}

Friday, May 05, 2017

First ad against Republicans' healthcare repeal


The video above is an ad for Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor, Tom Perriello, and it was released minutes after Republicans in the US House passed Don's Trumpcare bill to take away health insurance from millions of Americans in order to give big tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires like themselves. Expect to see more ads like this because Don and the Republican's Trumpcare is so desperately unpopular in the USA.

There’s an obvious caution here: The midterm Congressional elections are about 550 days from now, and if a week is a long time in politics, then some 18 months is an eternity. If the Senate rejects Trumpcare, then the issue will die. And, of course, Don will obviously say or do something incredibly stupid, offensive, idiotic, dangerous, irrational—did I mention stupid?—in the next few days that will deflect attention. It’s the one thing he can be counted on to do. He’ll also do that every single week—several times a week, most likely—right up until the midterm elections (assuming he stays in office that long, of course). So, keeping the outrage alive that long will be a challenge.

Still, because Americans reject Republicans’ Trumpcare, it makes sense to wrap support for it around the necks of the Republicans in Congress who supported it. As Nate Silver points out on FiveThirtyEight, there are plenty of Republicans with margins close enough for this issue to make a difference in 2018, and if Democrats can make Trumpcare stick to them, the House could flip to the Democrats. We’ll see.

At the very least, acting right now to hold Republicans’ feet to the fire and associate them with Don, who continues to be unpopular, is a good strategy at the moment. As we clearly saw in the 2016 elections, negative narratives and associations, repeated over and over, can have a long-term effect in reducing support for a candidate. So, while the issues may change over the next 18 months, and this particular issue may be dead by then, the negative impressions of Republicans will remain if the messaging against them is constant.

In any case, this is a good political ad for setting out differences and drawing a line. This is obviously not intended to be an ad promoting specific policy—first things first, and reminding voters of what Don and the Republicans are trying to do them is important for now.

Fun Fact: The ad was recorded live, in one take.

Related: A majority of Americans, especially independents, support the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).

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