Friday, September 21, 2012

Weicker the Anti-Republican

Hell hath no fury, to vary a well-worn phrase, like a Weicker scorned.

Vile and ingrate! too late thou shalt repent
The base Injustice thou hast done my Love:
Yes, thou shalt know, spite of thy past Distress,
And all those Ills which thou so long hast mourn'd;
Heav'n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn'd,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd.

William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697

Once again – a bad habit in former Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker’s case – Mr. Weicker has brought his hobnail boot down upon yet another Republican and  former friend, according to a piece in CageSideSeats (CSS) , “Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. sticks the boots to former friend Linda McMahon.”

“Now that he's lost his cushy WWE part time job, which earned him about $150,000 in his last year on the board, the gloves are well and truly off. Yesterday, Weicker Jr.announced that he was backing McMahon's Democrat rival Chris Murphy in the 2012 Connecticut election. This time he gave a no holds barred burial of Linda's greed and political ignorance, rather than just a couple of sarcastic one-off digs at her expense.”

For the greater part of his career in the U.S. Senate, and in his brief afterlife as an Independent governor of the state, Maverick “Republican” Wicker has guarded with a jealous, almost feline regard his legacy as the longest serving Republican office holder in recent memory.
The Republican Party in Connecticut, continually lashed by then Senator Weicker, finally turned on him in 1989 and gave him the boot. In a senatorial contest with then Attorney General Joe Lieberman, a moderate Democrat, Weicker lost the preponderance of Democratic votes that came his way whenever  he stuck a sharp stick  in the eye of Republicans challenging Democrats, as happened when gentleman farmer Roger Eddy threw his gauntlet at the feet of senator Chris Dodd, whose father Weicker had defeated in an acrimonious three way race involving Tom Dodd, anti-Vietnam war candidate Joe Duffy, the Democratic Party nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1970, and Mr. Weicker. Mr. Weicker promised Mr. Eddy he would support him 100% and threw his support to Mr. Dodd on the eve of the election.

Senator Tom Dodd had been censured by the Senate for misuse of campaign funds, an account of which may be found in “The Senator from Central Casting,” by David Koskoff, reviewedby Don Pesci on his site “Connecticut Commentary." Deprived of the nomination of his party, Senator Dodd ran as an independent, losing to Mr. Weicker, who said Joe Duffy’s opposition to the Vietnam War should earn him some time in the clinker. Mr. Weicker did not scruple to ride the patriotic anti-anti-Vietnam war fervor into office.

Once in the Senate, Mr. Weicker found it prudent – since Democrats in his state outnumbered Republicans by a two to one majority – to use his party as a foil for re-election; at one point, Tom D’Amore, Mr. Weicker’s major domo handpicked by the senator as chairmen of the state Republican Party, proposed to open Republican nominating conventions to non-Republicans, the better to assure the unopposed nomination of his boss.  Republicans balked and sent Mr. D’Amore packing. And later, when Mr. Lieberman challenged Mr. Weicker, the often flogged state Republican Party jumped the fence. Democrats, given a fair choice between an anti-Republican Republican and a moderate Democrat, deserted Mr. Weicker, but his loss by only one percent of the vote could not have happened without significant Republican defections.       

Mr. Weicker’s head is plastered over, like a strike-anywhere match, with an incendiary substance. Bang it once and it bursts into flame.

Mr. Weicker, a Greenwich nurtured millionaire, served the state in one office or another for 28 years; former Senator Chris Dodd, now a Hollywood mogul and the longest serving Connecticut politician, was politically active only two years longer. Mr. Weicker is without question the destructor-elect of the Republican Party, and his support of free spending Democrats should come as no surprise to anyone.
Mr. Weicker is condemned to support politicians and policies that mirror his own past experience.  He rose to the defense of Governor Dannel Malloy’s tax hike, the largest in state history, because Mr. Malloy’s solution to chronic deficits patterned his efforts more than 20 years ago when, having pledged in a campaign to forgo an income tax, he imposed the tax once in office.  Ultimately, as now seems obvious, the Weicker income tax led to an explosion in spending and reduced Connecticut’s competitive edge as measured in states that confronted deficits by reducing job killing taxes and regulations. But then, anyone who resembles Mr. Weicker is sure to gain his approval. Conscientious and -- God and the state’s left of center media forbid! –populist conservative and libertarian Republicans will always merit Mr. Weicker’s treacherous disapproval. But that is the way of all solipsistic personalities.


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