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March 19, 2014 6:33 PM   Subscribe

Meet Scott, the cool young Republican! A new ad campaign from the RNC showcases a young man named Scott Greenberg, a young voter who is 'ticked off' with politicians.

Scott Greenberg is an "over-caffeinated communications professional, writer and social media specialist" according to his twitter and bio-page of his advertising firm, AMPS Creative.
posted by Uther Bentrazor (144 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
A little bit punk, a little bit BMW!
posted by theodolite at 6:37 PM on March 19 [13 favorites]


Can we rastafy him about 10%?
posted by kafziel at 6:42 PM on March 19 [43 favorites]


Those lazy millennials won't even look at the camera when they talk to you. This is what happens when you raise a generation without Mister Rogers.
posted by Gary at 6:43 PM on March 19 [38 favorites]


He comes off as being completely inauthentic. He's not expressing his thoughts/feelings, he's reading a script. The RNC should look into real actors as opposed to opportunistic dorks.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 6:45 PM on March 19 [7 favorites]


I thought that's what the RNC was shooting for; opportunistic dorks.

Which is actually a nice change from the typical opportunistic dicks.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:47 PM on March 19 [11 favorites]


Whiney, not hateful?

I guess it's an improvement.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:50 PM on March 19 [4 favorites]


Was Poochie too busy to do an ad?
posted by jason_steakums at 6:51 PM on March 19 [24 favorites]


wow, "we should have an all of the above energy policy" is not going to sound cute in 30 years.
posted by threeants at 6:54 PM on March 19 [24 favorites]


Hah, this guy seems to be your typical indie music PR/media hack. Must be hard up for the money. You have to admire the strategy though: this is meant to go viral, mockery and all. Do we want to contribute to that, is the question?
posted by naju at 6:57 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]


>is not going to sound cute in 30 years.

If people could remember what happened thirty years ago, we wouldn't have these kinds of problems.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:58 PM on March 19 [43 favorites]


That is one teenage dirtbag half-beard there.
posted by The Whelk at 7:01 PM on March 19 [7 favorites]


For those Mefites that have difficulty understanding what a Hipster is, you just watched a video featuring one.
posted by Twain Device at 7:04 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


holy god this is bad.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:04 PM on March 19 [4 favorites]


You do not get to feel strongly about things and say "whatever" in the same sentence.
posted by Riki tiki at 7:05 PM on March 19 [13 favorites]


Who is he talking to? I mean, within the universe of the commercials, to whom is he speaking? When he's in his car, it looks like he's talking to a cop who has just pulled him over.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:05 PM on March 19 [8 favorites]


They probably randomly picked him up off the sidewalk at SXSW and filmed him at the nearest gas stop.
posted by naju at 7:06 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


It's interesting. I keep reading write-ups from East Coast media outlets that say "well, at least he looks like a real millennial," and all I can think is that he doesn't look like the millennials I work with every day. I'm curious about who the target audience is here and what percentage of the potential target audience would ever in a million years consider voting Republican.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:07 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


Guys, I think Michele Bachmann is standing just off camera, so he's being polite and talking directly to her.
posted by maudlin at 7:07 PM on March 19 [4 favorites]


For those Mefites that have difficulty understanding what a Hipster is, you just watched a video featuring one.

An inauthenitc caricature of a nonexistent movement cobbled together by people too desperately out of touch to know what they're representing but find manufacturing something called a "hipster" to be useful for entirely questionable reasons?

By zeus, you're right!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:12 PM on March 19 [118 favorites]


He looks about ten to fifteen years to old to be the target demo and painfully unhip, so of course its what the GOP thinks a young person looks like ( having not seen a young person since 1984)
posted by The Whelk at 7:13 PM on March 19 [18 favorites]


Bunny, in lieu of double favoriting that comment, I'm just stating you will never pay for a drink with me in the room.
posted by The Whelk at 7:14 PM on March 19 [17 favorites]


As bad as the rest of it is, the thing that struck me was this feeling, with how it was phrased--his friends just need the government to get out of the way and they'll be doing great. I somehow suspect that's true, of his friends. And also that he wouldn't be my friend in a million years. But I don't think the RNC is really trying to recruit my type. I think they're trying to recruit the people who would really like someone to tell them that driving a luxury car is okay, that the environment is fine, that nobody is really going to be worse off if the government went away, that their privilege is safe and it's okay to want it to stay that way. So... assholes, basically.
posted by Sequence at 7:16 PM on March 19 [29 favorites]


I wonder if he did a bad job with the acting on purpose.
posted by helicomatic at 7:17 PM on March 19 [4 favorites]


I think they're trying to recruit the people who would really like someone to tell them that driving a luxury car is okay, that the environment is fine, that nobody is really going to be worse off if the government went away, that their privilege is safe and it's okay to want it to stay that way.

So REAGAN 2020 is what you're saying.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:17 PM on March 19 [9 favorites]


This is their hilariously misguided response to Obama on Between Two Ferns, isn't it?
posted by jason_steakums at 7:22 PM on March 19 [10 favorites]


So - is it just me or does he have a creepy Hitler stache that's just a touch darker than the regular upper hair lip he has in the second clip? It just screams "GET IN THE VAN!" And not in the Henry Rollins way either (and let Henry tell YOU something, you miserable Hipster)
posted by symbioid at 7:26 PM on March 19


I should flag calling him a teenage dirtbag as offensive to that Wheatus song.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:30 PM on March 19 [7 favorites]


Conservative talk radio (the format Fox News replicated on TV) is most often listened to in cars.
posted by stbalbach at 7:34 PM on March 19


