The Platonic ideal of American politics is the debate over the Constitution, well-appointed men in a hot room in Philadelphia, debating the ideals that would shape our nation. Or, perhaps, it's Mr. Smith in Washington, an earnest, rumpled fighter crying out against a system that has turned its back on those who need it most.

It is probably not a campaign in which one candidate's ad linking his opponent to prostitutes is matched by one from that opponent warning about how his opponent is opening the floodgates to terrorists.

You may recall that first ad, in which Louisiana gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards (D) points out that his opponent in the upcoming gubernatorial run-off, Republican David Vitter, was once linked to the world's oldest profession. It culminates in subtle fashion:

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In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, Vitter has a rejoinder: Why does Edwards want Louisianans to be killed by terrorists?

Louisiana gubernatorial candidate David Vitter (R) released an ad criticizing opponent John Bel Edwards for his stance on accepting more Syrian refugees. His ad was released days after the Islamic State attacks in Paris on Nov. 13. (YouTube/David Vitter)

That's a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. From footage of the France - Germany soccer match during which the terrorists set off bombs, the ominous narrator warns that "now, Obama's sending Syrian refugees to Louisiana," as though President Obama heard the news last Friday and then phoned state officials. (An aside: If you can do ominous voice-over work, you can expect large paychecks every November.) The idea plays very much to the moment, of course, given the enormous pushback against Syrian refugees.

Vitter's ad appears to point to this Facebook post to make the point that Edwards endorsed new refugees in Louisiana in the wake of the Paris attacks.


But this was the post right before that.


Which seems a little more clear in its approach to the situation.

This isn't the first time Vitter's used scare tactics in his faltering campaign. As our David Weigel reported last month, Vitter ran a fear-based ad about "dangerous thugs" being released from prison that he then declined to post online. (Politico got a copy.) That one, too, can't decide what's scarier: the purported threat or that Edwards is Democrat like President Obama.

Politics: It's classy. In other news, Vitter got into a car accident with an aide on Monday.