Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Friday, December 03, 2004

*tap tap tap* Is this thing on? Sib-eh-lants, sib-eh-lants ...

posted by Mike at 12/03/2004 01:54:00 PM


Well, it has been a few days since Jazz introduced me as a new guest blogger, and yet I haven't written anything. I suppose this is because I'm actually, well, intimidated by the level of commentary on this blog, and its audience. I read a lot of political commentary every day, and before, I had my little unknown drop in the bucket and linklog, which I could pretend (and be fairly sure that) no one read. But this thing has a concrete, defined audience, and if I write something here, it's going to be heard, and judged. That's actually a little bit intimidating, especially when I'm in fairly august company. (I've really been impressed by Tami, Ron, Jazz, and the others. Especially Jazz. Who knew he had it in him?)

At the moment, I don't have any majorly cohesive theme I'd like to bring to people's attention, because I'd rather not just parrot what is already going around the blogosphere. I suppose that harkens back to Usenet conventions, where a "me too" post was looked down upon as a waste of space.

One thing that has been on my mind recently, though, is a little known director named Errol Morris ... and how, if the Kerry campaign had actually listened, he could have helped win an election and swing a nation's course.

Do you remember the Apple commercials, where you'd hear this cute little jazzy music and you'd see someone talking right into the camera about why they wanted to join the Cult of Mac? That's Errol Morris, and Errol got the Kerry bug and filmed a number of campaign commercials using the same technique. (Minus the slowed-down plunky carousel music.)

Listen to a Marine tell America, "We will do whatever it takes to protect this country because we love it so much. But with that comes the obligation to the government of 'don't abuse it'. Don't make what we do a waste." Listen to a soccer mom prototype explain, "When I go anywhere and I see a package sitting on the ground or something, now I'm worried. Why? Because George Bush has really ticked everyone off." Listen to a Southern evangelist say, observing Bush, "I just don't see much evidence of a life devoted to Christ. I don't see truthfulness. I don't see compassion. I don't see a desire to take responsibility." Listen to a lifetime Republican say, "A friend and I were joking about making bumper stickers that said, 'I can't believe I miss Clinton.'"

And that's not even mentioning former U.S. Marine Kim Mecklenburg - by far my favorite among the "Kerry Switchers" - who, in one of her two spots, looked right at the camera and said, "I don't know a single soldier that has served in combat that would recklessly create another war."

These are powerful commercials of plain Americans talking to plain Americans that, in my opinion, could have helped swung the election. They are incredibly powerful. And let's not discount the simplicity: the average schmoe in Podunk is not going to be wondering whether Kerry is supposed to be the wolf, the cougar, the ostrich, the eagle, the three-toed sloth, or that cute little green-gray fungus on the side of the tree there. Most wonderfully, they were entirely devoid of the usual political doubletalk, and the simplicity would have gone a ways towards dissolving the negative effect of Kerry's supposed elitism. Yet Kerry's strategist, Bob Shrum, "passed on the ads without even looking at them." AGGGH! WHY?!?!

Because of this, MoveOn.Org only managed to air them three times (on Fox, of all places), and once in Ohio. The campaign that could have been ... the election that could have been ... the Presidency that could have been. *sigh*

Kerry evidently thinks he's welcome back for a 2008 run. After the way he munged up his campaign this time around, I have only one thing to say to the esteemed Senator.

"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough water! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"

And on those words of wisdom, I bid y'all adieu.

P.S. Speaking of advertisements, never let it be said that Clear Channel doesn't like rubbing it in.