Hagan hits back on Dole

This is how a nimble campaign works. Yesterday we talked about the vile new ad that Elizabeth Dole has out against Kay Hagan. Today, the Hagan campaign released this ad:


Goal ThermometerKay Hagan is right – “bearing false witness against fellow Christians” isn’t very Christian. If you’re going to call yourself a Christian then you should behave like one. As I mentioned yesterday, this issue is a big one in North Carolina.

This is how you respond to a bully – fight fire with fire. Elizabeth Dole hid her accusations behind grainy images and scary voice-overs. Kay Hagan went right to the public through the camera and hit back – hard. Help Kay Hagan run more of this ad in North Carolina and help us get closer to 60 in the Senate – donate.

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  • mirth

    “Is saddens me greatly that people who use reason as their guide, rather than faith, are so looked down upon in our society.”

    Me, too.

  • renska

    I would have been more impressed if she’d said “not bearing false witness against your NEIGHBOR.” Because the other implication is “bearing false witness against ‘fellow’ Christians” ain’t, uh, kosher. But bearing false witness against anyone else? Hey, go for it.

    Still, strong ad, especially for this neck of the woods. My sis lives down there and I remember the first time I paged through the Greensboro paper and hit the religion section. The RELIGION section? Yep, they haz one.

  • green_libertarian

    “Is saddens me greatly that people who use reason as their guide, rather than faith, are so looked down upon in our society.”
    And you wonder why SOME believers don’t have a high opinion of atheists, when you make a statement like that?

    Quite a high horse you’re on there, bub. Careful not to get bucked off.

  • Mike_G

    I lived there in 1995-7, and this doesn’t surprise me.
    I left when I realized that even the ‘liberal for Texas’ Austin metro area was a craphole of ugly-minded, bone-stupid-parochial conformist authoritarian megachurch pod-people ruled by a corporate-cronyist kleptocracy. And the weather and the landscape sucks.

    This Texan woman who didn’t want to give Newsbeat her name is one of them.
    She said: “I really don’t care what Obama says because I don’t want someone with a Muslim background running our country.
    “He’ll be letting them all come over here and he’ll be buddy buddy with them all.
    “We’ll be giving them nuclear arms. Next thing you know they’ll be attacking us again.”

  • Remember this is North Carolina we’re talking about here. Not exactly a bastion of free thought when it comes to religion.

  • Bush_Bites

    Game, set, match.

  • Moderation

    However, as with the attacks on Muslims chastised by Colin Powell…what the f*** is wrong with being a non-believer (of any stripe, be it strong atheist, weak atheist/agnostic, or whatever other form of not believing in deity)?!?! As cutting as Kay Hagan’s response was, she sounded offended at being called an atheist in much the same manner McCain seemed to be offended that an Arab could be a person with “family values”. As though an Arab is incapable of loving his or her family, and being a devoted husband/wife/partner, or an atheist is incapable of holding morally sound, legally sound, viable policy positions, and successfully holding higher office.

    Please note, I thought her ad was very effective, and appropriate overall. However, I did not hear anyone, either her, a surrogate, or anyone chastising Liddy Dole in general in the traditional media, point out that there is NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING AN ATHEIST. Atheists (and non-believers in general) seem to be the single most acceptable group in this country to trod upon, and look down upon, with no second thoughts. The way so many spit that word out as if it is an insult is quite depressing.

    As I said on Kos, I swear, sometimes it feels like there is a better chance of having a bisexual, polygamist, Satan-worshipping, Caucasian-Black-Asian-Latin-Martian-American, who eats live babies on television for sh**s and giggles, win higher office than any monogamous, family-oriented, educated, brilliant orating atheist who literally brought about world peace, because, well, at least the Satanist believes in SOME sort of higher power. Is saddens me greatly that people who use reason as their guide, rather than faith, are so looked down upon in our society. I angers me just how unwilling Americans are, per their own indication, to vote any form of non-believer to the highest office. At this rate, the citizenry will change the Constitution to allow someone not born in America to become President of the United States of America before an admitted atheist is voted to said office. I certainly doubt in will be in my lifetime, and I’ve got a ways to go, yet (hopefully).


  • Topher

    As a native Texan no longer living in the Lone Star State (primarily because of the prevailing political/cultural philosophy there) I wonder what happened to Texas all the time. We gave the world Ann Richards, and then followed up with the Shrub. Pack mentality runs strong in Texas–nonconformity and/or disent is not currently valued–and most spend their lives trying to act, look, sound, reason and believe the same exact thing as thier peers. I don’t know if this has anything to do with Texas turning from Blue to Red, but my aunt’s answering machine proclaims that she can’t pick up because she’s “out rockin’ and rollin’ for Jesus.”

