February 9, 2018

Speaking as an Illinois resident, I hate the anti-union Scott Walker with his own trust fund Republican governor Bruce Rauner. He's been an utter failure, and needs to go.

I can also can tell you: this ad by Republican primary challenger Jeanne Ives is as bigoted as I've ever seen in my home state.

In terms of describing the ad, I can't do better than this Chicago Tribune op-ed:

The ad is not subtle. It’s harsh. Several actors appear in the spot, including a young woman in a pink cat protest hat who thanks Rauner for expanding taxpayer-supported abortions, and a man whose face is covered by a kerchief who thanks Rauner for protecting “illegal immigrant criminals.” The portrayals are demeaning.

The shocking moment is near the start of the ad, when an adult male actor with a deep voice appears. He’s wearing a dress and carrying a purse. Looking at the camera, he says, “Thank you for signing legislation that lets me use the girls' bathroom.” The reference is to a bill Rauner signed that makes it easier for transgender persons to change the gender designation on their birth certificates. That bill did not address the use of school bathrooms so the claim is misleading, while the portrayal of a transgender person is mean-spirited and inaccurate.

Republican primary challenger Jeanne Ives is mounting an attack on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s conservative credentials, launching a TV ad featuring an actor portraying a transgender woman thanking the governor for signing a law expanding trans bathroom access.
Yes, the ad is directed at Rauner and lampoons his political record. We get that, and we get that campaigns are rough and tumble. “The commercial does not attack people, it tackles issues,” Ives said. That’s where she’s wrong. The Ives campaign created a TV ad with bouncy background music that featured cartoonish liberal characters and included a man in a dress who claims he can now use the girls' bathroom. The ad goes well beyond tweaking Rauner. It mocks and belittles Illinois residents who shouldn’t face derision from a gubernatorial candidate. Ives is punching down, and in a way that strikes many voters as intolerant of people who already face a lot of that.

And yet today's Republican Party is all about the bigot vote, particularly in primaries. How do you think Trump got the nomination?

And look (or don't, this link goes to the conservative Townhall website): There are conservatives out there who LOVE the ad:

...just like Trump during his campaign, Ives has refused to back down, despite the cries of outrage from the powers that be. She understands intuitively, as Trump did, that apologizing and staying silent on certain issues doesn’t neutralize them. On the contrary, backing down from issues like abortion and the gender wars allow the Left to take control of the narrative, defining conservatives as extremists while paying no political price for their own radicalism. In order to win, the best and only option is to fight back.

But the fact is this ad doesn't hit Bruce Rauner or the issues. It hits constituents. And it does so in such a bigoted ugly way that the only place Jeanne Ives' politics needs to go is the dustbin of history.

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