Brutal – But Only the Beginning

This, from something that calls itself the Democratic Coalition, is a brutal ad by modern standards.

I think it may look namby-pamby by the time of the election.

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4 Responses to Brutal – But Only the Beginning

  1. Just me says:

    Ridiculous. Do the authors of that commercial believe that there would be no deaths if a Democrat were POTUS? Such a turn off.

    • Michael says:

      “No deaths” is of course a ridiculous counter-factual; no one believes that.

      I can’t read the authors’ minds, but it would not be unreasonable for them to believe that the death toll would be much, much lower if almost anyone other than Trump were President.

      They reasonably could believe this because we now know that:

      (1) Trump & Co dismantled various agencies and programs that in one or more previous administrations were tasked with planning and preparing for a pandemic (and don’t talk about restructuring — experts left en masse and the headcount greatly shrank);

      (2) Trump & Co took poor care of filling and maintaining the emergency stockpile;

      (3) Trump & Co were, charitably, very very slow to realize the size of the threat, indeed they ignored several internal warning reports and backchannel info from US staff at WHO;

      (4) Trump & Co have in fact done almost nothing to stem the tide, leaving everything to the states — indeed, to the extent they have acted it has been to either hamstring states or encouraging them to prematurely end quarantines.

      But of course I’m only guessing what the makers of that ad may be thinking.

  2. Just me says:

    “No deaths” is not a ridiculous counterfactual if you watch the commercial and take it on its face. Many (all?) of your points are probably true. None of your points were mentioned in the commercial. Had the commercial said any of the things you said, it would have been far better. The “sowing fear without discussing fact” tone of this ad is, frankly, shameful.

    With so much that can actually be said about Trump, it irritates me (and many others) when the left gets hysterical about Trump and blows things out of proportion. This ad, and material like it, are the left’s version of Hannity; ugly, a turn off, and a plague on our democracy and society at large.

    However poorly things are going in the US with the virus (50k deaths for a population of 328m), countries like Spain (22k deaths for a population of 47m), Italy (25k deaths for a population of 60m), France (22k deaths for a population of 67m), and even the UK (19k deaths for a population of 66m) are feeling it harder. These comparisons are valuable to understanding the gravity of the domestic problem as a failing of the government versus simply a terrible global tragedy.

    This very conversation we are now having is evidence of how ineffective commercials like this one can be, at least with some voters. A reader of this thread could be forgiven for think that I am a Trump supporter. But I would sooner vote for an orangutan than to vote for Trump. Still, the ugliness of the ad has me digging up facts and stacking them in a way designed to defend him rather than getting me frothy to vote against him in November.

    • Again, I have no idea what the makers of that ad were thinking, but it’s conventional wisdom among electioneers that one major goal of an ad campaign is to depress the other side’s vote. So the target is not you, it seems, and not me, but rather people leaning Trump or who voted for him last time. And the goal, conventionally, is not to win them over so much as to sow enough doubt as to get them to stay home on election day. It might be effective at that?

      In any case, I showcased it not because I thought it was a model of reasoned debate, but because the tone represents a sharp break with (most) past practice among national Democrats, who have tended not to go for the jugular.

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