New media supposedly got Barack Obama elected (even though he used old-fashioned TV to beat the opposition into submission). But one thing the blog and web hordes certainly had a hand in halting was the so-called amnesty bill. Part of that effort included faux negative ads showing swing Democrats and Republicans the sort of attacks they'd be subject to if they supported the bill. Now Slate's Mickey Kaus is calling for the same on the stimulus bill. Kaus writes:
It wouldn't be hard to do the same thing with the anti-welfare-reform provisions in the stimulus bill. Again, the idea would not be to influence the public. The idea would be to directly terrify Democratic legislators worried about their reelections by giving them a taste of how their vote might play. (It helps that many politicians are generally terrified of You Tube and other new information technologies they can't control.) Obama aide Rahm Emanuel, for one, is known to be sensitive to the political potency of "wedge" issues like welfare and immigration.Considering the vote is scheduled for tomorrow, I'm thinking that even the most stellar use of YouTube by the most creative and technically capable people in the business would not have an impact on this one.
As with immigration, the basic text of the ads practically writes itself: "In 1996, Congress passed the landmark ... Caseloads fell by 70 percent. ... Now Congressman X wants to undo that success ..." etc.
UPDATE: Some samples are popping up already on InstaPundit.