Vote Democrat And You Will Die

That’s the message of a new RNC ad entitled “The Stakes.” Here’s the video:

Breitbart:

The Republican Party will begin airing a hard-hitting ad this weekend that warns of more cataclysmic terror attacks against the U.S. homeland. The ad portrays Osama bin Laden and quotes his threats against America dating to February 1998. “These are the stakes,” the ad concludes. “Vote November 7.”

Brian Jones, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said the ad would run on national cable beginning Sunday, but he declined to discuss specifics of the buy. The commercial tracks with Republican Party strategy to make the war on terrorism a central theme of this election. It will air as recent polls show Republicans losing ground as the party best able to combat terrorism.

The script:

“What is yet to come will be even greater”-Osama Bin Laden, Al Jazeera, 12/26/01

“With God’s permission we call on everyone who believes in God…to comply with His will to kill the Americans.”

-Osama Bin Laden (The World Islamic Front, Fatwa, 2/23/98)

[Text Fades: “kill the Americans”]

“They will not come to their senses unless the attacks fall on their heads and…until the battle has moved inside America.” -Osama Bin Laden (Interview, Al-Jazeera, 10/21/01)

[Text Fades: “inside America.”]

“We sent our people to Moscow, to Tashkent, to other central Asian states, and they negotiated. And we purchased some suitcase bombs.” -Ayman Al-Zawahiri (“Al Qaeda: We Bought Nuke Cases,” [New York] Daily News, 3/22/04)

[Text Fades: “suitcase bombs.”]

“Our message is clear—what you saw in New York and Washington and what you are seeing in Afghanistan and Iraq, all these are nothing compared to what you will see next.” -Ayman Al-Zawahiri (“Al Qaeda Threatens More UK, U.S. Attacks,” CNN.com, 8/4/05)

[Text Fades: “nothing compared to what you will see next.”]

“What is yet to come will be even greater”

These Are The Stakes. Vote November 7th.

www.GOP.com

Frankly, this strikes me as incredibly heavyhanded. Then again, it’s no more so than the infamous “Daisy Girl” ad the Johnson campaign ran against Barry Goldwater way back in 1964:

Jack Beatty summarized it thusly in The Atlantic Monthly:

The ad showed a little girl in a field picking petals off a daisy. “One, two, three, four, five, seven, six, eight, nine,” she counts; then, startled, looks up from the flower. The next scene is of an atomic bomb exploding while Johnson’s voice intones, “These are the stakes—to make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark….” An announcer breaks in, “Vote for President Johnson on November 3. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.”

It worked beautifully. And, indeed, the phrase “These are the stakes” is common to both ads.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2006, Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. The problem is that the Republicans pull this every election cycle. No one believes this anymore. Crying wolf, as it were.

    People will see it for what it is. Electioneering.

  2. Jim Jones says:

    And to think: al Qaeda was pretty much eliminated back in Nov-Dec 2001, Emanuel Goldstein bin Laden excepted, and somehow ‘The Stakes’ are what we have today. This should have been over three months after 9/11. Somebody has benefitted from this.

  3. Hey, and look what the daisy ad did for Bill Moyers career!

  4. whatever says:

    It’s bad enough that I can’t watch TV without seeing political commercials, and now the same is true of this site. What’s the saying? Move on?

  5. Maniakes says:

    You go to a political blog, and are upset to find politics on it?

  6. If I were the Democrats I would create a new ad by taking excerpts from this very ad and then intersperse them with regular Americans talking about their fears of continuing with a do-nothing, rubber-stamp, GOP controlled Congress. I think its time for the Democrats to go toe to toe with the GOP with a light hearted…but very pointed “Fear Factor” campaign.

    I just don’t think fear can work this time if the Democrats will hit back. Karl Rove has made a career of taking his opponents strengths and turning them into liabilities…and its time someone return the favor. His house of cards is ready to fall.

    See a tongue-in-cheek visual of Karl and the boys singing some of their favorite “Church & State” hymns…here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

  7. Cernig says:

    The suitcase nuke rumor has been around since at least 2002, when it was a Drudge story. Here’s how even the Free Republic folks thought it was ridiculous.

    The big problem with the scare-factor on this rumor is that the triggers on Soviet suitcase nukes have to be “recooked” every 60 days or so. They are useless scrap by now, even if Al Qaida ever had them. Which is doubtful in the extreme. Even Dean Barnett thinks the idea is ludicrous.

    Here’s a link to the original NY Daily News story. It’s all thirdhand stuff reliant on the word of a Pakistani journalist, Hamid Mir, who has close ties to BinLaden and has been pushing the suitcase bomb thing, always with different numbers, to different news sources for years.

    It also contains a line you won’t find in the GOP ad.
    U.S. intelligence officials say they are well aware of Bin Laden’s lust for nukes and his efforts to buy them on the black market. But they point out there’s no concrete evidence that he has succeeded.”

