By Bill Press
Tribune Media Services
Ah, 1992. “The Year of the Woman.” We remember it well. And how proud we were. To see the number of women in the U.S. Senate triple: from two to six.
From California, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. From Washington State, Patty Murray. From Illinois, Carol Moseley Braun. Joining Nancy Kassebaum of Kansas and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.
Photos of the first historic gathering of six female United States senators flashed across the country. Their presence was celebrated as the beginning of a new era in American politics. And liberals, especially, responded by calling for even more female candidates for the House, Senate, and governor’s office.
Well, you know what they say: “Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.” There are more female candidates for high office today than ever before. Yet the vast majority of them are Republicans, cut from the same cloth as Sarah Palin, and they’re all bonkers. Indeed, sometimes it’s hard to tell which one’s the craziest of them all.
Linda McMahon, Republican candidate for Senate in Connecticut, jumped into politics right out of the wrestling ring. As CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, she assembled WWE’s collection of superstars and divas who took wrestling to a new low, including men forcing women to get down on all fours and bark like dogs. McMahon’s spending $50 million of her own money for the opportunity to make senators perform the same tricks.
In Arizona, accidental-governor Jan Brewer — who only inherited the office when Janet Napolitano became secretary of Homeland Security — is now trying to win one term on her own. She zoomed to national fame by signing Arizona’s draconian immigration law, the guts of which were soon declared unconstitutional, but she plummeted in the polls after her first campaign debate, in which she bragged, “We have did (sic) what was right for Arizona” — and then couldn’t remember one single thing she’d done. Since then, she’s been spending her time looking for headless bodies of immigrants she claims are littering the Arizona desert.
Brewer’s not the only one trying to ride into office on the backs of illegal immigrants. So did California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, until she was caught hiring an undocumented worker as her personal maid for nine years. Like McMahon, Whitman has put forth no ideas, just lots of money: $140 million of her own money so far, a new high and low in American politics. In her case, however, the more money she spends, the lower she sinks in the polls.
Former CEO Carly Fiorina is also spending her own money like a drunken sailor, trying to steal Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat. Too bad Republicans didn’t remember what an ineffective campaigner she was for John McCain before handing her the GOP Senate nomination. She killed her chances on Fox News Sunday, when host Chris Wallace asked her seven times to identify one example of wasteful government spending. Even though she masquerades as a fiscal conservative, she could not name one single program she would cut.
As crazy as they are, all of the above seem almost sane compared to Sharron Angle of Nevada. If Harry Reid wins this race, it’s because Angle seems determined to lose it. In a state full of seniors, she vows to abolish Social Security. In a state with its share of environmental problems, she wants to shut down both the EPA and the Department of Energy. She recently stopped by the Hispanic Student Union at a local high school and told them they looked “Asian” to her. Of her wacky campaign, Angle says “God’s been in this from the beginning.” If so, God has a better sense of humor than we thought.
Just look at Delaware, where Christine O’Donnell wins the loony-tunes prize. As a born-again Christian, she’s against evolution, masturbation, and all sex outside of marriage. As a defender of the Constitution, she didn’t know the First Amendment establishes the separation of church and state. And as one who promises to reach across the aisle, she could not name one sitting Democratic senator. As a former witch, she’s the craziest of the entire coven of this year’s female candidates.
H. L. Mencken once wrote: “A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in.” He must have been talking about this year.
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