Monday, September 17, 2012


At BuzzFeed, McKay Coppins says that the Romney campaign is tacking more to the right. Over at The Wall Street Journal, we're told that Joe Ricketts is about to launch a huge independent ad campaign for Mitt Romney. Am I wrong to suspect that there's a link between these two stories? Am I wrong to wonder whether this is the moment when Romney -- or, rather, allies who technically aren't supposed to coordinate with him -- really start heading for the gutter?

You remember Joe Ricketts, right? The Journal reminds us:
Joe Ricketts, the founder of what became online brokerage TD Ameritrade Inc., plans to spend $10 million airing ads supporting GOP nominee Mitt Romney and another $2 million to help Republicans running for Congress. The ads will begin airing this week.

The ads stack up as one of the biggest electioneering efforts by an individual in the 2012 election. ...

Mr. Ricketts's efforts come despite a political row that erupted in May when the New York Times said he was considering a series of racially tinged ads featuring President Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright....
Now do you remember Joe Ricketts, and his plan?

And please recall that Ricketts has been a fan and patron of Dinesh D'Souza, whose writings inspired the "documentary" 2016: Obama's America (which claims that Obama is essentially an intellectual clone of the Kenyan anti-colonialist father he barely knew).

Now, take a look at what Coppins says:
... [Romney's] talk show interviews and big ad buys continue to offer a straightforward economic focus aimed at traditional undecided voters. But out stumping day to day is a candidate who wants to talk about patriotism and God, and who is increasingly looking to connect with the right's intense, personal dislike for President Barack Obama.

Three Romney advisers told BuzzFeed the campaign's top priority now is to rally conservative Republicans, in hopes that they'll show up on Election Day, and drag their less politically-engaged friends with them....

Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist and ad-man, said the case against Obama's record will be made on the airwaves by the campaign and outside Republican groups -- and it no longer needs Romney as a daily spokesman.

"On the outside, here's what going to happen: we're going to nuke Barack Obama into radioactive sludge in the swing states with 3000-4000 points of TV in September," Wilson said. "Crossroads and Restore [two Republican SuperPACs] will do the same. It's going to be hitting in concert with the terrible economic news, and it'll strike a chord." ...
Is the real "nuking," the real "radioactive sludge," going to come from Ricketts, in the form of a Reverend Wright rehash, or D'Souza-ism brought to your living room? (Deadline reported last week that 2016's "producers are looking for a network to air it before the November election.")

If so, I'm more appalled than worried. It's just going to make Romney and his allies seem more reprehensible than they already seem, and it's going to motivate voters who are already fully motivated. It won't move the polls. It won't affect turnout. It will just be just another sad episode in the history of the Romney campaign.


BH said...

If this big spend does fail to move the polls or affect the outcome - and I hope you're right on predicting that failure - then I'm not appalled at all. In fact, I'm downright tickled that these moneybags will have pissed away Niagaras of dinero to no effect.

ploeg said...

The big spend will likely motivate voters who are not now fully motivated, but those voters will be on the other side.

One of the Obama campaign's worries is that the folks who showed up in 2008 will not show up in 2012 because they figure that, as the incumbent, Obama has the race sewn up. You can bet that these folks will get a large dose of reality, and soon.

Kathy said...

I'm still trying to figure out why US citizens would have a problem with an "anti-colonial" mindset.

BH said...

Because most often, an "anti-colonial" mindset these days is accompanied by a darker-than-white complexion.

Victor said...

Weren't The Founding Fathers anti-colonialists?

I guess NOT in Conservative history.
The Minutemen were obviously Conservatives, and the supporters of the King, the hated Liberals.

FSM - what feckin' idjit's these people are!!!

Kathy said...

BH, I'm afraid you're right. Victor, this is a good indication of why people in the US don't know their own history. It's pretty depressing.

Philo Vaihinger said...

The founders were settler rebels.

All the revolutions in the New World made independent settler dominated nations out of colonies, though the situation of the settlers vis a vis the indigenous varied a lot from one colony to the next.

Complicated by the fact that in the Americas the Europeans brought African slaves while in Africa they brought indentured servants from the Indian subcontinent.

Anti-colonialism is about the indigenous peoples getting rid of the colonial power and taking over, themselves, with or without driving out the settlers.

Think of Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Not the Americas, on the whole.

Not Australia or New Zealand.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Ian Smith tried to pull off independence, American style, in Kenya.

Didn't work.

Not sure why the pied-noirs didn't try it in Algeria.

Too outnumbered?