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John Ridley

John Ridley

Posted: August 1, 2008 05:00 PM

Damn You Obama For Being So Cool!


Oh for the halcyon Eschaton-mongering days of the Daisy girl ads.

Give me, please, the salacious insidiousness of the Swiftboat Vets for Truth.

Give me any of that over McCain's low: the Britney/Paris/Obama ad.

And I don't mean low as in: low-class, cheap shot and underhanded. I mean low as in: "I pay you guys all that money, and this is the best you can come up with?"

The best political ads have always had text and subtext; the obvious and the arcane. The obvious text of B/P/O is: "would you all stop loving this guy so much, please!" The whole ad seems like an open admission by Camp McCain that, yes, Obama is young and hip and cool, and our guy has trouble ripping songs onto his iPod unless his grandkids are around to help him.

But the subtext is where the ad doesn't even get going. Contrast it with the infamous Willie Horton ads. The subtext there was: Watch out! Mike Dukakis is gonna let dark-skinned people break into your houses and deflower your ivory wives and daughters.

But the most fear the B/P/O can monger is: Watch out! These guys are going to get all the good tables at Le Bernardin, and you know I got knocked down five spots on the list to get my new Ferrari California because of one of them.

The ad openly admits what we already know: that Obama is a superstar.

And no matter whatever other racial difficulties America may have, it's got no problem with its superstars of color. Tiger or Denzel or Will Smith or Michael Jordan, for which the phrase "I want to have his baby" was created. Like a teenage girl Camp McCain has basically scotch taped a Tiger Beat Poster of Obama to the wall of America's bedroom so that we may now all sit, stare and coo "Isn't he dreamy?"

But this lameness is not limited to McCain. To this day -- though certainly seasoned with some racism -- the only strategy that seemingly anyone can come up with to wield against Obama involves admitting he's better than them. You know; he's that lucky black man who actually appeals to the populace. He's that elitist who got himself off food stamps and into Harvard. He's the arrogant guy who would hang out at country clubs...if he wasn't so busy playing pick-up games of basketball.

He's like a wealthy heiress, and I know 'cause I got me one!

While some take offense at the ad, not me baby. Oh happy day when the enemies of ascendancy have got to confess that people of color rock.

The only thing that's going to make me happier is when Camp McCain runs the Bea Arthur/Jack Klugman ad announcing that uncool is the new cool.