Even though they're about as cool as a 50-year-old tax collector who just spilled Evian over his corduroy crotch, the Democratic Party gets a lot of love from Hollywood. But somehow, we've never really seen one of the most obvious ways Hollywood could help the Democrats: by just directing their political ads. Until now.
In Texas, an intense Senate race is raging between world-renowned hobgoblin Ted Cruz and left-of-field Democrat Beto O'Rourke. And despite looking, sounding, and acting like he loses parking spot fights to kids on tricycles on a regular basis, Cruz has decided to run on a platform of being "Tough as Texas," trying to portray O'Rourke as an effete West Coast liberal because he once wore a dress and probably doesn't yell at waiters.
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This has prompted none other than Texas director (and erstwhile Alex Jones acquaintance) Richard Linklater to direct an attack ad on Cruz. In the ad -- which was not OK'd by O'Rourke, but was paid for by the straightforwardly named Fire Ted Cruz super PAC -- actor Sonny Carl Davis reprises his role as the straight-shooting townsperson from 2011's Bernie, the Linklater biopic in which Jack Black plays Texas' most lovable real-life murderer.
Davis wants to set the record straight on Cruz -- and by setting the record straight, we mean simply remind people that "Tough as Texas" Cruz is currently toadying up to a president who called his wife "a dog" and his father JFK's murderer. According to Davis and Linklater, a real tough Texan would "drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted." It's a pretty shocking ad, mostly because no one ever expected Linklater to ever release a sequel to something in less than a full decade.
This isn't the first attempt Linklater has made to use his artistic awkwardness for political purposes (he made a PSA opposing Texas' discriminatory transgender "bathroom bill" in 2017), but it's not often that an A-list director makes a targeted attack ad against a political candidate. And that opens a wonderful realm of opportunities. Just imagine a world wherein all campaign ads are expertly crafted by Hollywood auteurs. Scorsese could reframe the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh in the style of Goodfellas, while the Democratic National Committee is just the right blend of ineptitude and sadness for a Coen brothers dark comedy.
For more weird tangents and his personal recipes for toilet wine, do follow Cedric on Twitter.
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