We didn't think the political manipulation could get much worse after we saw the Republican Party of Minnesota's ridiculous, fear-inducing Ebola mailers last week targeting Al Franken. Turns out we were dead wrong.
This week, the party has decided to head to the radio to push out another fear-mongering message, this one blasting Mark Dayton for not cutting off flights to West Africa (despite the fact that scientists and health experts don't want that).
Effervescent tweeter Chris Steller caught the ad on his radio and luckily, recorded most of it. The ad is strange and free-associating, trying to connect Ebola to the MNsure health insurance exchange and, perhaps most bizarrely, that time in 2004 when the then-U.S. senator shut down his office over terror concerns.
Sound weird? Trust us, it is.
We partially transcribed, so take a read:
"...Governor Dayton says there's no reason for concern in Minnesota. But that doesn't make sense at all. Our airport is a huge international hub, and there's no travel ban, which was the first thing they should have done. People can just come and go from the infected areas. Frankly, I don't think Governor Dayton is capable of handling Ebola. He really messed up his MNSure health care program. Spent $189 million dollars and the website still isn't fixed! And costs went way up. It's not working. And he shut down his Senate office that time, too. He panicked under pressure. I'm not going to overreact, but I'm not voting for Dayton. I don't want my family put at risk. And if Ebola comes here, I just can't trust Dayton as governor."
What makes it more bizarre is that Dayton has actually been largely commended for how he's handled Ebola so far, which included a voluntary three-week quarantine for any aid workers who've had contact with Ebola, along with other light restrictions for anyone else returning from West Africa.
And it's not like the alternative is all that different, anyway. In the final gubernatorial debate on Friday, GOP candidate Jeff Johnson said the state's response so far has been pretty good, and the only real change he wants to see is a dedicated hospital for highly infectious patients. No flight bans.
But hey, this is politics, where it seems like just about anything's in play. So if fear-mongering is what wins votes, it seems like that what we're going to see. Luckily, the blitz will be over by tomorrow.
You can listen to the ad yourself. Here's the video, from Chris Steller: