The only people I see getting the vapors about the Davis ad are opportunistic wingnuts and chattering classes
— John Cole (@Johngcole) October 11, 2014
Last week, all the DC
fluffers reporters and courtesans in the Washington press were having conniption fits about the following commercial:
There is nothing wrong, evil, mean, or out of bounds about that commercial, despite the fierce protestations of the sweater of the month club at Morning Joe and among the rest of our failed media. It’s simply the truth. A tree fell on him. He was paralyzed. He sued and got millions. He has then spent the rest of his life doing everything he could to stop anyone else from receiving the same kind of treatment he had. It’s no different from Ayn Rand receiving Social Security and Medicare and Paul Ryan using benefits to propel him to where he is now in order to get where he is.
At any rate, guess what? The ad is working:
The pollster for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis defended her controversial TV ad Sunday, saying it’s working as intended despite widespread criticism that using the image of an empty wheelchair in an attack ad on a disabled candidate was mean-spirited and unfair.
Davis pollster Joel Benenson, who advised Barack Obama in both of his presidential races, said the ad underscored the theme they’ve been hammering on for months: that Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott is an “insider” who sides with the rich and powerful over average Texans.
Asked about the use of the wheelchair in particular, Benenson noted that Abbott himself had “prominently featured himself in the wheelchair in his ads” in the Texas governor’s race.
“This ad is not about Greg Abbott in a wheelchair,” Benenson said. “This ad is about Greg Abbott’s behavior and actions with other victims after he had his opportunity and rightly sought justice and received a substantial amount of money.”
This Wendy Davis ad is a Todd Akin-like implosion by a candidate. Not defensible. http://t.co/xwX7xqyZ3c
— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) October 10, 2014
The reason it is working is because it is the truth. While this may make Taegan Goddard and other well-off pundits recoil in horror in the face of honesty, the people get it.
*** Update ***
I’ve been sending out spittle flecked tweets, and Goddard responded:
@johngcole @nickbaumann @brianbeutler I said I think it's not an effective ad. But we'll soon see how well it works for Wendy Davis.
— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) October 13, 2014
Nowhere in his tweet or the link he provided does it mention the efficacy of the ad. Instead, it’s all Akin comparisons and this:
Nastiest Ad of the Year?
The Fix: “Wendy Davis is almost certainly not going to be the next governor of Texas. Apparently, though, she’s willing to try just about anything to alter that reality.”
Her new ad is among the most vicious you’ll ever see.
Not sure why he is trying to lie about it. Actually, I think what I mean is I’m not sure why he thinks he can lie about it, given that the words “not effective” appear nowhere in the tweet or post. Just plain weird. Page hits are a helluva drug.
And for the record, I’ve never had anything against Goddard until this nonsense. Maybe he just had a bad day or something. This kind of simplistic punditry is very easy to do (see also, every post I have ever written), so maybe he was just phoning it in and following the rest of the stampeding fauxtrage herd. Who knows?
For the life of me, I still don’t understand why anyone would find this ad below the belt or offensive. It’s just true. If there is anything offensive about the commercial, it’s Abbott’s actions.
Hey the teahardists think nothing of drawing two retirement checks and 100% VA disability while bitching about the current wounded warriors. They understand the word hypocrisy, they just never think it applies to them. Same with Abbot. Only HE has the right to sue and get millions, IGMFU and pulling up the ladder and all that shit. HE IS ENTITLED, everyone else is a moocher.
ETA seeing the Morning Joe crew retire to their fainting couches this morning over the ad made me want to vomit to be honest.
The ad is spot-on, but of course it’s going to hurt the fee-fees of our overlords.
Still won’t help her come within double digits, though.
As another Texan once said, politics ain’t beanbag. It’s worth bearing in mind that Texas Republicans are, in fact, big targets– if you don’t shoot at them because that might offend the commentariat, you’re playing croquet in the middle of a slaughterhouse.
The Fat Kate Middleton
Oh yeah. Even my uber-wingnut relatives in Houston get it. They tried to fuss about it, until I asked them if they’d actually seen the ad. I followed up on my question last night … they had watched it, but didn’t really want to talk about it.
I assume the kerfuffle centers around mentioning Abbott’s wheelchair, but it really highlights his hypocrisy and lack of empathy. It’s fair game. And how do you score 10 mil for having a tree fall on you, isn’t that an act of god as opposed to negligence? And here I thought conservatives despised that sort of ambulance chasing.
Truth. Finally, someone on the Dem side has taken off the gloves and is punching where it hurts. That’s why the wingnuts and Villagers are squealing like the pigs they are. Truth hurts.
