Karl Rove, though his Super PAC Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS), is investing millions of dollars in television advertising in order to influence U.S. elections. The following background comes by way of the National Journal.
…The GOP-aligned super PAC Crossroads GPS is launching a wave of new television ads against three of this cycle’s most vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents and two of the party’s strongest recruits.
In total, $1.8 million dollars is being spent over two weeks on the ads, which attack Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., as well as former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and consumer advocate and Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren.
The ads offer an early preview of the lines of attack likely to linger as the cycle progresses and are also a reminder of the significant influence super PACs and other outside groups will have on the 2012 election.
“These misleading attacks are solely designed to distract Americans from the disastrous Republican agenda that would protect special interests at the expense of middle class families,” responded Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Matt Canter.
The ads against McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Kaine use the same formula: tie the incumbents to President Obama. While each spot is different, the message is the same: a vote for them is a vote for the president…
Of the television ads, the one against Elizabeth Warren is the most despicable.
Here it is.
The best analysis of the ad that I’ve seen thus far comes from the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent. Here’s some of what he had to say.
…As I’ve been noting here, the right has responded to the protests by exploiting a cultural fault line that’s been key to our politics since the 1960s. Conservatives have elevated the protesters’ outsized tactics and violence to push the cultural buttons of blue collar whites and independents– who will be central to the Massachusetts race– in an effort to distract them from the populist message embodied by the protests and Warren’s candidacy.
The new Crossroads ad– which is backed up by a buy of nearly $600,000– takes this to an almost comical level. It claims: “Fourteen million Americans out of work. But instead of focusing on jobs, Elizabeth Warren sides with extreme left protests.” Of course, Warren’s message, and that of the protests themselves, isall about jobs and unemployment.
This is the most transparent effort yet to use the protests’ theatrical extremes to divert the focus from their– and her– actual populist prescriptions, critique of inequality, and diagnosis of our financial crisis, which polls suggest blue collar whites actually agree with.
The ad then doubles down on this effort with an egregious distortion, claiming the protesters “support radical redistribution of wealth.” The ad’s source for that claim is that recent Doug Schoen op-ed that got so much attention for making that claim. But Schoen’s own numbers indicated that only four percent of the protesters he surveyed share that goal. The ad also falsely insinuates that Warren supports the violence we’ve seen, when she’s actually called on protesters to obey the law…
And, as corporations can contribute unlimited funds toward such endeavors, in the wake of the Citizens United ruling, you can expect to see this ad running non-stop. Assuming you’re like me, and don’t like the idea of corporations rigging elections through the repeated airing of dishonest advertisements crafted to terrify the American public, I’d encourage you to consider clicking here and making a contribution to Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. It’s going to take a hell of a lot of money to combat the lies of Rove and Crossroads, and I can guarantee you that the corporate money isn’t going to be filling her coffers. No, it’s going to be up to us to help her respond, and set the record straight.