A couple of idiots in the audience at the last Florida GOP debate booed a gay soldier when he asked Rick Santorum a question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The booing was disrespectful and immature, and definitely not representative of the larger audience, which seemed much more interested in fiscal issues than rehashing the culture wars. But the Democratic National Committee isn’t about to let a perfectly good fake controversy go to waste, so it spliced the debate scene with some ominous music for its new attack ad:
The ad titled “Not One Candidate,” references an editorial in the Concord Monitor Sunday that said, “The most disturbing aspect of the WrestleMania behavior at the debates is not that some audience members booed a soldier and many cheered death. It’s that not one Republican candidate, and there were nine on the stage on Thursday, spoke up to admonish the crowd and call for civility. Not one candidate, in situations that cried out for it, exhibited leadership.”
Santorum issued a statement days ago condemning the hecklers. (He said he didn’t hear them at the time, which matches audience accounts that the boos weren’t as loud as they sound on the audio.) But if we’re going to hold politicians responsible for any obnoxiousness that takes place in their vicinity, then Obama has plenty to answer for as well. Speaking of which, the Republican candidates might want to copy-and-paste Jay Carney’s recent Jimmy Hoffa remark into any response they give on this issue:
I understand that there is a ritual in Washington that, you know, somebody says something and you link the associations and then everybody who has an association with him or her is somehow — has to avow or disavow it. …
The — Mr. Hoffa speaks for himself. He speaks for the labor movement — AFL-CIO. The president speaks for himself. I speak for the president.
And no matter how the Republicans respond to the DNC attack, it will almost certainly be better than this unforgettable DWS disaster.