You’d think state Republicans might have learned a lesson from their previous clumsy efforts to win political advantage by outrageously accusing Democrats of coddling sex offenders, but not state Sen. Don Benton, who apparently intends to make such a cynical political ploy the strategic centerpiece of his floundering U.S. Senate campaign.
The political ad above, an offensive gesture in itself, takes a disturbingly lighthearted poke at sex crimes, featuring a man collecting donations for “Viagra for Sex Offenders.”
Hah-hah. Funny. You know, unless you or somebody you love has ever been the victim of a sex offender. Or maybe you just find sex offenses no laughing matter. But all that’s really beside the point.
No, the point of the ad is to inform voters that our awful Sen. Murray actually voted against an amendment that would have barred the use of taxpayer money to provide erectile dysfunction medication to convicted sex offenders.
Well, the amendment in question was little more than a stunt, one of several introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) as part of GOP efforts to stall or kill health care reform. Of course there’s no evidence that taxpayer dollars have ever been used to purchase Viagra for sex offenders, but the Senate needed to pass the reconciliation bill unchanged to avoid sending it back to the House, so Republicans chose to do their worst to monkey-wrench the process by introducing bogus amendments like this one.
As Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) told his colleagues in urging them to vote no on the amendment:
“This is a serious bill. This is a serious debate. The amendment offered by the senator from Oklahoma makes a mockery of the Senate, the debate and the American people. It is not a serious amendment. It is a crass political stunt aimed at making 30-second commercials, not public policy.”
Baucus almost nailed it, but for the fact that Benton’s cynical internet ad runs a tedious 1 minute, 44 seconds.
I suppose Benton’s got to do something to grab attention away from the Rossi Watch, and… well… sex offenders it is. Just remember that the next time Republicans accuse Murray and the DSCC of playing dirty.