From STEVE BENEN
The New York Times seems quite impressed with the latest attack ad from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, which is poised to blanket the airwaves in swing states. The Times calls it “deeply researched,” “delicately worded,” and “low key.”
The paper neglected to mention another phrase: misleading to an offensive degree.
Jamelle Bouie had a good take on this:
As befitting a Karl Rove outfit, the claims in the ad are either misleading, or outright falsehoods. Citing a Reuters story from 2009 on conservative efforts to sink the bill, Crossroads GPS insinuates that the stimulus was a failure, despite wide consensus that the bill kept United States out of a depression, and significantly improved prospects for recovery.
The ad continues in this vein, blaming high insurance premiums on the Affordable Care Act — when the cited article says otherwise — and blaming Obama for the increase in debt, despite the fact that under his administration, government spending has risen at a slower pace than any time in the last 60 years.
Indeed, the great irony of the ad is that it’s Karl Rove attacking Obama for the fiscal policies the president inherited from Rove’s old boss.
The Times write-up focuses on the ad’s efficacy, and I suppose it’s possible uninformed voters who are easily swayed by nonsense, policy gibberish, and outright falsehoods will find it compelling.
But perhaps now would be a good time to note that efficacy and honesty aren’t the same thing, and the latter matters more than the former.
The Crossroads attack ad is as cynical as politics can get, working from the assumption that voters are fools.