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.
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.