Given the number of candidates in the race to succeed Congressman Frank Wolf in the 10th District, it’s not surprising to see some of the folks far outside the margin of error trying to take unique paths to get their name out.
One of the most unique, however, seems to be Howie Lind, who has repackaged his quixotic U.S. Senate campaign into a quixotic campaign for Congress by engaging in a tour de force of political hypocrisy. I have rarely seen anybody who demonstrates such an utter lack of self-awareness in public life.
Here’s a relatively simple example: while in the Senate race, he attacked Ed Gillespie for being “a big party guy”, being a “Washington insider” and a lobbyist. The attacks were patently ridiculous coming from Howie, a former party official (State Central Committee member and 10th District Congressional Committee chairman) who has also been lobbyist – that’s what a “Director of Government Affairs” is. Howie at least learned the old Potomac Two-Step, flipping his government service with the Iraq Reconstruction Authority into a lobbying gig at Fluor Corporation, a global construction corporation. Apparently Ed Gillespie’s real crime was being a better and bigger party boss and lobbyist than Howie was.
I’ll leave aside the drama surrounding  the resignation of his Senate campaign manager, and the allegations surrounding his personal life, because those only add a dash of the unseemly to an already absurd candidacy.
Trying to decipher a campaign message from the spate of emails and communications coming out of the Lind camp is hard to do. Apparently nobody is fighting Obamacare in Washington, but Howie will. Ted Cruz would like his message back.
Only one thing is really certain – his campaign has gone quickly from insignificant to bad to comically awful. He seems to have made the calculation that the only way to get attention for his campaign is to bash fellow Republicans … while complaining about Republicans attacking other Republicans.
Lately, he’s spent quite a bit of time attacking Speaker John Boehner and now he’s going after Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy – the same people he’s going to be counting on if he were somehow to be elected for committee assignments and help moving legislation.
First up was a tiny radio buy attacking Speaker Boehner for not standing up to President Obama. Then he proceeds to take out another tiny radio buy against attacking Speaker Boehner – in fact, other than a few shots at Obama, you’ll find more attacks on other Republicans on Howie’s website than you will any discussion of his potential Democratic opponent in the 10th District.
Nobody has been paying attention, though, because these attacks are dumb. Not even the blogs were paying attention, which lead Howie’s campaign manager, Howie Morgan, to email most of the Republican blogosphere last week:
That’s what desperation smells like, folks.
Then, today, under the ridiculous headline of “Lind Calls on Boehner, Cantor to Fight Liberals not Conservatives,” Lind proceeds to attack the House leadership for joining the members of the Republican Main Street Partnership (of which I am one) this weekend at their annual meeting. The organization, which has been promoting and aiding Republicans across America for over a decade, has helped us (along with the Tea Party) win back the majority in 2010 and has provided a way for moderate and main stream Republicans to stave off attacks from Democrats and Tea Party primary opponents, which is only fair. Apparently Lind thinks it’s okay for the Tea Party to primary Republicans, but it’s not okay for them to defend themselves? About the best thing I can say about Howie Lind is that he’s a consistent hypocrite.
He then goes on to attack Main Street’s Chairman, Steve LaTourette, as a “liberal” Republican. LaTourette, who had a lifetime ACU rating of 67.43 over his 9 terms in the House,  was one of the most effective and pragmatic Republicans in the House – the kind of member you went to when you needed something accomplished, not just lip service. Attacking him as a liberal – he is at worst (or, in my opinion, best) a moderate – is stupid and unnecessary. And attacking Main Street while exhorting the Republican leadership not to “attack conservatives” (including Eric Cantor, the vocal leader of House Conservatives) is ridiculous. Maybe I take this more personally than I should because Steve LaTourette is a personal friend of mine, but I get tired of hearing tired attacks against effective legislators.
Enough is enough.
This campaign has been flawed from the start and the two campaigns – Senate and House – have demonstrated to anybody paying attention that Howie Lind is a transparent political opportunist and consummate hypocrite. I, for one, would love at least one Republican primary that doesn’t devolve into mudslinging and the age old establishment/grassroots fake debate. Lind’s campaign isn’t even providing a competent version of either.
Congratulations Howie – you got your first attention from a media outlet for your nonsensical attacks on every Republican who matters.
Now go away.