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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Tuesday, 6 January 2004

Topic: Election Notes

Truth in Advertising: Do NOT Drive a Volvo!
Much has been said in the last day or two about the anti-Bush advertisements that have Bush morphing into Hitler and all that. But that was two of thirty "draft" advertisements, none broadcast, and those two were withdrawn with an apology for their "poor taste."

What about actual advertisements that got on air?

See Conservatives launch TV attack ad on Dean
Ralph Z. Hallow, The Washington Times, Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Here's the skinny:
A conservative advocacy group will begin running a TV ad in Iowa against Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, in a move questioned by some of President Bush's supporters.

The Club for Growth Political Action Committee said the 30-second spot against the former Vermont governor will begin running in Des Moines today -- two weeks before the Iowa Democratic caucuses.

In the ad, a farmer says he thinks that "Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading ..." before the farmer's wife then finishes the sentence: "... Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs."

...The Club for Growth was founded in 1999 to elect what it calls "pro-economic growth fiscal conservatives." Mr. Moore said the club and its members raised or donated more than $10 million to help elect 17 new members to Congress in the 2002 election cycle.

Mr. Moore said his PAC will announce next week a $4 million campaign to counter the expected, massive ad campaign by what he calls "left-wing groups" largely funded by liberal activists and businessmen such as George Soros and Peter Lewis.
Well, not one latte for me now. Never liked latte that much, anyway.

And even the Republicans think this advertisement is not exactly useful.

Over at the Atrios-Eschaton blog one finds this:
Imagine if I ran an ad which went something like "George Bush should take his negro-lynching, anti-intellectual, pig- feet eating, sister-screwing, wife-beating..." before the farmer's wife then finishes the sentence: "... KKK-loving, right-wing freak show back to Texas where it belongs."

Mine's slightly more over the top than the actual Club for Growth ad, but it's no more incorrect. For some reason it's perfectly valid to make just about any regional stereotype about the Hollywood and Northeastern "elite," (which, we should remember, was just code for "JOOs and Negro-lovers"), but people get all sensitive when one stereotypes the South and Texas. I don't think such regional stereotypes are particularly enlightening or useful, but nor do I think their invocation should provoke the kind of outrage that genuine racism should. But why the double standard?

Of course, the amusing thing about the Club for Growth ad is how wrong it is - Vermont is not part of the "elite Northeast" to the extent that it exists, it's a small rural farm state. And for the record, Vermont has precisely two Starbucks for all those latte drinkers to go to.
Just for the record, David Frum, Bush's former speechwriter and the man who gave us the "axis of evil" concept, has a minor criminal record - he did beat up his wife a few times. The rest about lynchings, pig-feet, and anti-intellectual tendencies you can work out on your own.

Oh well.

Say, are there really regional stereotypes about the Hollywood?

Of course, and they all have much truth to them.

Are we all looking forward to the upcoming campaign? We're well beyond Willie Horton and the revolving prison door.

Posted by Alan at 09:26 PST | Post Comment | Permalink

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