(SEE ADDITIONAL UPDATE BELOW. Special update for those of you joining us via BadgerBlogger: Please note that one commenter here has personal experience with the kind of harassment I'm talking about in this post, perpetrated by regulars from BadgerBlogger itself. See John Foust's comment below. [JOKE REDACTED TO MEET GOOGLE'S POLICIES.] Thanks!)
The latest mini-dustup on the right half of the Cheddarsphere is that in Russ Feingold's new commercial, there's a fake name on a nameplate. The ad's about job creation, you see, and the righties are now convinced that this fake name is Feingold's tacit admission that government stimulus hasn't created any real jobs. This is merely desperate ideology in search of confirmation when faced with the overwhelming fact that they're wrong. And, clearly, that is not the reason why Feingold used a fake name.
Consider: How do we even know it's a fake name? Because as soon as the ad appeared, the right-wing smear machine flew into action to see if they could find this "Elizabeth M. Ackland." Google searches, Lexus-Nexus searches--Charlie Sykes even went so far as to search cemeteries. This is not just a casual "I wonder who that is" curiosity. This is obsession. So if you want to believe that the motives of people like Charlie Sykes in digging obsessively for information about Ackland were entirely pure, be my guest. But you have to ask yourself: Why were the right wingers so hell-bent on finding Ackland, if she were real? Of what possible use to them would the information be about where she worked? Where she lived? Where her children went to school?
Yeah, scary. When you consider the way that the Charlie Sykes stormtroopers (not a Nazi thing--they embrace that for themselves) treat the personal and professional lives of those of us who are real and do attach our real names to what we do and our support for candidates, it would have been irresponsible for Feingold to subject an innocent person and her family to the hell that was sure to follow.
Seriously: You, my friends and neighbors in the right blogosphere, you are the reason why Feingold used a fake name there. Think, and think honestly, though sometimes I imagine that's hard for you, think about what you would have said, done, and advocated if and when the real Elizabeth Ackland were revealed. That's it right there. That's the reason.
(Illy-T reminds us of the rabid right's history of doing exactly that, and points us to a reminder that Charlie Sykes's BFF Scott Walker uses fake people himself, a post which itself references Mark Green doing the same thing.)
UPDATE: The Chief points out that in Ron Johnson's recent "Tipping Point," Johnson used stock footage of a "family" packing up and driving away, rather than a real Wisconsin family as Johnson's voiceover would have you believe.