Washington’s endless ‘nuclear option’ ads

UscapitolYou’d think Election Day never happened, given the political ads still clogging the airwaves in the nation’s capital. The main topic of discontent these days is the “nuclear option,” and we’re not talking about North Korea, although that’s serious enough. What the left and right are really bothered about is Bill Frist’s desire to end the filibuster, a tactic threatened by the minority Democrats to prevent the Republicans from confirming conservative judges. It’s fodder for endless ads, and we don’t mean good ads. Take Pat Robertson’s remarks on ABC’s This Week. Robertson thinks an out-of-control judiciary is more of a threat to America today than al Qaeda. MoveOn then launches a campaign calling on Frist and Tom DeLay to repudiate Robertson’s remarks, “because they undermine American democratic institutions and insult those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 tragedy.” Come on. Like that’ll happen. The money would be better spent on ads targeting the Republican senators who are most concerned about raw abuses of power and jettisoning a 200-plus-year-old Senate rule designed to provide some checks and balances. And if the left lacks good creative ideas for ad content, it can read Paul Loeb’s item on Arianna Huffington’s new blog and seek out Loeb’s friend, a Watergate sinner who once hired G. Gordon Liddy and went to jail for his role in those Nixonian shenanigans. Having a Watergate participant appear in an ad saying, “We nearly destroyed democracy, but these people are infinitely more ruthless,” just might get some attention.

—Posted by Wendy Melillo

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