Friday, May 08, 2009


I saw this ad at Balloon Juice, where John Cole set it up by saying,

FEAR! The House Republicans have now officially said to hell with it all and are going full metal 9/11

Every time I see an unusually scurrilous GOP ad, I look at the time counter first, and invariably the duration of the ad is more than 30 seconds or a minute -- and that's how I know that the supposedly manly, brave, two-fisted Republicans who created it didn't have the guts to actually make it suitable for a paid spot on ordinary television. They don't want to deliver this message to the public at large. They know a lot of the public would be disgusted at the politicization of 9/11. They know the public would then find it hard to see Eric Cantor (whose House GOP Conference is responsible for the ad) as that nice suburban soccer-dad type in a polo shirt and chinos sitting and listening at a pizza parlor.

No -- the GOP macho men make ads like this (a) for Fox News (where it'll air free during programming, ad nauseam) and (b) for their cocktail-party friends in the media, who they hope will discuss it as "tough" and "hard-hitting" and then write (with a secret thrill) about the testosteroned-up GOP's challenge to that weak-kneed Obama. (And look: here's Politico, right on schedule, calling it "searing" -- though admittedly in the course of reporting criticism of the ad by Richard Clarke.)

Hey, Eric Cantor: wanna show me how tough Republicans are? Buy some real TV time for a version of this ad. And put your face at the end of it, saying, "I'm Eric Cantor and I approve this message." Go on. I dare you.

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