When James Buchanan wrote, “I like the noise of democracy,” I suppose this is the kind of thing he had in mind. Sharron Angle is running a new anti-Harry Reid ad that says he “voted to use taxpayer dollars to pay for Viagra for convicted child molesters and sex offenders.” Here is the ad:
The Associated Press wrings its hands about the ad, but admits that there have been plenty of incendiary accusations on both sides:
In the ugliest ad so far in Nevada’s contentious Senate race, Republican Sharron Angle accuses Democrat Harry Reid of helping to put Viagra in the hands of child molesters. The TV spot is the latest in a string of scare-tactic ads flooding the Nevada airwaves in the final weeks of the dead-heat contest.
Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has portrayed Angle as extreme and crazy, using her own words and policy positions to try to undermine her credibility.
Is Angle’s ad ugly? I suppose the relevant question is whether it is true. The AP explains:
The vote refers to the federal health care law.
Before it passed, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., proposed an amendment barring federal expenditures for supplying Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs to sex offenders. Democrats called it a political stunt aimed at killing the legislation. The amendment died.
The health care law does not single out convicted sex offenders.
Coburn’s amendment was of course a stunt, but a stunt with a point. It is undoubtedly true that Obamacare, if it is ever implemented, will buy erectile dysfunction drugs for child molesters and other sex offenders. I suspect that other government programs are already doing the same, but that isn’t much of a defense. The average voter no doubt wonders whether this is an appropriate use of his or her tax dollars. Harry Reid, as Majority Leader, squelched Coburn’s amendment, so he deserves whatever the political fallout may be.