You can count on those who are being paid very well not to “get it” to not “get it.”
Except I’d be careful about the pollster’s claim that it’s a success. He has reasons to be disingenuous on that score, and I don’t know that we have any independent way of showing whether it’s doing anything for Davis.
@geg6: Yes, Yes, Yes.
@JustRuss: Maybe someone with deep pockets was negligent. I wouldn’t pre-judge that.
I’ve seen lots of highly offended wingnuts whining about how mean this ad is. Of course they’re calling Davis “abortion Barbie” while they do it. They fail to understand why I just laugh at them.
Taegan Goddard can take his vapours and just suck it. Politics is a hard, aggressive business. Screwing injured people out of the right to legal action is a far more reprehensible thing than anything packaged in a 30 second ad.
Oh ones, they used a picture of a wheelchair!
Serious question: are disability rights advocates pissed at Davis? I’d listen to them, but Goddard, or the WaPo, or particularly the sweatered a-holes on Mornin’ Joe? Nope, ain’t buying the paid professional outrage.
@geg6: In my district we have this guy running:
Against a former two-star general, head of the Illinois National Guard.
So we got this going on ….
from the democratic underground site:
I admit, at first blush i was a little bothered by it, but the more I’ve thought about it, and the more I’ve read, I’ve come to basically your stance, JC. This piece from Dan Solomon was good, I thought – http://www.texasmonthly.com/daily-post/does-wendy-daviss-justice-ad-cross-line-mentioning-accident-put-greg-abbott-wheelchair
Tree With Water
Hell yes the republican party fears common sense and plain speaking. That the U.S. corporate media does as well should be reason enough for the rank and file to expect to hear more of it from their candidates.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Raflw: … or particularly the sweatered a-holes on Mornin’ Joe?
Sweatered assholes. I like it.
Reminds me of Cory Booker et al ringing for smelling salts when Obama picked on Romney’s love of firing people.
Before this year, I think the last commercial that I saw for a Democratic candidate for Governor or Lt. Governor in Texas was Ann Richards. Seriously. Wendy Davis has been a game changer. We have had a steady stream of Wendy Davis commercials here in Houston for months now. They are hard-hitting. If Texas turns blue in the near future, which I think it will, it will be because Wendy Davis has lit the fire of Texas Democrats who are sick of having no party candidates willing to fight the Republicans. I have no problem with this ad. None at all. I have already argued over it with a right-winger who just hated that Abbott was being shown as a complete hypocrite, which he is. Go Wendy!
First time I’ve viewed the ad, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy.
Abbott was very well taken care of by the insurance settlement.
$14,400 a month allows Abbott to do a lot of politicking.
Contrast that with how well we do by our wounded warriors and their families. Too bad they did not get injured by a tree owned by a well-insured homeowner.
big ole hound
Anything that will keep any member of the GOP from being elected is fair. This applies to local school boards all the way to the President.
Howard Beale IV
The truth is an absolute defense in any legal proceeding.
So all those very serious people have no problem with Greg Abbott ruling against accident and rape victims, but they get a major case of the vapors when Wendy Davis wants to tell people about it.
Josh Marshall was right. DC really is wired for Republican control.
This ad might just motivate me to send Davis some money, so she can run it again and again and again.
Almost every headline I read this weekend about the Ad was some variation of “Davis Camp rushes to defend itself about latest ad” or “Critics say latest Davis ad goes too far”, but when you actually read the articles all the protestation was coming from the Abbot camp. Ad seemed to make its point pretty well, in my opinion.
May I add that Goddard is constantly pimping books w/ an Amazon link at Political Wire.
So he’s objectively in favor of wage-slavery & monopoly, AS LONG AS HE GETS HIS CUT!!!
@Howard Beale IV: Yes. I wish you are right but not so sure you are.
Reminds me of when tort reformer Robert Bork got a million dollar settlement for falling off a staircase.
Wendy should be generous and offer to take the ad down if Abbott returns his settlement.
Excellent piece. This is the kind of reporting that should be done by msm news every day but isn’t.
The Abbott campaign seems to be more concerned about the image of the wheel chair for the first ten seconds of the ad then in the accurate content of the ad itself. Interesting, since, as was pointed out upthread, Abbott features himself in a wheelchair in one of his latest ads.
The worst thing is that, when Davis loses, as she almost certainly will because TEXAS, it will be attributed to this ad instead of the fact that Texas has a history of electing dumber-than-pocket-lint specimens like Bush and Perry to statewide office — let alone the drooling morons they routinely send to Congress.
Remember how the folks on the right leaped to the defense of Max Cleland?
