When Mark Twain said “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to." he may have just had an encounter with a politician. And although I doubt that he will do it, Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., has much reason to be blushing this week, particularly after he confirmed most of the reasons American’s detest politics.
Pryor is one of the endangered Democrats up for re-election this year. His vote for Obamacare and support for the administration have justifiably put his campaign in jeopardy. According to Real Clear Politics, three out of four polls in the race show Pryor trailing his opponent Rep. Tom Cotton by one to four points.
These are not good numbers for an incumbent, since as the challenger becomes better known, his early advantage often increases.
So Pryor resorted to smearing Cotton with a television commercial that’s remarkable for both content and lack of accuracy. The esteemed senator claims that Cotton is a staunch supporter of the Ebola virus, in favor of children dying, and wants to take money from hospitals and give it to billionaires.
Specifically, Pryor alleges that Cotton voted against HR 307 — “The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act” — and as a result Ebola is now cutting a giant swath through central Arkansas while the Koch brothers fly overhead, laughing uproariously in their executive jet.
Of course, none of this is true and lying, negative campaigning like this only turns voters off.
As RedState points out, the commercial “ignores the fact that Cotton voted for final passage of the bill. The concern that Cotton and some other members of Congress had related to section 201 of the bill which would have authorized the HHS Secretary to issue mandatory redeployment orders for public health officials (including state public health officials) which is contrary to existing law and Supreme Court precedent which forbids the federal government from commandeering state employees in this manner.”
I can understand how most Democrats would be unhappy that Cotton voted against an unconstitutional bill. That sort of action might set a precedent where Congress takes action when a president — not to mention any names — starts violating the Constitution. It could be a very slippery slope indeed.
I have a great deal of faith in Arkansas voters. They supported my father in the 1980 upset of Jimmy Carter. And I’m reasonably sure they can see through Mark Pryor’s obvious smear of Tom Cotton, because the only real virus issue in this contest is Pryor’s serious case of incumbent fever.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.