Much is being debated about whether the new anti-McCain ad produced by moveon.org has gone too far. Pundits as diverse as Bill O’Reilly and NBC’s Chuck Todd have said it does.
Let’s look at the basic strategy here, which is to object to McCain’s policy of staying in Iraq for “100 years” as long as the military isn’t taking casualties. Opponents of McCain have just stressed the “100 year” part. Other have pointed out that the prospect of a major military contingent sitting in Iraq without taking casualties is pretty remote.
But is a picture of a Mother telling John McCain that he can’t have her baby to send to Iraq out of bounds and unfair?
The purpose of most political ads is to target a position of your opponent in the most emotional and engaging way possible. People who pull for McCain, and support the Iraq occupation, will naturally say that it is unfair. Dems will say it is fair.
But how about rating it as a piece of advertising. It has had the desired effect of getting picked up by most of the TV stations and blogs as a piece of “news” to discuss. Moveon.org is a 527. Though we haven’t really seen the 527 output against Obama, it is coming. One of the reasons we haven’t seen much yet is because Obama only secured the presumptive nomination two weeks ago. Also, the GOP is not raising as much money as the Dems, so they are keeping powder dry for a while. But that will change.
The anti-Obama forces have been pushing e-mails and blog postings that Obama is a Muslim, was schooled at a Muslim school, etc. Some state Republican parties have created ads that have gotten a bunch of free TV airtime featuring footage of Reverend Wright raving in one of his sermons. www.exposeobama.com created this ad, which pins murders of kids in Chicago on Obama, who voted against a bill in Illinois that would have given the death penalty to gang-related murderers.
Tis the season to discredit the other guy. This is www.moveon.org’s opening salvo.
Unseemly and rough? Yes. Over the top? No way. It has people talking, and that is the point.