I could be misremebering but i feel like Obama literally said that he supports an "all of the above energy policy" during one of the debates with McCain, and that theright attacked him for it. The short memory span and hypocrisy of the right never ceases to amaze me.
posted by askmehow at 7:36 PM on March 19 [5 favorites]


Doesn't everybody already know a guy like this anyways? "Conservative millennial New Media guy" isn't all that notable.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:37 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]


Yes, Republicans have an all-of-the-above attitude toward energy policy. All of the fossil fuels need subsidies because reasons, and all of the alternative sources should get along without any because freedom.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:37 PM on March 19 [18 favorites]


This is their hilariously misguided response to Obama on Between Two Ferns, isn't it?
I think it's part of the freaking the fuck out about the 2012 election returns, which suggested that large groups of Americans (young people, single women, and anyone who is not white, and of course a lot of young people are single women and/or not-white) really don't think much of the Republican party. And it's going to be increasingly hard to win national elections if they can't get votes from people born after 1980. They're desperately trying to rebrand, and they haven't hit on a winning formula yet. And I don't think doofy car dude is going to be their winning formula.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:42 PM on March 19 [5 favorites]


I think it's part of the freaking the fuck out about the 2012 election returns, which suggested that large groups of Americans (young people, single women, and anyone who is not white, and of course a lot of young people are single women and/or not-white) really don't think much of the Republican party. And it's going to be increasingly hard to win national elections if they can't get votes from people born after 1980. They're desperately trying to rebrand, and they haven't hit on a winning formula yet. And I don't think doofy car dude is going to be their winning formula.

I feel like there's probably a revolving door at RNC HQ for the string of strategists who always come in to say "maybe give them something they want?" only to be immediately fired.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:46 PM on March 19 [14 favorites]


I love that the Republican strategy is based on the premise that the people who don't like them obviously only don't like they because they don't really know them, which is a belief I've seen play out successfully on an interpersonal level so many times.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:48 PM on March 19 [41 favorites]


Yeah, basically the Nice Guy party.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:49 PM on March 19 [9 favorites]


Gawd, I've met this asshole a bunch recently. They know just enough not to wear their von Mise Institute wrist band where everyone can see it, but can't quite keep their angry entitled guy from squishing out around the edges.
posted by kjs3 at 7:49 PM on March 19 [5 favorites]


They're desperately trying to rebrand, and they haven't hit on a winning formula yet.

I love that the Republican strategy is based on the premise that the people who don't like them obviously only don't like they because they don't really know them

Yeah, exactly. The idea that they could be losing voters because their party is, in fact, a thin film of electioneering coating a cash-fired Trojan horse of utterly barbaric plutocracy is incomprehensible, because these people aren't yet used to the idea that being evil might be an electoral liability.
posted by clockzero at 7:55 PM on March 19 [36 favorites]


Green-berg ... huh.

I can almost imagine the PR coves asking 'how do we intimate environmentalism, and pro-israel in the smallest amount of time?'

Of course, that's not what really happened.

Having the cue cards off camera and the fellow reading directly from them is genius, though. I'm just not sure what kind.
posted by LD Feral at 7:56 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


The chap sort of looks like the author; coincidence??
posted by Renoroc at 7:58 PM on March 19


This guy would fit right in on Dress Like A Hipster Day at Napoleon Dynamite's high school. And his rhetoric is almost as good as Summer Wheatley's.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:01 PM on March 19


Scott Greenberg is the Poochie of hipsterism. Catch you on the flip side, dudemeisters! NOT!
posted by jonp72 at 8:01 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


Yeah, "All of the above" has been precisely the Obama administration's branding/phrasing surrounding their energy policy for, oh.. the last two, maybe three years. I recently heard the Secretary of Energy repeat that exact phrase several times in a speech.
posted by strangeloops at 8:03 PM on March 19


I keep reading write-ups from East Coast media outlets that say "well, at least he looks like a real millennial," and all I can think is that he doesn't look like the millennials I work with every day.

No shit. I work at a college. My son will be 19 in a week.

This guy looks nothing like any young person I ever see anywhere ever. Do people really dress like that and talk like that ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:05 PM on March 19


This guy looks nothing like any young person I ever see anywhere ever. Do people really dress like that and talk like that ?

I met a guy who looked almost exactly like this at a party last summer. He brought his own set of vinyl records and had a temper tantrum over a game of horseshoes.

He was also in his mid-30s.
posted by Benjy at 8:12 PM on March 19 [27 favorites]


They have the system rigged nine ways to Sunday yet they still can't connect with non-hating human beings. If only there was some way to stop young people and other undesirables from voting at all.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:12 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


Gawd, I've met this asshole a bunch recently. They know just enough not to wear their von Mise Institute wrist band where everyone can see it, but can't quite keep their angry entitled guy from squishing out around the edges.

I wonder what his Reddit username is.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:14 PM on March 19 [9 favorites]


They aren't talking to millennials. They are speaking to their base to assure them that they are working hard to expand that base. After all, when you actively pursue policies to harm the entire millennial demographic, astrobearding isn't going to help.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:15 PM on March 19 [60 favorites]


Wait—is this an actual person, as opposed to a construct?
posted by flippant at 8:19 PM on March 19


The idea that they could be losing voters because their party is, in fact, a thin film of electioneering coating a cash-fired Trojan horse of utterly barbaric plutocracy is incomprehensible, because these people aren't yet used to the idea that being evil might be an electoral liability.

Yeah, I'm hoping you're right. Unfortunately lots of people, as they age, slide easily right into that slot of reactionary mule-headedness that the previous generation vacates on their way out of the universe.