On one of the threads below, about vote suppression, I just had an idea. (OT, sorry). You could advertise that if you vote, you’ll get a lottery ticket in some big Powerball thing. I’ve never bought a lottery ticket, but aren’t they a dollar? People apparently are goofy about playing the lottery, and I understand that some of the proceeds go to education. I don’t think there’s much R objections to lotteries.
So for some reasonable amount of money an entity, a person, a party, could buy a bunch of lottery tickets and hand them out as the voter completes his/her vote Would that not be a win/win? Maybe it’s a dumb idea after all.
Illegal unless the law is changed.
It’s illegal to buy votes.
Maybe I’m too cynical, but I think they’re just throwing a hissy fit because that’s what they do. I think that they know damn well it’s a fair shot, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s *devastating* – so they have to prove that it’s a horrible, horrible thing to do.
And if they say “it was a horrible thing to do,” there are a lot of people who will see or hear that, and never see the commercial. Or if they see this, and think it’s fair,will assume there must be another one, one they didn’t see.
But hey, we can’t expect journalists to say “although no one in the newsroom sees anything able-ist about this commercial, we have these people insisting it was a cheap shot, and not giving any rational reason for claiming it is, so, yeah, near as we can tell, these twits are clutching at straws.” No, they’ll just quote the principals, and let you decide.
Dude, being paralyzed doesn’t excuse you for being a dick. It just means you’re a paralyzed dick. Mr. Hitchhiker is paralyzed, but if he was in favor of the kind of policies you’re in favor of, I would still kick his paralyzed ass.
You want to bully people and then hide behind your wheelchair? Oh, hell no.
jake the antisoshul soshulist
@MattF: The terminology I use is “bring a razor to a razor fight”. To Republicans,a razor fight is as civilized as politics.
They are complaining because it works.
I’ll agree to get the vapors over this ad once Saxby Chambliss apologizes for his ad slandering Max Cleland in 2002.
And, just to be clear, the necessary and sufficient form of apology would be seppuku.
Exhibit A: Charles Krauthammer.
@SiubhanDuinne: Just because you are in a wheel chair doesn’t mean you can be a dick.
This reminds me of when in 2004, Kerry mentioned how the Cheneys loved their lesbian daughter.
MENTIONING the lesbian daughter JUST WASN’T DONE.
“This is not a decent man.” Remember that refrain? God, I hate the Cheneys.
Abbot’s in a wheelchair. It’s a fact. And he’s pulled up the ladder after he got his settlement. Relevant fact.
Look at actions, not justifications. The media is just fine with far nastier political ads, which are common. What’s different? Davis is challenging the narrative that screwing the poor is a mature and reasonable position. They get mad enough when Obama addresses it as if it were reasonable and proves it’s wrong.
Walking the dog ahead of an ugly line of thunder boomers and likely hail.
The cat is 15, following about 30 yards behind, and yowling softly off and on.
Afraid that the poor little guy is losing his remaining marbles.
I am not willing to spend the time digging into the court filings and transcripts but I am curious about the details of Abbott’s argument that a woman with a prosthetic was not disabled. I know that it was an employment discrimination case where the woman claimed she was not hired into the food service portion of the Department of Corrections because she was disabled. It seems reasonable that a lawyer would argue that the HR people did not consider the woman to be disabled because the prosthetic allowed her to carry out all the physical requirements of the job so her disability was not the reason she was not hired. (Not sure if that is a valid legal defense, but it does not seem like an overly dickish argument) OTOH, I can also see an asshole Republican arguing that they should be able to discriminate against people with prosthetics because they are close enough to being “fixed” that they shouldn’t be protected by disability laws.
OT: C-Span to cover McConnell-Allison Lundergan Grimes debate at 8 Eastern, although they’ve got technical problems they’re trying to resolve.
Love that your cat’s out for a walk too. Our late cat used to do that.
According to Dan Balz and Amy Walters, who were on Snooze Hour tonight, the midterms are going to be bleak for the Democrats. Amy, especially seemed very giggly about it, while concerned Dan was concerned.
@efgoldman: Or the hamster died in its cage.
We get the one Arkansas Senatorial debate instead. They have a Green Party candidate in there too. (And he’s leading off.)
@Elizabelle: Love the “cat goes for a walk.” Not seen mine in 3 hours. I both hate and love that she will soon be here and expect my attention the rest of the night. If I don’t give her the attention she wants, she will wake me, wake me up, and well tell me about it.
I hope Amy is sending out resumes the day after Election Day.
Concerned asshmoles, both of them.
