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Ad of the day: Aqua Buddha is back

By Emi Kolawole
An ad from Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway has nearly dominated campaign commercial coverage today. The ad claims that Conway's opponent, Republican Rand Paul, was a member of a secret society that "called The Holy Bible 'a hoax,'" and that Paul tied up a woman, telling her to "bow down before a false idol and say his god was Aqua Buddha." Yes, Aqua Buddha is back in today's ad of the day.

The ad refers to a GQ report from early August, in which a woman said that Paul and a fellow college co-ed tied her up, blindfolded her, tried to get her to smoke marijuana and then forced her to kneel down and worship Aqua Buddha. Paul denied the claim, and the woman later clarified her story, saying she was not kidnapped "in a legal sense" and that "there was an implicit degree of cooperation in the whole thing."

The claim about the secret society refers to a report by Politico on the NoZe Brotherhood at Baylor University. The article features quotes from former members and documents that confirm the group's anti-religious stance. Paul has fought back against Conway's ad with an ad of his own, in which he criticizes Conway for "attacking [his] faith," and reiterates that he is a practicing Christian who "keeps Christ in his heart." The ad goes on to paraphrase one of the Ten Commandments by asking, "What kind of shameful politician would sink this low, to bear false witness against another man, just to win an election?"

Criticism of Conway's ad has come from both ends of the political spectrum. Paul's ad features an assessment from the conservative Weekly Standard, while the left-leaning New Republic's Jonathan Chait called the ad "the ugliest, most illiberal political ad of the year." The Post's Ezra Klein also wrote that "Conway embarrasses himself by indulging in this sort of demagoguery." What do you think of Conway's ad and Paul's response? Let us know in the comments below.

The Fix's Chris Cillizza has an analysis on whether Conway's ad went too far.

Now, in other ad news:

- The DCCC is up with an ad in New York's 23rd district attacking Republican Matt Doheny. The ad says that Doheny "relaxes on his private island of Caprice with millions made from our misery." The ad goes on to allege that Doheny fired 500 employees before giving out $40 million in executive bonuses and that he signed a "campaign pledge that protected tax breaks for corporations, shipping jobs overseas." That last claim is false, according to an April report from The pledge, sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, would only protect corporations from an overall tax increase The ad refers to the fact that Doheny worked for Deutsche Bank restructuring more than 100 U.S. companies. And, yes, Doheny purchased Caprice island in 2007.

- The NRCC is out with a new ad attacking South Dakota's lone House representative, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D). The ad shows footage of Sandlin from six years ago in which she says she does not want to attack opponents; the ad then claims that Sandlin now "chooses to run attack ads about traffic tickets." The ad refers to the fact that Republican candidate Kristi Noem had racked up 20 speeding tickets and other traffic violations since 1989. Noem has since apologized, but Sandlin has gone after her in campaign ads.

- And, in case you missed it, the "I am not a witch" campaign ad from Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell of Delaware has received the auto-tune treatment from the Gregory Brothers. Happy Monday, everybody.

By Emi Kolawole  | October 18, 2010; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Ad of the day  
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I know people would like to forget the past as if it does not matter but that is only convenient. We all do dumb things but most dumb things are done to other people. Those people often time remember those things that were done to them and it shapes their adult lives and often for the worse. Anyone remember what Bush did to John McCain during the 2000 campaign (fathered illegitimate child crap) election. Did anyone notice how he has changed since then? Democrats will probably lose many seats because they do not hit as hard as Republicans do.

Republicans have been calling the President all kind of names since he was elected. I understand they wanted their guy to win but he lost fair and square (with no smears). There is no reason the disrespect (Joe Wilson “You Lie” outburst) the office of the President. Both parties have done things but it has gotten much worse since Barack Obama. Now Jack Conway is willing to hit as hard as the Republicans have and Republicans want to cry foul and below the belt. How often have they said that when it was their colleague doing the same things? Does "Death Panels" ring a bell? Did Rand Paul denounce that false mis-characterization, Nope? No Republicans did, they just parroted the words for political gain (hey it's working). Sometimes you have to fight "Fire with Fire". Republicans are trying to manipulate the “Tea Parties” anger but the only problem is they are losing their “Good Ole Boys” seats in the process.

If they keep the Tea Pot too hot they will get burned or should I say are getting burned. If both partied do not learn to work together for all the people this country is doomed. If the Republicans get what they want they will also have to share the blame of the country failing. A losing party should not expect to be able to control the Presidents agenda, but they can help guide it. A 49/51 mix sounds good to me. Now all you politicians get in the “Sand Box” and learn how to play/work together. Either we all win or we all lose cause we are only Nation. We all know a divided Nation will fall. Right now we need every helping hand on board.