    Hamid Mir also claimed recently that one of these suitcase nukes would be used in America this September. I must have missed the mushroom cloud footage on FauxNews.

    James, are you ready to admit that the party you gave your allegiance to will stoop as low as it needs to to hold on to power and certainly doesn’t deserve your brains and your loyalty on its behalf?

    Regards, C

  8. anjin-san says:

    Fear is pretty much all Bush & Co. have left to peddle. Think about it, if America’s future is somehow on the line in Iraq, why aren’t we fighting a hell of a lot harder?

  9. AST says:

    All it’s doing is to remind people of who our enemies are and what they intend. When the opposition is trying to talk about everything BUT national security. It could have had a clip of Ahmadinejad and one of Kim Jong Il, but maybe they’ll be along later.

    Speaking of Kim, did you notice that he has apologized for his nuke test and is backpedaling. I think involving China was a good move and that Rice and Bolton have a victory.

    I could wish that the Republicans in Congress acted more like they believed that we’re at war and less like they think that the world turns on them individually.

  10. LJD says:

    Think about it, if America’s future is somehow on the line in Iraq, why aren’t we fighting a hell of a lot harder?

    You were FOR cut and run before you were AGAINST IT?

  11. Pug says:

    I truly am not that concerned about him [bin Laden].

    George W. Bush March 13, 2002

  12. Anderson says:

    I truly am not that concerned about him [bin Laden].

    Right. If the Dems had brains, they’d be running that spliced in with the new ad.

    But are we sure that Osama didn’t pay for this new ad? It sounds like the message he tried to send before the 2004 election: Keep Bush In Office – He’s Doing A Great Job (For Al-Qaeda!).

  13. Ed says:

    Yeah, I am going to vote out the Republican majority. Based upon basic competence alone, the people in power haven’t shown any reason at all to be rehired.

    I say throw the bums out and maybe we’ll get a better batch in 2008.

    (And no, I don’t think we’ll all die if we vote for Democrats. Remember Bush is still President, nothing radical is going to survive a veto.)

  14. Steven Plunk says:

    It’s certainly not my kind of ad but it makes a point concerning the differences in the way Republicans and Democrats approach national security.

    I doubt many would disagree with the idea that Republicans are more aggressive than Dems on the handling of terrorist suspects and how they approach surveillance. Those differences could be distilled down to an ad such as this.

  15. cian says:

    Great idea Anderson, and for good measure why not splice in Frist suggesting its time those who sheltered Bin Laden are allowed back into power.

  16. Davebo says:

    It’s certainly not my kind of ad but it makes a point concerning the differences in the way Republicans and Democrats approach national security.

    Indeed it does. One party sees it as a security issue and another sees it as a political issue.

  17. Cernig says:

    Problem One: The suitcase bomb myth was debunked pretty well by Townhall’s Dean Barnett back in September. Even the hardline right don’t believe the story!

    Problem Two: Every single story saying Osama has suitcase nukes tracks back to a single Pakistani journalist who keeps varying the number of suitcases Osama is meant to have. He’s a confidante of binLaden too.

    The GOP are doing Osama’s bidding with this ad, as well as perpetrating a shallow hoax for political ends. Republicans should be ashamed of this ad and their party.

    Regards, Cernig @ Newshog

  18. Anderson says:

    it makes a point concerning the differences in the way Republicans and Democrats approach national security.

    Excuse me, but from the transcript, it makes *no such point whatsoever*. All it does is quote Osama.

    If Osama’s so dangerous, why did we invade Iraq rather than make the destruction of al-Qaeda our # 1 priority?

  19. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    The choice is clear. Vote Republican, stay the course, and fight the war on terror over there. Vote Democrat, withdraw from Iraq, and fight the war on terror here. The choice is simple. If the dims win, they will try to impeach both Bush and Cheney. Conyers has the plans drawn up. That would make Nancy Pelosi President of the United States. I will proudly be one of the patriotic Americans to take up arms to throw off the yoke of fascism she represents. Hopefully I would be on the squads assigned to eliminate the left.

  20. Anderson says:

    Hopefully I would be on the squads assigned to eliminate the left.

    JJ, do aspirations to join the American Freikorps and murder political opponents, comply with the OTB commenting policy?

    Just curious.

  21. Cernig says:

    Sorry about the double comment, James. I didn’t notice that the first one had finally posted, hours after writing. Feel free to delete the second one.

    Regards, C

    P.S. Anderson’s right – Zelsdorf just jumped the shark.

  22. James Joyner says:

    Anderson: There is no current policy against being an idiot. Instituting and enforcing one has occured to me but the demands on my time might be unbearable.

