Ben Smith has an interesting post up quoting at length from an email sent by a Republican consultant he knows. The consultant has been pushing for hard-hitting anti-Obama ads, and recently got the chance to test the kind of ad he wants with a focus group from an upper-Midwest state.
He wasn’t particularly happy about the results:
The two most unreal moments of my professional life of watching focus groups:
54 year-old white male, voted Kerry ’04, Bush ’00, Dole ’96, hunter, NASCAR fan… hard for Obama said: “I’m gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He’s gonna be a bad president. But I won’t ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this county like we used to when Reagan was President.”
The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. “Well, I don’t know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I’m sick of paying for health insurance at work and that’s why I’m supporting Barack.”
I felt like I was taking crazy pills. I sat on the other side of the glass and realized… this really is the Apocalypse. The Seventh Seal is broken and its time for eight years of pure, delicious crazy…
Absolutely. What else can you call it when people want health care, object to handing over their life savings to a bunch of bankers whose scam fell apart, and aren’t comfortable with being spied on or sent to war on false pretences? Stone-cold crazy, that’s us.
The funny thing is, I can kind of imagine what the consultant might be thinking, or perhaps more accurately feeling. You saw, no doubt, the recently reported study that seems to show a genetic component to political leanings. Apparently conservatives are more easily spooked by unpleasant images, while liberals can see pictures of spiders on faces and not react as strongly.
So this guy is perhaps actually in thrall to his ideology, and has come to believe that Obama hangs out with terrorists and will destroy Truth, Justice, and the American Way, or at least the White American Way. He sees his influence waning as the team he tied his fortune to goes down big time. He’s afraid.
Welcome to the club.