  • green_libertarian

    Fantastic ad, exactly perfect for her target market.

    And as the KOS link Nigel posted above shows, Hagen is up in the polls, BEFORE this ad hit, and even many prominent repukes in NC are shaming Dole about her ad.

  • obsessed


  • WordSmith

    Yeah, yeah – well, me too and I have a degree in Religious Studies.

    Kagan is calling out Dole for her hypocrisy, big-ass hypocrisy AND to her FACE (kinda). Thanks to KMLR just below – I forgot about Liddie breaking that fucking commandment.

  • Robbie

    Sure, context is important. The immediate context of my post is that it is addressed to the readers of a political blog who can be presumed to be capable of considering a criticism of a TV ad without forgetting eight years of Bush horrors and without mistaking it for absolute dismissal of the candidate being criticized. Part of the larger context is that in our national dialog it is common to equate unbelief with unfitness to hold public office. That, to me, is a problem worth pointing out and trying to correct. If to you it’s a nit that is ridiculous to pick then that’s where we disagree.

  • dacnova

    Strong and effective, I guess, but as an agnostic it still bugs me. I long for the day someone can run for high public office, publicly doubt “god”, and get elected.

  • KarenMrsLloydRichards

    Another one of the Commandments Dole broke: in 1972 she was f^cking pre-Viagra Bob while he was still legally married.

  • blueoysterjoe

    Bam! What an _awesome_ ad.

    The “false witness” bit was particularly good.

  • vkobaya

    But having a Muslim father? That matters.

    Not really. If Obama were blond, blueeyed, pale skin, they wouldn’t care that his father was Muslim. What matters is that he is a N—–. Thank God though that these are only 23% of the Texans. McCain has badmouthed the religious fundamentalists yet they have no trouble, no questions about his being a Christian, isn’t even an issue. Obama is a very dedicated Christian, but they refuse to believe that a Black man can be Christian.

  • vkobaya

    Don’t be fooled. What that really means is that 23% of Texans think Obama is a N—–. You could prove he was baptised, made a confession of faith, regularly attends a Christian service every Sunday and they would still say they aren’t voting for him because he is a “Muslim.”

  • wmforr

    It’s about time someone called the “Christian” Right on their blasphemy, elevating (selected passages of) Leviticus over Jesus, selling the Temple to the money changers, praying on street corners like the Pharases, and (see Sen. Bond’s remarks on this page) scorning compassion, beating their plow shares into swords, gleefully encouraging the most inhuman torture, and… well, all you have to do is compare the Gospels to their words and actions to guess that they would follow the Antichrist in a heartbeat.

    And it is real Christians and real Christian churches that are being tarred by these people.

  • naschkatze

    I hope it finally destroys them.

  • PeteWa

    It’s not that I don’t think you have a point here, however:

    Hagan was not the one to bring her faith into the public sphere in the first place.
    And I think some people here are missing the real point that Hagan was making: Dole is a false Christian.

    I personally find all of this extremely annoying, in my way of thinking, religion should never have a place in American public life whatsoever.
    However, when a Democrat is lyingly accused of something by a scurrilous forked-tongue Repuke, I think it is always a good thing for the Democrat (or indie, or whatever) to come out strong against the lie (liar).

    Also: the Ten Commandments are Judeo-Christian… “given” to Moses (if you believe in sky gods) and then absorbed by the followers of the very Jewish Jesus (if he ever existed).

    Breaking this all down into layer upon layer of nuance and disecting a simple political ad (a rebuttal at that) into excruciating semantics and dialectical arguments is beyond counter-productive as far as I am concerned.

  • JamieinAZ

    This might be the best ad of 2008, certainly the best ad in a senatorial campaign. Elizabeth Dole should be ashamed of herself.

  • ShirleyGoodnessanMercy

    I lived in Texas back in 1980-81, and I don’t remember people there being THIS stupid. What on earth happened to Texas to make its citizens this stupid????

  • well, we are in agreement there.

  • I think what we’re seeing is the rapid speed with which accusations can be answered. A few years ago, Dole’s timing would have been fine. In fact it was common place to make a terrible accusation 1 week away from an elections. But we now have the technology to make a response in a matter of hours.

    Personally, I don’t have a lot of faith that this will do any good, though. Politicized Christians wrap the republican party together with God, America and apple pie. For them Obama really isn’t a Christian, whereas McCain,who never seemed religious until this election, is easily accepted. The swearing, gambling, adultry and lying don’t matter. But having a Muslim father? That matters.

