Elizabeth Emken, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's underdog Republican opponent, has gone CGI on us in her latest attempt to shame Feinstein into debating her. With a nod to "Forrest Gump," in which the Tom Hanks character was digitally inserted into scenes with famous people, Emken has posted a YouTube video in which an inert-looking Feinstein seems to be sitting across from Emken at a debate. Feinstein doesn't speak, but she does sip from a cup of coffee.
Emken lays into Feinstein about Obamacare, the national debt and California's economic ills, and there's also a dig at Feinstein's age. (Maybe, Emken wonders, Feinstein lacks the "energy" to debate?)
A cheap shot? Sure, and doctoring video should be a no-no. (Imagine what Mitt Romney and President Obama could do to each other if they decided to hire Bob Zemeckis or his GOP equivalent to direct their ads.)
Still, Feinstein has only herself to blame for Emken's gimmickry. The Times' editorial page (which endorsed the senator) has criticized the incumbent for refusing to debate Emken for a very good reason: Any incumbent, no matter how eminent or entrenched, owes it to the voters to interact at least once with his or her opponent in a general election. Even if such an encounter had been short on news, it would have done homage to democracy.