June 25, 2008

"The Daily Show" analyzes some campaign ads.

Very funny.

Now, I actually think that John Cornyn ad is terrific, though I find it hard to imagine the impression it would make on people who were unfamiliar with the original Jimmy Dean song "Big Bad John." Or does everyone know that song? "Then came the day at the bottom of the mine, when a timber cracked and men started crying...." I don't know if John Cornyn is ready to grab a sagging timber and stand alone like a giant oak tree and save crying men from a mine cave-in — or accomplish the congressional analogue of Big Bad John's heroic feat — but I love the invocation of that amazing ode to masculinity. "The Daily Show" did a fabulous job of lampooning Cornyn's ad — but, of course, it was already suffused with charming humor. (By the way, here's a tribute to John Wayne that uses "Big Bad John.")

And let's talk about the MoveOn.Org ad that begins the "Daily Show" clip. That was not suffused with humor. That was meant to hit you in the gut — and you either merge with the don't-take-my-baby message — as some members of the "Daily Show" audience audibly do — or you're disgusted and outraged at the low blow.

43 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Is Texas so very different from Wisconsin that that ad could be construed as effective? Maybe some part of Texas culture eludes me.

Sloanasaurus said...

The moveon.org ad doesn't make sense from a historical perspective. Ususally, it is appeasement that causes massive war in the future. The appeasment policies of Barack Obama are more likely to lead to a draft in the future to fight enemies that we appease now than the policies of John McCain, which would be to take care of enemies while they are weak.

paul a'barge said...

don't take my baby

Right.

Take someone else's baby.

Way to go, MoveOn.org.

Trevor Jackson said...

Take someone else's baby.

The point is nobody's baby is worth sacrificing for an unproductive occupation. You might disagree about the nature of the occupation or about the results of withdrawal, but it serves no purpose to mischaracterize your opponents' argument.

Verso said...

LOL, because "take someone else's baby" is exactly what the MoveOn ad is saying.

This should quickly become a rousing Wednesday morning thread, with the invitation for rabidly conservative commenters (who also happen to be enthusiastically pro-war) to pass judgement on the MoveOn ad. I can't wait!

After all, what could be more lunatic that a new mother not wanting her son's life to be wasted in Bush's imperial blunder (for oil, as Greenspan and McCain have acknowledged).

Noticed yesterday Bush's approval is at 23%. That's less than ONE-THIRD Clinton's approval at the height of impeachment.

I do have a slightly off topic question for the base, if I might be permitted to ask, as I know how important Rush Limbaugh is as a thought leader in conservative America:

Was this racist?

Just wondering if that's "honest truth telling about a lazy and slothful people" or "vile racism."

Roger J. said...

Moveon.org stuff speaks for itself. As long as the kid doesnt enlist, he's safe. But--the moveon people speak with their gut feelings in which they usually mistake gastic upset for rational thought.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

Verso: no it wasnt racist. There: answered your question. And what, if may ask, are you doing listening to Rush Limbaugh? And tell me you still arent on the blood for oil meme--that is SO out of date.

LarsPorsena said...

"As long as the kid doesnt enlist, he's safe."

MoveOn folks couldn't cut it anyway.

vet66 said...

When the baby turns 18 his mother is out of luck if he/she enlists. The only choice for Mom at that point is to joint code pink and disgrace her son's freedom of choice and patriotism.

Moveon generates what Schwartzenegger correctly idenitifes as "Girly Men!"

Verso said...

*And what, if may ask, are you doing listening to Rush Limbaugh?*

I don't listen to him anymore, but from 2002=2005, I spent many hours in the car during the prime time of rightwing talk radio, and I listen to Rush every day, plus Hannity and O'Reilly. I wish I could have listened to some of the other rightwing lunatics, like Mark Levin, but alas, they were not on when I was able to listen.

Basically my reason for listening was sheer fascination with the undiluted hate and and pure rage which define modern conservatism. It's like staring into an open blast furnace. "Hatemonger" is not a strong enough word to describe Limbaugh.

SteveR said...

