Beckmann: The Terri Lynn Land autopsy
With this week’s word that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is withdrawing its funding support for GOP candidate Terri Lynn Land, only one conclusion can be drawn: Her candidacy is dead with less than three weeks to go before her election showdown with Democratic Congressman Gary Peters.
Republicans are left with the reality their streak continues — no elected senator from their Michigan party since 1994.
The death of the Land campaign deserves an autopsy.
The collapse from polling that showed her even or ahead of Peters earlier in the year quickly declined to a 9-point deficit in the most recent survey conducted for The Detroit News and WDIV television by the Glengariff Group.
Among crucial Oakland County voters, Peters has grabbed a commanding 17.5 percent advantage, and Glengariff president Richard Czuba said on my WJR radio show this week that Land’s unfavorable rating is an irreversible 44 percent compared to 27 percent favorable.
If that wasn’t enough to convince National Republicans that their Michigan candidate’s campaign was on life support, Land’s responses during an editors’ conference with MLive.com closed the deal.
Land had no logical explanation for her flip-flop on the federal auto bailout issue, where two years ago she supported the view of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who opposed federal tax money for GM and Chrysler in favor of private financing to manage a turnaround.
Problem is, even the casual newshound knew the capital equity market had dried up in the recession and that money was not available because banks were in as much, or more, trouble than the automakers.
Land told MLive she “always supported the auto industry” and would have voted for the bailout if she had been in federal office, contradicting her earlier comments.
But she was just getting started.
Land blasted proposed rules by the Environmental Protection Agency to curb carbon emissions by forcing the closure of a good number of American power plants. It’s a move that is going to cost the nation’s struggling economy countless jobs and drive up utility rates by more than 30 percent according to industry experts, all in the name of the fraudulent claim that man can keep the climate from changing as it always has on our planet.
But in the next breath, she remarkably stated, “I believe there is climate change, that humans do affect the climate. We need to make sure we have clean air and reduce carbon emissions, there’s no doubt about that, but we have to do it in a logical way.”
No tough stance on stopping illegal immigration, no ideas for spurring private sector job development, but a firmly stated agreement with her opponent on global warming from Land. That’s no way to generate support from her base voters.
Now aside from the fact that her view coincides with that of her opponent — Peters — it also matches the ambition of the Democrat’s puppeteer, the radical environmentalist Tom Steyer, who has funded Land’s opponent to the tune of nearly half a million dollars.
Anyone who agrees with the myth that man is changing the planet’s climate must logically support efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels, so Land is tacitly approving the EPA’s destructive efforts while saying she opposes the government agency.
When asked by MLive if she supported any new gun regulations, the best retort Land could summon was a statement that she had been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
She gave no defense of the Second Amendment, no mention of the thousands of Americans who have successfully defended themselves against criminals thanks to their constitutional right to bear arms, as if she was unaware of that guarantee.
Land had no alternative to the Obama administration’s foreign policy initiative against Islamic State militants, which she criticized.
The only issue on which she really showed any difference from Peters was support for an effort to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.
Two days after her interview became public, the national Republicans pulled the plug — removed the ventilator — from her campaign.
Now we learn that Land has finally accepted a debate challenge from Peters for Oct. 27.
Unfortunately for her and Michigan Republicans, she’s already had the debate with herself and she lost.
Frank Beckmann is host of “The Frank Beckmann Show” on WJR-AM (760).