The campaign ad - the key image - showed Washington Senator Patty Murray in those tennis shoes she's so identified with, stomping her muddy shoes on the backs of a man and two children.
The ad did not come from the Republican candidate in the race, Dino Rossi; it's hard to imagine him doing it. But a group called the American Action Forum, which likes to position itself as a policy wonkish group, did generate it. The ostensible cause for linking Murray to stomping parents and children was her backing of an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The group Think Progress asked Rob Collins, who runs AAF, how the extension of health insurance for children equates to stomping on them. Here's the key part of the exchange:
TP: The summary is, your ad had Patty Murray stepping on a child, and the back up claim for that ad in the citation was that she voted for SCHIP. Can you explain how stepping on a child, or voting for SCHIP is akin to stepping on a child?
COLLINS: Well you’re clearly trying to make a point and I appreciate that point and we have a different point of view.
TP: As the leader of a policy think tank, could you explain that to me?
COLLINS: Our point of view is government decreases the ability for this company, for this country to have um, economic freedom. This ad was about small business and as you increase the size of government, you decrease opportunity. When you’re — I mean you’ll have to forgive me, you’re talking about an ad. We did 53 individual ads.
Provision of a service, even a life-saving service, then, is tyranny. That's the operating logic here. And elsewhere.