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"They told me their God was 'Aqua Buddha'"
October 20, 2010 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Jack Conway, a candidate for United States Senate, is catching flak from Democrats and Tea-Partiers alike, for airing an attack ad against his opponent, Rand Paul that brings up some bizarre dirt published in GQ a few months back. At a debate between the two candidates Sunday, Paul refused to shake Conway's hand at the end. Today, the National Republican Senatorial Committee released a response to the Aqua Buddha ad.

In the GQ expose published in August, the author writes that Rand Paul and a friend kidnapped a fellow student, tried to force her to take epic bong rips, and then brought her down by a river, where, "They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," the woman alleged.

In the attack ad, Conway suggests that Rand Paul's college behavior indicates an opposition to Christianity, and faith-based initiatives.

Conway and Paul are nearly in a dead heat. Another debate is scheduled for later this month.

The secret society that Paul was a member of during his college years has a Wikipedia entry and a Youtube page.
posted by krysalist (68 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Forcing me to take epic bong rips is about the only thing that might make me vote for Rand Paul.
posted by box at 12:24 PM on October 20, 2010 [24 favorites]


That ad actually makes Rand Paul look like someone I'd vote for.
posted by cmoj at 12:25 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just think... it's great... great to see all these... so many of them -- all these US politic posts on Metafilter... Especially when it's shit about oh Rand might have been a bonglord in college, or this candidate kiss a dude, or this lady was in a coven when she was 19...

I'm sorry, would you excuse me? I seem to have blood shooting from my eye.
posted by boo_radley at 12:25 PM on October 20, 2010 [14 favorites]


These repubs are getting more and more fucked up as time goes by.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:26 PM on October 20, 2010


In related news: NAACP Takes On The Tea Parties: Report Charges Movement Has Ongoing Ties To Anti-Semites, Racists And Bigots.
posted by ericb at 12:27 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's not like GQ is some underground source. I'm surprised they didn't make an ad about it earlier.
posted by smackfu at 12:28 PM on October 20, 2010


Politicians throw shit at each other. News at 11.00. I Was Obama,s fault. Get a grip. Thx Bye.
posted by adamvasco at 12:28 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


It must be some kind of progress that the marijuana angle hasn't come up at all during all the foofarah about these charges. When you think that Douglas Ginsburg would be on the Supreme Court, as undoubtedly Reagan's most liberal pick, except that he had smoked pot "on a few occasions."
posted by msalt at 12:28 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shit : " Was it Obama's fault".
Enough already
posted by adamvasco at 12:29 PM on October 20, 2010


I just think... it's great... great to see all these... so many of them -- all these US politic posts on Metafilter...

I could be wrong, but I think it has something to do with mid-term elections coming up in two-weeks across the U.S.
posted by ericb at 12:29 PM on October 20, 2010


Also your "Aqua Buddha" link doesn't go to the ad as your copy suggests it might. However it does go to some nice Goa Trance so that was pretty much a welcome surprise.
posted by boo_radley at 12:30 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


so if we're at what, Defcon 2 when it comes to U.S. politics crazyville, what happens after elections? Defcon 1 or simmer down time? Because I am making hibernation plans.
posted by angrycat at 12:30 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh God fucking yes. Great commercial. I've been hoping that Aqua Buddha would not disappear quietly.

At a debate between the two candidates Sunday, Paul refused to shake Conway's hand at the end.

God yes. Keep running that commercial! Jack Conway, I only agree with some of your positions, but I think I love you.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:31 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


ericb: "I could be wrong, but I think it has something to do with mid-term elections coming up in two-weeks across the U.S"

We literally cannot not post on these topics. It is forbidden., because of elections. Therefore you see
posted by boo_radley at 12:32 PM on October 20, 2010


boo_radley, I assumed that was intentional. The actual commercial is in the "attack ad" link.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:32 PM on October 20, 2010


If only we had more pro-bong-hit, anti-Christian, anti-faith-based-initiative politicians.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:32 PM on October 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


do you see where I'm going with this? because I'm getting woozy and my keyboard's covered with eyebloof.
posted by boo_radley at 12:33 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


The trouble with Conway's ad is that it comes perilously close to saying that non-belief in Christianity is a disqualification for public office. That's a pretty sickening premise for a Democratic campaign.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:34 PM on October 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


what happens after elections?

