Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why Not More Professional Wrestling in Republican Politics

It looks like WWE CEO Linda McMahon is gearing up to run as a Republican for Christopher Dodd's Senate seat in Connecticut. That makes a lot of sense. The Republicans have been sounding more and more like professional wrestlers over the last ten years. All the Bush administration chest-beating about the "New Roman Empire," the "Axis of Evil" accusations, Dick Cheney telling Pat Leahy to "go fuck yourself" in the Senate--it was all about pumping themselves up, showing that they were the baddest act in town, and going out to "kick some ass."

Wait a minute! Didn't George Bush say that as U. S. troops began the invasion of Iraq?

GOP speechwriters would have had to pump the volume to match the WWE's techniques for promoting Hulk Hogan, the Rock, and John Cena. But the core motifs are the same--big bragging, huge putdowns, and lots of exciting pseudo-action whether it was the Iraq War, "diplomacy" with North Korea, threats against Iran, and immigrant bashing, gay baiting, and race baiting.

The only difference is that the Bush administration was called upon to "govern" as well as put on a show and al-Qaeda, Katrina, and last fall's financial meltdown did not respond nearly as well to professional wrestling rhetoric as expected.

Something about opponents being able to write their own lines that screwed things up.

Not that things have changed much since Obama took office. Joe Wilson's "you lie" was more WWE than Teabagger. Or more precisely, the Teabagger/Townhall movement has a lot of WWE in its paranoia, racism, and know-nothingness.

In this way, Linda McMahon is the perfect Republican politician for these times. Actually, I'm rather surprised that the WWE has not run its executives, wrestlers, managers, and divas all over the country as Republican candidates. It's been known for a long time that politics is show business and the WWE puts on the kind of show that Republicans like to see. It's a natural fit.

I wouldn't be surprised if the WWE doesn't need the Republican Party as well. With the rise of Ultimate Fighting and mixed martial arts as a new form of mass entertainment, the WWE probably needs new ways to market itself and keep growing.

Why not Republican politics?

As for Chris Dodd. His blood's in the water. It looks like there are going to be four major candidates vying for the Republican senate nomination in Connecticut. He's been coasting to re-election for years. Now, he'll have to fight.

Maybe he should call Hulk Hogan for campaign advice.

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