Thursday, November 10, 2011

Karl Rove's latest attack ad: Watch out, Elizabeth Warren's got THEORIES!

Another week, another attack ad aimed at Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. This one, apparently, is courtesy of Karl Rove and his American Crossroads organization.

This ad, completely ridiculous though it may be, is substantially more effective than the last one. Let's go through it frame by frame:

First up in the good ol' anti-intellectual playbook, we've got to highlight the fact that Elizabeth Warren is a professor. But Rove hits the anti-intellectual/red-baiting twofer by putting the big red socialist banner in the background! He's off to a promising start, here.

Next up, it's time for a quick segue to some Occupy Wall Street footage. First up, we've got a sign waving hippie girl, a sight which is, no doubt, guaranteed to warm the hearts of the elderly inhabitants of the Bay State.

The narrator intones that the protesters "attack police", and we've got a ominous looking shot of someone (perhaps a police officer) on the ground. Sirens wail in the background. Watch out, old rich people--next stop, armed revolt!

These Wall Street protesters "do drugs, and trash public parks." Those dirty, dirty hippies! Who knows what else they're up to down there?

Next up, we hear a bit about "radical redistribution of wealth" and "violence." I bet that this hat-wearing skater dude with the upside-down American flag is probably not meant to represent the sanctity of property rights...

Now we're back to Elizabeth Warren, and she looks mad! Uh oh...she's one of these professor ladies with ideas who thinks she knows better than you with her so-called "intellectual foundations." She's the kind of lady that might want to TAKE AWAY OUR PRECIOUS FREEDOMS!

After this, we've got some more jumping hippie protesters (they're old hat now), but we've also got this image, which flits by:

"Throw me a bone, pay my tuition," says the sign. And here we have another classic trope: the student bum, who sits around and wants the working stiffs to pay her tuition, while she studies art history or educational philosophy or some bullshit like that. Great move, Karl!

And now, at the end of the spot, Rove returns to the core theme of anti-intellectualism. "We need jobs, not more intellectual theories and protests."

Actually, some "intellectual theories" (as opposed to non-intellectual theories?) might be exactly what we need. Surely we need some sort of understanding of the problem in order to figure out how to generate jobs. One would hope that this obvious fallacy would be apparent to the viewing audience, but I guess we'll see.

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