Also, living in Brunswick, Georgia, I not-infrequently meet people who vote Republican even when young, and will never do anything to test their sad worldview their whole lives.
posted by JHarris at 8:20 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


I think we have a moral obligation to make munchingzombie's "astrobearding" the official word for egregious exploitation of hipsterism for nefarious purposes.
posted by kjs3 at 8:20 PM on March 19 [68 favorites]


If only there was some way to stop young people and other undesirables from voting at all.

There is: convict them of a felony.
posted by JHarris at 8:21 PM on March 19 [18 favorites]


It's interesting. I keep reading write-ups from East Coast media outlets that say "well, at least he looks like a real millennial,"

I mean, he looks like a guy, I wouldn't particularly note him.

Republican dude: "...bla bla bla poorly thought out energy policy, in catchphrase form, but at least it's a policy..."

Metafilter: "... hey this dude's funny looking and he dresses funny also let's vaguely impugn his masculinity ..."

Remember - the youths of today are growing up with the Obama NSA reading their Snapchat Whatsexts. The young adults see less and less difference between the two obsolete political parties. The only thing permanent about permanent majorities is that I always seem to be reading about how whoever's currently on top might have one.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:21 PM on March 19


He's reading off cue cards right? The way he makes no eye contact and looks off to the side?
posted by right_then at 8:21 PM on March 19


Oh, he's from Florida, where Republicanism is a reflex because any other position would mean the End of All That Is Florida. Now it all makes sense. I hope Carl Hiaasen incorporates a version of this guy into his next novel.
posted by dis_integration at 8:23 PM on March 19 [5 favorites]


They're desperately trying to rebrand, and they haven't hit on a winning formula yet.

Maybe they could try changing their policies to ones that don't alienate everyone who's not a straight, white, middle-aged man.
posted by octothorpe at 8:26 PM on March 19


Is it just my imagination, or does the guy look like he's got a permanent sneer?
posted by Soliloquy at 8:27 PM on March 19


The young adults see less and less difference between the two obsolete political parties.

Did you even keep reading? "According to national exit polls, the young-old partisan voting gaps in 2008 and 2012 were among the largest in the modern era". Yes, that's for presidential elections, but historically there's a pretty big carryover.
posted by asterix at 8:29 PM on March 19


I think they're trying to recruit the people who would really like someone to tell them that driving a luxury car is okay, that the environment is fine, that nobody is really going to be worse off if the government went away, that their privilege is safe and it's okay to want it to stay that way.
“Advertising is based on one thing, happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay.”

--Don Draper, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
I do like his Jean Seberg shirt, even though I think I'd wear it better than he does.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:29 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


I do like his Jean Seberg shirt, even though I think I'd wear it better than he does.

Yeah. I mean, his hair is a bit much, but I know a few Comparative Literature grad students (bleeding heart liberals all) with the same do. And his clothes aren't really that bad. It's hard to pull off the leather jacket, and so he fails like most of us would. It's just that he's so... smarmy and insincere. The fashion sense isn't the problem here, it's the bearing and mien.
posted by dis_integration at 8:33 PM on March 19


This is just some young (so for the GOP - under 40) marketing exec punching the "we tried" button to keep the party ad dollars coming in for another quarter. No one who actually looks at this thinks it would influence anyone at all. But the actor looks like one of them young voters and that's good enough. Both the people that came up with the ad and the person who approved paying for it have to know how pointless a 15 second political ad is. But both keep their jobs for a little while longer and money moves from one rich party to a rich marketing corporation in hopes of more donations to the rich party. It's just bureaucracy protecting themselves again. Cause in the Republican mindset, who cares what you say if there's money in it?
posted by fishmasta at 8:34 PM on March 19 [5 favorites]


METAFILTER: astrobearding isn't going to help.
posted by philip-random at 8:42 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


Yeah, if they actually wanted to appeal to millennials they'd be coming up with a strategy for bringing the "independent" libertarian-identified racist young redditor types back into the fold. This has got to just be a "well, we tried!" gesture for the base.
posted by NoraReed at 8:43 PM on March 19 [4 favorites]


Yeah, if they actually wanted to appeal to millennials they'd be coming up with a strategy for bringing the "independent" libertarian-identified racist young redditor types back into the fold. This has got to just be a "well, we tried!" gesture for the base.

That's locked up by Ron/Rand Paul for the next few years at least.
posted by Talez at 8:55 PM on March 19


I'm going out on a limb here, but I don't think the RNC found Scott Greenberg. I think the RNC and Scott Greenberg found each other.

Greenberg is a youngish man who fancies himself a marketing pro. He's the kind of guy who has no problem claiming that some musicians whom he interviewed are, in fact, his clients, or misrepresenting an interaction with Miami's Mercedes Benz Swim Week as, to paraphrase, "planning and executing Mercedes Benz Fashion Week." He knows he can make a tidy video on the cheap, and make it go viral.

But here's the thing: he needs the GOP to tell him he's young and masterful and successful, just as much as they need him to swear that they're finally going to reach an untouchable youth demo.

The video will get passed around online for the next few days. Most people will watch it once, turn up their nose, and move on. Others will watch it a few times, fascinated with just how unfortunate it is. Greenberg and the GOP will pat each other's backs, and count each view as a success.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:02 PM on March 19 [11 favorites]


I wonder if he did a bad job with the acting on purpose.

Ooh I like this idea. The acting is really terrible.
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:05 PM on March 19


Anyone notice that the traffic and car horn sounds are exactly the same at the end of each spot?

It seems appropriate that the interviews are stuck in a Republican Groundhog Day.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:06 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


I look forward to the Republican minority outreach infomercials. I predict "I'm a Republican... because I work hard just like if I was white."
posted by Flunkie at 9:08 PM on March 19 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm hoping you're right. Unfortunately lots of people, as they age, slide easily right into that slot of reactionary mule-headedness that the previous generation vacates on their way out of the universe.