Baby Alex will not be old enough to serve for another 17 years or so. If John McCain were to be elected, Alex's mom can take comfort in the 22nd Amendment if she has no faith in her ability as a mother to influence her son not to enlist.

Verso said...

*And tell me you still arent on the blood for oil meme--that is SO out of date.*

Oh yes, how silly of me! The war was undertaken due to conservatives' abiding love for Arab people! You'll have to excuse me, I've been disconnected from my Fox News feeding tube and temporarily forgot all the true and noble reasons for the war.

Roger J. said...

"undiluted hate and and pure rage which define modern conservatism...." Presumably then Verso you don't read democraticunderground or Kos. Those folks wrote the book on hate and rage.

AllenS said...

"After all, what could be more lunatic that a new mother not wanting her son's life to be wasted in Bush's imperial blunder"

Bush and John McCain (if he is elected) will be long gone before that child becomes old enough to join the armed services. If you have been paying close attention these last couple of years, it's Democrats who have floated the idea of bringing back the draft. That would be hilariously funny if that child is eventually drafted into the Army by a Democratic president, like I was.

"Greetings,..." That's how the letter starts out.

Right wing enough for you, Verso?

George said...

Alex now serves in the Marines. He is in Iraq now.

Deal with it.

Roger J. said...

Verso: wars are undertaken for a variety of reasons and I have no doubt that security of oil was one of many reasons--in fact about 20 or so reasons have all been put forward by the administration for our involvement in Iraq. It is, of course, easy to cherry pick one quote out of the list to try to make your point.

Fen said...

Verso: Just wondering if that's "honest truth telling about a lazy and slothful people" or "vile racism."

Very telling that your first defense is race-baiting. You obviously belong to the Pink Tribe.

Bill Whittle lays it out in simple terms you might understand, in Tribes:

"Race has nothing to do with this � precisely nothing. The mobs of murdering Hutus and swarms of slaughtering Serbs are as different racially as it is possible to be, and they are cut from precisely the same cloth.

I know this is so because there have been murdering scumbags of every stripe and color in the long history of the human race � which is depressing � and that these animals, at any given time, represent only a small percentage of the majority of people, also of every stripe and color � which is not. There is no corner on virtue, and no outpost of depravity. Human hearts are indistinguishable and interchangeable. Anyone who claims otherwise is, without further argument or statements necessary, a complete God-damned idiot.

Now, with that said � have we all heard that loud and clear? � there are light-years of difference in how various Tribes will behave.

Only a few minutes ago, I had the delightful opportunity to read the comment of a fellow who said he wished that white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself could have been herded into the Superdome Concentration Camp to see how much we like it. Absent, of course, was the fundamental truth of what he plainly does not have the eyes or the imagination to see, namely, that if the Superdome had been filled with white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself, it would not have been a refinery of horror, but rather a citadel of hope and order and restraint and compassion.

That has nothing to do with me being white. If the blacks and Hispanics and Jews and gays that I work with and associate with were there with me, it would have been that much better. That�s because the people I associate with � my Tribe � consists not of blacks and whites and gays and Hispanics and Asians, but of individuals who do not rape, murder, or steal. My Tribe consists of people who know that sometimes bad things happen, and that these instances are opportunities to show ourselves what we are made of. My people go into burning buildings. My Tribe consists of organizers and self-starters, proud and self-reliant people who do not need to be told what to do in a crisis. My Tribe is not fearless; they are something better. They are courageous. My Tribe is honorable, and decent, and kind, and inventive. My Tribe knows how to give orders, and how to follow them. My Tribe knows enough about how the world works to figure out ways to boil water, ration food, repair structures, build and maintain makeshift latrines, and care for the wounded and the dead with respect and compassion.

There are some things my Tribe is not good at at all. My Tribe doesn�t make excuses. My Tribe will analyze failure and assign blame, but that is to make sure that we do better next time, and we never, ever waste valuable energy and time doing so while people are still in danger. My Tribe says, and in their heart completely believes that it�s the other guy that�s the hero. My Tribe does not believe that a single Man can cause, prevent or steer Hurricanes, and my Tribe does not and has never made someone else responsible for their own safety, and that of their loved ones.

