Wednesday, April 14, 2004

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The next stage of campaign ads

The Onion amusingly identifies the next fake trend in negative campaign ads -- blasting voters rather than the other candidate. Here are some samples:

A controversial 30-second TV spot for Kerry that aired throughout the Midwest Monday blamed the country's ills not on Bush's policies, but on the "sheer stupidity" of America's voters.

"In the past four years, America's national debt has reached an all-time high," the ad's narrator said. "And who's responsible? You are. You're sitting there eating a big bowl of Fritos, watching TV, and getting fatter as the country goes to hell. You ought to be ashamed of yourself."

Over a series of images of America's senior citizens, the narrator of another 30-second spot says, "The Medicare drug bill is a triumph of right-wing ideology masquerading as moderate reform. The pharmaceutical-drug and insurance industries are tickled pink. Guess who's paying for it? You. Congratulations, moron. I'm John Kerry and I approved this message."

The Bush-Cheney 2004 camp recently began airing an anti-voter ad in 20 major urban areas nationwide.

"Are you going to vote for a candidate whose campaign promises would cost America $1.9 trillion over the next decade?" the ad asks. "Of course you aren't. You aren't going to vote at all. In the last election, half of you didn't even show up. So, on Nov. 2, just spend the day right there at your dead-end office job, talking to your coworkers about your new sweater and e-mailing your friends photos of your stupid 2-year-old daughter you shouldn't have had."

The ad concludes: "You make me sick."

I have to think that late at night, after a few beers, both the Kerry and Bush campaign teams fantasize about airing these kind of ads.

posted by Dan on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM


If any poltical campaign did something like this, I'd probably vote for them just to hear the victory speech.

"Thanks for voting for me, suckers"

posted by: sam on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

The disturbing thing is that so many stories in the Onion, over the past three years, have become reality six months after publication.

'Campaign ads containing the slogans "Hey, dumbass—Kerry For President" and "Vote Bush in November, all you stupid shitheads" are slated to appear in 50 major newspapers Friday.'

Ah well...

posted by: jesurgislac on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

It's the recognizable truth in satire which makes it funny. The typical ads I've seen the last few election cycles do not show much more respect for the voters than these Onion ads.

posted by: Hunter McDaniel on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

Didn't Jimmy Carter at least say something like this? Maybe it wasn't an ad, but an honest to go statement.

posted by: paul on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

"Recognizable truth", voter disrespect and the obvious black humor are key components.

But it's also the tone of the policies behind the "negative ads" that The Onion is satiring.
(ex: "Only faggots want higher taxes." - the Onion)

posted by: wishIwuz2 on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

If the voters are ignorant , it's because they do not have time to do research, google the Internet, and detect the Republican lies. They're too busy raising children who've been in day care all day because mommy had to go to work to help daddy. Or because daddy had to get a second job.

They assume that the news media will keep them informed-- that the corporations making free use of the public airwaves will repay that gift by keeping the citizens informed. The only basis for considering the average man to be stupid is his assumption that Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, etc earn millions of dollars by telling the public the TRUTH. That the news media lions would reveal that Bush is paying for his tax cut for the rich by stealing $Trillions from Social Security. After all, Tim Russert et al are part of the rich-- they benefit greatly greatly from Bush's policies. Why should they let the public in on the scam?

Why would the public expect Dick Cheney to tell them the truth? Cheney, after all, wrapped himself in the glory of the first Gulf War. Yet that victory was won by common citizens while Cheney has always been careful to not get within 500 miles of an active battlefield. Cheney repaid the people who won the Cold War and the Gulf War by throwing massive numbers of them out on the street. While soldiers like Bronze Star winner and Gulf War combat veteran Timothy McVeigh scrambled for minimum wage jobs, Cheney went off to a corporate sinecure arranged by his oil buddies. There he laid 10,000 Halliburton employees off in 1998, collected roughly $40 million in payoffs for layoffs, and then , several months later, joined George Bush as a "compassionate conservative". Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne Cheney, served on the Board of a defense contractor which dumped roughly 65,000 defense employees out on the street while giving $18 million in bonuses to CEO Norm Augustine-- more payoffs for layoffs.

And let us not forget young George --the bass fishing, pickup driving cowboy /part time combat pilot. As I've noted, young George had all the benefits of a silver spoon upbringing --prep school, Yale, and admittance to Harvard MBA program with crappy undergrad grades. Money and powerful friends to help him build his own company. Yet when young George reached middle age, he was basically a drunk, an alcoholic, and a business failure who was bailed out by some rich patrons. George may pose as a champion of the common man but he owes his wealth, his power, and his very self respect to his rich buddies. And Dick Cheney is there to make sure he remembers it. That's why the President won't testify to the 911 Commission unless Cheney is there to make sure he sticks to the script.

