Wednesday :: Feb 23, 2005

USA Next Admits It Wants To Tie AARP To Gay Marriage - So Why Shouldn't Dems Fight?


by Steve

As a follow-up to my post from yesterday on what the AARP and the Democrats should do in response to the initial smear ad by USA Next against the AARP, note this piece in today’s The Hill, where it indicates that there is still a lingering resentment by Hill Democrats against the AARP for their support of Bush in the now-disastrous Medicare drug benefit legislation. The piece also reflects that Nancy Pelosi has not included the AARP in any of the strategy planning sessions that the House Democrats have had yet in forming the opposition strategy against Bush’s privatization plan, but that the Democrats’ point person in the House on Social Security has been meeting with the AARP. And of course while the Democrats still fume over a mistake that the AARP made two years ago on the Medicare drug bill, they dawdle on using the USA Next and RNC smear campaign to their advantage. In the meantime, House Republicans jump into action with eight separate teams to push the GOP agenda, all armed with their own pollster to test message concepts.

If you think that the initial and subsequently retracted ad was just a flare that deserves no response, then guess again. The USAN admitted that the ad was a test, and that there will be more of this coming from them. They told the New York Times that they plan to attack the AARP on same-sex marriage, on the grounds that it shows how out of touch the AARP is with its own membership. And again, I ask, why not respond early with an aggressive pushback aimed at showing how a smear against the AARP is really another gay-baiting cover for right wing nutcases and the pharmaceutical industry to push a conservative agenda?

Democrats need to simply ask what does gay marriage have to do with the AARP and saving Social Security. Simply ask what moral values are on display when a front group for the White House and the pharmaceutical and insurance industries challenges the patriotism of the AARP using once again fears of gay marriages? If the USA Next and Rove want to make this a moral values discussion, then let’s push back and give them one. Let's argue the moral values behind this smear. If Rove wants to marginalize the AARP and establish some legitimacy for the USA Next as a center-right alternative, then it is up to the AARP and even the Democrats to expose and shine a light on USA Next and to question what and who exactly is represented by USA Next and their smear campaign. And it is the Democrats’ job to tie this whole sorry effort to the White House by asking how Christian it is for the GOP and its pharmaceutical and insurance industry allies to use smears against the AARP in trying to blow up a seniors' safety net for private gain.

I mean, it’s not like seniors wouldn’t be receptive to a message that the White House is trying to manipulate the younger generations against seniors with its appeal. Even little Ricky Santorum found out yesterday that seniors are wise to what the GOP is trying to do here. And there is a grass roots pushback against what the GOP is trying to do with this effort, so why not merge the moral values argument with an argument that the GOP is pushing generational and class warfare to benefit Corporate America, with a plan that does nothing to solve the problem except to line the pockets of Wall Street?

Steve :: 8:00 AM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!