I've maintained for a long time that we are all going to be pleasantly surprised. We'll see...

If Prop 19 passes, we all smoke a bowl and hit Fujitsu for the Pink Floyd laser light show. Meetup?

(actually, even better, the first saturday after the election has a show called "lazer psychedelia" planned. coincidence?)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:37 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


[NOT AQUA BUDDHIST]
posted by Burhanistan at 12:38 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rand Paul vs. a Blue Dog Democrat. Or as I like to call it, Alien vs. Predator.
posted by Pants McCracky at 12:38 PM on October 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


There's something about an Aqua Buddha man.
posted by TedW at 12:41 PM on October 20, 2010 [14 favorites]


Aqua Buddha would be a pretty good name for an aftershave.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:42 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops, jinx.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:42 PM on October 20, 2010


Yeah, what Joe Beese said. I'm all for Democratic candidates playing shitty attack ads -- in fact, the more, the merrier -- especially against an ass like Rand Paul. But the whole "he can't be a candidate because he's a Christian" is pretty ick to me (even though it is the only aspect of my personal life that wouldn't disqualify me for office)

That's the problem with slinging shit -- there's no way your fingers don't end up stanky.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:42 PM on October 20, 2010


And yeah, I kind of miss the days when Republicans were the ones running the ads claiming that not being Christian and/or smoking pot in college and/or having once had a sense of humor somehow disqualifies you for office.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:43 PM on October 20, 2010


Is Aqua Buddha the new Old Spice?
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:44 PM on October 20, 2010


The trouble with Conway's ad is that it comes perilously close to saying that non-belief in Christianity is a disqualification for public office. That's a pretty sickening premise for a Democratic campaign.

Indeed. And that's why I love it.

You know what they should be saying? "So fucking what? Let's win this seat." The GOP has gotten millions of miles out of pandering to people's fears and prejudices. Let the Dems have one.

This is like a Republican candidate claiming that his Democratic opponent doesn't respect labor unions. Ironic excellence.

Also from the New Republic (har):

"Second, and more importantly, a politician’s religious faith should simply be off-limits."

Why should a politician's religious faith be "off limits" when it's a "bad" thing and yet sprayed everywhere when viewed as a positive? Wouldn't a candidate's religious belief (or at the least, couldn't it) affect her or his decision on: abortion; welfare; euthanasia; drug policy; justice; financial regulations; or, say, every single issue?

If a candidate's drug use or adultery is not "off-limits," (what's that even mean, anyway?) her religion shouldn't be either.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:47 PM on October 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


Incumbents scramble

Challengers heave

Mark your ballot

See 'em leave



Aqua Buddha Velva Shave
posted by mmrtnt at 12:48 PM on October 20, 2010 [27 favorites]


krysalist: "Conway and Paul are nearly in a dead heat."

Doesn't Paul actually have a very substantial lead? See e.g. 538
posted by Perplexity at 12:49 PM on October 20, 2010


The Tea Party and Republicans have been trying to make lack of political experience a virtue, running candidates who have come out of nowhere.

It's more than fair to point out that some of these unknown people are whack jobs and way out of the mainstream. Some of you are confused by the fact that Rand Paul's quirky escapade sounds fun. But 95% of Americans don't feel that way, and many good Democrats have lost elections for far less oddity than this. (Remember John Kerry and windsurfing? Horrors!)
posted by msalt at 12:57 PM on October 20, 2010


I wish the response add would have criticized Conway for being so biggoted as to suggest that being an Aqua Buddhist is a disqualification for public office. Doesn't he know that Thomas Jefferson AND Benjamin Franklin were Aqua Buddhist? Who could forget the cannonball powered bong Thomas Jefferson invented at Monticello?
posted by vorpal bunny at 12:58 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Religion is a very important aspect of legislation, seeing as how there's no such thing as "separation of church and state."

