Make that very negative, very early.
The attack site--which Collins certainly approved personally--contains a number of falsehoods and distortions. For example, the video and accompanying text both claim, incorrectly, that Rep. Allen has received far more money from Moveon.org fundraising than has Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). The numbers shown are either invented or out of date.
But let's look past that for a moment.
My question is, What exactly is George Soros doing in Collins' video?
Not exactly a household name to begin with, the ad doesn't bother to identify Soros. Yet--and in a way that feels gratuitous--the video seems to go out of its way to include a snapshot of him.
Surely, this isn't dog whistle politics directed toward the paranoid wing of the Republican party. Right?
This Jew, for one, isn't amused. (Anyone in the press care to ask Collins endorser Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) for his take?)
Yes, I get it: The site is meant to be inflammatory--it's a hit job designed both to leverage radical right rage for fundraising and to distract voters, staving off a frank discussion of the junior senator's disastrous term in office.
But the Soros reference--and the inclusion of the obscene "we support our troops" poster--cross a line. And it's a line, incidentally, I wouldn't have expected Collins to cross even in October.
Let's be clear: This kind of ugly, Coulter-style smear has no place in our political discourse, let alone from a pol who poses as a champion of bipartisanship.
I hope Sen. Collins thinks carefully about the wisdom of embracing this kind of hard-right, slash-and-burn approach.