At a huge pro-Rob Simmons rally held in Connecticut this past weekend, US Senator John McCain waxed eloquently about Simmons' service to his country as a decorated Vietnam veteran, as a CIA operative, and as a Congressman.

The crowd went wild for both McCain and Simmons, who is more than just well-liked in Connecticut's 2nd Congressional District. McCain talked about service in Vietnam, and to his credit, didn't say much about himself, but rather about the heroism he witnessed from his fellow servicemen, especially those who were POWs.

The crowd was clearly there to hear the men they admire and will vote for, and it was an upbeat mood, except for one little item. During the event it was revealed that Simmons' opponent, Democrat Joe Courtney, has lately been referring to Simmons as a "War Criminal" for serving in Vietnam.

It was interesting that although there was heavy media coverage of the event, not one single reporter from the mainstream news picked up on this little item. Maybe I shouldn't say little because this comment gives the voters a huge window into the dark soul of the Democratic machine, the machine that loves to say it supports the veterans, and loves to say it wants strong national security, but in reality harbors a deep abiding hatred for all that is military and secure.

How else can you possibly explain such a comment, all these years after the Vietnam War, all these years during which the war protestors from that era have proudly strutted the American political scene proclaiming their victory over those of us who believed communism should be stopped there? How else do you explain people who are proud that the communists took South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and slaughtered some 4 million innocent people?

Rob Simmons a war criminal? Joe Courtney should be branded a criminal for even allowing such a thought to enter his head. Courtney, another Democrat who espouses support for the military but never served, has no standing, no credentials and no credibility to criticize Rob Simmons for serving our country.

If Courtney had anything going for him in the personality department he would hang his head, apologize and beg forgiveness. Right. No, I won't hold my breath either.

Unfortunately, while Connecticut and national Democrats claim to abhor negative campaigning and attack ads, they are no slouches at jumping on the negative bandwagon and using any means at their disposal to discredit an opponent who can beat them.

It seems that the most recent campaign tactic by frightened Democrats is to accuse their opponent of racism, figuring I suppose that it is nearly impossible to disprove something if it doesn't exist in the first place.

This happened with Joe Lieberman in mid-October when the Ned Lamont campaign falsely claimed that Lieberman exaggerated his civil rights record. That lasted only as long as it took Lieberman to dust off some old news reels of him marching for civil rights in days gone by. Suddenly, the issue dried up like vapors in the desert.

This issue raised its ugly head again in Connecticut on a regional level. Republican Matthew M. Daly, campaigning for the 19th state Senate seat currently held by 80-year-old Democrat Edith Prague, was pounding the pavement and knocking on doors in Norwich, the only city-sized community in the district which encompasses mostly farm towns and suburbs.

Daly, 37, campaigns as a Reagan Conservative, facing the most liberal member of the Connecticut Senate, and makes no bones nor excuses for his beliefs. He is pro-Second Amendment, anti-abortion, and believes marriage is a religious, not social institution and that it should be between a man and woman.

Daly has been endorsed by the Family Institute, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and received an "A" rating from the NRA while his opponent received an "F." He is used to seeing ultra-Liberals recoil in horror over his proposal to phase out the state income tax, and end it on pensions, Social Security earnings and military retirement income immediately.

But during his walking tour of Norwich, considered a Democrat bastion, at house after house he found himself being referred to as a radical, and then, shock of shock, horror of horrors, he started getting questions about his alleged membership in the Ku Klux Klan.

It was then that Daly realized the level that his opponent's campaign staff will stoop to in the effort to defeat him. It was then that he realized his campaign has had more of an impact on the district than he realized.

It has been widely rumored for quite some time in the 19th District that Edith Prague is not well, physically I mean here, and that she may not serve out another term if she is elected. The rumor has it that she supposedly has already hand-picked her successor, and had figured she could win on name recognition alone if she ran a non-campaign and gave Daly no chance for publicity. It may be only a rumor and it has been heard in previous campaigns too, but the fact is, Prague has done little to no hard campaigning this year, and obviously hoped that strategy would work.

That came to a screeching halt in early October when Daly debated her in the Norwich City Hall and Prague revealed that she wanted to reinstall toll booths on state highways to generate more income. This, mind you, in a state where the budget surplus now tops $1 billion.

That proposal went over like a lead toilet seat and Daly has since been getting far more attention than his opponent would like. Letter writers have questioned her wisdom, and especially her memory in light of the horrendous deaths that occurred at toll plazas in Connecticut in the past, and led to their removal.

People are asking how such a drastic move can be justified in a state where the budget surplus is a one followed by nine zeroes?

Prague has long enjoyed a pass from the media which dutifully wrote about her toll plaza proposal but since has been silent. But Daly has been getting attention nonetheless, and obviously someone in the Prague camp is worried about it.

Daly said he expected negativism and mud-slinging from his opponent. On Oct. 28 she was quoted in the Hartford Courant falsely claiming that Daly had mocked her age in the aftermath of the debate and would pay for it with the senior citizen vote.

In fact Daly never mentions Prague's age, and even solicitously helped her mount the one-step riser where the podiums were located for the debate. He has been overwhelmingly polite to her and opened the debate with comments that the campaign was about issues, and how for once voters have a clear choice between political philosophies.

But then there is the KKK claim. Did I mention that Daly is a Roman Catholic, and that his core beliefs stem from his religious upbringing? Do you have to be reminded that the KKK was as anti-Catholic (papists) as it was anti-black and anti-Semitic?

Even Democrats should know that! But that doesn't stop some of them from spreading filth, if it helps their cause.

But I guess we shouldn't be all that surprised at the Democrats or Edith Prague. Many in Connecticut still remember the incident where someone's dog had been leaving regular deposits on the rugs at the State Capitol in Hartford. There were two suspects - a Seeing-Eye Dog belonging to a blind Republican staffer, and a Shih-Tzu belonging to none other than Sen. Prague.

Prague staunchly defended the Shih Tzu and darkly hinted that the dirty deed was just the kind of thing a Republican would do to discredit her. But Capitol Republicans had the goods, a surveillance tape that left no doubt about the identity of the phantom pooper.

Prague feigned shock, awe, surprise and dismay. But I don't remember her apologizing to the Republican who owned the Seeing-Eye Dog. Republicans were outraged, but the media, which as I said earlier, has been giving Prague a pass for years, let the matter drop out of site.

Try doing one bad thing in your life that catches the media's attention and then deleting it from every single story ever written about you from that moment on. It is nearly impossible and I guarantee it will follow you to your grave.

Unless you are a Democrat in this great land of ours. Then it is entirely feasible that you can spend every day of your life wallowing in the sewer, but as far as the media is concerned you are as fresh as a daisy and every story about you will say so.