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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Stepford Becomes Pottersville

(Tip of the leather and tinfoil biker cap to Towleroad.)

Rick Santorum (R-Amazon.com) has a new campaign spot up on Youtube and it's so creepy it's actually unlisted (only those with the link can access it here). This tactic during a presidential election is strange. Why would one spend untold amounts of money making a professional-quality campaign ad only to restrict it as unlisted and #2, if you're going to go to these lengths to restrict it, why allow people like me to access the embed code?

Technically, this isn't a Santorum campaign video because you'll note he never says at the end, "I'm Rick Santorum and I approved this message." So, obviously, it was commissioned and paid for by his SuperPAC yet put up under Santorum's official Youtube channel.

But that's just the beginning of the strangeness. This is actually a cut above the fear-mongering videos we were seeing from Tom Tancredo and others during the last general election and uses the same "Shit Your Pants if You're a Good, God-Fearing American" apocalyptic propaganda that politicians have been using since LBJ's Daisy video in '64.

Think of a campaign spot written by Tim LaHaye and directed by David Lynch and that'll give you an accurate preview of what to expect from this one minute and five second-long spot. It starts off with menacing crows (is there any more menacing color than black?) cawing and flying across an overcast sky.

It then gives us a hodge-podge of images culled straight from American Gothic and Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology" put through a blender with file footage of more End of Times Fox "News" coverage of Iran's latest development in securing a nuclear arsenal that'll destroy our Israeli overlords if we don't do something about them now.

We see images of Ahmedinjad, a restive Iran and carefully-filmed actors portraying scenes of destitution that I guess the Santorum campaign couldn't find in the real world while an ominous-sounding Don LaFontainesque voiceover actor tells us that, if re-elected, Obama will turn our nice peaceful 1954 Stepford nation into Pottersville.

High unemployment. High gas prices. A war on religious freedom. In other words, a revisiting of James Dobson's, "Letter From a Wingnut, 2012".

Back in 2008, Dobby's brief and mercifully only foray into science fiction made these scary predictions:

* Six liberal justices sit on the Supreme Court after the immediate resignation of John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the later resignations of Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy.

* Homosexual marriage has been ruled a constitutional right that must be respected by all 50 states.

* The Boy Scouts have disbanded rather than obey a decision forcing them to allow homosexual scoutmasters. (The Scouts already had been kicked out of public facilities because of an expansion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to cover people who engage in homosexual behavior.)

* Evangelical and Catholic adoption agencies cease to exist after the Supreme Court rules they must agree to place children with homosexuals or lose their licenses.

* Church buildings are now considered a "public accommodation" by the United States Supreme Court, and churches have no freedom to refuse to allow their buildings to be used for wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples.

You get the idea. I guess all these evil, libr'al, homosexual conspiracies will suddenly ejaculate into reality in the last few months of the year after Obama forces us all into gay marriages.

Santorum is slightly expanding on this dystopian Republican future while trotting out tired old talking points: The economy and job market, which didn't start to suffer under Bush but under Obama, is worse off (Despite the President's ARRA or the stimulus bill creating millions of jobs and freeing up some liquidity.). Gas prices, which spiked to well over $5 a gallon for diesel and over $4.50 a gallon for gasoline under Bush in the summer of 2008 is also Obama's fault (despite it being proven by many, including Fox "News" back in that selfsame summer of 2008, that regulating gas prices is not the President's job and should not be held against him except if he recklessly invades an oil-producing country, then all bets are off).

Obama is also responsible for a war on religion, which is proved by the mention of his name with images of Ahmedinejad, with whose country we still have not reopened diplomatic relations after over three decades.

The only truly scary thing about this video is not the comical content but the apocalyptic mindset it betrays. The overarching rationale is clear: If you don't vote for Rick Santorum, then your friendly neighborhood Applebee's will soon feature an obese man playing honky tonk on the piano while mafia henchmen who look like Sheldon Leonard will tend bar, libraries will be run by spinsters named Mary and the Mr. Potters of Wall Street will, uh, run roughshod over Main Street which, uh, is simply impossible to imagine happening before Obama.

In this, Santorum offers no solutions, no hope outside of "Vote for me" and only complains about problems that largely began under Bush almost four years ago. This campaign ad is so far off base, it makes Herman Cain's "Yellow Flowers" spot look dignified and Fellini-esque by conspicuous relief. It is so bad and so misleading in its content that only those already eating government cheese while cowering in their underground bomb shelters built beneath the rusted washing machines in their back yard and people who wear white hoods could seriously entertain this tripe. It's not so much a campaign ad as a parody of one, something you'd almost see on SNL or the Onion.

And if you think this is bad, just remember, people: Summer and fall's still a ways off. It'll get better so stock up on popcorn to make in your bomb shelters.
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Blogger Carol Ann said...
WTF? There's absolutely no discussion of why, in that video, "one President's failed policies" have brought about this dystopia. and a nuclear Iran? We survived a nuclear USSR and red China, and they had/have a *lot* more bombs than Iran is likely to build. Is the reincarnation of Rod Serling's spirit working for the Santorum campaign?

Blogger Ahab said...
What the--!?

I'll give the film credit for being creative, but relevant to the presidential race? No. I agree with Carol Ann that the video's main weakness is that it makes no discussion of Obama's policies.

Anonymous blogenfreude said...
Did he really think his detractors wouldn't find it? And is there a way to repost the video on YouTube with comments enabled ...

Anonymous Rob Bush said...
Make sure you watch the Ahmedinijad segment closely to see the subliminal flash of Obama in there.

Right around the 0:39 mark.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This has the whiff of a trial balloon"coming soon to ..." I think they're trying to see how far over the top they can go without suffering a backlash from,you know, the sane people out there. Maybe this is the Limbaugh effect, the tacit acknowledgement that there really are limits to decency.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
.41 seconds in but you're right, Rob. Great catch, dude.

Blogger shle896 said...
Someone needs to make "The Santorumville Horror". It could be "The Stepford Wives" meets "Mississippi Burning".

I'm sure Santorum and his ilk would love to live in a place like that because, after all, the 1950's and 60's were such a wonderful time for so many middle class white men.

Blogger k55f5r said...
Great mood-setter for the 2012 race to the bottom.
What's next? Obama in a striped sweater, fedora, and six-inch knives instead of fingers crawling out from under the bed?
OOOOGGGLEEE BOOOGILEEEE!!! Be Afraid!!! Be Very Afraid!!!!
As if the thought of Rick (Father Coughlin) Santorum weren't scary enough.

Blogger Cthulhu said...
Yeah pretty obvious they're going to for the "Obama is a secret Muslim" at the 41 sec. mark.

Such crap.