Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Public Service Announcement

John McCain has a new web ad out about Barack Obama:

You heard that correctly: hot chicks love Obama. Hot white chicks.

Since this seems to be the MO of a major party's candidate for the highest office in the land, and since we have over 2 months to go before we can vote this nonsense away, you can expect to see many more of these types of ads. As a public service to you, let me explain how this little game works:

1- White candidate implies that his black opponent fulfills a commonly held stereotype of a black male. So far we have gone through "uppity" and "he's after all the white women".
2- Black opponent argues that the white candidate is using race as a political weapon; by doing so he explicitly makes race an issue.
3- White candidate explicitly complains that his black opponent is "playing the race card."

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Of course there are no shortages of stereotypes to turn into commercials.

It takes a special type of a-hole to run a campaign with this strategy as a centerpiece. Hat's off to you Mr. McCain. Hat's off to you.

BTW: If the McCain folks figure out a way to run a commercial that implies Obama is a big-dicked, loud-mouthed basketball player (we've already seen the basketball reference) who is too church-going and superstitious...is that something I should applaud for its pure political technique, or should I be all the more horrified that it would probably work like gang-busters?

Oh well, I suppose even the racial stuff is a step down from possibly implying that the guy is the anti-Christ. Now that Mark Penn's internal memos from the Hillary campaign are out in the open, let's see some of the McCain folks' thoughts on race and religion from their internal campaign documents. I'm sure their intent is, was, and always will be completely benign on those two fronts.

UPDATE: For those of you unfamiliar with the Left Behind series (you should read them) and premillenial dispensationalism, let me point out a passage from an additional link on the subject of McCain's anti-Christ Obama ad (from the WSJ; highlights are mine):

The End Times, a New Testament reference to the period surrounding the return of Christ, were popularized in recent years by the "Left Behind" series of books that sold more than 63 million copies. The Rev. Tim LaHaye, co-author of the series, said in an interview that he recognized allusions to his work in the ad but comparisons between Sen. Obama and the antichrist are incorrect.

"The antichrist isn't going to be an American, so it can't possibly be Obama. The Bible makes it clear he will be from an obscure place, like Romania," the 82-year-old author said.

Again, for those of you who aren't familiar with LaHaye's work, this is essentially like Dr. Seuss (if he were still alive) saying he recognizes that silly rhymes and the use of a Wangdoozer in an Obama commercial are allusions to his work.

McCain's strategy is to play the implicit card as far as it can possibly go...and it can go an awfully long way. As someone who has read the entire Left Behind series, I have to say that from cover art to language to the frickin' lighting, it's pretty hard to not recognize the references in McCain's ad.

Update by Spot: The video is available here.

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