Entertaining and provocative are not usually two words that spring to mind when watching a campaign ad on television, yet that is the only way to describe a new spot from Tea Party candidate J.D. Winteregg in Ohio District 8, who says that John Boehner’s 23-year political career is the result of “electile dysfunction.” Yes, folks, he did indeed go there. The new ad is a parody of erectile dysfunction advertisements, known for turning a pleasant evening of family television into awkward moments of silence and shifting glances.
Winteregg teaches French at the high school and college level, and the edgy, controversial approach he is taking with his advertisement is sure to gain him a lot of attention and exposure at the local and national level. This is something he will need desperately, as the funds he has raised for his campaign are minimal, especially in comparison to Boehner’s war chest which is no doubt overflowing with piles of cash. Without having a large amount of funding, it is difficult for any candidate running for office to get their name out in the public so people know who they are and what they stand for. There is little doubt that Winteregg’s anti-Boehner ad is meant to be controversial so that it grabs people’s attention, makes them curious about who he is, and what his stances are on the issues.
The ad has certainly succeed in drawing attention to the candidate, as major news outlets across the country have picked up the story. As always, something that is raw and borders the line of appropriateness always draws critics. While many leaving comments on the video are far from being Boehner supporters, some feel that the ad stoops too low in trying to be provocative and racy. These individuals are afraid that a commercial like this will paint the Tea Party in an unfavorable light in the eyes of the masses. One has to wonder if these people have been asleep over the last five or six years, because the masses already have a negative outlook on the Tea Party, and that is unlikely to change.
The sad part is that critics are missing the whole point of the John Boehner “electile dysfunction” ad, which is to help reach younger voters in the district. Young people, those belonging to the Millennial generation, are wanting to get involved in politics, but they are tired of stuffy, old, rich guys calling all of the shots. This same demographic is who primarily makes up the audience that tunes in to watch Jon Stewart on The Daily Show. If a candidate wants to reach that demographic, they need to engage that audience’s interests and speak their language, much like a missionary entering a foreign culture. This is exactly what Winteregg has done with his advertisement.
The ad is clever, looks professional, and contains humor sure to generate chuckles from anyone living in the district who knows all about the obscene titles generated from Boehner’s name. While critics call it crass and feel its not appropriate, the real question to ask is whether or not it is more inappropriate than the way John Boehner has behaved in Congress over the last few years. Speaker Boehner had the power of the purse, which he could have used to deny funding to Obamacare, yet decided to not to use that power. He has repeatedly caved in on budget talks, raising the debt ceiling. The list of infractions goes on and on. John Boehner is a career politician who has become a part of the establishment in Washington, and it is time for voters to finally cure the “electile dysfunction” plaguing the district. After all, like the ad says, any district that has a “Boehner” lasting longer than 23 years needs medical attention, preferably from a psychiatrist.
Opinion by Michael Cantrell