What? In the First Amendment?
posted by cottoncandybeard at 12:58 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Doesn't Paul actually have a very substantial lead? See e.g. 538

Scroll down and look at the most recent polls. One has Conway up 2; even Rasmussen shows Paul's lead cut to 5. Which means roughly even, accounting for the Rasmussen skew.
posted by msalt at 12:58 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well Conway isn't applying some kind of religious test for office; he's pointing out Paul's deceit and hypocrisy, not his apostasy. The problem is, he's being dishonest himself, pretending that the Aqua Buddha gag was more than a college secret society hazing ritual, when he should just be pointing out that Rand Paul was a juvenile asshole in college and is a mental and moral pygmy still.
posted by nicwolff at 12:59 PM on October 20, 2010


Just to get it out of my system...

GOOGLE AQUA BUDDHA
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:00 PM on October 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


There are a lot of questions out there about Rand Paul, such as: why does he look like Ron Paul in a cheap wig?
posted by Dmenet at 1:01 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


> Doesn't he know that Thomas Jefferson AND Benjamin Franklin were Aqua Buddhist?

That's in the First Amendment???
posted by mmrtnt at 1:06 PM on October 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


mrgrimm: You know what they should be saying? "So fucking what? Let's win this seat." The GOP has gotten millions of miles out of pandering to people's fears and prejudices. Let the Dems have one.

Race to the bottom, and all that. There's appealing to the emotional side, and there's dredging up the past like it matters today. Belonging to a college-era prank-based social group is not the same as being an anti-religious politician running for office.


krysalist: "Conway and Paul are nearly in a dead heat."

Doesn't Paul actually have a very substantial lead? See e.g. 538


The current FiveThirtyEight Forecast for Kentucky Senate show Paul at 52.4% (± 6%) and Conway at 45.0% (± 6%), so they are pretty close. Paul probably has the lead, but that somehow plays out as Paul with a 89.4% chance of win and Conway with a 10.6% chance of win (I don't understand statistics, so I'll assume 538 knows what's up).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:06 PM on October 20, 2010


I'd rather see some ads talking about Rand Paul's fake medical board certification. Apparently, he couldn't pass the American Board of Opthalmology exam, so he invented his own board, the National Board of Opthalmology.

That might be a little too elitist a charge for the Tea Partiers, though. This ad is right out of the Rove playbook, attacking Paul where he's strongest. It doesn't have to be 100% effective, it just has to peel a few of those guaranteed TP votes off of him.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:07 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


some of the latest polls show conway leading.

this is great.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:07 PM on October 20, 2010


No, this ad is not fair. Neither are ones I've seen by Barbara Boxer or Alan Grayson or others.

But at least they show a willingness by a few Democrats not to cower in their bunker, while Republicans backed by unlimited anonymous corporate donations are making as many fraudulent, bullshit ads as they want and catching no repercussions.

Dems need to fight dirty.
posted by fungible at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


what happens after elections?

Investigations. Impeachment. More elections.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:19 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm as delighted as anyone to see Conway nut-punch Rand Paul into submission, but even Conway seemed embarrassed to do it. On the news, he couldn't seem to look up after the debate and looked like he couldn't wait to get back home and shower off the nasty.
posted by Mcable at 1:31 PM on October 20, 2010


As a libertarian maverick surely Rand Paul will come out and say that there's nothing wrong with an individual using drugs as they see fit, nor with worshipping as they see fit. Surely.
posted by codacorolla at 1:32 PM on October 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


Needless to say, this dive into the cesspool would be the subject of universal disgust here had it been crafted by Lee Atwater or Karl Rove - whose presiding spirit this honors.

But since it's sleaze in the service of your team, let's see who you're hoping it will get elected:

In 2002, Conway expressed support for some provisions of the Patriot Act.

