“Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school? Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.”
— voiceover of a new National Rifle Association web ad, released Jan. 15, 2013
There are so many problems with this ad, it's hard to know where to start. First, in true "stand your ground" fashion, the ad debuted the night before Obama unveiled his package of gun-control proposals for reducing gun violence. If the NRA powers that be had waited to pull the trigger, they would have found out that Obama called on Congress to boost funds so that schools could hire more guards.
“Each school is different and should have the flexibility to address its most pressing needs,” the White House said
. “Some schools will want trained and armed police; others may prefer increased counseling services.”
So the insane claim that Obama is "just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security" is wrong. Not only that, if that was the video's intent, the video could have stayed on the cutting room floor.
Second, the ad is outright untruthful. According to The Fact Checker
at the Washington Post: "A slashing attack like this has an especially high threshold to get its facts straight" which it doesn't. As a result, the NRA won the coveted award of "Four Pinocchios" for the ad-- the highest on The Fact Checker scale for untruthfulness.
Here's why: "The ad gives the impression that a phalanx of armed police are guarding students, such as the Obama and Gregory children, at Sidwell Friends," the Post writes.
"But that is completely false. Far from being elitist, the relatively small force of unarmed security personnel at Sidwell is not unusual for a school of its size."
The Post added: "If the NRA is also trying to count Secret Service protection for Obama’s children as part of that force of armed guards, that’s even more ridiculous. As we noted, such protection is mandated under federal law — and only exists for the president’s children."
Racially coded attack for their "uppityism,"
Third, why did the NRA feel the need to mention the president's two children, Sasha, age 11, and Malia, age 14, to make its point?
“Are the president’s kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?"
As Mother Jones
political blogger Kevin Drum points out
:"The NRA broke one of the fundamental laws of politics: you never involve the president's kids."
In fact, as the The Daily Beast
's Michael Tomasky notes
, the ad is "designed to make people who despise the president despise him even more; and it’s designed to make them despise his children, 14 and 11 years old, because they live a cosseted life that you and your kids don’t; they are ergo elitist hypocrites just like their father."
"As the makers of the NRA ad should know, and probably do know, the First Family has come under years of racially coded attack for their "uppityism," as Rush Limbaugh phrased it," David Frum, contributing editor at The Daily Beast
. "This latest attack ad looks to many like only one more attempt to inflame an ancient American wound."
And that's exactly the sorry effect that this despicable ad has had. Here's an example from the Daily Caller
: "By the way, I don't give a darn about that coke head, marxists kids. Obama's a public servant, he needs reminded." the reader wrote. "HEAR THAT SERVANT!"
And another: "fvck this n!gger and his nappy headed kids."
It was just this past weekend that former Secretary of State Colin Powell, one of the nation's most prominent black Republicans, told NBC's "Meet the Press" that Republicans continue to use slave-era language to racially attack the president because there is still a "dark vein of intolerance" in the party. The NRA's ad and the response it provoked from far right wingnuts in the party confirmed his words.
The NRA knew exactly the buttons it would push and hit the jackpot. Too bad the ad only serves to further saturate our climate with more hate which, ironically, underlies the very violence the NRA claims it wants to prevent. Hypocritical? You betcha!