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Jack Conway, Rand Paul, And Religious Smears In Politics

As I noted earlier today, the Kentucky Senate race has turned nasty, largely thanks to this ad that Jack Conway started running last week:

Even pundits on the left are criticizing Conway for the ad. Ezra Klein called Conway’s ad dishonorable and ugly, which is true, but Jonathan Chait detects something more sinister:

The trouble with Conway’s ad is that it comes perilously close to saying that non-belief in Christianity is a disqualification for public office. That’s a pretty sickening premise for a Democratic campaign.

It’s a sickening premise for any campaign regardless of political party. Elizabeth Dole tried the same tactic herself two years ago when she was running a tougher-than-expected campaign against Kay Hagen in North Carolina:

In this case, the ad was widely condemned in the media, and Dole ended up going on to lose the election. Hopefully, Conway will learn the same lesson.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    ‘It’s a sickening premise for any campaign regardless of political party.”

    Oh puhleeze. Smears about the next life are quantitatively different than smears about this one. Pure sanctimony.

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  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    Really neither of those ads can produce the political bite needed to win an election. It pales in comparison to what our neighbors to the North can do.

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/canadian-attack-ad-shows-mayoral-candidate-kicking-a-child-in-the-face/

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  3. [...] outrageous outrageous when I see it, and this is one of those times. As Doug Mataconis points out here, this ad is eerily similar to a disgraceful ad former Senator Elizabeth Dole ran against Democrat [...]

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  4. [...] outrageous outrageous when I see it, and this is one of those times. As Doug Mataconis points out here, this ad is eerily similar to a disgraceful ad former Senator Elizabeth Dole ran against Democrat [...]

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  5. [...] Conway’s attack ad against Rand Paul appears to have had at least somewhat of an impact on the polls: Are Democrat Jack Conway’s [...]

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  6. [...] Conway’s attack ad against Rand Paul appears to have had at least somewhat of an impact on the polls: Are Democrat Jack Conway’s [...]

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  7. [...] Grayson’s “Draft Dodger” and “Talbian Dan” ads, Jack Conway’s “Aqua Buddha”,  the Sharron Angle’s false ad claiming that Harry Reid voted to give Viagra to sex [...]

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  8. [...] an albatross. Second, it’s fairly obvious that Conway’s last minute decision to go negative with the so-called “Aqua Buddha” ad damaged his reputation among Kentucky voters than it did Paul’s. For all his mis-steps early [...]

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