20 Questions Tuesday: 116 - Political Ads

Well, the election is FINALLY here. That means that tomorrow all but the few straggling political ads will be off the TV. It would be nearly criminal for me not to at least mention the election here in the US since I blog. I think there is some un-written rule that once someone starts a blog they have to get all political and shit during the US election time.

Anyhoo, because I try to not be too partisan on this here blogarooney, I will rail against something most everyone hates, political commercials.

Thanks this week go to All Rileyed Up, Belsum, Capt. McArmypants, JA Coppinger, Amy, IC Yellow, and Nadolny.

On to the questions:

1. What do you think of the suggestion to decorate with vintage election campaign ads? (I read it in either domino mag or real simple in the last month or two)
I think if you like vintage and you like the colors red and blue, it could be a good fit.

2. Favorite political slogan? Least favorite political slogan?
Favorite: Local judge election slogan: Bring us Dingus
Least Favorite: Fob James’ political campaign slogan in 1998: More Fob

3. Why do new candidates like to point out that they didn’t vote for the Evil Laws that the incumbent voted for? They weren’t even in office!! They couldn’t have voted for jack!
I think you are over thinking this a bit. Start thinking about the election with the reptilian part of your brain. mmmm tasty election... oh oh election made of fire! Run!

4. Candidates make a big deal about pulling their attack ads. But when all the various special interest groups are still running theirs, does it matter? Would you rather have the “official” attacks instead?
I would love to see the candidates say the things their official campaigns say about their opponents to each others faces at least 5 times during the electoral process.

5. Does it irk you or make you sympathetic when family members are trotted out to advocate for their parent or spouse in a televised campaign commercial?
It would be better if the opposition would trot out an uncle who thought that the candidate was an absolute imbecile who could get out of a wet paper bag.

6. Why do local races insist on airing their ads in other jurisdictions? I can’t vote for you! I don’t care!
This is something that I think will change as time goes on. The targeting of advertising is on the horizon. Right now political campaigns have to pay for air time on stations whose broadcast radius is larger than their jurisdiction. Instead of using a TV shot gun, they could use a sniper rifle ad or something in about 12 years.

7. How do you think the general public would react if we reverted to the straight up lying of the good ol’ days of yellow journalism? Actual real live name calling and completely fabricated slander sounds like a helluva lot more fun to me right about now.
Things like “Adams is a howling hermaphrodite!” that Jefferson slung around in the 3rd US election? That would be awesome. (thank you the Daily Show.)

8. So what DO you think of Willie Horton? Is that the bear for the Geisel book? I used to love those things as a kid!
Willie Horton Hears a Who.

I love it (it is hard to draw Willie Horton in a Suessical style)

9. It is disturbing how effective negative campaigning is though every year people are polled and constantly say they don't like it. Please explain the discrepancy? I bet it is those evil pollsters! (of course that brings up a similar question of does anyone actually believe polls anymore? But don't answer that question answer the first one.)
People are hypocrites. They hate negative ads, but are unwilling to look on their own to see what their candidate of choice stands for.

10. Every year people make general statements like I will fix this and stop that and people no one wants to hear the details (which is good because there aren't any). Then people go off to enthusiastically cheer and hope and make much jolly about all their problems that will soon be solved. To me this seems like going to a bank asking for a loan so I can start a business to ..uh.... do stuff and make ..... uh.... money. So I guess what I am asking here is why do people suck so much?
That is a question for the ages. I think it has something to do with the pull between free will/self determination and laziness.

11. Every for years I am reminded that people are unthinking dullards who will vehemently support candidates with ideas and agendas that they don't fully believe in or understand. Do you know where the switch is that would allow me to NOT examine and apply my own thoughts because I want to try that out (other than beer).
There are other forms of alcohol than merely beer.

12. So according to the news today the price tag for this whole Prez 2008 Obama v. McCain campaigning thing seems to have run about 1 (pinky finger to side of mouth) Billion dollars. Thus, I am reminded of the old Rich Hall joke where he discusses the annual billion dollar advertising budgets of Coke and Pepsi and the punchline is. "So these guys spend 3 billion dollars a year so when I go up to the counter and ask for a burger and a coke and the guys says "is Pepsi ok?" I can say "whatever."".... but I digress.... So do you have any words of wisdom as to why this should not depress me greatly? I mean if the goal is to elect a representative whose priorities and philosophies most closely align with yours and our method for coming to this conclusion is a BILLION dollar laser light show instead of 2 simple web pages with a nice 4 to 5 page document composed by the actual candidate what does this really say about us? Ok so this is more of a rant then a question, but feel free to answer it, comment on it or just not post it I am cool with any combo of the 3.... well actually if you answer the question but don't actually post the question it will seem kinda weird.
I think I am going to have to start vetting my questioneers more stringently. It seems that some questioneers’ bitterness is getting in the way of incisive questions that I can sidestep with a goofy un-expected answer.

13. Everyone yells about “negative ads” but is it really wrong to point out that your opponent is a dumb ass?
If the claim that your candidate is a dumbass is substantially possible, then it is a defensible attack ad. The problem with most attack ads is that thyey tear down the opponent without building up the other candidate. For example an attack ad that says something to the effect of “Candidate A has no executive experience, is he ready to lead a country?” but fails to mention that the executive credentials of Candidate B is also just as non-existent. To make a claim like “Candidate A has no executive experience” candidate B should have loads of it.

14. Is it wrong to spend a billion dollars on advertising for a single office, or is actually good for the economy?
It is both good and bad for the economy. It lets people know that money has not gone away, but it does beg the question that 600 million dollars worth of schools or hospitals or roadway imporvements with a candidates name on it might be better than an ephemeral TV ad.

15. Ever seen a funny political ad?

16. Where was the stupidest political ad placement you’ve ever seen?
Above a urinal.

17. Do you think that the scantron type ballots lead more to test, er, election anxiety amongst the folks that have to fill the bubbles in?
I imagine that, yes, there are some people whose palms are sweating at the thought of filling in bubbles. They also probably have trouble with “in” and “out” doors.

18. If McCain and Palin don't win, do you think Palin should try for a spot on SNL as Tina Fey?
I am not sure she has the comedic chops for it.

19. Don't the repeated political commercials have the opposite effect on you? Most of them are relatively inane, so I would think that folks would get sick of them and actually vote against the person running the ad.
I have been conditioned by years of exposure to my parents to tune out messages that don’t need to be heard.

20. I keep wanting to ask if people are really dumb enough to believe some of the stuff in the ads, but then I think, yes they are.
You are too correct.

To recap:
If you are a US citizen I hope you vote today
Or voted earlier
That way you can complain if things don’t work out how you like
Listening to: For the past 4 hours I have had the Munsters Theme Song running through my head