Just when I thought it was safe to take a couple of days off, Gerald catches Sen. Collins removing the offensive, over-the-top Allen smear video from her attack site standuptomoveon.org.
Some time over the weekend--I forget exactly when--I followed Gerald's link and saw what he saw: A fundraising solicitation without the inflammatory video, but otherwise similar to the original version.
In his post, Gerald seems to have been operating under the (reasonable) assumption that after sleeping on it, the Collins camp thought better of the gutter tactics employed in the spot, and pulled the video for that reason.
Alas, Gerald was wrong. How do I know? The video is back up.
But is it the same video?
I wondered, and so watched it several times in tandem with the original. And there is, indeed, a clear difference.
So: Did the Collins camp think better of including an unexplained snapshot of George Soros--a transparent pander to fringe paranoids and anti-Semites? Afraid not.
Did they reconsider the ugly, incendiary and unconscionably tasteless tactic of implying a link between Rep. Allen and people rooting for the death of American troops. Unfortunately, no.
No, instead--in a move that appears to be a response to a criticism I raised here--they reworked the text of the video to remove a demonstrable falsehood.
In the original video, one line of text about Moveon.org reads: "That's more than they've given to any other candidate."
But, as I pointed out, Moveon has given far more money to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) than they have to Rep. Allen. So the new video reads: "According to the latest FEC reports, that's more than they've given to any other candidate." (Emphasis mine.)
Look, it's wonderful to know that people inside the Collins camp are careful readers of this blog.
But it's sad and disappointing to find out that, even in the context of a decision to rethink a fundraising pitch, Collins' team remains comfortable deploying a hateful and wildly misleading message designed to stroke the most radical, reactionary elements of the Republican party.
It speaks volumes about the lengths the junior senator is willing to go to win this thing.