Straight Outta the Twilight Zone


The New Republic's Eve Fairbanks does the dirty work of profiling Vernon Robinson, the frequent candidate who raised more than a million dollars with his fearmongering "Twilight Zone" and "Hands" and "Eskimo Pedophiles" TV ads. Guess what? He's not crazy. Everybody else is.

As I follow Robinson on the campaign trail, it becomes apparent that the strange dynamic of this year's elections has transformed his old weaknesses into strengths. Once an embarrassment, his outspokenness is now a breath of fresh air that gives hope–and motivation–to downcast Republicans. Money is flowing in from all over the country. And his admirers uniformly love his over-the-top ads: They ask him to talk about his plan to put thousands of Marines on the Southern border and to combat "Brad [Miller]'s plan to recruit thousands of foreign homosexuals to come to this country." In this year's battle, Robinson is playing the Republican Party's Stonewall Jackson, defiantly leading a screaming bayonet charge even as the ranks retreat around him.

Surely there's a lesson in this; negative ads blasting Democrats for supporting gays—not rights, but existence—and guest worker problems have hit a much rawer nerve than the ho-hum ads blasting Democrats over wiretapping or Nancy Pelosi.

NEXT: Econ 101

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  1. The great horror of all this is that those ads work, at least on a certain segment of the population. The most dangerous creature in the world does not live in the woods or under a rock, but in the house next door.

    And that creature votes.

  2. Yeah, like my dad was telling me last night. Its not that these ads work because people actually believe them, but they work because when the coter gets to the ballot knowing nothing about either candidate, those ads give the voter a “bad feeling” about the attacked candidate and he thusly votes against him.

    At times, in my darkest moments, I really wish there were voter tests to weed out the ignorant and intellectually lazy and prevent them from making grave mistakes for our country. Only my knowledge that every barrier is subject to manipulation keeps that thought buried.

  3. Thousands?!? Oh shit, I better vote!!!

  4. I suggested on another thread that electronic voting machines are ripe for hacking and some expert said no way. Drudge say’s yes way.

    Told ya so.

  5. I suggested on another thread that electronic voting machines are ripe for hacking and some expert said no way. Drudge say’s yes way.

    If you really want to learn about this, go here. Political sites are no good for tech discussions.

  6. After having listened to/watched the Vernon Robinson ads, I know that Brad Miller is my candidate.

    Unfortunately, they’ve taken down a lot of the ads.

  7. Walker:

    I’m technically illiterate but that was explained in such simple, non-technical english that even I could understand it. I was concerned, now I’m convinced.

  8. Mr. Weigel,

    In a latter post you posit that:
    “More and more, I’m feeling like my contrarian take on the Kerry kerfuffle was the right one. Republicans needed to build their narrative and momentum in the final week of the campaign to re-convert voters who, for months, have been leaning Democratic.”

    And yet, does not this post indicate that the real “republican narrative” is anti-life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?

    I guess my real question is why l and L libertarians are still so comfortable with this narrative, since it seems to be the actual one, rather than a small government narrative. A narrative which primarily concerns itself with the private freedoms of its citizens than with a citizen controlled government focused to preserving liberty?

    It still seems to be a central theme here that those who wish to control the most intimate private life actions of citizens are more dangerous than those who are over zealous in interperting the general welfare clause.

    Historically, aren’t the individuals most obsessed with a persons liberty the most dangerous to concepts such as free markets and small government?

  9. My apologies, reverse the meaning of the second to last paragraph.

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