Front page

Are you afraid of the dark?

(Click to invert colors, weenie.) (Requires JavaScript.)

All email will be assumed to be for publication unless otherwise requested.

What's in the banner?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

He Called Dibs[1]

Hot Air is outraged over an anti-Talent ad created by some lefty group. It features a middle-aged woman, a teenaged boy, and a cute lithping little girl talking about stem cells. Jim Talent voted against them! Against stem cells! Nobody doesn't love stem cells! What if one day, you needed a stem cell, and couldn't have it, because Jim Talent voted against it, huh? As the little girl says in the end: "How come he thinks he gets to decide who lives and who dies? Who is he?"

I'm afraid I cannot share Allahpundit's outrage. I'm too jaded. ("More jaded than Allah!" now there's a tagline.) It did induce Severe Heavenward Eye-Rolling Exasperation Syndrome H (SHEESH)[2]. The ad is apparently aimed at the enormous Dullard-American demographic. They would be those who:

  1. Sorta kinda know what stem cells are, but never ever once considered, for the tiniest moment, that they might need a stem cell-originated medical treatment. "Sha-ZAYAM! My religious beliefs say stem cells come from murdered babies[3], but if I might need 'em some day, to hell with the babies! Bring 'em on!"
  2. OR, people who haven't the foggiest damned idea what stem cells are, except that they cure all known diseases and Senator Talent single-handedly eradicated them from the Earth. Prolly has something to do with Halliburton.

Actually, I have known people who do fit into the latter category. They're sort of the socially-conservative counterparts to hardcore X-Files groupies who see government/corporate conspiracies under every rock. The Man is always coming down on the People! The upside is, these people are usually too lazy and embittered to vote.

Liberals aren't the only ones who appeal to the dullard demographic, of course. I remember an anti-abortion ad from the 1980s, in which a pregnant woman admitted that she'd felt differently about abortion back when she was younger and unmarried. The ad concluded with her asking us: "Why was it choice then, but it's a child now?" I dunno? Because you were an idiot who never considered the question before? What's that got to do with me?

In other fun campaign news, we got a heap o' campaign literature here at the old homestead. One of them asks: "What do John Kerry and Chris Bell have in common?" Turn it over to find the answer: "Everything."

My first question was: who the hell is Chris Bell? And my second is: what does John Kerry have to do with anything?

The fact that the ad is paid for by "Texans for Rick Perry" tells me that Bell is running for governor (against Perry, the current governor). Poor Bell is sort of the also-ran in this election. Besides Governor Hair (as Niles calls him; I think he stole it from Molly Ivins), we have the entertaining but doomed Kinky Friedman, and Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the state Comptroller, who's running as an Independent. Her main claim to fame (as far as I'm concerned) is that she wanted to go down on the ballot as Carole Keeton "Grandma" Strayhorn. She figured that if Kinky could be Kinky, she could have a nickname too.

But the Secretary of State (who decides these things), Roger "Not the Founder of Rhode Island" Williams, said no way. It's a campaign slogan, he said, not a nickname (her slogan is "One Tough Grandma"). She pitched a hissy fit and sued, but eventually dropped it, declaring victory and retiring from the field. The whole megillah put her in the laughingstock category, as far as we're concerned.

Anyhow, out of this field, Bell -- the Democrat -- is best known as "that other guy, Wossname". Here's his bio off his campaign page. Five years in the Houston City Council, two years as Congressman (losing to the "infamous" Republican redistricting of 2003), and he's ready for the Governorship? Oh, I don't know.

Anyhow, the ad has me scratching my head. Is Kerry really the anti-Bush? That is, a man so toxic to certain voters that they'll go out of their way to vote against him, even when he's not running? The ad has a photo of Bell and Kerry shaking hands, captioned "Congressman Chris Bell and Senator John Kerry together at a campaign rally last Friday." (URL added by me.) So that's fast work, tainting Bell with his known Kerry associations in just a week. I guess it's just Bell's good luck that Kerry's recent attack of foot-in-mouth disease didn't come a little earlier. All Perry can manage is to assert that, unlike that flip-flopping Kerry, Bell consistently votes against Our Troops!

So I'm wondering if this is a sign of desperation on Perry's part. Is his campaign faltering, that he has to reach for something to attack Bell with? (Look! My Democratic opponent is hobnobbing with the most recent Democratic Presidential candidate! Aiieee! Can Bill Clinton be next??) Or does his campaign really believe that a hint of Kerry is enough to get swing voters to don crosses and garlic and push the "R" button?

Apparently it's not his poll results. According to that article, nobody much likes Perry, but they like his opponents even less, with Chris "Wossname" Bell beating "Grandma" Strayhorn by one point, with 22 and 21 percent, resp., while Kinky "Richard" Friedman languishes at 10.5, and Rick "Hair" Perry leads the pack by a solid sixteen points. (There's also a Libertarian, James "One Percent" Werner.)

I see that back on October 27, Hot Air noted Perry's anti-Bell radio ad, "Mr. Way-Too-Liberal-for-Texas Guy", in imitation of those Budweiser "Real Men of Genius" ads.

Announcer: And you voted to let the United Nations oversee elections in America, because nobody stands up for democracy like the French!
Singer: Je m'appelle Christophe Bell.
Announcer: So wear your fancy beret with pride, Congressman Bell! Liberals everywhere salute you!

OUCH. That is LOW. (I can't stop laughing, that's how low it is.)

After thinking about it a bit, I figure that this is not so much aimed at swing voters as at those disgruntled Republicans who're thinking they'll just sit this election out. "Stay home, Republicans, and Jean and Christophe will be running Texas." L'Aiieee!

[1]From an old MST3K sketch:
Joel: Who can decide who lives and who dies?
Crow: I do, remember? I called dibs.
He did, too. That's what he wanted for Christmas: "I wanna decide who lives and who dies." I never thought to ask for that. Dang!

[2]I wonder if stem cells can cure that?
[3]Complex and nuanced philosophical and religious arguments truncated in the interest of brevity, not to mention a cheap laugh. You know what they are anyway.