Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Bad Ads in Mass.
Following up on Mark’s post, a further problem with the Brown-Warren agreement is that not all ads “for” or “against” a candidate make their case effectively. Some are wholly ineffectual and others are actually counterproductive, indirectly reminding voters of why they disagree with the ad’s message.
The problem with this deal isn't that its unenforceable, or could be gamed: It's an agreement between two politicians that everybody else should STFU: That's its unenforceable is one of it's GOOD points!
It probably will reduce 'third party' (Everybody else!) spending for Brown; Not because it would make spending for Brown less cost effective. Not so much because people who'd otherwise have spent in support of Brown would respect it, quite the contrary. People who might otherwise have spent in favor of Brown are going to despise the bargain so deeply that they no longer see much reason to care if he loses! It demonstrates to them he's not the sort of guy they care to help elect.
I have no particular insight into the dynamics on the Democratic side of the race, but unless something comparable is going on, (And I doubt it, Democrats seem to like campaign censorship.) Brown has just screwed himself.
Here in MA, we have escaped much of the Super PAC ads, except for the NH GOP campaign overflow. I get to see such ads via the Internet from primarily Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as well as "real" news shows. It has been a pleasure NOT being subjected to TV bombardments of Super PAC ads as had been reported in SC. So in MA non-Super PAC third parties (i.e., voters) may benefit from the Brown/Warren agreement, and still be entertained by Stewart and Colbert.
While Brett has " ... no particular insight into the dynamics on the Democratic side of the race, ..."
I'd be interested in his insight (as an outsider) into the dynamics on the Republican side of the race.
Brett echoed my original thought. Modern politics is a zero-sum cutthroat business. If you're not willing to lie about your opposition for the good of the plutocracy, you can step aside.
More like, if you tell your supporters to STFU, don't expect them to be very enthusiastic about supporting you.
Brown was supported by the tea party movement, not because he was thought ideologically congenial, but just as a tool to oust the incumbent. They knew this, and he knew it. Personally, if I'd gotten elected with my supporters thinking I was the lesser of two evils, I wouldn't be looking to reduce the contrast. But it's common for incumbents, elected for the first time, to figure the power of incumbency will permit them to toss under the bus parts of the coalition that elected them that they don't like.
Frequently they're right about that, sometimes wrong.
I suspect tea party members will still vote for Brown, but exert no other effort to ensure his election. "Shut the hell up!" is not the most effective rallying cry.
I'm seeing these guys on the Internet a lot more than I wanted. But the race, and the candidates' strategies on how to get there is fascinating enough to watch out for, even the bad ads.
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This is a misguided approach with neither side overly insightful, one perhaps because she is a political novice, the other trying to find a way to show some independent bona fides. This isn't the way to do it.
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