Tuesday, October 19

Aqua Buddha Victim says Conway ad "Over the Top", but Accurate

From Greg Sargent at the Plum Line.

Dem Jack Conway's new ad hammering Rand Paul over his college excesses is accurate on the facts, and it's legit to raise questions about his past views as a way of probing whether his current posture as a conservative Christian is genuine, the victim of Paul's Aqua Buddha prank just told me in an interview.

She confirmed the ad's accuracy, and wondered aloud why Paul doesn't just admit what occured and move on.

"Yes, he was in a secret society, yes, he mocked religion, yes, the whole Aqua Buddha thing happened," she said. "There was a different side to him at one time and he's pretending that it never existed. If he would just acknowledge it, it would all go away and it wouldn't matter anymore."

There'e nothing wrong with changing your mind, or your point of view - so why can't Paul just say that he's changed and put this to rest?

Of all the things that Rand Paul has said in recent months, from his questioning the legitimacy of the Public Accommodations Act, his opposition to the Americans with Disabilities Act, his weird support and defense for BP when they were responsible for the largest environmental disaster in U.S. History, and all the kooky things he's said it's weird to me that Jack Conway decided to plant his flag with the Aqua Buddha - but that's seems to be exactly what he's done, and it appears to be working.

The TPM Polltracker now has Conway within 5 points, up from an 11 point deficit that had been holding for weeks.

All of this isn't to say that Paul's accuser in this case is entirely happy with the Conway ad.

"The tone of voice sounds more ominous than it actually was," she said, referring to the ad's narrator. "The way the person is talking, it sounds like [Paul] is some kind of evil-worshipping person who's a little bit more threatening than perhaps he really is. The ad is over the top. I'm disappointed that someone is making this into a central issue."

It seems to me that this was really not much more than a silly college prank involving the swim team. This is Animal House, minus most of the funny - but not really anything more than that. It should only be a two minute discussion: Did this happen? Yes, but don't most of us do silly things when we're young, I'm an adult now and shouldn't we be discussing adult issues?

End of problem, right? But no, instead of responding reasonably to the issue - even if it has been blown out of proportion - Paul is now hurting himself by grossly overreacting to it as he did here.

However anyone feels about Conway bringing this up and hammering on it, the question now is why hasn't Paul responded?

Paul could have argued that the source is mistaken or untrustworthy, that this event never happened and therefore there is no answer to the question of "why mocked people of faith" because it didn't happen.

He didn't do that.

He could have argued that it were merely a joke, and not intended to be taken literally or seriously.

He didn't do that.

He could have argued it didn't happen this way, it happened that way!

He didn't do that.

He could have argued, as does the whistleblower, that his views from when he was a youth 30 years ago have greatly changed - that he's essentially not that person anymore.

He didn't do that.

Instead he attacked Conway for daring to ask the question "Have you no decency, Sir?" Rather than address the issue he basically jumped up and down and stamped his feet - practically saying "Stop Lying about my Record!"

Well, maybe Conway isn't perfectly "decent" - maybe he's willing to throw a haymaker in order to win - Lord knows Republicans do it all the time. From Saxby Chambliss who made a decorated War Veteran into an aider and abettor for al Qaeda, the Willie Horton ad, to David Vitter accusing Melancon of providing Welfare for Illegals, Sharron Angle accusing Harry Reid of providing Viagra to Sex Offenders, of Congressional Candidate Renee Elmers who attacked for Rep. Bob Etheridge for Not Speaking Out against the Ground Zero Victory Mosque, it's not like those guys are pulling their punches.

So why should Democrats play nice, exactly?

If Rand Paul can't stand up to Jack Conway, or for that matter Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews, how's he going to stand up to al Qeada and the Taliban? (Not that I think Maddow/Conway/Matthews are equivalent to the Taliban - but didn't we repeatedly hear this very argument whenever someone couldn't stand up the "tough questioning" of Fox News?) I'm just saying this guy has repeatedly shown he can't take the heat once it's turned up to broil anymore than Tea Bagger Joe Miller can take a tough question without retaliating against journalists - who were just trying to interview another journalist that he'd had illegally handcuffed by Off duty U.S. Army personnel who were illegally moonlighting for a fly-by-night security firm and bait shop, or Christine O'Donnnell can show she's ever actually read the 1st Amendment, or Sharron Angle who can't tell a Latino from an Asian, or Carl Paladino who hasn't had a foot he couldn't insert all the way to his own back molar!)

These guys are absolutely not ready for prime time, and if it takes unflinching hard knocks to make the American people see it - so be it. Better Democrats leave everything on the field, than let these tea bagging wingnuts take over Congress and the country.


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