Bring On The Smelling Salts
..Rand Paul, the pot smoking libertarian Tea Partier is now rending his garments like a typical social conservative Christian and condemning Jack Conway for being insensitive to his religion. (And once again the liberal intelligentsia is abandoning Conway because he's made an ad that they feel in "inappropriate.")
The fact is that Rand Paul, once a hardcore libertarian, condemned religion and certainly didn't believe in social conservatism. Tens of thousands of libertarians sent him money just this year believing that's the kind of Tea Partier he was. Now, like the rest of them he's changed his tune and he's become a Church Lady Bible thumper, excoriating Conway for saying the word "hell" at a political picnic. This is a bullshit game and Conway has every right to call him out as a hypocrite.
This race in Kentucky is a vicious dogfight that very possibly may end up being the only chance the Democrats have to hold the Senate. The Teabaggers and other right wing deviants are running disgusting ads all over the country ripping Democrats to shreds and appealing to basest instincts of the voters. (Check this one out if you want to see something bad --- and he's already winning his race!)
But the good news is that if we can help Rand Paul drag down Conway and give the villagers an "even the liberals" narrative for Paul to use as his sanctimonious fainting couch, at least on the morning after the election, when the US Congress is taken over by antediluvian throwbacks, we'll all be able to say that we didn't stoop to their level. I'm sure that will be very comforting.
When this new progressive movement started, one of its tenets was that if progressive candidates would take risks, would be aggressive against the Republicans, would shake up the establishment and stop being the milquetoast campaigners that had turned the Democratic party into an embarrassment --- we would get their backs. Some of them believed us and they went outside the normal cautious "don't make trouble" approach and came out swinging. It's risky, and sometimes it misses. But taking risks is what we asked them to do and that's what we signed up for.
We have two weeks to go and some of these races are very, very tight. They may all lose, some might win, we just don't know. This is an ugly election --- one of the worst I've ever seen --- financed by billionaires who are very happy to let the GOP run completely wild as long as it takes care of the owners. But it isn't ugly because the Democrats have been hurling mud. It's ugly because this ugly political movement is fighting as dirty as candidates can fight. Some Democrats aren't rolling over and playing dead. The least we can do is have their backs as we promised we would.
You can donate to Conway's campaign here.
Update: Here's Theda Skopkol:
I have a real problem with all the prissy condemnations coming from liberal commentators about Conway's ad on Rand Paul's youthful playing with contempt for Christianity. People are acting as if it is some kind of political sin to point out to ordinary Kentucky voters the kind of stuff about Paul's extremist libertarian views that everyone in the punditry already knows. This does not amount to saying that Christian belief is a "requirement for public office" as one site huffs. It is a matter of letting regular voters who themselves care deeply about Christian belief know that Paul is basically playing them. No different really than letting folks who care about Social Security and Medicare know that Paul is playing them,
Update II : Markos has more
One reason that Dems do not seem to be able to play hardball -- in a viciously hardball political world -- is that Dems often lack conviction or the will to be eloquently honest (for example, on taxes). But an equal problem is that when someone does play hardball, the rest of the prissy liberal Mugwumps tut-tut them about it.
I say, go for it, Jack Conway. Does anyone doubt that Paul and his supporters would have used similar publicly documented material against Conway (or even less material)?
Update III: Sarah Posner thinks it didn't go far enough