Finally, a bit of the ol' ultraviolence in Debate Season 2010: Kentucky Senate candidates Rand Paul and Jack Conway nearly came to fisticuffs last night, following the release of Conway's incendiary attack ad questioning Paul's Christianity. Bloodbath highlights, below.
Conway released a trippy ad a few days ago based on the infamous "Aqua Buddha" story, about how college-age Rand Paul, as part of a secularist Baylor University club that mocked school's strict religiosity, once kidnapped(-ish) a female student, tried to get her high, and made her worship the creek god "Aqua Buddha." We'd just thought it was one of those dumb college things that's funny to remember during campaign season but doesn't actually matter, but Jack Conway used it in his ad as a not-so-subtle means of questioning Rand Paul's Christian beliefs. It's unclear if this will either backfire on Conway or successfully smear Paul. It sure is aggressive! Jesus is a big deal to many Kentucky voters.
So things became quite venomous during last night's debate. Conway looked uncomfortable working this incendiary line of personal attack he's committed himself to. And Rand Paul is among the more humorless people on Earth.
Conway refused to say whether or not Paul is a "good Christian," (as one of the debate's moderators put it) but said that the ad was not about Paul's faith.
"Values matter," Conway said. "Why did he freely join a group known for mocking or making fun of people of faith? And secondly, when is it ever a good idea to tie up a woman and ask her to kneel before a false idol called Aqua Buddha?"
Paul never once answered those two questions, and attacked Conway throughout for, it seemed, having the audacity to ask them.
"You know how we know when you're lying?" Paul said to Conway. "Your lips are moving. You're accusing me of crimes. Do you know nothing about the process? You're going to stand there and accuse me of a crime from 30 years ago from some anonymous source? How ridiculous are you? You embarrass this race."
"You really have no shame, have you?" Paul added.