David Postman adds some further coverage of the Have You No Shame website put up by Rodney Tom defending himself against charges made by Luke Esser and supportive organizations. I originally delved into the merits of a couple of the debated issues, Postman specifically explores the hyperbolic "McCarthyism" charge. He logically concludes even if Tom's rebuttals on the issues have merit (and I argue they don't), the broader accusation against Esser not only doesn't hold, it "seems like an awful stretch."
Why, one might ask, would Tom respond so aggressively to the three mail pieces in question attacking him? Probably because they're pretty good. Thankfully, he's kind enough to post them all, on crime, stem cell research, and Tom's voting record. The crime piece is the best of the bunch, followed by the one on Tom's voting record and then the stem cell rebuttal piece.
Tom's over-the-top response probably ends up turning the barrel of the gun right back at him. Candidly, after reading the website and doing some research on the crime-related bill, my reaction was not to ask Luke Esser, "have you no shame?" My reaction was to ask Rodney Tom and Dick Chapin - annoyingly featured via uncontrollable audio at the site's main page - have you no brain?
I suppose Tom might have felt the need to go over the top with both candidates having raised well over $300,000 apiece, plus scads of independent expenditures. All the money still being spent in this race is well past the point of diminishing returns, thus it's tough to get your message heard above all the campaign "noise" (and overloaded mailboxes). That doesn't, however, make obnoxious charges of "McCarthyism" legitimate.
UPDATE: Postman adds in his own update that the "McCarthyism" charge has been pulled from the website. However, the annoying audio at the site I noted still includes a direct allusion to McCarthy and the famous "have you no shame" line used against him. Clearly, the Tom campaign realizes it went too far, but doesn't really want to back down. They want "to put Esser's attacks on Tom 'under closer scrutiny.'" That's nice. Too bad for Tom, attacks against him seem on the money.