Pigs' testicles. Joni Ernst has held them in her hands. And chopped them off. Won't you please consider voting for her to be the United States senator from Iowa?

Tom Harkin, the soft-spoken longtime Democratic senator from Iowa, is retiring—and there's a mad dash to replace him. The Dems have their nominee lined up, but there are currently five weirdos vying to be the Republican who loses to him.

Weirdest among these is the lady above, Joni Ernst. Don't get me wrong. She's got an impressive resumé! Colonel in the Army Reserve, state senator, has Mitt Romney's endorsement. But what she really wants you to know in her campaign ads is, she's an expert pig-nutter, and she revels in the squeals of her newly-gelded porcine torturees, and she hopes to do the same to persons unknown in Washington:

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ERNST: I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm. So in Washington, I'll know how to cut pork...

[CUE B-ROLL OF PIGS, BUT LIKE CUTE PIGS, NOT THE SORT YOU REALLY WANT TO BRING UP WHEN YOU BRING UP HOG CASTRATION, WITH SQUEAL SOUNDS DUBBED IN, SAY SOMETHING ABOUT REPEALING OBAMACARE ETC.]

ERNST: Washington's full of big spenders. Let's make 'em squeal!

Yessiree, she's just your average folksy war-fightin' blade-usin' mom-type lady. There is an Iowan charm to this! Or so we media mavens on the coasts are supposed to believe, whilst we dutifully viralize Ernst's swine-semen sales pitch.

Pity Ernst for feeling the need to run a campaign like this. With a dossier like hers, she may be a hard-nosed policy expert. But who cares, because:

1) SHE CUTS HAM GONADS OFF HERSELF,

and

2) She's down almost double digits to Harkin's anointed Democratic successor, as are most of the GOP hopefuls. While she's cutting balls off pigs, she should probably gather some goat entrails and incense for her sacrifice to Baal, too. That's likely to give her a bigger bump in the polls than talking about the time she sliced off Wilbur's useless marbles.

(h/t Michael Scherer)