Is this the worst ad of the 2014 election cycle? It’s certainly a contender. The National Abortion Rights Action League had created a new war-on-womeny ad about a near future in which Cory Gardner has banned birth control leading, somehow, to a complete unavailability of condoms and also college tuition. If that makes zero sense, well, the ad itself is even worse than it sounds (clip via The Federalist).
Let’s just quickly note the obvious problems here for posterity. First, Cory Gardner has been running since June on a platform to make birth control pills available over-the-counter, i.e. without a prescription. I’m not sure how making something available more easily is tantamount to banning it. So that’s a big problem with the whole concept here.
Second, even if we grant the stupid premise here, would condom makers be unable to meet the extra demand for their product? How long would it take them to ramp up production? I don’t know exactly but I suspect the answer is not very long. So this is basically a dystopian future which will last about a week until the market meets the demand.
Third, that transition from condoms to Pell grants is really, really awkward. Has anyone ever mentioned both things in the same conversation in the real world. No, they have not.
Fourth, is the dumbest line in the ad, maybe the dumbest in any ad: “Sweat pea, Cory denies science.” This is the kind of pitch made to low info voters who know nothing about climate change except that they are supposed to be against it. It’s one of the most overlooked aspects of research into cultural cognition, i.e. both sides are stating a cultural identity preference distinct from any actual knowledge of the subject matter. Certainly the writers of this ad don’t care about the subject. “Cory denies science,” isn’t about science at all but about identity politics.
Fifth, Allahpundit at Hot Air picked up on this strange tone of this ad. He writes, “Odd that a group that’s all about ’empowering’ women would feature a manexplaining politics and current events to his ignorant girlfriend, no?” It is pretty odd indeed. Why does Sweat Pea needs recent history explained to her? Was she in a coma? Was she hit in the head during a run on condoms at CVS? All we know for certain is that if a GOP group had produced this ad, it would be called out for mansplaining. Lucky for NARAL, progressives are never expected to play by the same rules.
NARAL’s ad is intentionally dishonest, contains leaps of logic, bad transitions, hack writing, appeals to tribalism and maybe even some unconscious misogyny. That’s a lot of bad stuff to fit into a one minute ad, but somehow NARAL has managed to do it.