Until now, Richard Linklater has been most celebrated for writing and directing films like Before Sunrise, Boyhood, Dazed And Confused, and Slacker. We only say “until now” because Linklater, with help from the Fire Ted Cruz PAC, recently proved he deserves just as much recognition for his skill at creating TV advertisements, like the one he just made for the rapidly approaching midterm elections.

The ad stars Sonny Carl Davis reprising his role from Linklater’s 2011 film Bernie as a straight-talking, wisdom-dispensing coffee shop customer. Rather than return to provide further information about the cultural geography of Texas, Davis’ character is now more interested in giving his two cents on local politics.

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The video’s a response to Ted Cruz’ macho-boy “Tough As Texas” re-election campaign slogan. It answers, in no uncertain terms, whether the former presidential hopeful can be considered “tough” by any metric—something summed up right from the start by Davis’ laughing in bewilderment at the idea. “If somebody [called] my wife a dog and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn’t be kissing their ass,” he says, referencing Trump’s comments during the 2016 presidential elections.

Instead of becoming one of the President’s staunchest political allies, as Cruz has done, Davis suggests that these kind of insults should be responded to with “a few choice words.” Or, perhaps, by going to “drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted.”

Davis’ bemusement that anyone would consider the wormy-lipped senator “Tough As Texas” is hilarious, played well by Davis in the brief monologue and ended, wonderfully, by his exasperated pronunciation of “Come on ... Ted.” Simple as the idea is, Linklater shows that he understands the heart of a good political ad: knock the wind out of the target by turning the stupidest shit they say against them. 

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[via Huffington Post]

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