That's true, and it's a good point. I think the GOP's ability to get away with betraying the American people won't last forever, though.
posted by clockzero at 9:19 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


In truth, this guy comes off like a lot of people I knew in 1L year, some of whom are friends I respect.

Of course, all of those friends switched parties as the truth of modern conservatism become clearer over the past five years, and this guy is way more disingenuous. But still.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:38 PM on March 19


You know, I understand that they want this "all-of-the-above" thing, in a "big tent".

But here's what I have to tell them as a college-educated Millennial urbanite with an above-average salary, and, get this, a two-fer on their minority bingo: I'm gaysian. I know you're confused as to why I don't already vote for you, but, let me explain this very simply.

"All of the above" won't cut it. Sorry, it's true. Not when "all of the above" includes radical religious sects hell-bent on shitting all over my rights. Not when "all of the above" includes bigots and people who can't seem to be decent fucking human beings and resort to using slurs with frightening regularity. Sure, I know that a lot of them are decent folk. Some of them are even friends of mine, and they're a credit to their kind, so well-spoken, so eloquent.

But really, it's their current base or me. And they seem comfortable with having their current base. So, peace. We'll talk again in twenty years when they've all died out.

Outreach like this isn't going to change it, because it's all hot air. Until the GOP rejects the anti-intellectual, anti-science, religionist virus that has rotted it from the inside, and until I see actual changes in how they approach issues in a non-dogmatic, pragmatic fashion?

I've passed more convincing advertisements between the two cheeks of my buttocks. And they've looked better than a poorly-assembled WordPress.com site for a company that can't be arsed to buy its own domain.
posted by qcubed at 9:44 PM on March 19 [9 favorites]


I look forward to the Republican minority outreach infomercials.

Their new Create Your American Dream campaign, of which this commercial is a part, features a number of minorities praising hardworking Republican values. And it does seem to actually be targeted at minorities in some areas, though it's hard to tell what proportion of the "six figure" buy goes to that vs interstitials on Hulu. So someone seems to think this might actually work, or at least is working hard to convince someone else on the right that they are addressing the problem. Not that any of this will matter very much in '14, since the young largely stay at home for non-presidential elections.
posted by chortly at 10:02 PM on March 19


Maybe they could try changing their policies to ones that don't alienate everyone who's not a straight, white, middle-aged man.

Speaking as a straight, white, middle-aged man, I think you owe me an apology.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:25 PM on March 19 [9 favorites]


After George W. Bush, I have lost all confidence in my ability to guess whether other people (particularly potential Republican voters) will find this guy appealing or not.
posted by straight at 10:36 PM on March 19 [5 favorites]


I look forward to the Republican minority outreach infomercials.

GOP? Yeah, you know me.
posted by telstar at 11:01 PM on March 19


Perhaps the most cogno-dissonant ad right here.
posted by telstar at 11:04 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]


I wonder if he did a bad job with the acting on purpose.

I think they're going really hard for a tim and eric/generally live action adult swim show sort of feel. It's obviously that they hired someone who was "cool" in like, 2003 but is now in their mid 30s to set up this entire concept.

Which is to say yes, i think it's unpurpose. But the entire thing is like that car homer simpson designed. It's a bunch of vague ideas of what would make it "cool" and "go viral" haphazardly ziptied together to form a bizarre homunculus. It's some sub basement below cargo cult corporate hipsterism in marketing that has rarely seen the light of day.
posted by emptythought at 11:14 PM on March 19


GOP? Yeah, you know me.

Oh man, this one is the worst, because the wider shot and her eye-line while sitting down makes it very clear that she isn't talking to anyone. Unless she's stating her political views to a 7-year-old standing two meters away.
posted by retrograde at 11:19 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]


I wish I had access to a car so I could shoot a version of this talking up the values of heredity monarchy and serfdom
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 PM on March 19 [17 favorites]


I wish I had access to a car so I could shoot a version of this talking up the values of heredity monarchy and serfdom

I want a Lord who has a solemn duty to provide me military protection in return for a share of my crops. A Lord who is required to provide a mill for my grain, which I am required to use. A Lord who has his lord the King above him, and above him the Lord. An "all of the above" approach.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 11:36 PM on March 19 [23 favorites]


And while we're all quoting Itchy & scratchy & Poochie here, people born the year that episode aired will be able to vote next year.
posted by The Whelk at 11:58 PM on March 19 [7 favorites]


And while we're all quoting Itchy & scratchy & Poochie here, people born the year that episode aired will be able to vote next year.

Aw, what did I do to you?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:00 AM on March 20 [7 favorites]


The linear movement of time is still a thing.
posted by The Whelk at 12:17 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


On the contrary, the linear movement of time is an illusion. The Empire never ended.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:24 AM on March 20 [5 favorites]


Speed is just gonna make the headaches worse Phil.
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


The metrosexual Republicant says:

"I'm for everything. Solar, wind, shale gas, oil... we should have an all-of-the-above energy policy."

Gee, have I got a candidate for him!

"So we can’t have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past. We need an energy strategy for the future -- an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy. Yes, develop as much oil and gas as we can, but also develop wind power and solar power and biofuels. Make our buildings more fuel-efficient. Make our homes more fuel-efficient. Make our cars and trucks more fuel-efficient so they get more miles for the gallon. That’s where I want to take this country."
- President Barack Obama, March 15, 2012

Oh, but that's not good enough, apparently. Whinyboy wants everything... all the energy -- except solar, wind, and other renewables -- AND all of the waste.

