Republican candidates have long relied on "hysterical, incendiary, and nasty" claims to shake campaign donations loose from conservative voters, but one recent pitch stood out to a veteran political reporter.
David Corn, the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for Mother Jones, said he receives numerous GOP fundraising emails to keep tabs on their "scare-’em-and-shake’em-down" warnings about leftist radicals of every stripe aiming to "destroy America As We Know It," but he was taken aback by one recent appeal by a Republican senator's campaign.
"Let me tip my hat to Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) for crafting a solicitation worth noticing," Corn writes. "It appeared in my inbox on Christmas Day, with this subject head: 'Jellyfish have more brains than the liberals.'
"Hmmm, I thought, I wonder where this will lead? The answer? Nowhere, actually," he adds. "The email began, 'I have hope for my Liberal friends…jellyfish have survived for more than 165 million years without a brain, so there is hope for a few of them.' And…that was the pitch."
The Louisiana Republican didn't shoot out dire warnings about liberals ruining schools or outlawing hamburgers, he merely called them stupid.
"Does Kennedy’s team really believe that it can squeeze money out of GOP rubes by merely comparing liberals to brainless jellyfish?" Corn writes. "Damn straight they do. After receiving this email, I searched my inbox and discovered I had received an identical request from Kennedy in September."
"Kennedy’s 'jellyfish' email doesn’t bother presenting a cogent case," he adds. "You hate liberals. I am a US Senator and will call them names. You will give me money. Rinse, repeat. It hardly gets more infantile and tribal than that and embodies lots that’s terrible about today’s Trumpified GOP."