Real follow through to ‘pass this bill’

Ben Smith notes today, “In a world of fake ad buys and web videos, it’s often hard to figure out which messages the parties are selling blog readers, and which they’re pushing to the mass public.”

Quite right. Parties, PACs, and interest groups will often unveil a new “ad” that they never really intend to air anywhere, hoping to get some free airtime out of it. But when it comes to the push on the American Jobs Act, Democratic efforts aren’t just for show.

The Democratic National Committee unveiled its “14 months” ad last week, and the party is apparently investing about $3.5 million to air the spot in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Iowa. That’s a fairly serious buy. Today, the DNC is following up with this new spot, which will air in the same states, as well as Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, and D.C.

For those who can’t watch clips online, the gist of this commercial is to tout the American Jobs Act’s virtues — infrastructure investments, tax credits to hire new workers, payroll tax break, ending tax breaks for wealthy and closing corporate loopholes.

It concludes, “Tell Congress: No more games. Pass the plan.”

It’s not a bad ad, but the larger point, at least to me, is that the DNC is going all in. If there’s going to be any progress on economic policymaking at all, President Obama’s speech to Congress two weeks ago had to be the first step of many, and the party apparatus appears to understand that. In ways that have exceeded my expectations, leading Dems have been fully engaged in making as aggressive a push as possible, as part of a sustained effort.

I have no idea whether any of this will work, whether the public will actually start demanding congressional action, whether Republicans will be willing to pass anything at all, whether weak congressional Dems would rather cower than fight, etc.

But efforts like these at least offer the agenda a fighting chance.