(July 29) Remember high school, when all the seniors in your class chose the same Robert Frost line about “choosing the road less traveled” as their yearbook quote? A lot of Republican candidates are bringing back that bad memory.

There’s nothing quite so pathetic as all these inauthentic political candidates conspicuously aping one another in this manner, loudly proclaiming how independent they are in consultant-driven, cookie-cutter ads.

Nearly a year before the first party primary votes are cast in the next federal elections, a congressional candidate in Pennsylvania and a Senate candidate in Alabama are running ads with a remarkably similar tone and language. They are even using the same (very distinctive) background music.

“I’m not doing this fake, phony, elitist BS,” says Pennsylvania Republican Teddy Daniels to a martini-sipping loser in a commercial absurdly full of silly clichés.

“America First,” reads Daniels’s T-shirt. He inveighs against “swampy sellout politicians.” He blasts “elitists” while the words on the screen take on “RINOs.” He’s also against “establishment sellouts” as he climbs into a military vehicle. He then exits the vehicle while carrying a rapid-fire weapon, then says, “It’s time to bring out the big guns,” while firing it into a meadow.

Then he feeds a full-action machine gun. There is a violent explosion behind him as he strides toward the camera. He rides a motorcycle while again promising to “fight” — he repeats that word as if he just discovered it and is trying it on to see if it fits — against “corrupt swamp creatures.” Gee, how original.

Then there is Jessica Taylor, fresh off a loss in Alabama for Congress, using the exact same hyped-up music and the same style of camera pans in front of histrionic scenes while using histrionic and hackneyed language. She wants to replace retiring Republican Richard Shelby in the Senate because she was “raised in rural Alabama to love God, guns, family, fishing, and four-wheeling.” I guess we should be glad she didn’t also mention Harleys, hay, and hounds….

[Read the rest of this column here.]


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