Few Americans outside the beltway and Alaska knew much, if anything, about Lisa Murkowski , but we all do now. In her decision to mount a write-in campaign for her apparently lost Senate seat, she has become the poster girl for that great politician’s personality disorder — pathological narcissism. In plain English, back in the pre-psychiatric age, she is what we used to call a jerk.
Glenn Reynolds puts it in a more uptown manner: “The Murkowski story embodies what’s wrong with the traditional GOP: Self-centered, dynastic, and looking to lobbyists as primary allies.”
In other words, a jerk.
Meanwhile, Ed Morrissey has a good roundup of some of the usual suspects thumb-sucking on whether the Alaska senator could possibly win this write-in candidacy, but I think they all miss the point. In this year of extreme populism, voters are ultimately going to gag on someone like Murkowski arrogantly trying to tell them it is business as usual, as if she has some form of droit de seigneur for her allegedly magnificent service in the US Senate.
Yes, I know some polls are showing her with a decent percentage and, yes, she has money in the bank, but it’s hard to imagine a significant number of those people finally making the effort, and it is an effort, to write in the name of such a person. Unlike Joe Lieberman, who ran successfully as an independent in Connecticut, she has no cause, other than herself. (And Lieberman was actually on the ballot.)
Oh, okay, she has the cause of a tired Republican Party that no one seems to want anymore.
And that’s the point. We live in an exciting time when the possibility of change (real change — not rhetorical change) is in the air. Murkowski comes along like Mrs. Scrooge and tries to squelch it. How pathetic.
One last word to the lobbyists (Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Marath0n Oil, etc) who apparently received email from Murkowski’s chief of staff, alerting them an hour early to her imminent campaign. We live in a New Media Age where your behavior is being watched as never before. And, as you know, you have already been outed in this instance. Karen Knutson, Murkowski’s chief of staff, showed herself to be a trigger-happy dolt by sending that premature email. One of you probably leaked it. Signing on for the Murkowski campaign is now bad news for your company. Stay away.