The RGA Strikes Back: V is For Victory

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The Republican Governors Association is pushing back against Michael’s assertion that its flashy new web video was echoing “V for Vendetta.” The sequel video portrays a left-wing media conspiracy to discredit the original piece by tying it to violence, while largely echoing the stylistic and thematic qualities that drew comparisons to the Wachowskis’ work in the first place. They also spliced in a bunch of images of Guy Fawkes masks, some ominous close-ups of this blog (0:36) and added the tag line “V for Victory” for good measure — embracing the comparison while denying it. As for the charge that Michael was tying the RGA to Guy Fawkes’ act of terrorism, I’d say he already covered this:

The RGA is not calling for a violent uprising here. It is tapping into well-established online anti-government memes.

And it’s not just Guy Fawkes. The American Revolution is also a popular theme for Republican calls to action. Beside the obvious Tea Party allusions, you might remember George Pataki’s rather corny Paul Revere ad. Well here’s a slicker offering from Tim Burns supporters featuring comparisons to colonial struggles against the British and tagging Democrats as “the new tyranny.” (Note: Like the Remember November video, it’s a web production, not an ad, so relatively few people will actually see it.)

It’s hyperbolic on its face, but not literal. They are urging voters to cast their ballot for a candidate, not overthrow the government. Interestingly, the similarities to the RGA Remember November video are unmistakable: dramatic classical music, text striking the screen to the rhythm of the timpani, apocalyptic imagery, shots of protests around the Capitol near the end. It’s about drumming up excitement, hoping to go viral and tap a different sort of donor online.

The very fact that the RGA is following up and sparking imitators suggests the first video, and the attention it got, marked a tremendous success for its creators.