Right-wing radio host and former National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch has launched a political action committee that aims to elect three Republican congressional candidates in the 2020 elections. The PAC’s first ad depicted Loesch and the candidates with an arsenal of assault weapons and other firearms and attacked left-wing protesters.
The ad, which was released on October 29, seems to be an attempt to put a comedic twist on the disturbing phenomenon of far-right individuals appearing with guns and confronting participants at recent protests against police brutality and other issues, sometimes with the tacit approval of the police. During one such anti-police brutality protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a 17-year-old far-right supporter of President Donald Trump fatally shot two men with an AR-15-style assault weapon and seriously wounded another.
The ad first depicts “the armies on the left” in hyperbolic terms, including “the Marxists,” “the ecofreaks,” “the pink hats” (a reference to supporters of the Women’s March), “the wokes,” and “the sore losers” (an allusion to Hillary Clinton supporters). The ad then introduces “the red state warriors”: Florida Republican congressional candidate and QAnon sympathizer Anna Paulina Luna, Virginia Republican congressional candidate Aliscia Andrews, Tennessee Republican congressional candidate Diana Harshbarger, and Loesch.
The women are shown stalking the streets with their assault weapons and in some cases preparing them for use, such as when a high-capacity ammunition magazine is seen being loaded into an AR-15-style rifle or when Loesch racks a pump shotgun to chamber a shell. At one point, a car trunk is shown filled with assault weapons, while the video also highlights Loesch using a flamethrower and standing on an armored vehicle. Describing Loesch and the GOP candidates over footage of ostensibly left-wing demonstrators, the narrator claims that “between them and a better America stands fake news, the Washington establishment, and thousands of their sworn enemies. They’ve got one way out.” The ad has been viewed more than 330,000 times on Facebook.
The ad was produced for the 2nd to None PAC, a political action committee set up by Loesch. Her husband, Chris Loesch, is listed as the PAC’s designated agent in Federal Election Commission filings. According to the PAC’s donation page, it is a “joint fundraising effort” with the campaigns of the candidates featured in the ad.
Loesch was previously the NRA’s national spokesperson and a host for the gun group’s failed online broadcast outlet, NRATV. She and the NRA were widely criticized in 2017 when Loesch appeared in an ad that was seen as fomenting violence against left-wing protesters.
The bizarre nature of the new PAC ad -- which tries to make light of confrontations between protesters and armed right-wing activists -- recalls a 2018 episode on Loesch’s NRATV show depicting train characters from the children’s show Thomas & Friends with Ku Klux Klan hoods in an attempt to criticize diversity. Loesch responded to criticism of that segment in a recently published book, calling it “satire.”