‘Daisy,’ redux

‘DAISY,’ REDUX…. In 1964, LBJ’s presidential campaign aired its infamous “Daisy” ad, just once, to drive home the point that it wouldn’t be an especially good idea to have Barry Goldwater with his finger on the button.

Periodically, Republicans have tried to respond with “Daisy” ads of their own. In 2006, the RNC tried to scare the bejesus out of voters, suggesting a vote for Democratic congressional candidates is a vote for a nuclear attack by al Qaeda.

This didn’t work. Today, the RNC is trying again.

The RNC is launching a Web ad on Friday highlighting Democrats’ divisions over the future of Guantanamo Bay, ABC News has learned.

The ad intersperses video from one of the most famous and controversial political ads of all time — Lyndon Johnson’s “Daisy” ad from the 1964 presidential campaign against Barry Goldwater.

“To close it? To close it not?” a voice asks several times, with video playing of the little girl from the LBJ ad.

The ad shows several clips of Democrats — including Obama, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. — contradicting each other over what the fate of Guantanamo should be.

The Web ad fades with a single word on the screen: “Really?”

This isn’t an actual ad that television viewers will see; it’s a web ad that the RNC expects news networks to air, over and over again, for free. I suspect that part of the strategy will work pretty well.

For that matter, the video reinforces the consequences of Democrats on the Hill caving to conservative complaints and buying into the right’s fearmongering.

But the message itself is hopelessly absurd. To equate closing a detention facility with the threat of a nuclear war only suggests the RNC has a child-like understanding of national security threats.

It’s a desperate move from hapless RNC leaders.