Conway opposes "cap and trade" legislation... "Coal is an integral part of Kentucky's economy and an important domestic energy resource"

Conway stated in 2002, during his congressional campaign, that he supported George W. Bush's foreign policy and would have voted to authorize the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

When asked if he was in favor of hemp farming for Kentucky, Conway replied: "... If there's a difficulty in distinguishing between hemp and marijuana then we shouldn't have hemp farming in Kentucky, because it's more of a law enforcement issue about making certain we don't let a gateway drug get into the marketplace." Conway indicated in a 2002 Project Vote Smart survey that he does not support decriminalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes.


A "gateway drug" that he used in college, of course.

I do understand that Rand Paul is a pious hypocrite with a bad toupee, an avowed enemy of all that is Good and True, etc. But defeating him at the polls is, I suspect, the final thing that Senator Conway is ever going to do for you.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:36 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Angel Moroni vs Aqua Buddha Smackdown coming to cable.
posted by pianomover at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rand Paul vs. a Blue Dog Democrat.

I'll still take a blue dog democrat over Jim "Where are my car keys?" Bunning, especially in this state. We're never going to have a liberal with a chance in statewide office, I'm just delighted to have a mild liberal as my congressman.
posted by Mcable at 1:40 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


This, like so many of these elections, is like watching hobos fight.
posted by Legomancer at 1:40 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Thinking about both Paul's devotion to Aqua Buddha as well as his favorite band, I realize that Paul might actually be a pretty neat fellow.

Also, does anyone else find a certain resemblance in him to a famous TV Mayor?
posted by krysalist at 1:41 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do understand that Rand Paul is a pious hypocrite with a bad toupee, an avowed enemy of all that is Good and True, etc. But defeating him at the polls is, I suspect, the final thing that Senator Conway is ever going to do for you.


Believe it or not some people have seen how sausage is made and eat it regardless.
posted by codacorolla at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


The GOP can dish it out but they sure can't take it, huh? Rand Paul is being swiftboated, except he actually did everything in the ad.
posted by spaltavian at 1:59 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


So this is the thread where I can best point out (again, I know) that Rand Paul looks like Caligula.

Under the circumstances, I'll have to vote for Conway, but the religious crap makes me wish I could slap him instead. FWIW, Conway has now popped out at least one decent ad hitting Paul on his support for some idea called Fair Tax, which apparently is a federal sales tax to replace the current income tax. I'd personally expect this to have at least as much effect as the Aqua Buddha shit, but then I wouldn't have expected Paul to win the primary in the first place.
posted by dilettante at 2:09 PM on October 20, 2010


Rand Paul's new campaign ad.
posted by klangklangston at 2:24 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also: Rand Paul Rand Paul Rand Paul.

Oh wait, that's not the reddit meme, is it.
posted by mark242 at 2:30 PM on October 20, 2010


This race is akin to the choice between being shit on or puked on. I won't be checking either of their names next month, and no democrats, I won't feel bad if Rand Paul wins.
posted by Roman Graves at 2:44 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


[few comments removed - go to metatalk to talk about specific users.]
posted by jessamyn at 2:58 PM on October 20, 2010


The difference between democrats and republicans is committee chairmanships and shit like that.

So even if they're both illiberal douchebags you still want to vote for the one that's nominally in the same party that you generally support more than the other party.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:01 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know what irritates me more about the traction of this story in the election:

1. That it is based on the premise that kidnapping a woman and forcing her to do things for your amusement is all in collegiate high spirits, but worshipping an idol, well that --; or

2. That "Aqua Buddha" was not immediately understood everywhere to be a gag thought up moments before between bong hits, seeing as (a) Buddha is not a god, let alone a nature god, and (b) if there were some kind of water-spirit Buddha he wouldn't just have a random Latin noun affixed to his name; honestly it makes as much sense as "Linoleum Moses"
posted by Countess Elena at 3:57 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Conway wasn't trying to just turn the voters off of Paul, but to also put questions in the minds of his financial backers as well?
posted by 1000monkeys at 3:58 PM on October 20, 2010


'Buddha' is slang for weed. 'Aqua' is water, like in the bong. I don't think it has to be any more complicated than that.
posted by box at 4:01 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