Posted by: Casuall | October 20, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Paul's response was entirely appropriate. The desperation of so many democrats in this election is breathtaking and the hypocrisy is astonishing. I thought we weren't supposed to attack someone's personal beliefs and these are obviously no longer relevant and probably never were. But please don't call Coons in Delaware a "Bearded Marxist." He only discussed it himself!

Posted by: rhondaonecvoice | October 19, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Paul's response was entirely appropriate. The desperation of so many democrats in this election is breathtaking and the hypocrisy is astonishing. I thought we weren't supposed to attack someone's personal beliefs and these are obviously no longer relevant and probably never were. But please don't call Coons in Delaware a "Bearded Marxist." He only discussed it himself!

Posted by: rhondaonecvoice | October 19, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Conway just sunk his ship! Very much like Obama, he does not know WHEN TO KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT!!!!

Posted by: wheeljc | October 19, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Many, many years ago, when walking back to our dorms from bars, we would pass a beautiful bush (I think it was a magnolia), which we called the gunga tree. In our 18-year-old female inebriated state, we though we were hilarious when we bowed to it and asked favors of it. How many people think back on fraternity or sorority hazing and shudder? How many people think back to high school and junior high/middle school and remember the hateful things they did to others? Should we be held accountable in later years for the things we did as children/young adults? Maybe we should. On a personal level, I think that it is extemely beneficial to personally apologize to people we have hurt. However, calling people over the age of 50 unfit to serve because of silly, stupid things they did before the age of 25, seems unreasonable to me. Now, they should be called to answer for things they have said and done within the past 15 or 20 years We all do stupid stuff, but, fortunately, as we gain wisdom (which usually comes with age), we do fewer. People who dredge up most of these stories are desperate and trying to divert attention from the candidates' positions on the issues.

Posted by: coffic | October 19, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The Conway ad is harsh, no doubt. But when the GOP ritually courts these uneducated low-income rural voters into voting against their own economic interests with this insipid pretense that the candidates are "religious just like you" (does anyone believe for a moment that Paul really believes the Bible?), they have MADE religion an issue.

And Paul does NOT refute anything in the ad. He apparently was in a group mocking Christians in college. It just sheds light on his hypocrisy in pretending to be all Christian and everything, just like Ma and Pa Paducah. Nobody goes from being a well-educated agnostic who mocks the superstitious primitives in his midst to being an ingenue Bible toter. It just doesn't happen.

He's a fraud in that sense. And since he's appealing to many on that grounds by faking a religion, it is fair game.

Posted by: B2O2 | October 18, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Can Baylor Bong make you blind? Ask an opthamologist, like Dr. Paul. Could it have caused permanent brain damage? Ask Dr./Sen John Cornyn. He's an ob/gyn but gives out psychiatric advice on C Street.

If Paul's comments on Clinton and Lewinsky are current, than so are Aqua Buddha remarks. Oh, and Darrel Issa stole cars.

Posted by: jpk709 | October 18, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, who cares about someone's religion anyway? There's a separation of church and state for a REASON, and if we lived in a more logical world, anyone who shouted their religion from the rooftops, as if believing a certain way made them a better person (which is not necessarily the case) would be forbidden to run for public office.

Religion has nothing to do with the honesty or integrity of anyone, much less a politician. Matter of fact, I'd vote for someone who claimed to be atheist or pagan before I'd vote for anyone else. At least those two belief systems don't care WHAT you believe, and they won't attack you for NOT sharing THEIR beliefs.

I will NEVER vote for anyone who claims that "God" directs their lives.

Separation of church and state, people...

Posted by: princesssidhedomini | October 18, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

It's good to know that our "journalists" are more concerned with informing the electorate about "Aqua Buddha" and the witchcraft "dabblings" of twenty years ago; and not of the candidates stances and thoughts on Iraq and Afghanistan, how to improve the economy, are the Gitmo inmates entited to a trial, and if so in what venue, should the Patriot Act be repealed, is the bipartisan approach dead, should Wall Street be regulated, how should we improve the lot of the middle class, what is the best approach to job creation...

Those are some of the topics that I as a voter think are important - why am I bombarded with piffle?

Posted by: shadowmagician | October 18, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Democrats continue to show us who they are and what they really believe

Posted by: LawStudent76 | October 18, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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