In recent radio spots, the Republican Senate hopeful Bob Corker calls his opponent Harold Ford Jr. "Tennessee's most liberal congressman."
It's a curious accusation since Ford -- who voted for the bankruptcy bill and against same-sex marriage and flag-burning, says we "can't say no" to Social Security reform, and sided with video-doc Bill Frist on the whole Terri Schiavo flap -- has twice again proven his neoconservative bona fides. A week after "Tennessee's most liberal congressman" voted for the torture bill, Ford voted in favor of the domestic wiretapping bill, putting him squarely to the right of 13 House Republicans. In Ford's latest TV ad, the charismatic politician walks through a church saying, "I started church the old-fashioned way -- I was forced to. And I'm better for it." It's an unflinchingly theocratic pronouncement perfectly in keeping with modern conservatism. So Corker is either distorting reality or he really doesn't know the difference between "liberal" and "conservative." Either way, is such a dense and/or duplicitous man suitable material for Congress? The presidency, sure, but Congress?
When a Web site called Fancy Ford posted a list illustrating Harold Ford Jr.'s expensive tastes, it was denounced as dirty politics and very likely racist. So what about recent ads by the Ford campaign describing Bob Corker's 30-room mansion and fleet of SUVs? Hypocrisy aside, the ad's subsequent statement that Corker gave himself raises while freezing first-responder pay is, if not entirely false, at least a creative reconstruction of the facts. It is encouraging, however, that both sides agree that rich people can't be trusted.
A recent headline from The Tennessean reads, "Viewer beware: Senate ads bury substance." What utter rot! Discerning pundits understand that these new ads don't "bury substance," as Nashville's paper suggests, they accentuate the bullshit.