My Tribe doesn�t fire on people risking their lives, coming to help us. My Tribe doesn�t curse such people because they arrived on Day Four, when we felt they should have been here before breakfast on Day One. We are grateful, not to say indebted, that they have come at all. My Tribe can�t eat Nike�s and we don�t know how to feed seven by boiling a wide-screen TV. My Tribe doesn�t give a sweet God Damn about what color the looters are, or what color the rescuers are, because we can plainly see before our very eyes that both those Tribes have colors enough to cover everyone in glory or in shame. My Tribe doesn�t see black and white skins. My Tribe only sees black and white hats, and the hat we choose to wear is the most personal decision we can make.

That�s the other thing, too � the most important thing. My Tribe thinks that while you are born into a Tribe, you do not have to stay there. Good people can join bad Tribes, and bad people can choose good ones. My Tribe thinks you choose your Tribe. That, more than anything, is what makes my Tribe unique."

Fen said...

Verso: what could be more lunatic that a new mother not wanting her son's life to be wasted in Bush's imperial blunder

What could be more ironic than this woman watching her baby choke to death on its own blood during a terrorists chemical attack at the local mall?

"We stain our souls with blood so that you have the luxury to debate the morality of war"

One day, the sheepdogs will tire of defending such selfish parasitic weasels who rountinely stab them in the back. They will step aside and let the wolves through. MoveOn and its ilk have forgotten what the real world is like. Unfortunately, it will take a good culling to wake them up... those that can survive it intact.

Simon said...

Vet66 hit the nail on the head. I don't know that I'm "disgusted and outraged at the low blow" so much as puzzled - what business of yours is it, lady, if your son chooses to sign up? And if he does so, are you going to treat it as did Madalyn O'Hair (disown him) or Cindy Sheehan (dishonor him)? Or are you going to be a grown up and accept that grown ups make their own decisions?

And for that matter, little Alex in that video will be less than ten when McCain leaves office, even if he serves two terms. So, y'know, no - I doubt that McCain was counting on Alex. How young do you think the marines are recruiting?

Trevor Jackson said...

And it only took less than 20 comments before someone wished for another terrorist attack.

Shorter Fen: "Wolverines!"

Fen said...

Moonbat: Noticed yesterday Bush's approval is at 23%. That's less than ONE-THIRD Clinton's approval at the height of impeachment

What's your point? I'm part of the 77% who don't approve of Bush, but am "pro-war", as you put it.

Oh I get it. You want to appeal to conformity. I'll bet you choose your principles by what's "popular" instead of what you think is right.

No wonder you have no intellectual integrity. Your primary goal is to sit at the "cool kid's" table.

MadisonMan said...

Does a corpse have honor or can only a living being have it? How can Cindy Sheehan dishonor someone who is dead?

Heartstring-tugging ads -- if you can use that descriptor for this move-on ad -- usually just get an eyeroll from me. As in: Nice try, you'll have to do better next time to manipulate me. Like so many ads, once you actually -- you know -- think about it, it's ridiculous.

paul a'barge said...

Verso, regarding Rush: I don't listen to him anymore [...] and I listen to Rush every day

Oops. Memo to wingnuts: if you can't manage logical consistency within the context of the same sentence, you may have a personal problem.

Back on the meds, baby!

Fen said...

Trevor Jackson: And it only took less than 20 comments before someone wished for another terrorist attack.

Idiot. Point to where I did such a thing.

Shorter Trev: "I'mnotlistening! I'mnotlistening! I'mnotlistening!"

Trevor Jackson said...

Short memory, Fen? "One day, the sheepdogs will tire of defending such selfish parasitic weasels who rountinely stab them in the back. They will step aside and let the wolves through."

I know it's kind of hard to tell in your tortured metaphor (why are sheepdogs protecting weasels? just how do weasels hold a knife? or do these special "parasitic" weasels have opposable thumbs?), but if you can unpack your own comment, you'll see a call for people to "wake up" after the rest are "cull(ed)." Or would you rather the sleep continue?

