It is amazing to watch the wheels fall off Sen. Mark Pryor’s re-election campaign before it really even gets started.

I am not sure if the barrage of attacks from both the left and the right has thrown him off or if he is just rusty from not running against an opponent since 2002.  Today, things got so bad Pryor criticized an Arkansas business owner for taking stimulus funds for which he voted.

Bill Shroyer owns a business in Arkansas called Splash Super Pools.  Shroyer appeared in an ad paid for by the Senate Conservative Fund where he criticized Sen. Pryor for voting for Obamacare and talked about how the new health care regulation was hurting his business.

Pryor is unable to dispute anything in the ad, so he is instead taking to statewide media to attack Shroyer.

“The person that they have on the ad, from my standpoint, doesn’t have any credibility. He’s a well known Republican supporter and turns out he also took $300,000 or more in stimulus funding,” Pryor told the Arkansas News Bureau.

Pryor is referring to the fact that when Shroyer’s business was hit by the economic downturn he took federal stimulus funds to convert part of his business to produce biogas domes and gas holders for renewable energy production. You can read more details on the recovery website here.

Pryor may have a point if Shroyer was criticizing him for voting for the stimulus, but this is not the case.  Obamacare had nothing to do with the stimulus.  They are unrelated programs. But in Pryor’s view, it seems if someone takes federal stimulus funds then they lose the right to criticize him for voting for Obamacare.

What an absolutely  ridiculous and even scary position.  If any of you out there have ever fallen on hard times and taken a government benefit, you better fall in line and certainly don’t criticize our elected officials for voting against unpopular legislation such as Obamacare.

Give me a break!

Of course, this is somewhat consistent with Pryor’s defense of his vote for ObamaCare this weekend when he appeared on Capitol View with Roby Brock.  He said his vote was justified by the Republicans in the state legislature who used Medicaid funds as part of Obamacare to pay for their private option health care plan.  I suppose none of them can criticize him either.

How far will this go with Pryor?

Drive on a federal highway?  Hypocrite!

Get a Social Security check?  Shut your mouth!

Visit a federal park?  Sit down and shut up!

Extra Credit – You should check out a completely different take from my colleague Michael Cook who is so taken with the sheer genious-ness of Pryor that he blogs about it here and again here.  Cook’s basic point is that since Shroyer is a Republican who took money from the government, he had it coming.  I disagree but even if Cook is right, does a sitting two-term Senator really benefit from picking a fight with him?  I don’t see it.

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Jason Tolbert is the moderator for his opinion blog, The Tolbert Report. He can be reached by e-mail at Jason@TolbertReport.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TolbertReport.