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Aqua Buddha!

October 21, 2010

The current most prolific commenter at Scotteriology sent me this via email yesterday.

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Headless Unicorn Guy here.

This from local morning drive-time radio:

In Kentucky, Tea Party Candidate Rand Paul (son of Ron Paul) was pulling well ahead of his opponent in the race for the Senate.  This week, his opponent started running a last-minute attack ad tailored for what Internet Monk called “Kentucky Mountain Religion.”  The drive-time guy had to keep repeating “This is not from Saturday Night Live.  This ad is REAL.”

Goes like this, in a real Ominous Voice:

“Why did Rand Paul belong to a Secret Society that called the Holy Bible a hoax?”

“That was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ?”

“Why did Rand Paul tie up a woman and force her to bow before the False God ‘Aqua-Buddha’?”

(There was more, but after “Aqua-Buddha” I had to reset my head’s circuit breakers.  Especially when the radio wags started speculating on who — or what — “Aqua-Buddha” had to be.)

Here’s the original campaign attack ad:

And one of the joke videos it spawned on YouTube:

The next day some more came out — the “Secret Society” was an underground frat (here, a half-baked cross between Animal House and the Discordian Society) and “Aqua-Buddha” was the local slang for a bong; “bowing before Aqua-Buddha” must have meant getting high.  This was around 1980, when “Vitamin-M” was joining “Vitamin-A” in the Four Basic Frat Brother Food Groups.  Apparently Rand and the NoZes either ran with the stoners or were Dubya Bush-level party animals.  It was a strict Baptist college, BTW.

Now what struck me was how this attack ad used all the Christianese buzzwords associated with Satanic Panic/Conspiracy Theory Paranoia.  “Secret Society (TM) that called the Holy Bible a hoax”; “banned for Mocking Christianity And Christ (TM)”; “forced her to Bow Before A False Idol (TM)”; “his God (TM) Was AQUA-BUDDHA”; “against Faith Based Initiatives (TM)”.   All calculated in that buckle-on-the-Bible-Belt state to push the Satanic Panic buttons.

The next night, the two Senate candidates were in a televised debate.  Conroy (the opponent, currently Kentucky’s Attorney General) kept pounding on “AQUA-BUDDHA! AQUA-BUDDHA! AQUA-BUDDHA!” the whole debate through.  I think the guy was desperate.

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As a Canadian, I can only say, “What the Sheol is going on in America?!?” When one person has to begin her campaign defense with, “I’m not a witch,” and another is attacked for making someone bow down to Aqua-Buddha then I think we can all safely agree that the point of running and holding political office (for the people?) has officially been lost.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2010 7:16 am

    If I lived in the US (thank God I do not), I think I would refuse to vote.

    • October 21, 2010 3:20 pm

      See, now I think so too, and I do live in the US. I’m just so sick of it! There is not one single point to any political ad campaign and I have long believed that there are no candidates worth voting for. Yet, I receive a constant barrage of nonsense from people telling me I MUST vote. I think I am just done with it. Thank you saying that.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
        October 21, 2010 5:47 pm

        I have to clean out my mailbox every day or two, or it overflows with political junk mail. The “Constant barrage of nonsense from people telling me I MUST vote”. It’s a real kicker when you realize that the incumbent re-election rate in my home state is 100%. Period. For the past 10-12 years, every election has been “All Incumbents Re-Elected. Period.”

        • November 11, 2010 12:02 pm

          MG, Uni, do what I did —

          Be patriotic: don’t vote!

  2. Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
    October 21, 2010 10:29 am

    “What a long, strange trip it’s been…”
    — The Grateful Dead

  3. October 21, 2010 11:43 am

    If I every write a Lovecraftian story Aqua Buddha and Cthulhu are going to throw down!

  4. katie permalink
    October 21, 2010 12:23 pm

    The ironic thing is that if they just did a little research, the opponents running the ads against people like Paul or O’Donnell could find plenty of “attack-ad-worthy” material without resorting to such silly nitpicking.

  5. October 21, 2010 3:21 pm

    I am moving to the UK as soon as I graduate. I may never return.

  6. October 22, 2010 4:08 am

    Why isn’t anyone nearly as funny as Monty Python was in the 70’s?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
      October 22, 2010 10:23 am

      Probably because nowadays these guys are Dead Serious True Believers?

  7. October 26, 2010 11:37 pm

    Is it wrong that I’m still stuck on “Why did Rand Paul tie up a woman and force her to bow before the False God ‘Aqua-Buddha’?” (extreme emphasis mine)

    I’m sure to at least some people that consensual bondage is okay but that doesn’t sound kosher; if that’s actually a proven statement, shouldn’t we be prosecuting Rand Paul and/or the frat he was in for it instead of running attack ads with it?

    The rest to me is nonsense. Actually it’s all nonsense unless there’s hard evidence, but I’m still stuck on that part, which would seem to merit being investigated and seriously alleged if it’s got any chance of being true, not just used against one’s opponent.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
      November 3, 2010 12:16 pm

      Actually, when this first surfaced, the woman in question got tracked down and questioned about it. Her answer? It was a frat prank, and she played along with it.

      Followup now that the 2012 campaigns have begun:

      Aqua-Buddha (TM) backfired BAD. Rand Paul was leading Conroy by maybe 5% when Conroy unveiled the Aqua-Buddha ad and harped on it in that week’s candidate debate. Conroy immediately dropped to at least 15% behind Paul and maintained those percentages right up through the election. Rand Paul was the first Senate win announced on Election Night; the next morning, drive-time radio cracked jokes about “Through the Blessing of Aqua-Buddha”.

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