Won’t Democrats Eventually Get Burned By Their Ads Boosting GOP Crazies?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Charlie Sykes’s Morning Shots newsletter at The Bulwark, when I came across this item linking to a Lachlan Markay piece at Axios.

FFS. “Democrats boost right-wing challenger to GOP Trump foe.”

A new TV ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee portrays Republican John Gibbs as the true pro-Trump conservative in his effort to unseat Republican Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) — aligning with Gibbs’ own campaign messaging.

  • Trump endorsed Gibbs’ challenge after Meijer voted to impeach the former president over his role in fomenting the Jan. 6 Capitol siege…

Be smart: The spot is couched as an attack ad, saying “the Gibbs-Trump agenda is too conservative for West Michigan.”

  • Despite the framing, it hits on precisely the issues any Trump-backed Republican would want to be elevated before a primary contest.

What the hell, Doc – does this seem like a prescription for victory in November?

– Dimocrat Watcher

Dear Watcher,

The Doc has been on this gambit by Democrats like Brown on Williamson for the past two months (see here and here).

But there are plenty of others in the punditocracy also dissecting it.

Let’s begin with the ad “attacking” John Gibbs that Lachlan Markay noted in his Axios piece.

The Bulwark’s eminently sane and always readable Jonathan V. Last had this to say about that spot.

Here are the relevant facts:

  • Gibbs is an insane conspiracy theorist—Hillary does Satanic rituals!—who is manifestly unfit for office.
  • Gibbs should lose this primary. So the add serves no “preparing the ground for the general” function.
  • The ad will help Gibbs because he’s struggling with name ID and hasn’t been able to run his own ads.
  • Again: Meijer is one of the ten Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump.

JVL’s conclusion: “[Going] into a race purely in the hopes that maybe the insane person will pull an upset over Meijer is not just foolish and dishonorable, but dangerous, too . . . This is the bad kind of boosting. The kind that the DCCC absolutely should not be doing.”

Then again, consider the gubernatorial race in Maryland, where the Democratic Governors Association poured over a million dollars into promoting Republican candidate Dan Cox, who, according to Vanity Fair’s Chris Smith, “pushed for Donald Trump to seize voting machines in the month after the 2020 presidential election, and . . . pals around with QAnon supporters.”

“It’s crazy like a fox,” says Cornell Belcher, a strategist who worked on both of Barack Obama’s winning presidential campaigns. “If you can impact the odds of winning on the front end, it’s hard to argue with doing it. If I have the ability to run against someone who I know is going to be the weaker opponent, I shouldn’t do that? That’s la-la land shit. The likelihood that Maryland will go Republican in November is a lot less today than it would have been if the Hogan-like candidate had prevailed in that primary.”

The jury’s still out, however, at the Jan. 6 Committee, as Alayna Treene noted in Axios Sneak Peek.

Representative sample:

Between the lines: Public backlash intensified yesterday when it emerged that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is boosting an election denier in his primary against Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) — one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chair of the DCCC, said on MSNBC this morning: “If you’re talking about trying to pick your opponent, you might see us do that, sure. And I think sometimes it does make sense.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, told Axios: “No party, Democrat or Republican, should be promoting candidates who perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and try to undermine our democracy.”

Karma being the corkscrew that it is, there’s a non-zero chance that at least one of the MAGAts Democrats have been boosting – call the roll: Doug Mastriano in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race; Darren Bailey in the Illinois governor’s race; John Gibbs; Dan Cox – will squeak through in November.

As the feller says, lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

Flea powder sold separately.

Is the New MoonSwatch Collection Really ‘An Abomination’?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Jonathan V. Last’s Triad newsletter at The Bulwark, when I came across this item.

3. Watch Talk

It’s been a while since and I know that this if [sic] frivolous, but this just happened:

I have no words.

Taking the iconic Speedmaster Professional—the watch that went to the frickin’ moon—and turning it into a candy-colored hunk of plastic quartz . . . this is an abomination. An offense against God and nature. It’s like the Louvre partnering with Oscar Mayer to sell a Bologna Lisa.

So here’s my question, Doc: Do you want to see the Bologna Lisa as badly as I do?

