Is the new group out to promote the administration’s Social Security planning to use gay bashing to promote it?
Americablog says yes…and they offer this and this as proof.
If so it’s an almost inexplicable choice: going after the AARP as a group on that score will not just polarize people but LOSE the administration people in the middle who are truly sick of what during the 1960s was called “gut politics” — taking issues and reducing them to the lowest possible common denominator, creating a winning coalition by demonizing one group so upset and angry people go to the polls to defeat them. Who would EVER have thought 10 or 20 years ago that a discussion of Social Security would have gays dragged into it??!!
There are a host of criticisms people can make about the AARP. But this independent (we were tipped off by an alert, always-helpful reader who directed us to the Americablog site) wants to take long, hot political shower after looking at this. It’s repehensible and appalling — and is going to undercut the serious points the adminstration makes on this issue.
Americablog got this from Daily Kos — which linked to this ad running on the American Spectator. So this is NOT a PROPOSED campaign — this is now an ACTIVE CAMPAIGN.
President Bush and his administration should denounce and disassociate themselves from these kinds of tactics. The reason: there’s an old saying that if you get into bed with a dog you smell like him. Some potential supporters of fixing Social Security will stay miles away from such a contemptible exclusionary campaign that tries dividing an already polarized America even more.
Check these links out for yourself. This clearly shows the tragic deterioration of our political discourse in this country. A Lincoln-Douglas debate, this ain’t.
UPDATE: James Joyner has a MUST READ post on this. Among other things, he notes that nothing in the ad when you click on it supports the picture that you get (click on the links above). In addition, he sent an email to the group asking for more back upon the issue and got a form response. And, he writes, the inflammatory ad has now been yankked and a more sedate one took it place.
Some excerpts from Joyner:
That AARP is a relatively “liberal” group is a given, I think, and a conservative counterpart is a good thing. One hopes, though, that inflammatory advertising will be backed up by facts….At best, they’re making inflammatory charges without bothering to back them up. At worst, this is tantamount to libel….
It’s worth noting, though, that even the NYT makes it clear that this group is acting independently of the GOP and the White House. Still, it doesn’t look good for a group using this kind of tactics to be seen as a spokesman for conservative causes, let alone for Social Security reform.
–John Henke has a ton of information, again showing how sleazy this campaign is. MUST READ. A tidbit:
Decent people — and a decent Republican Party — should shun Jarvis, and the USANext organization. Sadly, after spending the past year griping about the misleading implications of professional spinconteurs like Michael Moore, I fear they will stuff integrity and embrace the snake.
USANext claims the AARP “fought against the sanctity of marriage in Ohio”…but the statement from the AARP explicitily recognized the fact that “Ohio already has a law that defines marriage in exactly those terms”, and limited their criticism to the property and contractual legal rights of unmarried couples, regardless of gender….USANext has clearly and willfully misrepresented the AARP. Defamation would not be too strong a word.
–Kevin Drum:”Lovely folks, these USA Nexters. Clicking on the link doesn’t provide any explanation for this putrid charge, but no matter. Clearly AARP is little more than a front group for godless communism anyway”
–Digby sees a connection between the release of the secret taped Bush conversations and this ad (and the timing is most definitely an interesting coincidence…isn’t it? Enough to push an independent voter totally away from the administration due to this sleaze):
I’ve been awfully impressed today with how the cosmopolitan MSM believes that the Preznit has been shown in these tapes to be such a truly decent guy on the gay rights issue.(Oooh. And he smoked pot, too!)
William Kristol on Fox news posited that he thought it must have been a Rove operation because it is so favorable to the president. The roundtable giggled and smirked delightedly. One wonders what our tolerant moderate president will have to say about what his Swift Boat Scumbag friends are doing.
–Left Coaster: “It’s astonishing that the White House honestly believe this method of scorched-earth politicking is a “one-size-fits-all” solution, whether it’s tearing down John Kerry or selling the Social Security phase-out.”
–Matt Yglesias:”Now that word is out that the AARP is a bunch of Army hating fags, surely someone should point out that the president felt pretty damn good about the man-kisser in chief not long ago when Bill Novelli was invited to participate in the Medicare bill signing ceremony and getting appointed to a presidential commission. “
–Mathew Gross:”This is likely to go down as one of the stupidest political moves of our lifetime. How do you spell b-a-c-k-l-a-s-h?”
–Steve Gilliard has an excellent analysis on the political dumbness of this move. Here’s a small part:”Well, calling AARP homoloving pacifists is not just insane, but stupid. Because AARP has several Congressmen by the balls and could turn a town meeting into a very nasty affair….AARP has years of chits and favors saved up, and while the Bushies may act like that’s no big deal, Congress members from states like Florida and Arizona don’t have that luxury