...it makes as much sense as "Linoleum Moses"

I know what you mean. Moses was a strong, influential leader who didn't take shit from anybody, even the pharoah; people would just walk all over Linoleum Moses.
posted by TedW at 4:34 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


"The Linoleum Moses" sounds like a terrific band name, though.
posted by arrjay at 5:12 PM on October 20, 2010


honestly it makes as much sense as "Linoleum Moses"

And 'lo he said, upon descending from the mountain, "These New and Improved Ten Commandments are unbreakable! Their strength is like the strength of the Lord Himself!"

And there was much murmuring and the people did agree, that yes, they were indeed quite nice and also easy to clean.

But Moses was not finished with his sermon, for he further said, "And if ye act now, not only will you get this New and Improved Linoleum Ten Commandments, but I will also throw in this Holy Swiffer, free of charge!"

And a great cheer arose from the people, for they saw that it was a wise and unbeatable deal.

Coming up next: How to get a great upper-body core strength workout with the Rod of God.
posted by formless at 5:47 PM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Paul on his support for some idea called Fair Tax, which apparently is a federal sales tax to replace the current income tax

Not to totally derail this but I've been wondering about a "fair" sales tax, one that includes a securities turnover excise tax?
posted by cftarnas at 10:59 PM on October 20, 2010


The "liberal" media's response to this was so predictable -- "OMG HE SAID MEAN THINGS ABOUT A REPUBLICAN! WHERE'S THE FAINTING COUCH???"

Jesus fucking christ, a Democratic candidate is actually playing to win for once. And Kentucky, kids, is a very Christian place.

Meanwhile, Republicans dutifully talk about our Kenyan, homo-loving, Communist, Muslim president. Those guys go on Hardball and Meet the Press and are asked for their "serious" opinions as to why Obama is building death camps for your grandparents.
posted by bardic at 12:38 AM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seriously. Imagine the ads if Paul were a Democrat who smoked dope in college.

I think he's gonna lose. A lot of people hadn't heard about the aqua buddha story before.

'By now most people have seen the infamous "Aqua Buddha" ad from the Conway campaign. It is certainly weird, but is it true?'

- Justin Bank, Washington Post

... links to ...

'There is support for the ad's claim that Paul’s college group, the NoZe Brotherhood, "mocked Christianity." According to Politico, for example, "The group's work often had a specifically anti-Christian tone, as it made fun of the Baptist college's faith-based orientation." As for calling the Bible a "hoax," that was done in a satirical article in the NoZe newsletter. The article, titled "Fishy Bibles," claimed that the Bible’s true author was a Clement Updike, 83, of Victor, Calif., and quoted him as saying, "I wrote it as a lark."'

- "Conway Lying About 'Aqua Buddha'?" at factcheck.org

Interesting choice of hed, considering that no, no such lying occurred.


... from a Mason-Dixon Research poll (PDF) posted yesterday:

QUESTION: If the 2010 election for Kentucky’s U.S. Senate seat were held today, would you vote for Jack Conway, the Democrat, or Rand Paul, the Republican?

CONWAY      PAUL      UNDECIDED
43%             48%  9%

Conway may beat this one into the ground.

'"This is an individual who is engaged in some egregious, unacceptable behavior, and the ad calls him out on it," Schultz said on the call. "It makes women in Kentucky aware of the kind of views and the kind of choices that this individual who is trying to be their U.S. senator makes."'

- "Democrats accuse Rand Paul of 'misogyny'," Politico

'Hide your wife, hide your kids, because the Aqua Buddha is TRANSCENDING EVERYBODY OUT HERE!'

posted by mrgrimm at 1:17 PM on October 21, 2010


Thought about Paul's fake medical board certification a bit more. You could tie it in quite nicely with the Aqua Buddha:: "Why couldn't Rand Paul pass his opthalmology board exams? Maybe because he was too busy tying girls up and forcing them to smoke pot, instead of studying."
posted by Jimmy Havok at 4:02 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


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