Aqua Buddha: Rand Paul’s Macaca Moment?


    In the 2006 U.S. Senate race in Virginia, it wasn’t as if George Allen’s lead collapsed the day the video of Allen tauntingly calling a Democratic staffer “macaca” came out. It was the first in a chain of events — Allen’s multiple, convoluted explanations, news of his Jewish heritage & his virulent rejection of it — that prompted voters to ask themselves, “Do I really know who George Allen is?” When they took a second look at Allen’s phony cowboy boots next to Jim Webb’s combat boots … well, you know how that went.

    At TPM this morning, Josh Marshall says Rand Paul’s inability to offer any coherent explanation to the Aqua Buddha controversy may have similarly shaken Kentucky voters’ faith that they really know who Rand Paul is:

    It’s his response that seems weird. Why won’t he just deny it? Or say it was a college prank and move on? And what’s with the grandiose backing out of the final debate? Why won’t he show up and face the guy who smacked him? (Paul’s actually kept this one in suspense. He’s going to announce [Friday] whether he’ll show up for the second debate.)

    In other words, it’s sounding like a pretty good example of what I’ve called “bitch slap politics”, a form of political gambit in which the substance of the attack is less important than showing the recipient can’t or won’t defend himself.

    It took Webb weeks to close the gap with Allen, while Jack Conway has only days to catch Paul. But the gap is much smaller. Could we be looking at an upset in Kentucky?

    • blue bronc

      The teabaggers and their financial backers decided on a campaign strategy sometime long ago that would use the “overwhelm ’em with constant crap and they will ignore all of it”.

      Remember back to the late summer of 2009 and all the up roar and panty twisting going on over the racist, facist, hate mongering and lynching signs?  And, how after a few weeks of the constant stream of it the “news” channels stopped broadcasting it. Across out country the nuttiest and farthest right of the nut jobs became the talking point and those who were the slightest step away became acceptable.

      We hear constantly about O’Donnell and her issues with the Constitution and Bill Of Rights (she really should read them some day) and not about Angle and Broden declaring armed conflict to overthrow our government if they are not elected.

      And, because murdock owns about 1/3 of the broadcast news we are never going to hear the real news on that which he controls.

      So what about Rand Paul? His hate and anti-American rhetoric is lost in the question of how does O’Donnell survive every day, how the racist homophobe and domestic violence user Gibson is going to survive not making a movie, and how a drug addict is going to be in front of a judge to have her immediate future decided, Hollywood rehab or Hollywood jail.

      The psychotic behaviour of the far right extremist Republicans is now treated as near normal and anything that might be Progressive or Liberal is off the media.  

      Is there an answer.  I think there is but the consequences of it are still going to the far right. That is re-elect and elect Dems.  They for the most part lack a spine and for some reason believe they need to do Republican legislation rather than Progressive or Liberal. But, at least it is not as far right as if the freaking nut jobs are elected.

    • VA Blogger

      First, Kentucky has been a toss-up virtually for the entire campaign. Even when Paul was leading in the polls, they were in the high single digits (except for Rasmussen and SurveyUSA). There’s also no real evidence that Kentucky is closing just because of this one campaign story; Senate races across the country–PA, WI, CA, WA, MO, to name a few—seem to be closing in the final weeks.

      Second, Allen’s “macaca moment” happened on the campaign trail, in the final month of the campaign. Conway’s attack on Paul is about something he allegedly did decades ago in college by an anonymous accuser. In campaign-speak, “macaca moment” refers to a fatal and unforced error made by the candidate or campaign, not something in a candidate’s past (true or not) that the other campaign decided to make an ad about.

      Third, Paul has repeatedly denied the charges.

      Fourth, the reason Paul is upset is because Conway’s ad is an attempt to scare Kentucky’s voters that Paul is not Christian enough to be their Senator. It’s a pretty shameful tactic, and one I’m surprised so many liberals are endorsing.  

    • The Donkey

      in dealing with this issue, he could have made Conway look foolish for the over-the-top commercial, and benefitted from cross-overs by democrats who favor bongs, bondage, and bowing to blue buddhas.

      Instead Paul is communicating to everyone that he is a self-righteous douchebag.

      But lets call this what it is: a low blow that worked for the good guys.

      This time, at least.  

    • kindler

      …is GOP hypocrisy. Repub candidates always pose as holier-than-thou prigs when in fact they’re a bunch of spoiled rich kids fooling the common people into electing them so that they can get invited to more high class parties.

      What Conway’s ad does is reveal that, Paul, contrary to all the blather about a grassroots tea party rebellion, blah, blah, is just another cynical plutocrat frat boy.  

    • Brian

      because of the ad. I’m not sure this is a Macaca moment,just like every president who’s down in the polls can successfully say this is their Dewey Defeats Truman Moment, because of little facts of the actual moment like the pollsters closed shop before election day even occurred. And I think its the fact that Conway had projected himself as the saner voice, an Attorney General elected to the state by voters, versus, the scion of a Representative who could not be where he is without his daddy, and that it showed on the campaign trail,not just with stuff like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but his refusal to address the states drug problem by saying it should be local law enforcement that does the crackdown. I do think it would be to the Tea Party’s advantage if Ben Quayle says “yes, you know my dad he’s all about morals and character and so I did the the Dirty Scottsdale because of that, in an act of rebellion.” Or if Rand Paul says something similar with the Aqua Buddha.