The Pause that Enmeshes

September 4th, 2012

There is something insidious in the new Americans for Prosperity ad that nobody else has noticed yet.


“I don’t feel like he’s fighting for me. I feel like he’s fighting for… reelection.” – Americans for Prosperity’s new target audience, as represented by “Tracy,” a suburban-white-momish type who regrets voting for Obama in 2008

By the time “Tracy” says her final word,

Viewers have already the real GOP message inferred.


That moment of silence is politically golden

As a message to those to whom the GOP is beholden.


Viewers don’t need the actual words to be said:

The pause lets them come up with their own words instead.


“He’s fighting for blacks, he’s fighting for gays,”

And all the other standard right-wing clichés.


Why bother saying such nasty things out loud

When viewers will fill in the blank, subtext disavowed?


Are Republicans willing to do anything the win?

It seems so, since the pause looks like it was edited in.


Or maybe it just happened by chance, which is why they selected this take

Instead of refilming it as would usually be done for a mistake.


Either way, the pause is there for a reason:

To appeal to hatred and fear instead of reason.


Given AFP’s record, I guess it’s to be expected:

They’ll do anything to get Republicans elected.


Here’s the new AFP “So Many Things” ad (the pause is near the end). Even giving AFP the benefit of the doubt regarding Tracy’s authenticity (she could be an actor and/or reading an AFP-approved script), the pause had to be deliberate (it might even has been edited in, given that there’s a change in the camera angle right before she says “reelection”). Either they told her to pause like that, or they did numerous takes of her and other disillusioned Obama voters from which they chose that single take to air. It’s brilliant, because the dog whistle is deniable, and won’t even be noticed by many (or most) of those who hear it. Their minds will just fill in the hidden message without even realizing that they’ve done so, and that message will be even more ingrained because they’ll think they thought it up themselves.


Here’s an old 1950s Coca-Cola commercial. The “pause that refreshes” was Coke’s main tagline as early as 1929 (that’s a print ad from 1939 above). Ah, weren’t those the good old days: just wholesome white people, instead of all these damn minorities, and “our” women were protected from “those people.”

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Posted in Republicans, What ails us | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “The Pause that Enmeshes”

  1. What? Says:

    If you read into that pause that much, you’re nuts. And what ever “connection” you are attempting to make to the Coke ad… I don’t get it.

  2. Newsericks Says:

    I get that you disagree and that’s fine, but I still think my interpretation is valid, or at least possible. These commercials are focus-grouped and analyzed ad infinitim, and their makers have a lot of footage to choose from. Even IF it wasn’t put there deliberately, I think it’s very unlikely that that pause just happened and was then incorporated into the commercial by chance.

    The link to the Coke commercial is mainly a play-on-words to the Coke slogan “the pause that refreshes,” with a side-reference to the “good old days” of the 1950s that Republicans like to harken back to.

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