Plus, let us not forget that there is a massive industry composed of Republican whores like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, etc who make fortunes by misleading, deceiving, and diverting US citizens with irrelevant garbage, half truths, and lies.

To refer to the above as "whores" is an unfair insult to street prostitutes. After all, there are some acts even street whores won't do for money. Street whores do not deserve our hatred and contempt whereas those who make fortunes by waving their flag and lying to their fellow citizens do. Especially when American soldiers and civilians die from their deceit -- and millions more American suffer misery and poverty.

It is hilarious that Republicans declaim about "class warfare" and envy. Why should anyone envy those who, for small sums of money, make their living committing acts which turns one's stomach with contempt?

Why envy those who preach about morality and principles but who long ago sold away any power they had to make decisions on those matters? Why envy Those who will commit any act --tell any lie on behalf of their rich patrons --not because they choose but because they no longer have any choice in the matter?

posted by: Don Williams on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

In another thread on this blog, I drew a connection between the Kerry of today, and the Jimmy Carter of 1978-79.

With this ad, that connection is solidified.
The only thing that's missing is the word 'malaise'.

posted by: Bithead on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

Don Williams:

One word response to your attempt to get the feeble-minded and apathetic off the hook: Bullshit.

If they cared, they'd do the research and vote. The lies wouldn't matter. They don't care. Old saying: people get the government they deserve.

posted by: lost in rhetoric on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

Outstanding screed, Don!

Tell me, do you have some sort of computer program or pharmaceutical to help fill out the volume on your screeds? Mine always tend to peter out at about two paragraphs, so if I could get some Viangry-type drug to help, you know, boost my energy level, that would be greeeeeaaaat.

posted by: Steve in Houston on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

What can I say? I've been doing my income tax and it makes me testy. Especially when I know that George W has shtuped us in the tokhes and many of my fellow voters don't even realize it yet. Bless their hearts.

Why don't someone cheer me up and make me laugh. Utter the words "fiscal conservative" , for example.

posted by: Don Williams on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

How about Compassionate, Fiscally Responsible Conservative Don?

Or how about that Bush wants to help the middle class? Does Bush, or most other politicians even understand middle class?

posted by: Kat on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

How about these Onion headlines:

  • "Asst. Secretary Wolfwitz Claims Iraq Has No History of Ethnic Strife, Contradicts Army General's Estimates of Sufficent Troop Numbers"

  • "President Bush Jokes At Press Association Meeting About inability to find Weapons of Mass Destruction"
  • "President Bush Recieves Memo Entitled 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US' One Month Before Attacks, Instructs Rice to Give Speech Promoting Missile Defense As Cornerstone of National Security Strategy, No Mention of al Qaeda"
  • "Former Opressed Shiite Iraqis Send Blood and Food Aid to Their Former Sunni Oppressors Fighting Americans who Overthrew Saddam"
  • "American-trained Iraq Troops and Police Flee or Join Insurgents At First Sign of Fighting, American Generals Disappointed"
  • "President Bush Appoints Post-June 30th Ambassador/Overseer of Iraq Suspected of Knowledge of Central American Death Squads"
posted by: Jeff on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

Oh, and don't forget the Onion headline

  • "Bremer Closes al-Sadr Newspaper, Threatens Cleric with Arrest, Fails to Plan Military Strategy In Case al-Sadr Chose to Fight Back"

  • "Vice President Cheney Accompanies President Bush to Testimony Before 9/11 Commission"
  • "Bush Asked in Press Conference To Name One Mistake Made Since 9/11, Says 'I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet.'"
  • "Bush Administration Spends Millions on Anti-Pornography Efforts, Denies Funding For Plan to Increase by 50% Number of Criminal Financial Investigators Working to Disrupt Finances of Terrorist Organizations"
posted by: Jeff on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]


I get the point you're trying to make. But by saying that "the lies wouldn't matter" and "they get the govt they deserve" is hardly a counter-argument. It's really more of an admission of Don's charges.

posted by: wishIwuz2 on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

WishIwuz2: I can see why you read it that way. But my comment was really intended to be nonpartisan. It was aimed at the slothful, ignorant people in this country who either don't bother to vote at all, or if they do, to vote on the basis of TV commercials. I won't give them a pass. They're the ones who will ultimately ruin this country, not the politicians, who are only the blunt instrument. There are plenty of lies to go around throughout the political spectrum.

posted by: lost in rhetoric on 04.14.04 at 04:22 PM [permalink]

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