Yeah, I don’t get it either. Hayworth wanted to make the point that McCain is only acting conservative, so he ran an ad with an Oscar motif playing off of “Avatar.” Which offended Maverick, because “Avatar” is a movie about space Indians — I mean space Native Americans, or, er, space Native Pandorans — and therefore it’s racist to depict him in the warpaint of a fictional minority Smurf culture. Or something.

The point is, haven’t the Na’vi suffered enough without J.D. Hayworth humiliating them?

“Ex-Congressman J.D. Hayworth should immediately apologize and and take down his latest online ad, which is an outrageous offense to John McCain’s lifetime of honorable service to our state and nation, and insulting to Native Americans here in Arizona and across America,” said Shiree Verdone, McCain’s campaign manager. “Mr. Hayworth is welcome to debate the challenges facing our state and nation, but this kind of character assassination has no place in the Republican Party, and Mr. Hayworth should ashamed of his campaign for running it.”

When asked for a response to Kyl’s complaint, Hayworth spokesman Jason Rose told AZ/DC: “We respectfully decline the request and would encourage Senator McCain to get a sense of humor. After all, if Sunday’s show did have an award for best election year flip-flopping and transparent conservative conversion, the incumbent would surely win the Oscar.”

Brian Rogers, McCain’s campaign spokesman, said the anti-McCain Hayworth ad is “insulting” even if it was intended as a parody of “Avatar.”

Team Hayworth responded with a revised ad that made McCain look even Smurfier, which in turn generated even more fake outrage in Team Maverick. And so it came to be that the hottest Senate primary in the country devolved into an argument over what is and isn’t insulting to an indigenous culture that doesn’t actually exist. Except in America’s hearts.

Elsewhere in McCain news, Maverick is surprised to learn that his willingness to join the Gang of 14 and sabotage his own party’s filibuster-squashing ambitions a few years ago isn’t being reciprocated by the Democrats today. Go figure.