The pundits on UP on MSNBC on Sunday seemed to agree that the ad was appalling. At least that was my impression, as I was headed out the door and wasn’t paying close attention to the conversation. I was surprised when I actually viewed the ad.
OT- I just received a call from people representing Kevin Stocker who is a candidate for the NYS senate. He’s a Republican, but the caller said he’s the Democrat running in our district so to make sure to vote for him. I didn’t challenge her because I didn’t recognize the name right off the bat. Is there anything unusual about this? I mean I wonder how common it is to try to trick people into voting for your candidate.
They specifically asked for me and I’m a registered Democrat. My husband is still a registered Republican who doesn’t vote Republican anymore (hasn’t for years) but is just too lazy to change party affiliation. Why didn’t they just ask for him and his vote? Maybe this is a common tactic and I’ve never come across it before.
D’oh! Of course it is illegal to buy votes, I know that. I guess I was thinking that the little money involved wouldn’t actually rise to the level of “buying” the votes. What if you hand each voter a long stemmed red rose as a reward? I always get the little oval “I voted” sticker and carry it around in my purse for months afterwards.
Ah, now to Lexington Kentucky to join debate in progress. C-Span 1. Um, except Mark Pryor is talking.
I iz confused. The electrick bill or hamster is still an issue in the Bluegrass state, I guess.
Wait a second. I thought Taegan Goddard was a female pr0n star?!
I don’t know the specifics of that case, but generally, correctable disabilities are not considered disabilities under statutes like the ADA. The paradigm example is near-sighhtednes that is correctable with glasses.
I remembered the same thing. Interesting, if obvious, parallel.
Although if memory serves, it was John Edwards, not Kerry. It was during the VP debate, I think.
Thank you, raven. McConnell is explaining, at this very moment, how too much government imperils young people’s futures.
They cannot find jobs. And it’s all that snail darter’s fault. And government.
ETA: For a while, my screen was stuck with still of McConnell and caption “gaseous diffusion plant.”
Tried to get a screengrab of it for you.
McC is now talking about Obama’s War on Coal.
@dmsilev: Yup and the undercurrent was he hurt himself while overseas so no biggie.
I thought the ad was good. It was the first time I watched it although, I had read about it so was expecting something different.
I have a hypothetical question: if having a prosthesis is medically considered to get you to the point of having a correctable disability, but you get discriminated against because the employer is creeped out by you having a prosthesis or even just thinks the prosthesis would interfere with your ability to do the job even if it wouldn’t, would someone have a case for a discrimination lawsuit? It sounds like a person in that situation would be SOL because their disability is correctable, so they can’t sue even if their correctable disability is the reason they were discriminated against. Which seems weird to this layperson.
@Baud: Thanks. I guess that makes sense. Still seems dickish to argue that someone with a prosthetic is not disabled (I could also see how someone stuck in a wheelchair might feel that way as they watch that person walk around on the prosthetic. But they shouldn’t be letting that affect their judgment when representing the state)
I agree. I heard about it for the first time this evening on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show (audio only, so I hadn’t seen the ad). Now that I’ve watched it, I can’t imagine what everyone is getting so worked up about.
But then that crew would go crazy if someone turned the toilet paper roll direction from over to under.
Well yeah, but if you will remember, the problem with Max Cleland wasn’t necessarily that he was a quadriplegic.
The problem was that Max Cleland = TERRIST!!! (Specifically Osama bin Laden.)
The wheelchair was gravy.
Edit: I hate Saxby Chambliss so hard.
That’s right. To sue under the ADA, a person has to be disabled. And whether a person is disabled depends on whether the person is significantly impaired in a major life activity (or something like that; I may be off on the details). In deciding that question, the effect of any correctable device (glasses, prosthesis) will be taken into account.
If a person is disabled, then he or she can sue because of harm suffered from the employer’s misperception of his or her abilities, but the person still has to be disabled in the first place.
I should add, everything I said is subject to correction by someone who knows what they are talking about.
@Mnemosyne: If you are discriminated against because the employer thinks you can’t do the job because of your prosthesis, even though you can, then there may be grounds for a suit.
If the employer is creeped out by your prosthesis then you are SOL. That’s the equivalent of them not liking your hair color or your weight. There’s no legal protection for that.
Like we were discussing in an earlier thread today, it’s hard to separate out the discrimination. The “sting” test that was done using the same wording of the letter but different names shows there is discrimination. That same thing will occur with people with various disabilities, but it’s hard to prove.
The only people who don’t like Davis’s ad are people that don’t want Davis to win and that includes ‘moderates’.
