Superbowl spots sparked super-sized controversy, the LGBT community scored a major victory, Santorum stomped the competition in the Republican Presidential race, Sean Hannity came down with a case of Obama Derangement Syndrome, Conservatives met in D.C. to spread hate and bash the President, and the Ed Show covered it all.
Like many other Americans, Ed was paying close attention to Sunday’s Super Bowl commercials. Interspersed among beer ads and celebrity cameos were two politically charged spots that made headlines Monday morning.
Hours before the first Super Bowl ad aired, NBC’s Matt Lauer sat down with Obama to discuss the state of America. The President made a solid case for a second term, pointing to the strengthening economy. Ed welcomed E.J. Dionne, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, who explained that “what’s significant is…Americans are starting to believe that it’s improving.” This belief in the President’s playbook is clearly visible in new general election poll numbers, which show Obama leading Romney by 6 points.
During Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime, Chrysler released an inspiring ad narrated by Clint Eastwood. Highlighting the country’s resilient spirit, it acted as a tribute to America’s aforementioned economic comeback. Republicans were eager to downplay the President’s success in bailing out the automobile industry, with former Bush Senior Advisor Karl Rove claiming that Obama is “using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising…” Congressman Gary Peters, whose district houses the Chrysler headquarters, told Ed that Rove “…never lets facts get in the way of his opinion.”
And the facts are as clear as the diamonds on Eli Manning’s new ring: auto loans saved more than 1 million jobs in 2010, and prevented nearly 97 billion dollars in personal income losses. In addition, Eastwood and the CEO of Chrysler each stated that the ad was meant to be politically neutral.
Maybe Republican curmudgeons should be more concerned with saving their own image than blitzing Obama’s. But the Republicans lost yardage on that front as well Sunday, in a second noteworthy ad. This time, Republican Senatorial Candidate Pete Hoekstra aired a xenophobic spot bashing his Democratic rival. Employing just about every Asian stereotype was “creative” advertising in Hoekstra’s mind. According to Sociology Professor Michael Eric Dyson, “It is very creative: it’s creative bigotry, it’s creative intolerance, it’s creative hostility and indifference...”
Meanwhile, a group that has seen incessant bigotry and intolerance, the LGBT community, scored a major victory Tuesday. The decision was made to uphold the reversal of California’s controversial Proposition 8, which says that only marriage between a man and a woman can be legally recognized by the state.
Ed asked msnbc host Melissa Harris-Perry if the verdict was a “benchmark moment for civil rights.” She claimed that it was a “huge win,” and equal rights activist Lt. Dan Choi added, “I don’t think we can underestimate the social impact…” Unsurprisingly, not everyone saw the reversal of Prop 8 as a victory.
The same party under whose banner Hoekel released his intolerant Super Bowl ad was decidedly against the Prop 8 ruling. Gingrich and Santorum were quick to send out inflammatory tweets Tuesday opposing the Court’s decision.
Despite their shared outlooks on the Prop 8 reversal, it was Santorum who prevailed in Tuesday’s Republican “Night of Non-Binding.” With big victories, but no awarded delegates, in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri, Rick rolled over the competition. On Wednesday, Ed analyzed the new developments in the GOP race, saying that “Romney has some serious issues…in the middle of the country.” Republican strategist and msnbc contributor Steve Schmidt said “Santorum has had a compelling message to blue collar Republican voters.” Part of that “compelling message” shined through in his victory speech, when Santorum inexplicably claimed the President “thinks he’s smarter than you.”
Santorum wasn’t the only one coming down with Obama Derangement Syndrome this week. Sean Hannity displayed the classic symptoms, claiming with no evidence that the President didn’t want Bin Laden dead. A brief twitter war ensued between Ed and Hannity, followed by cold hard facts from Ed that Obama was integral in the decision to take out the al Qaeda leader. Hopefully facts and evidence will prove to be the prescription for ODS.
But on Thursday, Sean continued his disinformation campaign, claiming that an audio interview between Brian Williams and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta proved that Bush-era enhanced interrogation techniques provided the direct link to finding Bin Laden. Ed had the counter-evidence to invalidate Hannity’s assertion. In a speech made by John McCain, the Senator said that the information leading to Bin Laden was in fact not obtained by Bush’s interrogation methods. For Hannity the truth pill is hard to swallow.
Also on Thursday, Ed provided a look inside the annual CPAC gathering, were Obama-bashing was the main activity on the agenda. msnbc host Martin Bashir said that attacks on Obama and the Democratic Party were “juvenile and barely intelligent,” pointing specifically to comments made by Marco Rubio, Rick Perry and Herman Cain. Other baseless claims will undoubtedly be uttered at the conference in the coming days by a Republican Party struggling to keep its head above water.