So surely we should be delighted with the attack ad by MoveOn PAC, a "Star Wars" parody savaging Frist for his tactics over the Democratic judicial filibuster.
"For 200 years, the senators and the fair judges were keepers of peace and justice in The Republic, until one senator, seduced by a dark vision of absolute power, seeks to destroy this fabled order, replacing fair judges with far-right clones. To do this, he's ready to use a nightmare weapon known as `the Nuclear Option.' Stop Sen. Frist."
Here emerges a cackling cartoon Frist, hooded in a monk's robe, his eyes burning red.
"Save our courts," the grim voice-over concludes. "Save our Republic."
Yes, the situation is alarming, but we're hardly thrilled to see Frist as evil incarnate. We're sick at heart. Sick of the caricatures. Sick of the demonization. Sick of the politics of hate whether from the right or the left.
The object here, of course, is to be outrageous, to mobilize Democrats to sign petitions and checks, much in the way the church-based "Justice Sunday" rallied the GOP faithful to re-up in the culture wars. MoveOn.org exists to expose the sins of the far right, documenting hypocrisy, intolerance and deceit-in short, claiming the moral high ground from the Moral Majority crowd. But self-righteousness and ad hominem advertising are incompatible.
In the culture wars or any other, it is impossible to claim the high ground when fighting hand-to-hand combat in the gutter.
Review: Zero Stars
Ad: MoveOn PAC
Agency: Z Creative
Location: New York