Never let it be said that Donald Trump takes too nuanced an approach to campaign politics — or that his campaign team doesn’t follow his lead. Just hours after Trump tweeted out that Democrats are staging a “coup” rather than an impeachment, Team Trump released a new TV spot doubling down on the accusation. It’s “nothing short of a coup,” the 30-second ad released this afternoon declares, “and it must be stopped!”
President Trump’s reelection campaign released a new advertisement on Wednesday accusing Democrats of carrying out a “coup,” shortly after the president himself made a similar accusation amid the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
“Democrats are trying to undo the election regardless of facts, attacking the president by any means necessary, fabricating evidence,” a narrator says in the advertisement. “It’s nothing short of a coup, and it must be stopped.”
The spot is flanked with video of high-profile Democratic lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
Video of Democratic presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden is shown as the advertisement finishes.
The spot is apart of an $8 million previous ad by announced by the campaign.
Either this Twitter thread was the inspiration or the teaser for the ad:
….People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2019
“Coup” is hyperbolic, of course, but whether it’s more hyperbolic than Trump’s repeated accusations that Adam Schiff has committed “treason” is up for debate. For that matter, it’s also a YMMV situation as to whether it’s any more hyperbolic than accusations from Schiff and other Democrats that Trump is a “Russian agent,” a “traitor” himself, as well as a white supremacist, etc etc etc. We live in deeply unserious times, and all this does is just fit into them.
As campaign ads go, it’s effective. It’ll create lots and lots of controversy, generating lots and lots of earned media coverage, and make lots and lots of heads explode. That will generate lots and lots of overreach and demagoguery too; Kamala Harris will call for Trump ads to be banned (more on that later today), and in general everyone will go nuts for 48 hours, after which … nothing will change at all.
Let’s just pose two questions in response to the ad. What does Trump mean by “it must be stopped”? Congress has the authority to impeach federal officers, including presidents, and the only thing that can stop the House from succeeding is a majority vote opposing it. Any other method would be kinda … coup-ish, no? Second question: why did Team Trump use Biden as the final image behind the message on stopping an impeachment? He’s actually been quieter than most other Democrats on that point, which is understandable considering the heightened scrutiny of his son’s track record in the business world. Shouldn’t that have been Pelosi behind the big ask? She’s the one who crossed the Rubicon.