  • nicho

    Liddy has so much to burn in hell for, this will just add a few years to her sentence.

  • ShirleyGoodnessanMercy

    Bravo Kay Kagan! She is my new hero!!!

    May Liddy Dole roast in Hell for bearing false witness against Kagan.

  • Nigel Elliott


    Dole Slips in Polls Again After Godless Ad Hits Hagan

  • Ruttle

    I can agree with your sentiments MC. I certainly acknowledge that people’s faith is important to them and should be respected. What troubles me is that in the current economic situation, with two wars being fought, there is a pissing fight over who is more pious. I don’t think religion should always seem to be at the forefront of political campaigns. I also don’t think politicians should be using their religious credentials to smear people like me. There are millions of non-believers like me – moderate – accepting of the beliefs of others, who simply want to scale back the religious rhetoric in politics and focus on many of the worldly issues that we must confront together.

  • wow…Awesome push back. Excellent. Good job Kaye!! I loved it.

  • LiberalFL

    Of course context means something. But this is politics… She established her Christian faith repeatedly in the ad. I’m not saying it wasn’t an effective rebuttal, I think it was. I am saying though, that when you say “Christians shouldn’t bear false witness against other Christians” the logical implication is that there are people Christian’s should bear false witness against, and that the ad would have been stronger without it.

    And speaking as someone who is not a Christian (i’m Jewish), yes I have been paying attention these past 8 years, and while I’m all for accurately portraying and defending your religious faith, I’m not down for Democrats becoming Republicans when it comes to faith in public life.

  • Robbie

    The commandment forbids bearing false witness not bearing false witness against fellow Christians. That part is Hagen’s addition. My problem with the ad is not that it isn’t what I want it to be. It’s that it accepts Dole’s implication that non-Christians are unfit for office or unworthy of protection from false witness.

  • scottinsf

    I know how you feel.

    I’m happy to see Ablog getting active in raising funds for so many good folks and causes though. It really does show that this is a community to be reckoned with.

    I’m matching your latest $50 to No on Prop 8 right now. Thanks for the nudge.

    Edit: Whoo hoo! I just pushed that thermometer past 40K. Let’s get it past the 50K goal by Saturday. I think we can still do it. Dig deep folks, we don’t want to let the fundies re-write our Constitution do we? Please give if you can.

  • fostert

    The commandment in question is usually written with the phrase “against thy neighbor”, which is more inclusive. She probably should have used ‘neighbor’ instead of ‘Christian.’ But she is trying to defend herself against charges of Atheism, so saying ‘Christian’ as many times as possible has its advantages. And it drives home the point that Dole and Hagan share the same religion. As a non-Christian, I can forgive that phrasing. But I’m not really the target of the ad anyway. I don’t care what religion she is.

  • BroD

    Glad I contributed!

  • Nigel Elliott

    This is just pathetic. Obama could win Texas if more voters believed he was Christian.

    Poll finds 23% of Texans think Obama is Muslim

  • This is an AWESOME ad! I really think this ad will ‘fix’ any problems that Dole’s deplorable ad may have caused. Her delivery is right-on and the final ‘bearing false witness’ line is what puts the final nail in Dole’s campaign — and deservedly so.

  • cindiloohoo

    Best YouTube comment from tunghoy:

    “Dole Is Just Bananas!”

  • PeteWa

    Please, does context mean nothing?

    Have you concerners not been paying attention the last eight years?
    She brought the Christian back in at the end to underline her point, that she is a self-identified Christian, to hammer the point home, and as the Bush Administration has shown works to “catapult the propaganda”.

    It is an effective ad, the nit picking here is ridiculous.

  • I wasn’t talking about you, sorry to inform you. I have just seen people trash religion quite a bit from our side of the spectrum. I was just pointing out the reality that faith is important to many people in this country, and throughout the world. And we must accept and respect that.

  • This is an AWESOME ad! I really think this ad will ‘fix’ any problems that Dole’s deplorable ad may have caused. Her delivery is right-on and the final ‘bearing false witness’ line is what puts the final nail in Dole’s campaign — and deservedly so.

  • anneeeliz

    Aaaaaand, the NC Senate goes in the D column.

  • DAB

    Damn you, Americablog! You’re going to drive me into poverty. These outrageous Republican ads and claims get me so freakin’ mad, and then you put that ActBlue box right next to it and before I know it, I’ve given another $50 to someone (or to No on Prop 8) or other to fight the evil. And that’s on top of monthly contributions to the Obama campaign.

