most destructive legislation in America’s history, how can anyone who claims to care about America’s future -- knowing the disasters that await this country if the Democrats are not thrown from power -- attack McMahon to the delight of Democrats and benefit of Blumenthal?

Linda McMahon must defeat Dick Blumenthal for only one reason -- one crucial US Senate vote. In the upcoming 112th Congress, the 2nd and 3rd (and hopefully last) years of the Obama presidency, the future of America will in part be decided by how 100 US Senators vote. A McMahon victory could quite possibly end up being that one crucial vote that helps put an end to what many see as the socialization of America: Obama’s health care, cap & trade, another proposed $50 billion stimulus package for Big Labor --  all of which Dick Blumenthal would support!

One analysis of the mid-term elections goes like this: There are 40 Democrat and 23 Republican Senators not running this November, which leaves 37 Senate seats up for grabs. Of those seats, 6 are considered “safe” for the Dems and 12 for the GOP, which leaves 19 seats “vulnerable.” However, of those 19 seats 2 are “leaning” Democratic and 5 are leaning Republican, which leaves 11 seats as election battlefield “toss-ups.”

Another analysis of the November election I reviewed was "The Crystal Ball's Labor Day Predictions" written by Larry J. Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics (Sept. 2, 2010). Over the past decade the Crystal Ball has correctly called 98% of the November elections, a pretty decent record. According to Sabato, “In some years, our overall seat changes in each category have been exactly on the button, and in 2008 we were a single electoral vote off the Obama-McCain finish of 365-173.”

Here’s what Sabato predicts:

“The seat switches are probably coming in Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania . . . We still have 6 toss-ups for Senate (California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Washington, and Wisconsin—seats held by the Democrats in all but Florida) . . . We expect Republicans to pick off at least a couple of these states: California, Illinois, Nevada, Washington, and Wisconsin. While it is possible that Republicans will lose one or two of their own open seats, the only 50-50 chance of that right now is in Florida—and it might not happen even there . . . Given what we can see at this moment . . . In the Senate, we now believe the GOP will do a bit better than our long-time prediction of +7 seats. Republicans have an outside shot at winning full control (+10), but are more likely to end up with +8 (or maybe +9 . . . ) . . . If the Republican wave on November 2 is as large as some polls are suggesting it may be, then the surprise on election night could be a full GOP takeover. Since World War II, the House of Representatives has flipped parties on six occasions (1946, 1948, 1952, 1954, 1994, and 2006). Every time, the Senate flipped too, even when it had not been predicted to do so . . . the inescapable conclusion is that the Senate is on the bubble, with only a slight lean at Labor Day toward Democratic retention.”

If 10+ seats are needed for full control, and if the Crystal Ball’s prediction that GOP gains only 7-9 seats, the Senate control issues could get down to what?

That’s right, one crucial US Senate seat and the Crystal Ball doesn’t even mention the US Senate race in Connecticut as it is probably --at the moment -- putting Blumenthal in the “safe” or “leaning” category, thus highlighting the critical importance of supporting Linda in this race. With the odds against her as a red candidate running against a 20-year blue veteran (note that’s political, not military) in a heavy Obama state, a victory will send the message that Connecticut’s unaffiliated majority that most often votes for Democrats wants change.

The race between McMahon and Blumenthal is close and likely to get a lot closer as we edge up to the November election. Since the August 10th Primary, Blumenthal has dropped about 7% in the polls, slipping below the 50-50 mark but holding on to about 47% of the predicted vote. McMahon, hovering at around 40%, has a sizeable war chest to support a major media blitzkrieg against Blumenthal in the run-up to November 2nd. At the moment, about 5% of the voters prefer an “other” candidate and 7% remain “undecided.” The remaining 1% is likely “political conscientious objectors” who simply won’t vote for either McMahon or Blumenthal; let’s hope they aren’t a deciding 1% factor in who gets elected.

There is also the Lieberman factor to consider. As one of two Independent Senators, the other being self-described “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders of the Republic of Vermont, sending McMahon to DC as a GOP Senator from blue Connecticut will place a heavy Damocles sword over Lieberman in the next Congress, if he intends to run for re-election in 2012. A McMahon victory would certainly make Liberman feel the winds of war are not in his favor should he support the on-going Obama agenda. So perhaps McMahon could potentially bring a Connecticut twofer to the Senate, not to mention having some coattail effect for other GOP candidates, particularly candidates running for the heavily dominated Democratic CT State Legislature.

In an imperfect world our political candidates will never be perfect for everyone. But for this GOP voter, better the Devil you need in DC than the Devil you don’t. For this reason—and this reason alone—I urge all Connecticut Republicans, Independents and Unaffiliated—even Democrats having serious second thoughts about America’s direction—to support Linda McMahon. The future of America cannot be assured under a self-promoting, anti-business, job destroying Democrat candidate who, like our current president, shamelessly stretches the truth to get elected. A Senator Blumenthal is exactly what we don’t need for Connecticut.

To semi-paraphrase Patrick Henry, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me Linda!” If she wins, her senate votes will reveal if–in the eyes of her detractors–she is on the Republican road to redemption, or is what her detractors claimed her to be.

Chris Janelli is the Republican Town Chairman in Salisbury. The opinions expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent those of other members of the committee.
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