Boring in America

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I doubt George W. Bush's latest brace of TV ads are going to do much to move red America to blue or vice versa, or whatever the hell that simplistic color deal is supposed to connote. You knew Bush couldn't ignore 9/11 completely and the imagery used in the ads is not obviously exploitive, more of a mnemonic device for viewers of short-attention spans.

And although the Bush ads clearly try to build on Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" template, something is missing, perhaps the newness of Reagan's optimism. Worst of all, the ads are dragged down by that McCain-Feingold abomination, the "candidate approval" bit. That's where the candidate in question has to show his or her face and actually say something in their own voice.

Recall that this was written into law in the belief that the dolts we've given the franchise to, the very well-spring of our self-government, the seed-corn of American democracy, are too fucking stupid to tell who a political ad is for or against.

For the record, George W. Bush approves these ads. What a great election year it is going to be.

NEXT: Official Perks

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  1. Having downloaded them, I thought they were boring.

    Some Families Angered By 9/11 Images In Ads:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4420934/

  2. I understand the firefighters – the ones who’ve gotten their funding cut, the ones who endorsed Kerry last summer – are none too happy about being used as Bush poster boys.

  3. I realize this doesn’t go to the disclosure topic. The disclosure topic being mild annoying in the sense that, yeah, we should trust people to be smarter.

    I don’t recall 9/11 being George’s finest hour. I have a strong memory of Rudy taking the bull by the horns, and being impressed by Donald Rumsfeld. George wasn’t there. He did rally, and we rallied to him. Or, maybe we rallied, and he stepped up. It doesn’t make that much difference now. I am somewhat shocked that people didn’t think 9/11 would be brought up.

  4. Boilerplate ads – all of them…

    I can’t wait for the next ad:

    “George Bush loves America. His opponent loves Osama. George Bush loves seniors. His opponent kicks old ladies. George Bush loves children. His opponent eats babies. George Bush loves apple pie and Freedom Fries. His opponent loves Pomme Frite (sp?) and french onion soup. George Bush respects the flag. His opponent uses the flag as toilet paper. George Bush: He loves America, Apple Pie, Grandma, Babies, and the American Flag!”

  5. “I’m George Bush. Me and God both approved this message.”

  6. Ah, but there will be a fine retaliation of:

    “I love old people, George Bush wants them dead. Along with single mothers and minority children who he has personally escorted out to the street and shot.”

  7. Isn’t it sort of boring to say the START of ANYTHING could be anything but boring?

    It’s the closing seconds of any contest that are exciting.

  8. I would like to see the anti-Bush 527s come out with direct retorts to every Bush ad, making explicit reference to the target ad, either in parody of it or providing context for its claims etc. Even if they were only on the internet, I’d love to see that. OT, where are these Bush ads running anyway? I, of course, as an anti-Bush voter, don’t even own a television.

  9. “Recall that this was written into law in the belief that the dolts we’ve given the franchise to, the very well-spring of our self-government, the seed-corn of American democracy, are too fucking stupid to tell who a political ad is for or against.”

    No, it wasn’t. It was written in the belief that those dolts are not sufficiently phychic to know whether “The American Alliance of Mom and Apple Pie Lovers Against Communism and People Who Aren’t Republicans” is affiliated with a candidate or not.

    Or do you actually not know about the hands-on-hands-off games Lee Atwater played?

  10. Aside from the obvious problems with Bush preaching from a podium of corpses, I only have one other thing to say-

    Joe rocks!

  11. Would it be considered a threat on Bush’s life if I were to send him a parcel of pretzels? ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  13. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  14. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  15. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  16. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  17. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  18. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  19. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  20. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  21. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  22. I like the candidate endorsement. Bush even says it in Spanish on the Spanish lang ad. I think it will have an effect in mitigating the mud to some extent.
    Question too… was Bush not supposed to mention 9/11, by far the biggest event in his (any?) presidency?
    Some 9/11 families are outraged but the point of the ad is that we want a president who will be a leader and prevent future 9/11s. Given the public’s aforementioned short attention span and capacity for denial of the myriad threats pointed our way (all of which were coalescing long before Bush 2 or even Clinton) I think people really do need to be reminded. What’s on the front page today? Gay marriage. Single sex schools. Ms. Jackson. Another 9/11 (or something far worse– and many things could be far worse)and we really won’t have the luxury to focus on these entertaining “culture wars.”

  23. I am surprised joe hasn’t detected divisiveness in these ads.

    C’mon joe, point up those divisive features! I know you will find them, when you look hard enough.

    In fact posters here have had to supply lampoonish sub-texts to these bland ads, exactly because they aren’t really there.

    Although the Bush campaign will at some point focus criticism on the opponent (after all it is a DEBATE, right?) they will not run a generally negative campaign.

  24. Andrew,

    “Although the Bush campaign will at some point focus criticism on the opponent (after all it is a DEBATE, right?) they will not run a generally negative campaign.”

    Are you claiming this because of your abilities to prognosticate (which I doubt), or some inside knowledge?

  25. We get the point K. Trying to bump H&R to a 100K comments singlehandedly?

    Bush already got a good, negative and snarky comment in on Kerry and that was before the primary was over. I think there is waaaaaay too much green between now and November for the kid gloves to stay on for too long. Kerry’s best political advertisement would be the Daily Show’s Gov Bush v. Pres Bush debate. I’ll try to get a link up later on (or if you have initiative, go to ComedyCentral.com and look for the video archive). It’s worth the watch.

