DCCC fundraising ad shows flag-draped coffins

Red State’s got it. Just follow the link.

I’m in no position to throw stones when it comes to using images of fallen soldiers to make a political point. Nor do I consider it some huge affront that this sort of thing would be done in the context of fundraising. The cash nexus casts an odor, but it’s cash that will be applied to address a problem that the images truthfully depict. If Vets for Freedom figured out a way to use the Tucker and Menchaca video to raise money to defeat the insurgency, I’d support them.

But I wouldn’t support Republicans putting it in a campaign ad, for the same reason I think it’s cheap and crass of the DCCC to have added coffins to the mix here. I think it boils down to good ol’ fashioned suspicion of politicians: the priority for most of them is getting (re-)elected and I don’t want anyone’s remains being exploited for that sort of personal profit. Advocacy groups, pro-war or anti-, are different.

There’s also a difference, of course, between using an image of the deceased to rally support for the cause he died serving versus using it to undermine that cause. The latter, to me, feels like kicking the corpse; to the left, I’m sure, it’s redemptive as a cautionary tale, like those vehicle safety movies they showed in driver’s ed. If our model here is “Why We Fight,” theirs is “Blood on the Highway.”

Anyway. If they’re willing to sow the wind with death photos, so be it. They’ll reap the whirlwind when the backlash comes. It’s definitely worth watching the ad, just to see how cartoonish and completely devoid of ideas (save for clean energy) it is. Goldstein has more on that point.

I’ll add in closing that I don’t think Red State’s interpretation of DeLay’s police slate is quite right. Here’s the image:


Erick wonders, “Is September 11, 2008, to be the day the GOP gets wiped out by Democrats?” That’s not the message, I don’t think, and not merely because it makes zero electoral sense in terms of the date. As I read it, they’re accusing the GOP preemptively of trying to make 9/11 the key issue of the 2008 campaign.

Which, let’s face it, will probably happen.


Because 2008 is Giuliani time, baby.

Update: Someone just e-mailed me to say they suspect the mug shot of DeLay is photoshopped. I’m sure that it is, and not just because of the police slate. DeLay’s actual mugshot famously showed him beaming out a big bright smile — precisely because he knew the Dems would use the shot in their campaign ads.

Update: One of our readers makes a nice catch. The DeLay mugshot image from the DCCC ad appears to come from WhiteHouse.org. Yeah, that WhiteHouse.org. The one that’s going to help them take back the Christian vote in November.

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