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A bunch of "serious thinking" folks on the left are wringing their hands over an ad by Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway attacking Republican Senate opponent Rand Paul over religion.

Yes, the ad is a low blow by Conway, using the narrator's ominous tone to describe a "secret society," when it's actually talking about a frat-boy prank. The "tied up" woman, told to take bong hits and pray to the Aqua Buddha, has already gone on the record saying she knew it was a joke. And the ad draws a false equivalent comparing Rand Paul's pot-inspired college prank to his stand on funding for faith-based programs.

Jonathan Chiatt of The New Republic says it's, "The ugliest, most illiberal political ad of the year." Ezra Klein of the Washington Post says: "Jack Conway embarrasses himself by indulging in this sort of demagoguery."

Lighten up guys. This GQ story includes a photo of the sinister secret society Rand hung out with. That's Rand in a woman's black robe and straw hat.

So, basically, Rand was being a douche in college. Like no one has done that before. And Jack's being a douche in the campaign. Like no one has done that before.

My stand on Rand as a candidate is pretty clear. Given the choice between him and a duck, the duck gets my vote.

But the issue here is why do liberal commentators think it's beneath Democratic candidates to play hardball in a campaign?

Look, if Conway had pulled a coed-kidnap, pot-smoking, bondage, Aqua Buddha stunt in college, do the guys who have gotten the vapors and obviously are about to faint REALLY think Rand wouldn't have been running ads on that every day for the past two months? Especially in a God-fearing state like Kentucky?

Democrats take the high road when the right attacks and get their asses handed to them. (Remember the Republican lies that Al Gore said he invented the internet or that John Kerry embellished his Vietnam War record?)

When right-wingers talk about a Democrat's past, they just make one up: Does the Obama "birth certificate, was he born in the U.S., is he a Muslim" charade we've been putting up with ring a bell?

Republicans constantly complain when anyone brings up what they really did in their past, saying it isn't relevant to the "issues" voters want addressed. Examples: Christine O'Donnell (I am not a witch), Rich Iott (I dress up as a Nazi), Carl Paladino (So what if I had a love child).

But when Republicans make up an imaginary past for a Democrat, they trot it out like it's the most important revelation of all time and the future of democracy hangs in the balance.

So screw the high road. Yeah, Democrat Jack Conway is being a douche. He's been reading the Republican playbook. And since he's running against Rand Paul and a duck isn't, he gets my vote.

Originally posted to brobrubel on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:11 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  The ad reminds me of the Casey-Scranton race (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superribbie, Pinto Pony

      in PA, where the Casey folks ran an ad slamming Scranton on his transcendental meditation connections.  Had a major impact on the race, supressing conservative voting for Scranton. Casey won by 79,000 votes.  The ad came out of the minds of James Carville and Paul Begala.

      Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

      by aravir on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:18:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very well said. (0+ / 0-)

      I'mma let you finish, Barack, but the teabaggers have done about the most for international peace of all time.--The collective GOP 10/9/09

      by Superribbie on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:48:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've said it before here... (6+ / 0-)

    We need to stop taking a knife to a gunfight. These elections are the equivalent of a gutter fight. We can't win playing by the Queensbury Rules.

    We didn't pick this road, but we have to walk it if we want to win. Unless we want to be losers with clean hands again.

    "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

    by QuestionAuthority on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:15:41 AM PDT

  •  Because it's lowball, not hardball (0+ / 0-)

    There's real issues to be addressed which affect thousands of people in Kentucky which Conway should've hit Paul on. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Anything would have made Jack look like a smart and serious candidate. Go after Rand of civil rights, outsourcing jobs, the deficit, all easy targets. Issues that voters care about right now. The ad and the whole Aqua Buddha thing turns off voter and think it's old and petty. This was a poor choice by the Conway campaign and I hope the damage to it is minimal.

    "I have as much authority as the Pope. I just don't have as many people who believe it" - G. Carlin

    by Rob Dapore on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:23:02 AM PDT

    •  We shall see. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MaikeH, Pinto Pony

      If the character assassination playbook is such a dud when compared to campaigns on serious issues, then how come the GOP has been quite successfully running with the former for as long as I can remember?

      I'mma let you finish, Barack, but the teabaggers have done about the most for international peace of all time.--The collective GOP 10/9/09

      by Superribbie on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:49:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Meh. Rand is such a douchnozzle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pinto Pony

      that any true antics of his from any time he was old enough to know better (college kids are considered adults, you know) is fair game. Rand's brainwashed voters need to know as much about who they're voting for as possible. Nothing wrong with that.

      Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

      by Joieau on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 09:47:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You make a good point Brobubel, (0+ / 0-)

    dirty politics ain't new. I'll just say that here in KY, (at least in Louisville and we're pretty liberal,) the ad went down like a lead balloon. The time for these ads was three months ago, hell maybe even two. Beat up on Rand for silly things, but then beat the crap out of him on substantive issues in the homestretch. Conway has a good reputation in this state, but I'm afraid the only person he may have sullied with this ad is himself.

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