Kentucky politics tend to be pretty freakin' embarrassing, as my post earlier in the month illustrates. Well, believe it or not, things are getting even stupider 1 around here as election day looms. Jack Conway, the state attorney general and senatorial candidate, is floundering in the polls against Tea Party whackaloon Rand Paul and is now trying to rally the religious vote to his cause. In addition to the nonsense we discussed a couple of weeks ago, he's now spewing out ads like this:
Don't get me wrong - I've no love of Rand Paul and there's plenty of reasons not to vote for him, but what the hell kind of political ad is that? The clear message is that anyone who isn't a jumping-up-and-down, bible-in-each-hand Christian isn't fit for office. It may as well just say "don't vote for this guy, he might not be Christian". Frankly, that's an unwritten rule here in Kentucky anyway, but to actually hear it spoken aloud on the TV ad endorsed by the candidate himself boggles the mind.
In any event, the Conway ad started run about a week or so ago. Rand Paul's campaign complained about it publicly, arguing that the claims in the ad were specious to begin with and substantially meaningless in any event. After all, why should a candidate's personal religious convictions be a factor in a political campaign? For about two days I wondered if Paul would actually manage to articulate some kind of message other than the "government action and oversight bad, unregulated markets good" quasi-libertarianism that he's been campaigning on for the last year. Maybe, just maybe, he's show himself to be something more than a conservative-in-libertarian's-clothing. Perhaps he'd have a modicum of nuance somewhere in his political style.
Wow. I have a feeling that before this race is over Paul and Conway will get into a fistfight over who gets to bow down and kiss Al Mohler's feet.2
The worst part is how seriously the local media seems to be taking all of this. It's been all over the TV news and the Courier-Journal for days. Paul's reaction to (and Conway's defense of) the Aqua Buddha ad even dominated most of the coverage of their recent debate. How did this become so important? What kind of bizarro world are we living in?
Let's step back and think about this. We're in the midst of a crucial midterm election cycle that may help to decide the role and scope of the federal government for years to come...and these two are having a slap fight over who's the most Christian. That's freakin' fantastic. What role should the government have in healthcare? How about in the regulation of the financial system? What, if any, regulation is the federal government likely to enact in order to deal with greenhouse gas emissions?
Apparently none of that matters, because all these two nimrods seem to want to talk about is how religious they are. I'll be at the polls to cast my ballot on election day, but I'm sure as hell not voting for either of these guys.
1.) Wow, apparently "stupider" is actually a word.
2.) Al Mohler is the leader of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He's a super hardcore fundagelical who recently made the national news for decrying yoga as "dangerous to Christians".