This campaign ad that's been making the rounds, for Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, is such a complete self-parody that it must be an intentional joke. From the John Wayne voice-over to the longtime lawyers' ridiculous cowboy outfits to the poetry, yes, poetry, the whole video is just crazy. Crazy enough to get linked and laughed at all over the internet (Wonkette did a nice poem). But not so insane — and this is the giveaway — in any way that makes Cornyn seem unelectable to a typical voter. It's full of lines like this: "That place out yonder needs more men like you/who shoot straight/and talk straight/and enjoy a good brew/Big John!" See? The first three lines sell the candidate's key messages, just like a political ad, while the last two are nutty enough that you'll forward the ad to your friends, so "Big John" doesn't have to spend a lot of money to defeat upstart Democrat Rick Noriega. At long last, the Web is empowering highly-placed Republicans, instead of just confusing them. [YouTube]