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The primary opponent of MNGOP US Senate endorsee Kurt Bills, David Carlson, is running an attack ad that is so strong it's presumably intended to sir up attention, presumably successfully since I'm writing this and you're reading it. You really have to see it to believe it. Watch how how Carlson uses Bills ties to Ron Paul to go after him by going after Paul (transcript after the jump).

The mining of Paul's old newsletters for inflammatory statements seemed to die down when it became apparent Paul candidacy wasn't going anywhere in terms of actually winning the nomination. However, Paul's supporters figured out that they could maximize their effect by not going home after casting straw poll votes at caucuses and by showing up for every convention to get elected to the next level. At least in Bills' case, they managed to endorse their candidate whether other Republicans like it or not. Maybe we should just say "Republicans" instead of "other Republicans", since Paul supporters were sometimes heard to say they were for Paul or nobody, and weren't in any sense promising to support whoever won the nomination.

I'm David Carlson, and I approve this message because you have the right to know.

Kurt Bills is a disciple of Ron Paul, and now he wants to be our U.S. Senator. What would America have looked like if we had President Paul and Senator Bills? Well, 'states' rights first' means no Civil War to free the slaves. It means women and minorities aren't voting. We don't have integration and open schools. Kurt Bills own school could be all male and white. Ron Paul even stated, "Saving the Jews was absolutely none of our business" and that Adolf Hitler was initially a positive force for Germany! In Ron Paul's and Kurt Bills' America, black veterans who are unwanted in a restaurant can be told to leave. Ron Paul even said Martin Luther King Jr. seduced underage girls and boys and was a gay pedophile. Kurt Bills, a devoted supporter of Ron Paul, has already had our senate race called the most mismatched in America.

Minnesota, let's make the battle for our senate seat a serious race and not put up another unelectable, radical candidate. Say no to Ron Paul and Kurt Bills.

Just for the record, I haven't checked Carlson's claims. I also don't claim to have any idea of his chances of beating the endorsee. I do claim to find it interesting that the attacks on Bills', or Paul's, extreme positions, are ones that might appeal to Democrats even more than sane Republicans. Any of us would hopefully be shocked at making excuses for the Nazis, but will badmouthing the achievements of the civil rights movement really bother Republicans? At least enough to get them to actually vote against the part endorsee?

Maybe the important part is not the specific attacks, but the underlying message to Republicans: our party is being taken over by crazy people. Certainly Bills seems like the sort of crank who used to stand on street corners handing out photocopied leaflets, not getting picked as a major party candidate for public office.

In fact, the saddest part about Bills' add imitating Paul Wellstone isn't the attempted imitation by someone so different that he can't pull it off, but hearing what he says and realizing he's a high school economics teacher who knows precious little about economics, or at least much of what he "knows" is wrong.

When Bills attacks Amy Klobuchar for voting for the stimulus to give big paydays to corporate executives and says Wellstone wouldn't have done that, he seems to be conflating the stimulus and the financial corporation bailouts. Probably he's confusing the Recovery Act and TARP, which were both about $700 billion. There were several parts to the bailouts, and though the Recovery Act had nothign to do with that (other than being made necessary by the recession the financial industries brought down upon us), it's easy to understand how the average person would them jumbled together and not recall what was done by whom or when or for what specific purpose.

Bills, however, isn't the average person. He's a US Senate candidate who claims to be teaching economics to Sen. Klobuchar and the rest of us. For him, this should be basic stuff.

Moreover, if he isn't conflating the two, but is really claiming Wellstone would have opposed the stimulus, then all he knows about Wellstone is he ran a quirky ad. With the caveat that we can't know for sure how Wellstone would vote on something voted on over six years after he died, the stimulus was just basic economics (with a bunch of useless tax cuts thrown in to appease the ignorant and queasy). Wellstone, unlike Bills, actually knew some things. I can't fathom that he would have voted against it. He might have complained it was too small or was too heavy in tax cuts, as many of the living actually did, but the notion he would have voted against creating jobs quickly in an emergency seems preposterous as having the state use gold and silver coins as its currency. Perhaps Bills is actually providing a service by exposing the nutty philosophy taking over the GOP before it's being pushed by a candidate with a chance to win.

cross-posted at MN Progressive Project

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