– Swatched at Birth

Dear Swatched,

We’ll get to the art part shortly but first, commerce.

Here’s the full-page ad that ran in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

And here’s the press release from Swatch.

Swatch and Omega come together for an innovative take on the legendary Speedmaster Moonwatch.

Outer space inspires a new collection of eleven BIOCERAMIC watches named after planetary bodies that will have you reaching for the stars.

The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is legendary and a must-have for collectors. BIOCERAMIC Moon-Swatch collection makes the iconic design accessible to fans everywhere.

The Doc assumes that JVL would like nothing better than to stick the whole thing in a Falcon Heavy and fire it into the sun, but he’s distinctly in the minority according to this Gear Patrol piece by the site’s watch writer, Zen Love (apparently his real name).

This Omega x Swatch Collab Is Breaking the Internet

An unexpected collaboration has watch fans over the moon. Omega and Swatch have teamed up to offer a collection of 11 models of what they’re calling the MoonSwatch. Recreating the exact proportions and design of the famous Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, these are quartz watches in Bioceramic cases…and they cost $260.

Yeah, tell that to JVL.

(Not to get technical about it, but Mr. Love never does explain exactly how the MoonSwatch is breaking  the Internet.)

As for the Bologna Lisa, the Doc did find a bunch of Lisa Bolognas, but none of them seem to have an enigmatic smile. Your punchline goes here.

Is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Viral Message To the Russian People ‘His Finest Moment’?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and  reading Jonathan V. Last’s Triad newsletter at The Bulwark, when I came across this item.

3. Extraordinary Leadership

I try to never waste your time and I will warn you up front that this is a 9-minute video. But it is an extraordinary display of leadership. This is Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking directly to the Russian people with a message that was designed in a lab to persuade . . .

his isn’t virtue signaling or sentiment. It’s meeting the Russian people where they are and talking honestly about his own history, the pain his father caused and then suffered from, the beauty and strength of the Russian people, and the truth that is being hidden from them.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has led a weird, wonderful, amazing life. And this is his finest moment.

What’s your diagnosis, Doc?

– Rushin’ to Judgement

Dear Rushin’,

First, you need to watch the video – all of it.

Here’s the text of the video (via The Atlantic).

Schwarzenegger’s plea is so honest, heartfelt, and direct, it’s hard not to be moved by it. You can Google the video all day long and not encounter a negative word about it. For those of you keeping score at home, Schwarzenegger’s Twitter feed got a robust reaction.

As for your question, Rushin’, if that video is not Arnold Schwarzenegger’s finest moment, it’ll do ’til something better comes along.

What’s With the ‘MAGA Mom’ (and Kids) Wielding Rifles in Her Campaign Ad?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Jim Swift’s Overtime newsletter in The Bulwark when I came across this note: “The strange thing about Dr. Oz… Stu Stevens on GOP ads.”

The link took me to a YouTube video that features former Obama comms guy Dan Pfeiffer interviewing veteran GOP media guru Stuart Stevens about some current campaign commercials from Republican candidates for federal office.

To be honest, Doc, I never got to the Mr. Oz spot (hey, right now he’s just a U.S. Senate wannabe in Pennsylvania, not a practicing physician) because I was stopped in my tracks by the ad for Mallory Staples, the self-proclaimed MAGA Mom seeking a Georgia Congressional seat.

Here’s the image from the ad that almost made my head explode.

What’s the deal, Doc – has fondling a firearm now become the cover charge for being a viable GOP candidate?

– Shot and a Chooser

Dear Shot,

It sure seems that way, doesn’t it?

For starters, here’s the full Mallory Staples spot.

As you say, she’s not the only GOP gunsel flaunting a firearm. Less than a week ago the Doc detailed the Shootout at the GOP Corral that U.S. Senate hopeful Jim Lamon is running in Arizona.

And then there are the recent Christmas cards from GOP incumbents who represent the Family Firearms Wing of the Republican party. Start with Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie.

That got an Xmas shoutout from Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert and her gun-toting kids.

You can expect this arms race to heat up like machine-gun bacon.in the months to come.

Good luck ducking it.