I don't usually cover national committee web ads, but I'm going to make an exception to call foul on a colleague. Megan McArdle thinks the DNC is wasting the money of its donors by running a web ad that links Mitt Romney to Wall Street. (A "Cry for Help.") Romney's not a candidate for anything, McArdle argues, and the fact that the DNC is spending money to make fun of him suggests that either the DNC is dumb or that cash overfloweth its coffers.
It's a web ad. It takes a staffer a day or so (at most) to put it together. One of the DNC's goals is to slowly try to define the potential 2012 presidential candidates -- and major GOP figures -- as bad, nefarious, scummy people. Donors contribute to the DNC for a variety of reasons, but surely, the $300 or so it takes to create the ad (think of the labor expense) and the tiny (less than $900) expense it takes to send it out -- is not on its face an unjustifiable expense for a party. If ALL the DNC did was to spend money attacking 2012 GOP candidates, then you'd have a fair problem. But this is a pittance -- it's an ad that, had McArdle not drawn attention to it, many of HER readers, who happen to be in Romney's orbit, might never had seen it. So perhaps the DNC owes Megan a commission? If there was any evidence that the DNC won't be able to fund its GOTV program, or that the vast majority of its 200+ staffers weren't out working on the 2010 elections, or that it was IGNORING the 2012 candidates, then, I'd concede, donors might have a case to complain.