Which is to say, that he doesn't want anything new or scary that might force him to wake up from his dreamlike existence. Scarcity be damned. And he *absolutely* doesn't want to engage on what the policies are that his preferred party actually supports, because... well, that just wouldn't validate his fantasy.
posted by markkraft at 12:39 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


"I get ticked off at politicians who say they want to help the unemployed, then vote for regulations..."

... and that's why I back politicians who want to screw the unemployed over, slashing one of the most successful and practical forms of economic stimulus... one that even benefits rich white Republicans maintain their property values and keep their businesses humming along, even when their neighbors lose their jobs and have problems paying their mortgages. Oh, and I also prefer leaving the poor I claim to care about *soooo* much as the primary and harshest victims of the environmental and economic pain caused by deregulation.

As the nonpartisan CBO says about stimulus:
"Measures targeting households facing financial problems, such as those who have low income or unemployed members, tend to have larger impacts on spending and thus are more cost-effective. By contrast, measures that are less well targeted, such as across-the-board reductions in income tax rates or broad tax rebates, would provide large parts of their relief to people who are not financially constrained."

In fact, in Table1 of the previous link, the CBO rated unemployment benefits as having the highest "Dollars per dollar of total budgetary cost" return on investment, as far as stimulus is concerned. Tax cuts don't even come close to being as effective, because the rich don't spend all their government largesse like those on unemployment do.

Oh, and I absolutely won't engage on the evidence showing that environmental regulations are overall job creators... not to mention all the jobs that wouldn't have been lost during the recession if not for financial deregulation.

We're deep in the hole, but by backing the GOP and their current obstructionist, anti-unemployed policies, I feel confident that Obama won't succeed in turning this economy around... no matter what economic damage it does to America.

Hell, shut government down! Default! Shrink it until we can drown it in the bathtub! Americans will get so angry, nobody except the intelligent will notice what we're doing anyway... and they don't vote Republican!
posted by markkraft at 1:30 AM on March 20 [8 favorites]


I'm a beltway Republican shill... because there wasn't enough money in being a manwhore. (I still dress the part, though.)
posted by markkraft at 1:42 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


I wish I had access to a car so I could shoot a version of this talking up the values of heredity monarchy and serfdom
The whole thing screams "easy to parody".
With the added bonus of non-republicans not having to hunt do far and wide to find someone of the right demographic* to appear in their parody.

*At some point there had to be a meeting where the GOP talked about these ads and someone had to use a phrase like "the right demographic" and they probably did square quotes and there may even have been suppressed chuckles and I think I may be not a nice person because I hope whoever was there dies of cancer
posted by fullerine at 3:06 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the most cogno-dissonant ad right here.

So full of WTF. Probably because she's standing behind a fast food counter, and because I'm dumb, I could swear she was saying "I want a career that lets me get fat" and had to rewind it twice and turn up the volume before I correctly heard "I want a career that lets me give back."
posted by XMLicious at 3:56 AM on March 20


Someone at RNC HQ sidled up to Reince Priebus one day and said, "Look, I know that we got a lot of traction out of making fun of Pajama Guy, but seriously..."
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:12 AM on March 20


But here's what I have to tell them as a college-educated Millennial urbanite with an above-average salary, and, get this, a two-fer on their minority bingo: I'm gaysian.
Just woke up, read this sentence, and my brain insisted on pronouncing the never-before-seen word "gaysian" so as to rhyme with "Bayesian". "Gaysian?", I kept thinking, "What the hell is 'gaysian'?" Over and over, I kept staring at the word and wondering. This lasted for probably a good ten seconds or so.

I need coffee.
posted by Flunkie at 5:16 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


save alive nothing that breatheth: "I want a Lord who has a solemn duty to provide me military protection in return for a share of my crops. A Lord who is required to provide a mill for my grain, which I am required to use. A Lord who has his lord the King above him, and above him the Lord. "

I want a lord in a short skirt and a lonnnnnnng jacket.
posted by notsnot at 5:37 AM on March 20 [26 favorites]


If you buy this, you've probably already bought into the GOP, so who do they think they're marketing to?
posted by tommasz at 5:50 AM on March 20


While the content and presentation of the ad is adorably patronizing and ridiculous, it's the response in the article that I find annoying. It's the standard, "vote Democrat or else you'll get Republicans" non-platform that invokes vague, hand-wavy notions like "government hiring will fix unemployment", or "corporations are evil so let's tax the shit out of them and save the world with the money" instead of building a real platform that people can get behind.

In Wisconsin, where I live, a decent candidate was beaten, twice, by an idiot Republicant like Scott Fucking Walker because the only stand they took was, "REPUBLICANS BAD, DEMOCRATS GOOD". I'd like to see some democrats with backbone and a real, progressive platform that looks to build a great future for everyone, from Joe Blue-collar to Megayacht Whitey.
posted by nerdler at 6:16 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Gaysian Probability: P(G|A) = (P(A|G)P(G)) / (P(A|G)P(G)+P(G|N)P(N))

Where G= Gay, A = Asian, & N = Nonasian
posted by leotrotsky at 6:27 AM on March 20 [10 favorites]


-I wish I had access to a car so I could shoot a version of this talking up the values of heredity monarchy and serfdom

--The whole thing screams "easy to parody".


I'd love to see a version where they pan out and he's in a rococo sedan chair, being carried by four homeless people and fanned with ostrich feathers.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:32 AM on March 20 [5 favorites]


I'd love to see a version where they pan out and he's in a rococo sedan chair, being carried by four homeless people and fanned with ostrich feathers.

I really lke this idea, but I fear it would result in more votes for Republicans.
posted by valkane at 6:53 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "The linear movement of time is still a thing."

Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.
posted by Sphinx at 6:54 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, that explains why it may be 4:20 damn near any time.
posted by mr. digits at 7:12 AM on March 20


My money's on Clark Duke playing this kid in the inevitable Funny or Die parody.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:16 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


I read the description and thought, "It couldn't possibly be that bad." Then I watched the video. It is awful.

For context, I say this as a millennial who is married and owns a car and a house. I hope I never sound like that guy.
posted by miyabo at 7:18 AM on March 20


This would be a good ad: "When he was my age, my dad bought his first car for $500. But Obama's Cash for Clunkers sent all those cars to the scrap heap. Now I can't get a job because I don't have $8000 for a used car. " There. Simple, specific, highlights something Obama did that really hurt my generation.
posted by miyabo at 7:25 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Well, this is, as has already been noted, awkward and terrible and uncool and won't convince anyone (unless you count "convincing" someone who's already convinced to be a limiting case of convincing someone...)

Of course it doesn't follow that crackpot policies *could* be made attractive with slick, cool, attractive marketing...but this is an occasion for reflecting on the issue.

Are we just lucky that the GOP is so bad at this particular kind of (ugh) political marketing? or is there something about being conservative that tends to make people worse at this sort of thing? They seem to be pretty good at the flag-and-bald-eagles stuff that apparently appeals to their base... Maybe you just have to know your audience...

(Unlike most MeFites, I think...though I don't want to get that started...) I do have concerns about a hypothetical future in which our politics shifts too far to the left... I wonder whether they'd be good at producing slick, hip ads? Right now what is, in my view, the more reasonable position in American politics gets an assist from the fact that the less-reasonable position is so hopelessly uncool. But, worrywart that I am, that gives me nightmares about a possible future in which the less-reasonable folks are cooler, and wield that power to great advantage... Man that would piss me off...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 7:30 AM on March 20


This would be a good ad: "When he was my age, my dad bought his first car for $500. But Obama's Cash for Clunkers sent all those cars to the scrap heap. Now I can't get a job because I don't have $8000 for a used car. " There. Simple, specific, highlights something Obama did that really hurt my generation.

And it's just as misleading as the other ads to boot.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:39 AM on March 20 [5 favorites]


Yeah, good luck on that $500 car before Cash for Clunkers was ever a thing.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:41 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


My father paid $24,000 for his first house. I had to pay $110,000 for mine.
THANKS OBAMA!
posted by valkane at 7:53 AM on March 20 [6 favorites]


Ok my numbers were a bit hyperbolic, but the massive spike in used car prices is an example of something that is trivial in a national context but super important for young adults. My friends don't not have cars because they don't need/want them, they don't have cars because they can't afford them -- and feel screwed because that wasn't a problem for the cohort before them. Any better ideas for an ad?
posted by miyabo at 8:18 AM on March 20


Well, that's the real trick with these ads, you can definitely find things that impact young people to criticize Obama for, but good luck following it up with a real Republican solution, or even finding an issue that the Republicans don't share the blame with the Democrats on.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:30 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


My friends don't not have cars because they don't need/want them, they don't have cars because they can't afford them -- and feel screwed because that wasn't a problem for the cohort before them.

Craigslist for what appears to be your metro area has lots of cars under $2K. Not many under $1K, admittedly, but I'd expect that's partly a function of the snow and salt eating the real beaters out from under the market.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:52 AM on March 20


My friends don't not have cars because they don't need/want them, they don't have cars because they can't afford them -- and feel screwed because that wasn't a problem for the cohort before them.

Plenty of decent vehicles out there if you don't restrict yourself to five year old Toyotas and Hondas from CarMax that you plan on getting serviced at the dealer. There are plenty of used cars in (almost) every market in America that will run for $3K or less. The problem is being unwilling/unable to do minor repair work yourself, and not having any network to expose you to good shade tree mechanics or non-dealer smaller garages. The price spike itself has mixed causes as well--it's not just because of clash for clunkers.

Anyway. I'm ashamed at my reaction to these commercials, because more than anything else I'm left thinking the guy looks like a complete idiot. His clothes make him look like a bizarre muppet/human hybrid, and he delivers his lines like a six year old in his first passion play at church. It's hard for me to even think about the larger context because the ad is begging for so much shallow criticism.
posted by jsturgill at 9:00 AM on March 20 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: I wish I had access to a car
posted by The Tensor at 9:06 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


I was trying not to feed the derail, but I guess since it's going to stand:

The used car CPI has risen less than 1% over the last decade (bls.gov, series CUUS0000SETA02), but yeah man anecdotal data and some lies about that cash for clunkers program, that's totally something I'd expect to see in a GOP political ad.
posted by introp at 9:13 AM on March 20 [9 favorites]


There are plenty of used cars in (almost) every market in America that will run for $3K or less.

3K might as well be 3 million for a LOT of people.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:17 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


maudlin: "Guys, I think Michele Bachmann is standing just off camera, so he's being polite and talking directly to her."

Would you turn your back on her?
posted by Splunge at 9:32 AM on March 20


3K might as well be 3 million for a LOT of people.