    This election can’t come too soon for my poor bank account!

  • MotorCityBadBoy

    That is a really, really good ad! I’m a Christian and her words really struck a chord with me.

  • Ruttle

    I am happy to respect people’s religion. But don’t expect me to sit by silently while I am denigrated as Godless. There is nothing wrong with being godless and by the way, I have a lot more important things in my life than a “new car or drapes or place settings from Target.” How insulting. Respect and tolerance are a two way street MC. You might try practicing that yourself.

  • LiberalFL

    I like the response as a whole, but I’m going to have to agree with Robbie. The Commandment says Thou shalt not bear false witness, it doesn’t reference which religions it is or isn’t acceptable to bear false witness against. (Also, the Ten Commandments were actually handed to Jews…but thats neither here nor there). She easily could have said “because Christians shouldn’t bear false witness” in general, because they shouldn’t. And neither should Jews or Muslims, or anyone else for that matter, regardless of whether that specific commandment is a part of their religion. The “against other Christian’s” sat wrong with me too, and the ad would have been much much stronger if there was nothing to quibble with.

  • FunMe

    WOW! That is a great response!

    Or as we say in Spanish, basically to Elizabeth Dole:

    ZAS PERRA! (“right back at you!)

  • Well, it does matter. For all our ranting about materialism and phony values, it would be wise for the left to acknowledge that, for many people, their faith, whatever it may be, is an integral part of their lives and is an attempt to find something more important than a new car or drapes or place settings from Target. And then show some of the respect and tolerance for diversity that we always claim. And please, spare me the “hypocrisy” argument about the right-wing Christianists.

  • davespicer

    Of course it isn’t. Those words were chosen to echo one of The Ten Commandments. She responded to the specific allegation. Sorry the response couldn’t be all things to all people.

  • Heather

    I am agnostic but her response ad gave me chills. Elizabeth Dole’s ad was really disgusting. Shame on her.

  • erick28

    I am glad that she is responding the way she is, there is no othere way to respond to such attacks only by facing it head on and throwing it back to the sender. Kerry was swiftboated because he was too nice to respond. Now let her quick (i hope its quick enough) and very appropriate reply be an example to others who are being attacked by the republicans.

  • Older_Wiser

    No it shouldn’t. As a godless person myself, I live in NC which has a very long and storied religious background (and the hypocrisy to boot).

    Within a one mile radius of where I live (now an exurb of Charlotte), there are half a dozen churches and a large “campground” (built in the early 1800s) which is the site of a 2 week long religious retreat, complete with refreshment stand and large area for services, in late July/August–it blocks traffic entering my neighborhood. They’ve even changed the date of the school start to accommodate these people. It’s not unusual for someone to come to your door “inviting” you to their church or trying to convert you around here.

  • Robbie

    Bearing false witness against fellow Christians is unacceptable. How about against Jews and Muslims and athiests? That OK?

  • mmedefarge

    You are absolutely right. Thank you for making that point. I had kind of missed that because Dole’s ad was so offensive.

  • scottinsf

    I understand the dynamics of this race and definitely believe Kay Hagan is fighting mad (and rightfully so)! I’m just blown away that these are the talking points.

    Here in California the best we can do is have Jamie Lee Curtis direct a choir of out of tune child cancer survivors singing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.

    Imagine that.

  • Ruttle

    I’m glad she fought back quickly and effectively. I am disappointed however, that religion remains such an important political issue in this day and age. It should not matter at all whether or not a politician is religious.

  • Older_Wiser

    Excellent ad! And Kay Hagan has already sued Dole for the “godless” ad, from what I understand.

    Does everyone know that Kay Hagan is a niece of Lawton Chiles? Although I didn’t vote for Hagan in the primary, I despise Dole and voted for Hagan, of course.

  • Dave of the Jungle

    The Economist Issues ‘Wholehearted’ Endorsement Of Obama:


  • jeffg166

    Very impressive. I especially like the bearing false witness part.

  • mmedefarge

    Liddy Dole may have done for Hagan what Bachmann did for Tinklenberg, both in terms of money and ratings. Let’s hope so!

  • Nigel Elliott

    That is the most powerful ad EVER! Obama should have run a similar ad months ago. Perhaps he could have put the Muslim smears to rest!

  • Dave of the Jungle

    The Age of Making Shit Up has hit the Repugs back right where they deserve it.

  • henrythefifth

    Great ending….hitting Dole with “Bearing false witness against fellow Christians.” Glad I donated $50 to Kay yesterday! Hope it helps get that ad around!

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