Reinforcing an election-year trend, Republican voters in this week's Colorado and Connecticut primaries chose "offbeat" candidates over those anointed by the national party. The "deeply unusual pool" of GOP nominees, says Alexander Burns at Politico, now includes "a former professional wrestling executive, a libertarian ophthalmologist, and a man who thinks bicycle use could empower the United Nations." GOP strategists fear that these eccentrics will hurt the party in November, but Republican pollster Whit Ayres says Americans are "attracted to people who want to radically change the status quo." What's the risk factor? (Watch Gov. Ed Rendell call GOP candidates "cuckoo")
These loons might sink the Republicans: "The GOP's foray into...wackiness" could save the Democrats this fall, says Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. In Connecticut, Republicans have nominated a Senate candidate, Linda McMahon, who "once climbed into a professional wrestling ring and kicked a man in the crotch." With such jokers on the ballot, Republicans would be "foolish" to think a "sweeping win in November is guaranteed."
"GOP candidates unpredictable and wacky"
GOP candidates aren't crazy — that's the liberal media talking: This talk of wacky Republicans is just liberal "spin," says Don Surber at the Charleston, W.V., Daily Mail. Tea Party candidates like Ken Buck in Colorado are winning because they're offering voters something that's in short supply in Washington — a heartfelt commitment to limited government. With deficits skyrocketing, Democrats can't beat fiscal conservatives in a debate, so instead they're trying to paint the entire crop of GOP insurgents as "crazy," with the help of their lapdogs in the press, of course.
"JournoList’s fall campaign"
"Offbeat" or not, these extremists are unelectable: These candidates aren't winning because they're colorful political outsiders, says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly, but because they're positioning themselves at the far Right. Linda McMahon spent a fortune convincing voters her GOP opponent was "too moderate." Bicycle-conspiracy theorist Ken Buck won for the same reason. In this anger-filled election year, Republican voters want extreme Right-wingers, no matter how unelectable they are.
"Euphemism of the day"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- 10 things you need to know today: August 20, 2014
- What the 'death of the library' means for the future of books
- How Ferguson made conservatives lose faith in the police
- How the West produces jihadi tourists
Subscribe to the Week