Well, for those that can't afford a $3,000 car, I'm sure the Republicans will be glad to spend lots of tax dollars on public transit!
posted by nerdler at 9:33 AM on March 20 [6 favorites]


Ok, it does seem there has been little real increase in car prices (I Was Wrong). That definitely is the perception of the millenials I happen to know though. I think the Republicans could figure out how to harness this anger/resentment... but they probably won't.
posted by miyabo at 9:41 AM on March 20


Why is it always a white guy?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:11 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


That's the new GOP slogan: "Ain't I a white man?"
posted by perhapses at 10:16 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that Mr. Greenberg's facial hair style was set when he read about that study that said that 10-days stubble on a man is optimally attractive for women.
posted by Skwirl at 10:22 AM on March 20


The definition of "cool" underwent a pretty big shift at some point in recent history.
posted by bongo_x at 10:24 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Average cost of car ownership is over $9000 a year. Buying a used car off Craigslist is a trade off of risk versus initial cost. Doing your own minor repairs is a trade off of time and training and quality for savings. No matter what you do, you're incurring opportunity costs annually to the tune of the high four digits or the low five digits. When I was in my 20s and scraping by on waaaaaaaay less than $20,000 in a medium-sized urban area, owning a car would have been silly.
posted by Skwirl at 10:32 AM on March 20 [5 favorites]


3K might as well be 3 million for a LOT of people.

Those people could never afford a car, period. The criticism/problem was people who traditionally could afford cars potentially being priced out of them. It's like the difference between talking about homelessness and talking about gentrification.

Average cost of car ownership is over $9000 a year.

Averages are extremely misleading.

A beater car with no ongoing payments, AAA membership, liability insurance (assuming no infractions etc.), minimal repairs, and basic licensing costs will cost much, much less than that. Under $1K per year, not counting gas. Of course you do have to pay for gas, but it's easy to find small, cheap, old efficient cars that get 20mpg and only drive them to work and the grocery store.

You could replace an engine and a transmission every year for $9000, and still have $2,000 left over to buy a backup beater! I wish I had that kind of money to spend annually on vehicles. Within six years I'd have a fleet of restored pintos and gremlins and subaru sambars in perfect mechanical shape that I could use to start an exotic car rental business and make millions.

Millions I tell you.
posted by jsturgill at 10:43 AM on March 20 [7 favorites]


I'm a beltway Republican shill... because my band's fans in Tallahassee didn't like our cool rocker haircuts.
posted by markkraft at 10:49 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Yeah, there's some gold out there for used cars if you're willing/able to do repairs. Subarus are nice for that (unless you're doing something simple like changing spark plugs, but traditionally hard things are actually generally easier on them). And the Saturn SL1/SL2 can get 40mpg highway, it's dirt cheap and easy to repair. The auto trans is usually what fails at high mileage though it's often simply repaired by replacing an easily-accessible solenoid, replacing an easily-accessible set of nuts on the input/output shafts, or replacing the entire transmission with a cheap used one through the wheel well.

I think a lot of what makes used cars seem so expensive now is that most of them made in the last decade or so are just so much more reliable, so even at 200k miles you're not necessarily getting a beater.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:58 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Speaking of easy to parody...
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:58 AM on March 20 [2 favorites]


"vague, hand-wavy notions like "government hiring will fix unemployment", or "corporations are evil so let's tax the shit out of them and save the world with the money" instead of building a real platform"

So, you mean vague, handwavy notions like economics, then? Even the Reagan Administration's former economists, such as Bruce Bartlett and his Fed Chairman Paul Volcker have both said that raising taxes -- especially a value-added tax -- would be a good idea, and help to stimulate the economy.

I find it ironic that anyone would even talk about government "taxing the shit" out of the rich, when taxes on the rich are at an all-time low.

In truth, the Democrats should propose the "Ronald Reagan Economic Recovery Act", raising taxes on the rich back to those he supported during his administration... and just sit back and watch Republican's heads explode.
posted by markkraft at 11:15 AM on March 20 [10 favorites]


Average cost of car ownership is over $9000 a year. Buying a used car off Craigslist is a trade off of risk versus initial cost. Doing your own minor repairs is a trade off of time and training and quality for savings. No matter what you do, you're incurring opportunity costs annually to the tune of the high four digits or the low five digits. When I was in my 20s and scraping by on waaaaaaaay less than $20,000 in a medium-sized urban area, owning a car would have been silly.

My friend did the math when we were at the bar a couple nights ago and spends about $2500 a year just to keep his car and have it like, available to drive. Mostly minor repairs and stuff.I spend about that much on my actual car and spent barely over $1100(which is pretty much just insurance).

"high four to low five" digits is just weird. Even if you have to pay for an overpriced parking spot near your apartment you're still only talking like, $4000 total max. Add maybe another 500-1000 for gas unless you have some really egregious commute, but then you also get to subtract money for parking probably. The only places i could see that not being true would be like... new york or san francisco, which contrary to the point videos like this and online commenters tend to make(including some conflating mefi posters), is not the Typical American Experience®

I mean, i also did the math and i'm shooting myself in the dick not just buying a membership to a car2go/zipcar type service which would barely cost me more than insurance(and i'd get to use vans and stuff!), but owning a car isn't the albatross that a lot of people seem to make it out to be.

Can it be a dumb waste of money if you're a young person who doesn't need to(at least in theory), or worse doesn't actually drive every day and lives in a major city? oh absolutely. Is it some gigantic like 50% of your income thing? only for some people.

And to be clear, i think the obsession with personal vehicle ownership is dumb and that most people don't need to own their own cars and should just be using public transit. But making up gigantic numbers that don't apply to any young person i know, all of whom own cheap used cars they don't care about and put the absolute minimum amount of money into isn't helping your argument.
posted by emptythought at 11:55 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


And to be clear, i think the obsession with personal vehicle ownership is dumb and that most people don't need to own their own cars and should just be using public transit.
I think that, given the current state of public transit in a lot of the US, that's pretty naive. I was car-less for several months last year, and my quality of life took a really big hit, even though I live in a place that would be regarded in my state as having pretty good public transit. In truth, it's pretty good if you work 9-5 and only want to use it to get to work downtown. It stops running at 6PM on Saturdays and doesn't run at all on Sundays. There's no direct bus to the grocery store from where I live. I missed voting in a local election because my polling place wasn't accessible by bus or on foot. It was possible for me to survive without a car, but it was really tough, and I wouldn't regard cars as luxuries where I live. I also have not found this to be a huge priority of the local Democrats (and I raised it with them several times, because their meetings were usually not accessible via public transit), but the Republicans certainly could not be more contemptuous of public transit users if they tried.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:04 PM on March 20 [6 favorites]


Yea, i guess i should have slapped a "where it's a blatantly practical option". I didn't get a car until after college, and commuted across town for work/school/obligations/leisure on the bus and an occasional taxi when i had the cash. It always felt like a luxury to me, but i also live in a place that has pretty functional public transit they're simultaneously succeeding and failing at improving.

I know that there's places you can live and be screwed without a car, they exist in essentially an hours drive in any direction from me. But the general discussion seems to be targeting "urban young people", although i guess i'm a bit of a hypocrite for taking that from just seemingly meaning "new york young people" to just mean "young people in a lot of majorish cities" or something.
posted by emptythought at 12:12 PM on March 20


But the general discussion seems to be targeting "urban young people"
I'm actually totally confused about why they're targeting "urban young people," rather than just young people in general. They've got a problem with young people in general, not just the ones who live in major cities.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:21 PM on March 20


So, you mean vague, handwavy notions like economics, then? Even the Reagan Administration's former economists, such as Bruce Bartlett and his Fed Chairman Paul Volcker have both said that raising taxes -- especially a value-added tax -- would be a good idea, and help to stimulate the economy.

I'm fully aware of the effects of government spending on the economy. My point is that democrats do a crappy job of explaining those benefits in a way that won't make the average person fixate on the fact that the government wants more of their money.
posted by nerdler at 12:29 PM on March 20


Even here in Tulsa it is possible to get to most places by bus, and we have what I can only assume is the worst transit of any metro area greater than a million people. My biggest complaint is that regular service stops at 7 or 8 and most of the night routes that operate until about midnight hit each stop two or three times at most after 8. Plus the night routes take reservations for deviations, so you can't even be sure the damn thing will show at any given stop on any given evening without calling dispatch and asking.
posted by wierdo at 12:58 PM on March 20


Why is it always a white guy?

(This is exactly what I thought at the end of The Lego Movie. Which was a good movie, but I still thought it.)

The default is that everyone in America is assumed to grok the White Man and find him relatable and non-threatening. Especially if he's not too intelligent, because really Smart White Men also freak people out, unless they are Extremely Rich because those things go together. I think the Republicans are very comfortable with the idea of Rich, Smart, White Men, and I think this ad/cry for help is attempting to get all 30-something Beemer drivers who don't really have an opinion about things to jump on their bandwagon.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:36 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Facebook comment from a well-connected high-school friend: "This dude plays bass in a band with a woman I know; she's mortified by the press and he's being weaselly about whether he's a secret Republican or just in it for the lulz."
posted by jocelmeow at 2:45 PM on March 20 [10 favorites]


Oh man, this one is the worst, because the wider shot and her eye-line while sitting down makes it very clear that she isn't talking to anyone. Unless she's stating her political views to a 7-year-old standing two meters away.

Oh, wow. That ad. She comes across as a mentally ill person having an argument with herself on a park bench. Which I don't at all mean as a slight against mentally ill people-- but I really, reeeeally don't think that's the angle the ad was trying to go for.
posted by threeants at 5:07 PM on March 20


Parodies from John Oliver's new show Last Week Tonight.

Hashtag Awesomesauce
Whatevs
posted by gladly at 6:49 PM on March 20 [19 favorites]


I like the "honk honk" at the end of the commercials. As if someone was following around the camera crew trying to ruin their shoots. Just needs a Wilhelm Scream.
posted by pashdown at 6:30 AM on March 21


Regarding that cogno-dissonant ad by Emily Ku...

Sacrificing for your education is a good thing. Would you like to sacrifice more? The most recent GOP budgets are wanting to gut the Pell Grant. For "your generation" (which is my generation), there are so many questions about just getting to graduation.
posted by qcubed at 8:46 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


> Ok, it does seem there has been little real increase in car prices (I Was Wrong). That definitely is the perception of the millenials I happen to know though.

And now you can set them straight.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:24 AM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Then there's also the likelihood that many of the goals the current administration campaigned on might not have turned out to be quite such "empty promises" if it hadn't been for the Republican-led Congress's well-documented policy of bulldoggedly obstructing anything they tried to do, on the simple grounds that it was them trying to do it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:04 PM on March 21


Which Portlandia episode is this from?
posted by Catblack at 1:47 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


Whoa. I went to high school with Scott--we were in a small, intense graduating cohort* of about 100 kids.

All I can say is that he is/was a good guy, as a person and classmate. I'm getting a major wave of cognitive dissonance right now, because that video is some Bad Craziness.

It's a fake, right? . . . Right?

* : It was an International Baccalaureate program--like a free prep school plunked in the middle of a huge public high school. I just mention our background because I'm startled by a Republican/libertarian message coming from a fellow beneficiary of prestigious yet entirely state-subsidized schooling. Even if it is a fake video, I do know some guys from the program who espouse this stuff.
posted by sunusku at 2:11 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]


> ... I'm startled by a Republican/libertarian message coming from a fellow beneficiary of prestigious yet entirely state-subsidized schooling.

I used to be surprised by that too but I've long since stopped.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:58 PM on March 21 [5 favorites]


GOP Youth Outreach comic.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:20 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


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