“Democrats are launching a print, digital and television paid media campaign to highlight Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic confirmation to the Supreme Court,” The Hill reports. But NBC News reports that the current concrete plans are extremely limited: a very small buy running homepage takeover ads on Black media websites including The Atlanta Voice in Georgia, The Jacksonville Free Press in Florida, The Triangle Tribune in North Carolina, The Philadelphia Tribune in Pennsylvania, and the Milwaukee Courier in Wisconsin.
”Senate Republicans tried to stop her. We must defend the Democratic Senate,” the ad says.
Very true. That calls for the more substantial buy implied by The Hill than the very small one reported by NBC News.
There is widespread recognition among Democrats that part of what stood out about Jackson’s confirmation, and will motivate voters, is the racist abuse she endured from Republican senators like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.
“What has escalated even the normal political capital is the nasty and rude way the Republicans questioned her,” the Rev. Al Sharpton told The Hill.
Democratic strategist Karen Finney said, “Those images are seared in our minds of the disrespect she faced. Those are soul wounds for so many of us.”
Republicans have ridden the politics of grievance into more power than their popular support merits, pouring money into communicating that bitterness and rage, using it to mobilize their base at exactly the right times. As much as Democrats need to not “let anybody in the Senate steal my joy,” as Sen. Cory Booker put it during Jackson’s confirmation hearing, they also need to get in touch with the righteousness of the anger at seeing such an exemplary judge and human being barraged with such racist abuse. It’s worth planning to push that message—and the message of Republican extremism more generally.