|GOP Political Suicide Candidate|
put your gun down and go home
Those brave enough... or perhaps foolish enough to put their reputation, privacy, personal wealth at risk to hold political office, do so - with far more to lose than to gain. First, there's the whole business of campaigning; driving all over creation to give your stunt speech to rooms full of grey-haired old men (and women) who look on you with a weary eye of distrust, and a certain level of contempt. You get asked you about things which people haven't talked about for decades, or about local controversial issues that no politician dare touch with a ten foot pole. So you smile, answer their questions, and play the game knowing all to well, that no matter how good your answers are that the RTCs appointed chief interrogator is already voting for the other guy. We understand the whole business of being corned by people who - if not for the campaign - you would otherwise would run 100 miles away from. And all candidates dread the act of begging for donations from a crowd that doesn't have a dime to spare. And at the end of the day, it's all or nothing. Months pass by, you give up your family, your job, and your entire existence, and finally when the numbers roll in and your piggy bank is depleted, and nearly all of your allies abandon you - that you realize after months and months of sleepless effort - it's game over and your day is done.
Reaching this decision to call the ball is hard for a lot of candidates. The smart ones (those who aren't pig-headed or just plain stupid) step back, analyze the field, weigh the expense of carrying on, and subjectively evaluate the likelihood of winning if they keep going on. Last week, you'll recall that Republican State Treasurer Candidate Bob Eick made the decision to call it quits. Eick may have left the battlefield a little bumped and bruised, but appreciated and respected by friends and foes alike for not dragging everyone through a pointless campaign that depletes everyone's limited funds and resources for no reason. It's a fact that people remember loyal party members who understand the value of exhibiting good judgement over showing false pride.
And there's something to be said for being a good loser. Republicans will recall how in just the past few election cycles both Republican U.S. Senate Candidates Rob Simmons, and Chris Shays did the right thing and drew a close to their respective campaigns; they didn't fight on, or bellyache, or undermine the Party, or run as Independents - they made the right decision, although reluctantly, for the good of the Party. And don't kid yourself, both of these men could have easily continued forward; they could have fought to the bloody end by gathering signatures, and calling in favors from Washington big dogs, but both of them understood that any move down such a path would have served to strengthen the Democrat position in the General Election - and killed their reputations as respected Republicans with strong service to their party, and country. See, part of this game is understanding that sometimes neither the most capable, or the most qualified person wins - and the other part is knowing when to quit, and find another way to participate in the process without coming off as a sore loser, or worse - a spoiler to satisfy your own inflated ego.
But you know what irks me in this election cycle? It's that there are a few choice Republicans who don't know when enough is enough. The very idea that anyone would run as an Independent candidate with the goal of drawing a lot of attention to themselves by making a lot of noise in order to serve as a spoiler to help put Dan Malloy back in office is beyond shameful. There is nothing in the background of Mark Boughton, John McKinney or Tom Foley which - to any sane person - should prevent them from being our Republican nominee. Yes, I disagree with them on a number of issues, but that's the way it is - you support the candidate who is closest to your ideology - and looking at these three - 80-90% is pretty damn good, the rest is conjecture, personality and character flaws. All which should be trumped working to undermine Republicans by indirectly supporting Dan Malloy's return to office.
So when you hear about any registered Connecticut Republicans planning to run as an Independent - ask them directly when they plan on formally switching to the Democrat Party. Trust me, they know that an Independent run hurts the Republican Party's chances of winning in November. They will lie to your face claiming they are running on principle or to use the excuse that they are championing a single issue or two, and they will spew all kinds of incoherent inter-party conspiracy nonsense which has not one iota of merit (particularly in this election cycle). It's impossible to have any credibility regarding principles when you know damn well that you can't win, and you'll only hurt the Republican candidate's chances of winning in November. For all my criticism of Martha Dean, whom I have extreme disagreements with as a politician and as an individual, you have to give her credit - she absolutely did the right thing by dropping out of the race just prior to the Convention. At the end of the day, Dean put Party before ego and let the process unfold on its own. It's shocking to see some of Dean's loudest critics strategize a full blown slash and burn campaign just to bury Tom Foley, John McKinney, Mark Boughton and others - for seemingly petty and irrelevant reasons. Isn't it time to stop throwing rocks, grow up, and get on-board? Isn't it time to put pride aside and focus on building Connecticut's economy by electing a Republican to office?
The Connecticut Republican Party has it's problems. I've outlined them many times. But you cannot create change by giving up your seat at the discussion table. You cannot up and leave and think you will influence people from the outside because they will only hate you for your treachery; moreover, they will stop listening to your opinion - regardless of how correct you might be on one issue to another. In the current situation, some people really stand the chance of completely losing their self-respect and eliminating their voice in Connecticut politics once and for all. Moreover, a few are on the verge of losing many longtime friends and allies by forcing many friends and allies to disassociate themselves from their self-destructive behavior. Activism, dissent, humor, and challenging the status quo are all great attributes of a thoughtful advocacy for Conservatism - but leaving the Party and trying to destroy it through a third party run is unforgivable.
To whom this is intended, make the choice - if you must, and expect never to be welcome back in the fold again. Just ask Lowell Weicker.
Good luck. Hopefully, you'll come to your senses, and rejoin the fight.
This article may be later amended to address typographical or grammatical errors, and content. All entries are for the sole purpose of entertainment. This article does not imply endorsement of any candidate, if mentioned above, nor has this article been solicited for publication by any political candidate, campaign, or PAC.