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Vote Different

If you haven't seen the Vote Different ad, you've probably been living under a political rock. The ad, which slams Hillary Clinton and support Barak Obama, has been making major waves. Not only is this the first major political ad to appear, but it was completely anonymous, attributed only to the nom de plume ParkRidge47. Yesterday, on a Huffington Post blog, Philip de Vellis stepped forward claiming to be the creator of the ad.

If de Vellis is to be believed, and based on his post he is, the ad is for real. And it bothers me.

This is, perhaps, one of the worst things that could've happened to left. I understand that the intention of the ad is to promote Barak Obama, but the effect is to derisively divide the Democratic Party. Instead of opening up conversation and supporting Barak's new-style politics, it is a boon to the right wing who have dreaded the upcoming election. After eight years of bumbling, scandal and mistakes, not to mention elections so tight that fraud lawsuits are still a possibility in both, Republicans know victory is unlikely, even if higher ups are able to stifle the newly elected Democratic majority. But de Vellis's ad, as good as it may seem for freedom of speech issues and for showing us the power of the little man to make a difference, is divisive and creates a hope among Republicans.

Regardless of who gets the Democratic nominations, the possibility of a third party candidate--Obama or Clinton, depending on who wins--is a boon to Republicans. The one thing they've truly succeeded at in the past two elections is uniting on a common candidate. As we saw in 2000 with Nader, a third candidate dividing the left can be disastrous. Regardless whether that actually comes to pass, seeing attack ads from left wingers against other left wingers is not a good sign.

Truly, I had hoped that this ad would turn out to be the work of the Right. If they had purposefully tried to create a rift in the left and been exposed, it could've been even more disastrous for them. Instead, I awake to find an Obama supporter claiming he created it.

What's worse is that de Vellis stood idly by and allowed Obama to take the blame for the ad. If the left is to truly make headway, we need to work together, support our candidates, and attempt to truly make a difference. To fight amongst ourselves, especially using petty anonymity, will only make our cause crumble from within.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 22nd, 2007 08:06 am (UTC)
Now I'm curious as to how much things like youtube will alter the way elections are handled this year...

Interesting video, though :)
Mar. 22nd, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
Dammit. You commented before I had a chance to edit the post. Youtube doesn't let you post videos with nice neat well-written commentary, so I have to post and then edit.
Mar. 22nd, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
I don't think the ad is that bad. I do think the Clintons are drama whores who blew it out of proportion.

This is in no way divisive of the left because one of these candidates will be eliminated in the primary. I don't think either Clinton or Obama would go independent and split the party vote. They both have a lot to lose if they do that. I also don't think people are going to trust independent dems after the Lieberman/Lamont debacle.

I could see Al Gore running as an independent and ruining the party for everyone. But I strongly believe that the Democrats deserve it. I believe that they are back to politics as usual, and frankly it isn't good enough.

It was sad to see them pass something on lobbyist reform and watch Steny Hoyer fly off with a pack of lobbyists due to a loophole. It is sad to see the Iraq funding bill packed with a bunch of crap that has nothing to do with funding the Iraq war, like subsidies for peanut farmers. By striking the items that pork is intended for but leaving the money, the Democrats proved that they continue to be no good assholes. And I say this as someone who is likely to vote for a Democrat because they seem to be the lesser of two evils.
Mar. 22nd, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
The odd thing is that the Clintons were doing less for the publicity of the ad in a negative light than Obama was. His campaign was smeared by accusations that they or one of their followers had created it and Obama denied and decried it.

The problem isn't so much that the ad itself is divisive--and you're right to say that it's not necessarily--but rather that it shows a weak point to the right. I'm as cynical, if not more so, than the next guy, but Obama probably isn't the answer to living under Republocrat rule. And though he's by far my favorite candidate (assuming Gore doesn't run), to see his supporters use a traditional attack ad scheme, even if they didn't mean it in a negative way, is disheartening and disillusioning.

Our political system has some major flaws that can't be avoided at this point. The piggybacking of bills has always been a two-faced way of getting things done, but there really isn't way to avoid it short of tearing up the constitution and restarting from scratch, something that may well happen in the next couple centuries.
Mar. 22nd, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
I'm not very educated on the candidates right now... when it comes closer to election time, I will definitely research it before I vote, but I am truly hoping that there will be a good democrat candidate. I'm a moderate, but I lean Democrat.

And let's get down to it.. most of America doesn't care about issues. A good number of the people who voted for Bush the second term did it because he had "similar moral values" to them. That's not a relevant issue... the issue is the platform, what the candidate is attempting to accomplish, etc. It's not if he feels abortion is wrong and goes to church every sunday.. it's whether he's going to lobby to overturn roe v. wade and do the best for the country every day he's the president.
(note: in case that gets misconstrued as pro-life.. I'm not. It's just that a lot of Bush supporters/Republicans ARE, so that's what I used that as an example... that and abortion goes toward moral values as well for some folks)

So if voters are paying attention to things like a presidential candidate's moral beliefs over issues, what else are they going to look at?

Hillary Clinton - she's a WOMAN. Sure, she's intelligent, probably very capable, but she's a woman. A lot of people won't vote for her just because of that and we all know it. And she's married to Bill Clinton, so anyone who didn't like what Bill did will probably be biased against her as well.

Barak Obama - he's BLACK. I've heard so many wonderful things about him, but come on, there's still a lot of prejudice toward minorities in this country. Even people who have black friends and work with black people and claim they aren't racist may still balk at a black president.

So perhaps the question becomes... Will America elect a female president first, or a black president first?

If you ask me honestly what I think... probably a woman. America has overcome sexism far more than it's overcome racism, after all.

And when you throw in the potential of Gore as a candidate.. Well. He's got a better chance simply because he's a white male. My problem is that I didn't like him the first time around, but he was better than Bush, so that was why I supported him (I couldn't vote yet because I was too young, but I had to follow the campaigns and debates very closely for a paper, and I felt pretty strongly about NO BUSH). I'm wary of Gore giving it another Gore because I didn't like him much back then, so I imagine there are others out there who feel as I do.

I wish that gender, race, and "just plain not liking the guy" weren't decisive issues for voters... but everyone gets to vote, even if they just go in there and pick the candidate with the best name
Mar. 22nd, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
I have little use for Clinton. She's another Democrat-somewhere-to-the-right-of-Richard-Nixon.

The sooner the democratic party gets rid of the wing that runs to the right whenever the Republicans run further to the right, the sooner people will see the democrats as a meaningful alternative. A lot of the democratic party image problem is that a lot of people don't believe democrats have conviction in what they are saying, so you don't know if any particular democratic politician is going to waffle on a controversial issue and, as a result, don't know how far to trust democrats. A lot of people are more willing to put up with a consistent evil than they are to put up with something that might be good, but is unpredictable.
(A lot of this is perception - but the democrats have succeeded in enhancing their image as indecisive because of promoting certain principles, and then giving up on them when it looks like sticking to them might hurt in the polls.)
Mar. 23rd, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
"I Made the 'Vote Different' Ad"
Mar. 23rd, 2007 05:14 pm (UTC)
Re: "I Made the 'Vote Different' Ad"
Yes, that is the link I in this entry. Was there a reason you reposted it? Or did you miss that it was already linked?
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )