The Corner

Big Bird Boomerang

The Obama campaign’s Big Bird ad attacks Romney for coming down harder on Sesame Street than on Wall Street. The ad’s a comic failure on multiple levels. First, the “gluttons of greed” identified in the ad — Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay, and Dennis Kozlowski — are all blasts from the past. As David Dayen at FDL notes, Lay and Kozlowski were prosecuted by the Bush administration and Madoff was turned in by his son before Obama took office (and later pled guilty). Why did the ad not highlight any financial fiends cuffed by the Obama administration? Because there really aren’t any. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have talked tough about the need to bring to justice those whose allegedly criminal conduct contributed to the financial meltdown, but these words have not been followed by deeds. Notes Dayen:

Nobody from Bank of America or Wells Fargo or Citigroup or JPMorgan Chase or Goldman Sachs or Bear Stearns or Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch or even Countrywide or Ameriquest was available to stand in as a “glutton of greed” in this advertisement. Literally no major figure responsible for the financial crisis has gone to jail. So the campaign has to use two CEOs from a decade-old accounting scandal, and a garden-variety Ponzi schemer. The financial crisis plays no role in this advertisement trying to juxtapose cuts to PBS with the financial crisis!

The subtext here is far more revealing than the text.

 

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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