Saturday, July 07, 2012

McMahon And The Editorial Boards

Linda McMahon, now engaged in a Republican Party primary with former U.S. Representative Chris Shays, has been around the Connecticut editorial board block before when she ran on the Republican ticket against then Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
Mr. Blumenthal had earned some twenty years of fawning commentary chits collected from Editorial Board Writers (EBW) and commentators, and it was plain from much of the adoring press reports issuing from the attorney general’s office, many of them put into print with little or no editing, that he had cashed them in during his campaign for the U.S. Senate.
So then, Mrs. McMahon (LM in the imaginary dialogue below) knows there are wolves dressed in wolves’ clothing out there eager to pounce.
EBW: Quick now: Do you think the United States should assist, behind the scenes of course, in overthrowing Yahya Jammeh?
LM: What?
Perhaps the easiest questions to handle are those surrounding World Wide Entertainment (WWE).
EBW: What about the pornography issue, Mrs. McMahon?
LM: It’s not porn, but WWE fixed all that.
EBW: Should lawyers from WWE have threatened to sue a political commentator for having exercised his constitutional right to say that the company you once served as CEO was engaging in pornography?

LM: The statement is not true, and corporations have a responsibility to protect their brands from questionable assertions. But the answer to your question is – No.

EBW: Well, do you plan to relay your opinion to your husband and WWE lawyers?

LM: I just did. I’ve always been partial to Dick the Butcher’s view of lawyers. You remember your Shakespeare: “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” I shouldn’t be so hard on them. They do perform a well-paid sometimes necessary service. And if we shot them all, the halls of Congress would soon come to resemble the sadly diminished staffs of Connecticut newspapers, which, come to think of it, might not be a tragedy after all… Wait a sec: I’ve just had a mental flash on Yayah, and – Yes – the United States should work quietly in the background to rid post-colonial states of pestiferous dictators, though I am not quite ready to send the drones in on them. You haven’t yet asked me any questions on the economy, still stuck in low dive. Here are some figures taken from an article written by Jonah Goldberg of National Review that could be obtained by any curious editorial board writer from any number of sources: From the end of World War II to the beginning of the Obama administration, federal spending had never exceeded 23.5 percent of the Gross National Product (GDP). The average for the Bush years was 19.6 percent. The U.S. broke 25 percent in 2009 because of measures initiated by Bush and afterwards augmented by Obama. In the last four years, we have added $6.3 trillion in federal debt, $5 trillion on Obama’s watch. Debt held by the public in 2008 was 40.5 percent of GDP. The debt today is an alarming 74.2 percent and rising…

EBW: (eyes glazing over owing to a severe allergic reation to statistical data) Excuse me…
LM: Excuse me… These are indisputably accurate measurements of spending increases. Everyone running for Congress this year and everyone writing about the economy should be aware of these figures. And no one should be allowed to pass through the doors of Congress following the election without having proposed a plan to reduce those percentages. I hope your next question is: What’s your spending reduction plan – because our time for this interview is running short, and the nation is on its knees praying for spending relief. When the time comes for you to interview U.S. Rep Chris Murphy [the likely winner in the Democratic primary for the U.S Senate], you might ask him why his party has not produced a passable budget since the beginning of the Obama administration – even when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency. If the budget is kicked down the road by means of continuing resolutions, you can’t control spending.
One feels tempted to shout in Mrs. McMahon’s ear: Get thee to an editorial board.
My best guess – and I must confess that I have no access to inside information from the McMahon camp – is that Mrs. McMahon is being held prisoner by her Beltway staff and advisors, possibly some lawyers, who may have told her: “Now look here, Linda, we absolutely forbid you to throw around the silverware until the Republican primaries are over, and this for the best of reasons: You are going to win the primary without firing a shot at Mr. Shays. After that -- game’s on. Go kick butt.”
Never having been a paid political consultant, I do not know whether such advice is good or bad politics, if it has been proffered.
I do know that left of center editorial board writers are waiting anxiously to plant their progressive hobnailed boots on Mrs. McMahon’s face.
Mrs. McMahon should give them the opportunity to howl and stamp their feet and yelp and moan. People in Connecticut, as she well knows from her glory days in WWE, love a gaudy political show almost as much as they like mud wrestling contests and the soft porn endemic in widely viewed and popular nipple showing Madonna concerts.
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