Fen said...

The war was undertaken due to conservatives' abiding love for Arab people!

No, the war was undertaken after recognizing that our past foreign policy [peace and stability at any price] was only exacerbating problems in the Middle East: enabling tyrants who tyrannized their people and redirected the gathering wrath of the Arab street by blaming all their problems on the Great Satan. We realized we were in a race to marginalize radical Islam before there suicide bombers acquired WMDs:

There is some justice in one charge that is frequently leveled against the United States, and more generally against the West: Middle Easterners frequently complain that the West judges them by different and lower standards than it does Europeans and Americans, both in what is expected of them and what they may expect, in terms of their economic well-being and their political freedom. They assert that Western spokesmen repeatedly overlook or even defend actions and support rulers that they would not tolerate in their own countries.

...there is nevertheless a widespread [Western] perception that there are significant differences between the advanced Western world and the rest, notably the peoples of Islam, and that these latter are in some ways different, with the tacit assumption that they are inferior. The most flagrant violations of civil rights, political freedom, and even human decency are disregarded or glossed over, and crimes against humanity, which in a European or American country would evoke a storm of outrage, are seen as normal and even acceptable.

...The underlying assumption in all this is that these people are incapable of running a democratic society and have neither concern nor capacity for human decency.
- The Crisis of Islam, Bernard Lewis, p104

[...] Thats the difference between people like you and me. You have no long range plan to defeat radical Islam. You're a selfish parasite - you want your decaf lattes and your MTV and your cheap oil economy. And it 50 million Arabs must suffer tyranny and brutality to make it happen, you're cool with that. You got your Liberty, so screw them. And now you seek to purchase more Indulgences by bravely declaring: I BELIEVE! in World Peace.

You don't deserve to be free.

Fen said...

Trevor: Short memory, Fen?

No, just an education thats not OBE. Do you have any ability to reason? Did your self-esteem curriculum not include reading comprehension?

"One day, the sheepdogs will tire of defending such selfish parasitic weasels who rountinely stab them in the back. They will step aside and let the wolves through."

Nowhere in that statement is a "wish for another terrorist attack". You're stroking a strawman because you can't respond to what I actually said.

But its hysterical that you get pissy when people like me question if you're worth defending. Thanks for making my point, parasite.

paul a'barge said...

Take this MoveOn

Trevor Jackson said...

Who's "pissy"? The fact is your little fantasy scenario of a military that "steps aside" because they've been betrayed by their "parasitic" citizens is clearly wishful thinking.

Or do you want the majority of the country to get away with their betrayal of the glorious mission? How dare they?

Fen said...

Trevor: Who's "pissy"?

You are. You're clearly upset that I don't think people like you are worth defending anymore. Likely because it means you'd have put down your latte and pick up a rifle.

The fact is your little fantasy scenario

Again with the reading comprehension. Its not fantasy, its a warning that the people who defend you are losing faith. Keep up the "maimed for a lie" nonsense. See what it gets you.

Melinda said...

I don't care what this argument is about. I'm busy laughing over "Big Jew (Elitist Jew)" and "MoveOn: Ten years of making even people who agree with you...cringe."

I feel validated, in kind of an Elitist Jew cringing liberal way, the way people who talk about feeling validated feel.

Beth said...

I don't care what this argument is about. I'm busy laughing over "Big Jew (Elitist Jew)" and "MoveOn: Ten years of making even people who agree with you...cringe."

I'm with Melinda (and MadisonMan) - how anyone can react with outrage to any of those silly ads is beyond me.

As for Big Bad John, I hope it was meant to be funny. I love the original song, but I have no idea if John Cornyn represents any of those masculine virtues. I do know the Duke aped them well, but that's about it. He was an actor. A Hollywood cutout of a cowboy and war hero. Nothing more.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The point is nobody's baby is worth sacrificing for an unproductive occupation.

So are 18+ year olds now considered babies? Seriously at what age does the left think people are no longer infants?

I wish I could have listened to some of the other rightwing lunatics, like Mark Levin, but alas, they were not on when I was able to listen.

