President Obama teamed up with the most divisive 26-year-old in the world to make a suggestive ad encouraging young people to vote, but it seems to have upset some old conservative men on Twitter. Lena Dunham, famous for her HBO show Girls and her movie Tiny Furniture before that (don't ask me to find any other reasons she's famous), stars in the Obama campaign's latest ad talking about her "first time."
Your first time, "shouldn't be with just anybody." It should be with, "someone who really cares about and understands women." The consequences are, "huge," she warns. You want to do it with someone who, "cares whether or not you have health insurance, and more importantly birth control," she advises. Remembering the wondrous night of her first time, she says "before I was a girl, now I was a woman." Oh! You thought she was talking about SEX! Your pearls, let go of your pearls. You do not need to clutch them so tightly. She's talking about voting. Her other lines like, "you want to do it with the guy who got the troops out of Iraq," and "you don't want to do it with a guy who says 'oh hey I'm at the library studying' when really he's out not signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act," should have given that away? Sorry if that wasn't clear.
Conservative men on Twitter aren't clutching their pearls, but they are outraged the Obama campaign would use such a tawdry metaphor for voting. A sampling:
Obama puts out ad comparing voting for him to losing ur virginity. His problem is many treat 2008 as 1 night stand they'd prefer 2 forget.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) October 25, 2012
CorruptMedia won;t be able to protect Obama from HAVE SEX WITH O backlash. Going to be too big.— John Nolte(@NolteNC) October 25, 2012
You know that censored CNN story whose headline was a question? @lenadunham seems to have answered in the affirmative.— James Taranto (@jamestaranto) October 25, 2012
"I'm @barackobama and I approve of ads that make women out to be brainless sex objects."— Kevin Eder (@keder) October 25, 2012
Breitbart.com's Ben Shapiro was especially disgusted with the ad. He called it "astoundingly tasteless," before really getting into what he didn't like. (Hint: all of it.) National Review's Nathaniel Botwinick, not to be out done by Shapiro's hyperbole, called it the Obama campaign's "most cringeworthy ad yet."
Drudge didn't throw the ad into his site's lead spot, or break out a siren, or do anything, really. He referenced Madonna, proving he's too old to think up a decent Girls joke:
The outrage is ridiculous. The ad is aimed at people who are between 18 and 22 years old, people who are young enough to have not voted in the last election but who are eligible now. People who probably know who Lena Dunham is, because she's basically the voice of every Millennial ever, didn't you know? But these men, these old, grey-haired men, are upset because sex and voting are not the same thing, and, and think of the children! (Note: some of these men may still have perfectly normal colored heads of hair.)
If they wanted to really get outraged they should have, and could have, focused on what Foreign Policy's Joshua Keating figured out: Obama stole the idea from Putin. Putin used the same joke for his election campaign last year:
Now that's the real crime. He had to steal from the Russians.
Salon's Alex Pareene mocked the outrage pretty effectively (Drudge, are you paying attention?):
GUTTER PRESIDENT EMPLOYS SLIGHTLY NAUGHTY DOUBLE ENTENDRE— Alex Pareene (@pareene) October 25, 2012
Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall asks the tough questions:
Cute Lena Dunham vid may be hit w/young voters. But will it be a hit after kids hear the pushback from 55 and over whiteguys on Twitter?— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 25, 2012
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.