If it has long been clear that the Republican guvnah's primary was headed for Crazyland, this story suggests that we have officially arrived:
Zach Wamp is denouncing rival Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam's latest mail piece, saying Haslam doctored his image and used what he calls Middle Eastern imagery.
The mail piece features a fuzzy picture of Wamp with a backdrop of what appears to be a wall with crumbling yellow paint. The reverse side has text about Wamp's congressional record written over an image of the U.S. Capitol.
The Chattanooga congressman called the mailer "demonic" during a campaign stop in Arlington on Friday.
"They painted up my face, created a beard, used all this Middle Eastern looking imagery, and it's awful," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "What kind of gutter politics is that?"
Demonic? Combined with the congressman's recent invocation of the Almighty, it's enough to make you wonder what kind of fight Wamp thinks he's in here. Give him points for novelty -- of all the concerns we've heard raised about the Haslams over the years (including the ones we've raised ourselves), the implication that they might actually be in cahoots with Old Scratch is a new one on us.
Wamp also finally goes all the way in his derogation of Bill Haslam, calling him a "puppet" of his brother and father and sounding positively Huey Long-ish in his denunciations of wealth and power. It's enough to make you want to bust out the Internationale, isn't it? To the barricades, comrades!
And whatever you think of Tom Ingram (usually, as little as possible), the outburst sets him up for a good riposte re: Wamp: "We always knew he'd come unraveled, we just thought it would be sooner."
The good news is, the primary is over in a mere four days. We can't wait.