You know, that's why we rightwing lunatics feel deprived because leftwing lunatics can't seem to make it in talk radio and we feel like we're missing out.

Except for those of us who lurk here on Althouse, we of course are treated on a daily basis to leftwing lunatics like yourself which then confirms why leftwing talk radio is a failure.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The fact is your little fantasy scenario of a military that "steps aside" because they've been betrayed by their "parasitic" citizens is clearly wishful thinking.

Well it certainly is the wishful thinking of the Code Pink types who are trying to close down recruiting stations in Berkley and if they had their way, everywhere else in the country. I suppose if enough of military age didn’t want to be called murderers, torturers or as George Carlin before he assumed room temperature referred to as brain dead individuals, maybe Fen has a point. Maybe the military won’t step aside but simply not be there at all. After all what’s the point of defending people who don’t think there is anything worth defending? Never mind Iraq, I heard the same kind of leftist crap when we went into Afghanistan and the ‘silent genocide’ or the body count tallies of all the people we were killing going after AQ. These are the same kind of people who refer to cops as pigs but won’t hesitate a second to dial 911 if someone is breaking into their house.

Paddy O. said...

"people who refer to cops as pigs"

A few years back I was walking past the LA County sheriff's office in San Dimas, CA and noticed they had a new topiary taking shape in front near the door. It was in the shape of a pig.

Made me laugh.

Christy said...

I've come to realize that those of us who grew up around very conservative types tend to roll our eyes and laugh at the extreme right-wingers. We know how few conservative thinkers take them seriously. We are, however, outraged and angered by the MoveOn ads -- those same ads that make folks like Madison Man and Beth roll their eyes and laugh. It comforts me to know that you laugh at the Moveon ad and reminds me not to be so outraged by it. Perspective I needed.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Who's "pissy"? The fact is your little fantasy scenario of a military that "steps aside" because they've been betrayed by their "parasitic" citizens is clearly wishful thinking."

I don't believe it is just the military that will be stepping aside.

The sheepdogs also include those who create jobs,who create technology and wealth, who work to better their communities even over the obstacles put in their way, who pick up the pieces after the disasters and ignore the whining about not doing enough. They are those who are tired of dragging the parasites of society along with them as a huge anchor. They are tired of those who are actively working to impede their every progress.

You may not have noticed but Atlas is ever so slowly shrugging.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm with Melinda (and MadisonMan) - how anyone can react with outrage to any of those silly ads is beyond me.

Me too. I thought the Big John/Jew was funny. We seem to have lost our sense of humor in the last 20 years. Can you imagine making a movie like this today. It offends just about everyone and makes me laugh my a@@ off.

ron st.amant said...

I agree that the MoveOn ad is just atrocious (as are most of their ads and the organization itself)...I disagree with you a bit Ann in regards the Cornyn ad though...I'm not exactly sure they intended it to be suffused with humor...I think Cornyn might actually believe in the 'macho' atmospherics...mostly because he DID have to go out and BUY that horrid jacket.

Palladian said...

"Can you imagine making a movie like this today. It offends just about everyone and makes me laugh my a@@ off."

Passengers certain to die!

Airline negligent!

There's a sale at Penney's!

Donna B. said...

Now I'll waste the rest of the afternoon watching Airplane clips instead of wasting it blogging. Thanks :-)

blake said...

MadMan sez...Does a corpse have honor or can only a living being have it? How can Cindy Sheehan dishonor someone who is dead?

It's not the corpse that has honor, it's the person who, through his actions in life demonstrates worthiness, and society recognizing that.

By every rational standard, Casey Sheehan embodied what this civilization has always considered heroic traits. Implicit--hell, explicit--in his mother's oft-stated position is that her son was a victim.

We honor heroes, not victims. (We honor EX-victims, when they rise above their troubles and become heroic.) By casting her son as a victim, she's not only dishonoring him, she's encouraging everyone else to do the same.

But then, I get a total Munchausen-by-proxy vibe offa her. And you can't manifest that without some victimization.