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October 5, 2007

A Bad Ad In A Teachable Moment

-- by Dave Johnson

The AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, MoveOn.org, Americans United for Change, USAction, and True Majority are going to spend millions of dollars running an ad against targeted Republicans urging them to override President Bush's veto of SCHIP, the child health coverage bill. The ad says the candidates are targeted because they support “Billions of Dollars for Iraq War, But Veto for Children’s Health Care”

My problem with the ad is that it does not teach a larger lesson. This is "a teachable moment." People are upset that President Bush is vetoing this bill, but they do not understand the deeper ideological principals behind what is happening to them. This is an opportunity to teach people that conservatives believe in a you-are-on-your-own, dog-eat-dog philosophy and progressives believe we are all in this together for each other.

The ad says "George Bush and his backers would rather send half a trillion to Iraq than spend a fraction of that here to keep our kids healthy." Even by changing "and his backers" to "and the conservatives" they could have let people know that it isn't just Bush and it isn't about particular politicians, it's the conservative ideology that is hurting them. This issue is about differences in philosophy between conservatives and progressives.

But instead of teaching the public a lesson about what is happening to us all, this coalition will spend millions running this ad against individual politicians, and in the end the money will literally just go up in the air(waves) and nothing will remain behind.

Posted by Dave Johnson at October 5, 2007 8:49 AM

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Comments

Excellent point, Dave. This truly is a teachable moment.

Posted by: Mary [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 6, 2007 9:03 PM

I agree, but the purpose of the ad is to get the votes to override the veto. You get the votes by getting people to put pressure on their members of Congress. The groups that bought the ad time have reason to believe that the most persuasive argument against BushCo's plan to starve the beast is to come at it from exactly this perpective.

But again, you are perfectly right about this being a teachable moment. That, in a sane world, would be what the media, clergy, grassroots groups and the OPPOSITION PARTY would be there for.

Posted by: eRobin S [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 8, 2007 9:04 AM

I agree, but the purpose of the ad is to get the votes to override the veto. You get the votes by getting people to put pressure on their members of Congress. The groups that bought the ad time have reason to believe that the most persuasive argument against BushCo's plan to starve the beast is to come at it from exactly this perpective.

But again, you are perfectly right about this being a teachable moment. That, in a sane world, would be what the media, clergy, grassroots groups and the OPPOSITION PARTY would be there for.

Posted by: eRobin S [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 8, 2007 9:09 AM

argh - sorry for the double post

Posted by: eRobin S [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 8, 2007 1:50 PM

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