The Attack Ad On Rand Paul Is Dishonestly Ugly
The Attack Ad On Rand Paul Is Dishonestly Ugly
Senator Rand Paul is running for re-election in Kentucky, and this election cycle has produced an extremely ugly attack ad.
How bad is it? Even the fact-checkers had to call out this particular ad. Charles Booker is the Democrat candidate for Senate in Kentucky, and since the Senate seat is rated “Safe GOP,” he apparently took that to mean “what do I have to lose by outright lying?”
Lynching is a tool of terror. It was used to kill hopes for freedom. In Kentucky, it was used to kill three of my uncles.
In this historic election, the choice is clear. Rand Paul may want to divide us, but hate won’t win this time.
It’s time to move forward, together. pic.twitter.com/oYxuqKFdWR
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) June 1, 2022
USA Today – certainly no fans of Rand Paul – actually ran a fact check on this ad, and pointed out that Booker was being disingenuous at best.
The ad blasts Sen. Rand Paul for his 2020 stance on an antilynching bill. It doesn't mention Paul co-sponsored a new version of that legislation.
— USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) June 1, 2022
But Booker’s campaign manager thinks otherwise.
Booker’s campaign manager, Bianca Keaton, told The Courier Journal Wednesday the decision to run the controversial imagery in this video was a “difficult choice.”
“It took months to get to the point of actually being like: ‘Is this how we’re going to handle this?'” said Keaton, who added that she gasped when they drove to the location where they filmed the ad, and she saw the noose hanging there — something she’d never before seen.”
“And the thing that I would share with you generally about the subject of lynching in this country is: It’s ugly. You know, people don’t want to see it.”
Keaton said there are “so many other ways in which terror is invoked on Black communities.” She pointed to last month’s mass shooting in Buffalo, where a white man who has been linked to white supremacist hatred and apparently espoused a racist conspiracy theory is charged with killing 10 people and injuring three more individuals, nearly all of them Black.”
“Republicans will talk about race using dog whistles,” she said.”
“We’re going to do it on a bullhorn.”
Who cares about the truth? The Booker campaign has an agenda to push, and that means calling Rand Paul a racist! And trying to connect the senator to the horrific mass killing in Buffalo, wink wink. Except, as the fact check points out, Senator Paul ended up being a co-sponsor of a bipartisan version of the first bill, which passed.
The certain-to-be-controversial ad, which Booker’s campaign released Wednesday morning, includes a content warning for “strong imagery.”
It does not mention that Paul went on to co-sponsor a new (and bipartisan) version of that legislation. The Senate unanimously voted this March to pass the updated Emmett Till Antilynching Act, which is now law.
Now, the anti-lynching law was a largely performative stunt, because murder is illegal (gasp!) and the last known lynching in the United States took place over 40 years ago. Timeliness aside, no one actually has a problem with the bill that became law. These days, the very mention or allegation of a noose sends people into absolute panic (*cough*Bubba Wallace*cough*) and requires automatic investigations because SOMEONE must be a racist out there!
The Paul campaign is not amused.
With regards to the ad, which certainly received attention, Jake Cox, Paul’s deputy campaign manager told Townhall in a statement that “Dr. Paul worked diligently to strengthen the language of this legislation and is a cosponsor of the bill that now ensures that federal law will define lynching as the absolutely heinous crime that it is. Any attempt to state otherwise is a desperate misrepresentation of the facts.
Even the local news pointed out that Booker was not being truthful about Senator Paul’s votes.
“As the record stands now, he is actually not against this bill but in favor of it,” Dr. Dewey Clayton, a political science professor at the University of Louisville, said.”
Clayton said he found the ad to be over the top since the images of lynching depicted in the ad can be misleading.”
“It’s got really good shock value, but it’s a little misleading, to be honest with you, and it’s somewhat outlandish,” he said. “The images that he’s showing are lynching when it was clearly defined as something.”
The university professor said lynching today has a much broader definition.”
“Today, it refers to, as I understand it, vigilantism or going after someone,” Clayton said. “Not actually throwing a noose, or a rope, around a tree and literally hanging someone.”
Even so, Clayton said he thinks the ad is already working in the Booker campaign’s favor.”
“It’s gotten people’s attention,” he said. “A lot of times politicians like controversy because it’s still getting their name out there.”
And there’s the entire reason that the Booker campaign put the attack ad out. It was for attention and shock value. Never mind that it was a complete lie, they got the ad to go viral and call Rand Paul a racist at the same time. That was the whole point, and it was vicious and ugly.
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