Is it one of the worst political ads of all time or what? Is it even real? These were the thoughts we were wrestling with as we took in a minute-long commercial featuring a Dan Patrick animated picture singing about how he changed his name from Danny Goeb. The ad alleges -- erroneously, as The Austin American-Statesman recently pointed out -- that Patrick did this to dodge his creditors and taxes. And the results are an example of political mudslinging at both its worst and its best.
We like to picture how this video happened: Some campaign staffers for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst were sitting around discussing how best to get their boss back into the running -- Dewhurst is currently polling about 20 points behind Patrick, Republican rival for the lieutenant governor nomination -- and someone starts humming "Let It Go," the smash-hit song from the smash-hit Disney movie Frozen.
"Eureka!" another staffer cries. "I've got it! We shall verily triumph over Patrick with a clever advertisement employing the classic form of political assassination known as parody! And we shall use that song!"
In our imagination, this is where the staffer points at the humming staffer and commands him to start singing. They work for hours and hours, thinking of all the stuff they've already accused Patrick of, and how it can best be employed in a lyric form. They put together a video that a five-year-old Orson Welles would mock but that a five-year-old Ed Wood would have called genius.
It will go out into the world, the staffers imagine, and appeals to both those young'uns who love the Disney and those who will just think the whole damned thing is so funny they'll switch sides and vote for Dewhurst in the runoff election (a.k.a. the kind of election that, sadly, almost no one votes in, not even our granny). The day will be saved and everyone on Dewhurst's campaign will be so happy. We're sure this was the rationale behind the video, and man, is that line of thinking totes adorbs.
Dewhurst's campaign is swirling the drain, and anyone who thought "The Ballad of Danny Goeb" would change that (reverse swirl?) has got another think coming. Stranger things have happened, but we're not betting on it. But the video did get us pondering one thing: We sure are going to miss Dewhurst when he is (most likely) forcibly ushered off the political stage in a few weeks. His debates with Patrick have been like watching a tired yet overconfident beagle (Dewhurst) try to get the ball from a very hyper, yappy terrier (Patrick).
And the ads. Lord, will we miss the ads. Whether it's Patrick's false claims -- as called out, again, by the Austin American-Statesman -- that the entire media agrees with his campaign that Dewhurst is an ass (we're translating a bit there), or, you know, Dewhurst utilizing the wonder of Disney to accuse Patrick of changing his name and lying a whole lot, we've enjoyed it all. But especially that Disney ad.