03/21/2007 08:26 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

"Vote Different" Ad Maker Should ACT Different...


"I Made the 'Vote Different' Ad" proudly proclaims Phil de Vellis - aka ParkRidge47

"I did it. And I'm proud of it."

And he goes on to offer his rationalization.

Then he adds:

"Let me be clear: I am a proud Democrat, and I always have been. I support Senator Obama. I hope he wins the primary. (I recognize that this ad is not his style of politics.) I also believe that Senator Clinton is a great public servant, and if she should win the nomination, I would support her and wish her all the best."

That's not the point.

How many times does this need to be said to well-intentioned but utterly misguided Democrats:

You do this kind of thing and you do NOT help the party. Ultimately you HURT the party.

And my viewpoint is NOTHING to do with my thoughts about either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. (I have not expressed a public preference for either. Or for any Democratic presidential contender.)

And I would be saying - and (unfortunately) probably WILL be saying - the exact same thing to any Democratic supporter who makes a clever attack ad against Barack Obama. Or any other candidate.

Vigorous debate about the merits of the candidates - absolutely.

Cutesy-clever video propaganda pieces against Democratic canddates who you don't wish to win the nomination do NOT help the cause.

If you have the skills - and Phil certainly does - use them in any one of the following ways:

Make ads or videos that promote the excellence of your preferred candidate - without disparaging other Democrats.

Use your skills to make ads that attack Republicans.

Use your skills to help swing voters realize how they were gamed by Bush and his Republican backers into voting for a bill of goods in 2000 and 2004.

Use your skills to motivate the millions and millions of NON-voters who have abstained in past elections - to vote FOR a Democratic candidate. Or AGAINST Republican candidates.

But using your undoubted skills to make a piece like this just plays into the Faux News hands and into the hands of green-eyed agitators such as Chris Matthews who slaver over any opportunity to kick a Clinton. And by extension Democrats.

I hate to defang those who will howl that I am calling for the very uniformity depicted in the original Apple ad and this "mash-up" - but I am NOT calling for lack of debate. So please don't invoke that strawman argument against me.

Honest dispassionate debate about the merits and policies of our candidates is essential. I'm all for it.

But not the ad hominem attacks that David Geffen gave as a gift to Maureen Dowd.

And not this visceral Swift-Boat style of video hatchet job.

We Democrats, liberals and progressives do ourselves a vast disservice when we attack our own candidates in this manner.

Now - Phil... For your next trick - please use your considerable skills to either excite voters about your chosen candidate - or eviscerate a Republican.

Act Different.