THE JESUS ARGUMENT?…. Two weeks ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) told his colleagues, as part of an argument against the economic stimulus package, “If you started the day Jesus Christ was born and spent $1 million every day since then, you still wouldn’t have spent $1 trillion.”

It was, of course, a very foolish argument. For one thing, the package is nowhere near $1 trillion. For another, it’s not even a policy argument — McConnell’s point was that the proposal was big. The natural response was, “Yes, it is. So?”

And yet, some on the right seem to believe this criticism is so brilliant, it belongs in commercials.

After watching liberal allies of President Barack Obama flood the airwaves in support of the stimulus bill, a conservative third-party group is countering with a provocative new commercial using Jesus Christ to emphasize the scale of the $787 billion package.

The American Issues Project, which briefly aired a TV spot in last year’s presidential race, will go up on Friday with a TV spot that marks the dollars spent with the passage of time.

“Suppose you spent $1 million every single day starting from the day Jesus was born — and kept spending through today,” says the announcer as an image of the three wise men flashes on the screen. “A million dollars a day for more than 2,000 years. You would still have spent less money than Congress just did.”

According to Chris LaCivita, an AIP consultant, they are spending just under $1 million on the ad, which will be aired on national cable.

I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate criticisms of the recovery package; I’m saying conservatives are foolish for ignoring the good arguments and embracing transparent nonsense.

Look, to hear these guys tell it, the stimulus package is big. And big recovery packages are necessarily awful because, you know, they’re big. That’s about the depth of the thinking here.

Note to the American Issues Project: the package is supposed to be big. When there’s a $1 trillion hole in the economy, we need an ambitious response. That’s the point.

On a related note, if the American Issues Project sounds familiar, it’s because the group invested $2.8 million on a rather disgusting ad last fall tying Obama to Bill Ayers.

As right-wing attack dogs go, we’re not dealing with the sharpest crayons in the box.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.