The advertisement below just popped up during a CNN commercial break.

It comes from Let Freedom Ring, a conservative group interested--according to its website--in "promoting constitutional government, economic freedom, and traditional values." I believe in all three values. (Yes, we liberals cherish freedom, too.) But I wonder about the argument the ad is making.

The man speaking to the camera is supposed to be a small business owner. (I deduced this by noting that the title of the ad is "Small Business.") He says he's thinking of adding 20 or 30 people to his payroll, but won't do it if Obama gets elected, since he'd fear the higher taxes and damage Obama might do to the economy.

Could the difference between Obama winning and losing be so drastic that it's worth that many jobs? I could see somebody arguing they'd hire fewer people. But none at all?

Maybe I'm missing something. (It's been a long day, I'm tired...) But to be quite honest, what really puzzles me about the ad is the atmospherics.

The ad's full title is "Small Business--Mad Mike." And the "mad" part certainly comes across. As the ad progresses, Mike gets pretty worked up. Then the heavy metal guitar riffs kick in. Then the camera zooms in on Mike's face--closer, closer, and closer.

Taste is a subjective thing, I know, but does that kind of advertisement really help persuade undecided voters? Or is this an effort to bost turnout with the Ted Nugent crowd*?

*Full disclosure: I own a Damn Yankees album. Yeah, go figure.

Update: Clarified the title of the advertisement. 

Jonathan Cohn