Brown was recently quoted in a Time article by Michael Sherer :
"The campaign by Hillary Clinton has not been able to raise Obama's negatives," said Brown on Monday. "It is absolutely critical that Obama's negatives go up with Republicans."
But who's following the Clinton campaign now? Probably NOT Republicans. Obama's negative with Republicans is that he's a Democrat (and a socialist, so I've heard at the local barber shop). The point of Brown's ad campaigns, which are only now beginning, is to increase Obama's "negatives" with Democratic and Independent voters.
Here's Niewert dissecting Brown's strategy:
That's the Brown formula:
Create an incendiary ad, typically reverberant with far-right (often racist) themes repackaged for more mainstream consumption;
spend a little bit of money in a few precincts,
let the Republicans involved look good with the soccer-mom contingent turned off by racially incendiary campaigns, by officially denouncing;
but still reaching the closet-racist bloc with the ad itself -- which of course gets national play in the mainstream media as it discusses the outrage that ensues.
This, of course, expands the audience exponentially, and for no added expense. Diabolical, really, but clever as hell.
It's important to understand that the media are being deliberately gamed here, but they have no excuse whatsoever, ethically speaking, for allowing this to happen. After all, this is Floyd Brown we're talking about here. He's played this game before -- many, many times -- and has boasted afterward about how easy the media were to manipulate. But they never learn. Or perhaps they don't want to learn, because it makes for an easy narrative, and there's nothing they love like easy narratives.
It's also been striking how often the narrative veers into a discussion of Rev. Wright and Obama's judgment, which is ostensibly the ad's chief storyline. But anyone watching it can see that there's a larger, underlying theme: the ad is all about associating Obama with black criminality and supposedly lax liberal policies to "blame" for it. It's all about scaring white suburbanites while giving them the cover of hand-wringing about his "judgment."
It's important to understand the role that people like Brown play. Not only does he enable the right to feed red meat to their more extremist elements while giving them a certain "plausible deniablity" (thus the official distancing, which Brown explicitly welcomes), he plays an even greater part in transmitting ideas from the extremist right into the mainstream, thanks largely to a complaisant media willing to lend him the mantle of credibility he doesn't deserve.