  26. I WILL predict one thing– Dems will be crying about the “divisive” campaign before the day is over…that I will prognosticate.

  27. Dems think it’s divisive for Republicans to run for office, and when they suggest in any way they offer the better choice, well…

  28. Andrew,

    Yes, Repbulicans never whine about “fairness” and “divisiveness.” Go to a dictionary, look up the word hypocrite Andrew, and you will find your picture prominently displayed there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. something is missing, perhaps the newness of Reagan’s optimism.

    Reagan had real cause to be optimistic; reducing government produces good results.
    What else is missing is that with Reagan, discretionary spending actually fell whereas with under Bush it has soared, the rate of increase in total spending fell under Reagan, under Bush it has also soared and the number of federal regulations as measured by the Federal Register actually went down during Reagan’s watch, under Bush the number of them is about what it was under Clinton. Also, Reagan got serious tax rate cuts passed.

    I say; forget about Bush. Work to elect more frugal Republicans to congress and work to dump Democrats. That strategy will pay real returns for the cause of liberty.

  30. “Yes, Repbulicans never whine about “fairness” and “divisiveness.”

    The grand daddy of the stupid tags for an election year goes to “partisan”, and that one was a Clintonian special. It was used to describe any congressional activity other than getting a bill for Bill to sign. I stopped listening this year. Have the Repubs started that one yet?

  31. Jason Ligon,

    No, I think the GOP equivalent is “obstructionist.”

  32. NPR is making great hay out of this issue,
    with an office worker from the world trade center,
    but not one who said he was in the building,
    saying why he thought the images were in poor taste,
    by talking first about other things, and ending
    with the belief they were in poor taste.

    The trouble with media doing man on the street
    interviews
    is that it is a selective means to get said
    what the anchor would not dare say himself.

    This is a madison avenue attempt to have personal testimonies.
    These Mr. General Public is a sign of BAD news reporting.

    The truth is, that they could easily get ten people
    to swear that Kerry and Bush are under control of aliens.

    I yakety yak talk back to the radio when I hear
    the man-on-the-street start talking.

  33. As much as I don’t want monkeyboy back in the Whitehouse, I smell a conspiracy here. 9/11 is a huge selling point for Bush. It behooves the dems to cut this leg out from under him. Out of tens of thousands (hundreds?) of 9/11 victim family members, you can easily find a bunch that will say anything you want. Yes, they are “upset” that Bush is “exploiting” the “tragedy”. But make no mistake, the repubs will be dragging out their own flag-waving victims who will swear they saw Bush dig babies out of the wreckage.

  34. Delicious that it was “k” stuttering with the postings.

    Did anyone else sing this song in elementary school:
    “Beautiful K-K-Katie,
    When the moon shines over the cow shed, I’ll be waiting at the k-k-kitchen door.”??

  35. Kevin,

    I think ‘partisan’ serves the Dems better than ‘obstructionist’ will work for Repubs. The latter has a kind of oogie ‘you are obstructing our plans for global domination’ feel to it, whereas the former has more of a ‘why won’t you work with me?’ vibe.

    I’m a jaded, angry person this election cycle. I had historically identified with the elephants on the grounds that they made the right noises. Now they are making me sick with each press release. Lets save America from Howard Stern, let’s make sure there is no cure for Altzheimer’s, let’s pay off the AARP, let’s campaign for blatant inequality under the law for homosexuals, blah, blah, blah.

    And Kerry is just as bad in different areas. Here is the question, if I have settled on gridlock as the answer (and I pretty much have), should I vote for Kerry or vote for a libertarian in the hopes that low Repub turnout loses Bush the election?

  36. “let’s make sure there is no cure for Altzheimer’s”

    We’re spending far more on erectile dysfunction and breast enhancement than on curing altzheimers, so when all you are as old as I, your equipment will be first class, but you won’t recall its functions.

  37. Jason Ligon, will you e-mail me?
    I’m thinking of getting a fix on you. Mayhaps next time my California daughter blows into town, we could all talk a little anarchy and other trash.

  38. Tee-shirt wisdon:

    “9/11 – The Best Thing Ever To Happen To George W. Bush.”

  39. The enforced, unambiguous labeling is the only thing in the CFR monstrosity that I can find any positive purpose for.

  40. Try googling some of the names of people who are offended. Gotta love reporters using man on the street quotes from individuals working on Kerry’s campaign and not disclosing it.

    It’s almost as fun as news reports about the latest study. It’s amazing how many studies performed by Pro-labor, leftist college professors who have been published exensively in the Nation are find that raising the minimum wage has no negative affect on employment or business.

    Do reporters do any research before they allow a quote in their stories?

  41. I guess k really like the candidate endorsement. I said, I guess k…

    Andrew and k raise a valid question, is Bush not allowed to talk about 9/11 at all. I think he is. The problem here is the choice of footage in the ad, especially the burning tower. It’s clumsy and disrespectul.

    Like the Iraq war and the marriage amendment endorsement, the manner in which these people go about things has a real insensive, tone deaf quality to it. And if you fumble something as emotional as how to depict 9/11, it blows up on you good.

  42. >…should I vote for Kerry or vote for a libertarian in the hopes that low Repub turnout loses Bush the election?

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