Count me among those who think Connecticut commentator Kevin “Don’t Call Linda McMahon My Mouthpiece” Rennie has a point when he says a compromised smell emits from Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal’s choice of Laura Rubiner, vice president for public policy at Planned Parenthood, as his chief of staff.
The Blumenthal Senate campaign had an embarrassing moment when Ben Smith of Politico published a leaked memo showing that Planned Parenthood was helping the Blumies gather images of “misogyny” in what we know is the highly cultured content of McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment, where she had been CEO.
The campaign and PP either worked volunteers needlessly or wasted money on paid staffers who conducted this deep, deep undercover work via such hard-to-penetrate sources as YouTube. I wrote at the time, and still maintain, that this information was about as instrumental to Blumenthal as a hat rack to a moose. Linda lost the election decisively because the minimum wage gaffe exposed that she couldn’t talk her way out of a policy paper bag, and because her opponent finally focused his fire on the somewhat lacking occupational health and safety standards at her junk-entertainment company, which has resulted in many dead people.
Admittedly, the Rennie crowd seems to have no hard proof of any Blumenthal-Planned Parenthood collusion outside the boundaries of the law. Just as McMahon’s adversaries have no evidence that WWE resources contributed to Vince McMahon’s wife’s $50 million “self-funded” run for high political office. (Cue laugh track.)
Nor, by the same token, do I have proof that Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, had a hand in quashing a federal investigation of WWE based on the findings of Congressman Henry Waxman, then chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. I only know that Emanuel, when himself in the House, was among the multitude of both Democrats and Republicans who have received campaign donations from the McMahon family. I also know that investigations of this sort don’t usually go away by themselves; someone, whether Emanuel or someone else, likely made a discreet contact or two with the right influence peddlers who carried the message that this was one fight that shouldn’t be taken to the mat.
The 112th Congress, with a new Republican majority in the House and a continuing Democratic majority in the Senate – the latter due, in no small measure, to Blumenthal’s “firewall” win over the wrestling lady in Connecticut – marks a new day with a new mix of political exigencies and legislative priorities.