  23. anjin-san says:

    AST,

    Yes, about Kim Il Jong. Bush is on record stating that he “would not tolerate” a North Korea with nuclear weapons. Now that a certified lunatic has developed nukes as well as the means to deliver them (on Bush’s watch) what strong action are we seeing to insure our security?

    1. Blame Clinton
    2. Harsh scoldings for Kim
    3. Sanctions. Remember how we were told that sanctions were utterly ineffective against Saddam and stronger action was necessary to stop such a menace? How is this case different?

    As for Kim apologizing to China, I don’t see how that is a victory for Bush. Last time I checked China was a communist dictatorship…

  24. Anderson says:

    but the demands on my time might be unbearable

    You are surely right about that.

  25. Michael says:

    Anderson: There is no current policy against being an idiot. Instituting and enforcing one has occured to me but the demands on my time might be unbearable.

    Perhaps then promote some trusted, level-headed readers to moderate such messages for you.

    anjin-san:

    Now that a certified lunatic has developed nukes as well as the means to deliver them

    Last I heard there was consensus that the DPRK had no viable delivery method, unless you have support to the contrary.

    As for the ad itself, the popular left blogs are already trying to re-frame it, asking why the RNC would highlight their inability to capture American’s most wanted enemy? How many of those quotes are from after 9/11? Heck, there’s even 2 quotes from after the start of the Iraq war (and possibly after he “Mission Accomplish” photo-op, but I’d have to check the dates).

    The ad may as well say “For 5 years the Republicans in Washington have failed to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, we can’t take the chance that the Democrats might be just as bad at it as we are.”

  26. Michael says:

    James,

    In terms of a moderation system, how about allowing all readers to score a comment as
    1:Insightful,
    2:Funny, or
    3:Troll.

    Limit it by IP address of course. Then, depending on which category has the most, and by how much, you include an image next to the comment,such as:
    1:Insightful=Einstien,
    2:Funny=Smiley face, or
    3:Troll=GW Bush (ok, maybe I shouldn’t be the one who decides the images.)

    The point is that trolls be marked with something shameful or degrading. If all of Zeldorf’s comments have a picture of a retarded squirrel next to them (guilt by association), maybe he’ll post something worthwhile or leave. Plus you would have all the data you need to host a yearly/monthly/weekly “10 worst trolls” article.

  27. Anderson says:

    If all of Zeldorf’s comments have a picture of a retarded squirrel next to them (guilt by association), maybe he’ll post something worthwhile or leave.

    I think that retarded squirrels everywhere would be offended to be associated with Zelsdorf.

  28. anjin-san says:

    Micheal,

    I have heard repeated reports that current NK delivery systems can hit the Hawaiian islands. Since neither of us is an expert on the subject, either of us could easily be wrong.

    Lets say for the sake of argument that NK currently cannot hit the US. What is to stop this cash-starved, America hating dictator from selling a nuke to cash-heavy, America hating terrorists?

    What about South Korea, or say, Tokyo getting nuked? I think any rational person would agree that this would be a disaster that would change the world permanently, and for the worse.

    I do not see how Bush’s N Korea policy can be viewed as anything but a miserable failure…

  29. anjin-san says:

    LJD,

    Please show me one, even one post where I have advocated “cut & run”. I think, and have thought from the be genning that the war in Iraq is a tragic mistake that does nothing to enhance our national security.

    That being said, once we went in, we are stuck and should fight to win. I do not see how having our forces out in light patrols that do little besides providing targets for the insurgency does that.

    Bush was told from the very beginning that his plan did not provide for adequate force to control the country. This is patently obvious today.

    You are a sad case LJD. Like Bush and his crew, lying about the positions of those who disagree with you is about all you have left…

  30. Aaron says:

    Re: the comment above to kill Nancy Pelosi.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if this same person threatened to kill Bush or Cheney, there would be Secret Service knocking on his door. How is this different?
    Killing the House Democratic Leader?!?
    Hello, FBI, I hope you’re tracking this guys e-mail.

  31. Aaron says:

    Mr. Joyner,

    This is more than just an “idiot”, this is a man that has just threatened to kill Nancy Pelosi. If you don’t report the post below to the appropriate authorities, then you are an accomplice. Do not take these comments lightly.

    Posted by: Zelsdorf Ragshaft III at October 20, 2006 12:52
    “That would make Nancy Pelosi President of the United States. I will proudly be one of the patriotic Americans to take up arms to throw off the yoke of fascism she represents. Hopefully I would be on the squads assigned to eliminate the left.”

  32. James Joyner says:

    Aaron: Hoping one is assigned to a hypothetical death squad in the event Nancy Pelosi is elevated to Speaker and something simultaneously happens to Bush and Cheney causing her to be elevated to President is at least one measure removed from an actual threat on her life, methinks. Regardless, I do not take it seriously.

    Michael: That’s well beyond my technical skill but I do find the idea interesting.