SENATE CANDIDATE DECLARES HIS BACKGROUND OFF LIMITS…. To borrow a line from Tricia McKinney, the first rule of Joe Miller Club is, do not talk about Joe Miller.

Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller said Monday he will not answer any more questions about his personal background for the rest of the campaign.

“We’ve drawn a line in the sand. You can ask me about background, you can ask me about personal issues — I’m not going to answer,” Miller said.

The problem, apparently, is that Miller wants to talk about all the things he wants to do if he’s elected to the U.S. — oppose the minimum wage, oppose unemployment aid, oppose Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid — without all these pesky questions about his skills, background, qualifications, and professional history.

In the latest in a series of controversies, there’s some evidence to suggest Miller used public resources during an effort to oust a state Republican Party chairperson in 2008. Miller has responded to the evidence by labeling all questions “an attack … based upon avoiding the issues.”

Similarly, we’ve learned that Miller and his family have accepted government benefits that the candidate doesn’t believe should exist — including farm subsidies and Medicaid benefits — and has serious financial problems, despite a pledge to help restore fiscal responsibility to Washington.

Miller has said none of these aspects of his background are relevant because, well, he says so.

This happens a fair amount with first-time candidates who know very little about the political process — they want votes, not questions. Their platform is their vision, and their credibility and qualifications are inconvenient details, better left ignored.

The problem is those darn voters, who often like to know a little something about those they elect to powerful statewide offices. In general, the public doesn’t respond to “just vote for me anyway” in response to reasonable questions, but it’s a strange year, so maybe extremists like Joe Miller can get ahead regardless of his silence.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.