Super PACs and unlimited corporate spending are the story of this election cycle; not Paul Ryan or his lies, not heartwarming national convention speeches, not Romney’s tax returns. No, the day is ruled by the amount of filthy, favor-buying money that will pour into both campaigns. By the time this thing is through, that flow is all but certain to be historic; we’re talking record-breaking billions worth of lube for the political machines.
But despite those bottomless vaults of capital, the end result is obnoxiously predictable: we get TV ads. An endless stream of truly terrible television advertisements. This glut of capital isn’t spurring innovation in how campaigns are run or leading to new data-collecting software or the development of novel communication technologies. No, it’s being marshaled into the mass production of bad TV ads.
And let me tell you—it is money poorly spent. I mean, just watch these things. They’re awful. Sometimes hilariously so. In fact, I think I’ll collect five of the worst SuperPAC-sponsored ads put into circulation by the campaigns thus far. Brace yourself. They suck.
Obama Will Make the Country Gay Marry
Courtesy of the Campaign for Family Values, here’s a poorly-acted fear-mongerfest aimed at the heart of the conservative Christian voter. Nothing will ever be the same once Obama “forces gay marriage on the country,” Beaver.
Obama is Too Cool to be President
The Karl Rove-led American Crossroads PAC had a massive backfire on their hands after launching this ad, which collected a bunch of everyone’s favorite endearing Obama moments. It also happens to be tremendously dumb in its execution, and it led Donald Trump to utter one of the only almost-factual things he has ever uttered: "I thought it was one of the worst commercials, in terms of what they were trying to do, that I've ever seen."
Mitt Romney Will Kill Your Job and then Your Wife
Priorities USA Action, the biggest pro-Obama SuperPAC, whipped up this piece of schlock, which now-infamously claims that Mitt Romney killed this guy’s wife with cancer. As much as any other ad, Priorities USA Action calling the very controversial video “wildly successful” is proof that attack ads aren’t going anywhere.
Obama Wants to Kill Abortion Surviving Babies
There’s nothing more repulsively exploitative than the whole rightwing ‘abortion survivor’ schtick, but this one takes it to another level—God saved this woman from being aborted (praise be!) but evidently not even God can stop Obama from his infanticidal crusade to kill all other ‘abortion survivors.’
Note: Despite the claims of this wildly misleading ad from the Susan B Anthony List PAC, Obama did not ever once vote to eliminate the “rights of abortion victims”—he voted against bills that would have also rolled back a woman’s rights to make decisions about her reproductive health in general.
Mitt Romney is a Serial Killer
Finally, to highlight the absurdity of Super PACs, Stephen Colbert had his own PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, unleash this ridiculous ad in Iowa. And it’s better than the rest of them by a long shot.