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Robin Carnahan has been hammering Roy Blunt with ads–one of them just released on Wednesday–with his support for TARP. I’m all in favor of anything that will harm Blunt. The notion of having that slithering flunky of the super rich in the Senate makes me ill. And this ad is gonna leave a mark.

The message is pretty direct: the wildly unpopular TARP bailout was Blunt’s bill. And if there is any question as to whether Blunt is the quintessential insider, there is footage of him appearing on a Sunday show, being described by a gray beard of the journalism world (CBS’s Bob Schieffer) as the guy who “carried the water for the Bush administration.”

The spot, airing statewide, is somber and straightforward. It seems likely to be effective as well. Carnahan’s opposition to TARP has put her at odds with many of the national figures in the Democratic Party. But it’s been a cudgel with which she’s bloodied Blunt.

Like many Democrats, I’m disturbed that Carnahan opposed the TARP bailouts, since it probably kept us out of another Great Depression. … And we’ve gotten most of the money back, besides. But Carnahan opposed it because she feels that we’ve set a precedent that the big money boys needn’t take care. We’ll always bail them out. You know there’s truth in that. Carnahan has said repeatedly that she favored the stimulus; it’s just TARP that sticks in her gullet.

Still, Blunt’s campaign is trying to return the favor and to tar Carnahan as well with the “support TARP” brush.

On Friday, the Blunt campaign released what it is pleased to call “The Santa Fe Tapes” — audio of Ms. Carnahan’s one-word response to a donor at a New Mexico fundraiser who suggested that the 2008 financial bailout bill had been necessary to forestall greater problems.

“Absolutely,” Ms. Carnahan said.

I don’t have the full context of that remark, but it’s likely to be a Shirley Sherrod misrepresentation, because Carnahan is outspoken that she would have voted against TARP.

Carnahan told The Democrat she believes the plan was rushed through and private sector alternatives were not fully explored. She said she would have voted against the measure if she had been a member of Congress at the time.

What? There were “private sector alternatives”? Not that I know anything about. Of course it would take something much larger than a thimble to contain all the stuff I don’t know anything about.

So, let’s assume that Carnahan’s opposition to TARP is a principled stand, and perhaps we can even assume that she’s not out in left right field in her belief. If that’s the case, then glory be to god that she’s got a hammer she has every right to use. And that she’s inflicting blunt trauma on her opponent with it.

That still leaves the question of her statement, reported in HuffPost today, that she favors extending the tax cuts for the rich. Arghh!

Oh well. We’ll leave that question for tomorrow.