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February 25, 2014 5:26 PM Cheering for the Wild Man

By Ed Kilgore

Regular readers know I’m closely watching the U.S. Senate race back home in Georgia, and especially the GOP primary, which I’ve called a “conservative petri dish.” And without a doubt, the maddest scientist in the lab is U.S. Rep Paul Broun, Jr., he of the “evolution is a lie straight from the pit of hell” remark and other fine vein-charring elocutions.

Broun recently made news by indicating at a candidate forum that he would (of course) vote for the impeachment of the president, and challenging the conservative bona fides of any rival who was not willing to take that pledge (Karen Handel and some minor candidates did not; Jack Kingston, Phil Gingrey, and David Perdue—the other major candidates—weren’t there). The Georgia Democratic Party, eager to spread Broun’s fever as thoroughly as possible throughout the candidate field, put up a YouTube video repeating the fiery congressman’s call-out to the others to take a position.

So now, in his very first television ad, Broun is using the Democratic video as an argument that “liberals fear a true conservative,” and are thus attacking him:

I’m reasonably sure this line of argument delights most Georgia Democrats, who have been trying not to look too eager about the possibility of their candidate Michelle Nunn getting to face Broun after a long, vicious GOP primary and runoff waged on the basis of who can howl at the moon the most and the loudest. With Broun now identifying Democratic efforts to shove the whole field in his direction with “fear,” perhaps they can relax and just cheer for the wild man without a lot of stealth. If they really want him to win, though, they’d better send him some money. He doesn’t have much, and Democrats definitely want him on television as the Face of the New, Rebranded GOP.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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