It’s been a big day for the NY-20 special Congressional election. The Libertarian Party candidate was forced off the ballot due to technical issues with his petitions, a problem Barack Obama’s 1996 state Senate opponents might sympathize with. Democrat Scott Murphy has caught Republican Jim Tedisco in the polls. Barack Obama has lent his considerable star power to Murphy in an attempt to hold the seat for Democrats.

This new ad by the NRCC might make Obama regret that decision, though:

This is apparently Murphy speaking, and that makes it fair game — if definitely hardball. One would think that Murphy would have learned that much after the revelation of his anti-ROTC rhetoric from years ago, but apparently not. If he opposes the death penalty to the extent that he believes foreign terrorists who attack the US should not be eligible for it, that’s a political issue, and one that will put him on the fringe of NY-20.

I oppose the death penalty too, but for domestic criminal cases, not acts of war by foreign nationals against the US. There’s a very large difference between the two, and if Murphy doesn’t understand that, then voters in that district should know about it.

Murphy will complain about unfair attacks — Greg Sargent at the Plum Line has already begun that pushback — but Murphy’s the one who said it, on March 20th on the Fred Dicker show. His public statements during the campaign are open for criticism in an election. It certainly was when George Allen said “macaca”, wasn’t it? And this, at least, has something to do with policy.