Not only is there nothing wrong with that ad, but her next ad should be to point out the literal COST of Abbot’s GOVERNMENT FUNDED HEALTHCARE and then point out that this mofo is more than willing to deny, just the access to BASIC healthcare to the working poor of Texas.
JR in WV
We had a big white cat with orange spots we called Rufus because of his red (orange) head. He would walk all the way around the farm on the path with us and the dogs.
He was gorgeous in the sun, he kept himself really clean and sparkling white with those bright red spots.
He was about 17 pounds, and when he got aged he would wait til I was asleep and then creep onto my pillow and lie against my bald head to stay warm.
Lived to be 18 or 19, kidney failure while Mrs J was in the hospital, I had to take him to be put down by myself, and not say a word or give a clue until Mrs J asked me about him… hard. But he was a great cat who was boss of the farm for most of his life.
You Go, Rufus!!!
I have just contributed my last political contributions of this election cycle:
Mary Burke in WI running against that monster Scott Walker.
Wendy Davis giving the Repugnants HELL in Tejas!
Alison Lundergan Grimes giving McTurtle all he can handle in KY.
Michelle Nunn in GA… giving them what for in HotLanta!
And a guy out in Dakota, Weiland, who might make the senate… I don’t know much about the race, but KOS said he was hanging in there, so qwhat the hell, right?
You guys who are working steady, go to Act Blue and kick in some fundage for the Dems out there working to win an election.
There are a couple of others who are getting a monthly gift, Natalie Tennant running to replace Jay Rockefeller here in WV, running against Shelly Moore Capito, who has never worked a day in her life, her father was the last big crooked governor to go to the federal pen here in WV. She had the gall to attack Natalie for dissing her family of crooks!!!
And Nick Rahall, running for reelection to congress in our district. Not the best bluest dem to ever serve in the House, but so much better than the bought and paid for was a Dem now he’s an R Republican running on Koch money.
Give what you can, folks, even a little bit helps! $5, $10… whatever.
Howard Beale IV
@efgoldman: Fat Tony is a wild card.
GHayduke (formerly lojasmo)
Do you recall your percentage prostnostication with teachout?
IIRC, if you’re as accurate here, Davis could eke out a win.
@JustRuss: You think that because you (apparently) don’t know any Republicans.
Howard Beale IV
Laugh of the day: Zombie-eyed Granny-killer says humans might not be the cause of climate change.
@JR in WV: Your kitteh Rufus sounds wonderful, do you have a picture?
@JR in WV: Enjoyed hearing about Rufus the walk-taking cat. Great pet.
And good on you for supporting good candidates.
HOLY SHIT! You, lady, just pushed my GO button! Don’t you even fucking think, not even THINK!, about putting the roll down where I have to reach under for a square. I will fucking come for you, and not in the good way.
I am not, NOT, fucking giving that TP roll the fucking satisfaction of me begging it for a square by reaching under.
I’ll be fucked if I will!
JR in WV
@schrodinger’s cat: Yes I do, I’ll look it up and send it around tomorrow, sometime. We have a lot planned to do, but soon in any case.
He was beautiful, I’ll tell you some stories about him.
We have had some amazing cats!
If you want your money to have a real impact on this election, Bribe the Fifth Circuit. How many of the 600,000 overwhelmingly minority voters that DOJ says will be disenfranchised if the District Court ruling is stayed pending appeal would vote for Abbott?
Not anymore. The Supreme Court ruled along those lines a couple of times, and Congress responded in 2008 by amending the ADA. Limitation of major life activities must now be assessed without considering the effects of any mitigating measures other than ordinary eyeglasses/contacts. For someone with a prosthesis, the question is whether they’re substantially limited in one or more major life activities without the prosthesis.
Of course, once it’s been established that an individual is covered by the ADA, it’s still necessary to prove that there was discrimination based on a disability (or because the employer regarded the individual as disabled).
It’s like too big to fail.
It’s ‘too nasty to call out’ because suggesting such things is beyond the pale and implies horrible moral degeneracy. Clearly this is an actual strategy that falls under the category of ‘moral hazard’.
Kill ’em all :P
Ah, thanks. I hadn’t realized Congress fixed that. That’s not something that one expects.
I believe the correct answer to your last question is “The truth hurts.” FSM forfend we call out greedy, bigoted a-holes like Abbot, lest we offend the tender sensibilities of people like Goddard. As always, IOKIIYAAR. That is all…and best of luck to Ms. Davis. If nothing else, we can hope that she gives Abbot a little agita on election night. (For those amongst us who may not understand Italian, it means “heartburn.”)
I think the ad is spot-on. Hypocritical bastard.
Paul in KY
These are the kinds of ads we need to run more of!