Look, I know Republicans have never been big on cleverness or wit, but certainly they could do better than this…word that rhymes with wit.

Get a load of this hopelessly lame, hideously corny ad now contaminating television screens in Massachusetts, paid for by one of the junior-varsity GOPers running to win the September 4 Republican Senate primary in the Bay State:

YouTube video

On his campaign website, John Kingston calls himself a “independent-minded Republican who will put results before politics and challenge the broken culture in Washington.” “Independent-minded Republican”? The use of that nonsense phrase reveals Kingston’s belief that Massachusetts voters are idiots. There is no such thing as an “independent-minded Republican,” just as there is no such thing as a “maverick Republican” or a “moderate Republican” or a “compassionate conservative.” In 2018, the word “Republican” is a synonym for “pro-Trump lickspittle,” regardless of the qualifier placed in front of the word. If Kingston were to defeat Warren, he’d vote to confirm all of Trump’s federal judges and implement all of Trump’s economic policies. Who the hell is Kingston trying to fool?

The same could be said for State Representative Geoff Diehl and longtime Mitt Romney pal Beth Lindstrom, who are battling Kingston for the GOP Senate nomination:

That Diehl, Kingston, and Lindstrom each face similar hurdles is clear: As relatively little-known candidates, they’re vying to unseat one of the Democratic Party’s most popular names and an oft-discussed contender for its 2020 presidential nomination.

How they’ve gone about making their case has been one of the race’s starkest differences, a dynamic shaped by money and personal style.

Diehl has tracked Warren across the state, amping up the attacks on her. Kingston, who has spent recent days outside Massachusetts, says he’s pouring millions into dominating the airwaves. And Lindstrom has sought out every chance to debate her primary opponents — even when the “debate” includes only her…

Twice in the last week, she attended “debates” in which she’s the only candidate to accept an invite. And while Lindstrom has released a series of radio ads, she’s made about a half-dozen TV appearances on Fox Business, Fox News, and CNN, getting network exposure without paying for it.

The schedule brought her last week to the Waltham office of AMPM Facility Services, a commercial janitorial company where about 15 employees gathered to hear Lindstrom’s stump speech.

She touted her experience as a member of the Romney administration’s Cabinet; her small business (she owns a salon and day spa in Groton); and, in her view, Warren’s shortcomings.

At one point, one of the employees told her he didn’t want his senator to “be Trump” — or make the campaign about attacking Warren. “Be positive,” he said.

Asking a Republican to be positive? That’s like asking for tonight’s winning Powerball numbers.

It’s a guarantee that whoever wins the GOP Senate primary will build their general-election campaign around attacking Warren’s private-sector accountability efforts. The idea behind such attacks is not to defeat Warren; Massachusetts Republicans have to know that there aren’t enough Atlas Shrugged fans in the Bay State electorate for such an attack to gain traction. The obvious angle is for the eventual candidate to secure a lucrative gig in right-wing media after losing to Warren, so that they have a prominent platform with which to demonize Warren in the event she runs for President in 2020–and to verbally assault her for years afterward if she wins. There are big bucks to be made in marketing oneself as the person “who tried to stop President Warren before she socialized the country.” To quote the old Billy Joel line, Diehl, Lindstrom and Kingston don’t want the hard cash; they want the easy money. In other words, whoever gets the GOP Senate nomination can become a winner by being a loser.

It’s long been forgotten that Warren herself used to be a Republican back in the day. The day she left the GOP was the day she left an insane asylum—and looking at Diehl, Lindstrom and Kingston, it’s clear that the remaining lunatics are now in full control of that asylum.

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D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.