Monday :: Feb 21, 2005

The "One-Size-Fits-All" Swift Boat Slime Machine

by rayman

By now, I'm sure you've all read today's NY Times article informing us that the Swift Boat cabal have reformed "for ol' times sake." This time around, the goal is to kneecap the AARP with a $10 million campaign. Now, other bloggers will rightfully fulminate at the astonishing sleaziness of these people. But can I just point out how utterly inexplicable this new venture appears? To wit:

-The AARP is one of the most powerful and feared lobbying groups in Washington. Do the Swifties really believe that the AARP won't launch a fierce counter-attack, given its organizational and financial muscle. Granted, they were right about the Kerry campaign, but what are the odds of getting so lucky again?

-Seniors are already overwhelmingly opposed to the Social Security phase-out; it's safe to say that their ire will break through the stratosphere now that they've essentially been put in the White House's cross-hairs. I'd love to enter the minds of GOP Congressmen in retiree-heavy areas of Florida and Arizona.

-The last and perhaps most important point reason why this scheme is inexplicable is because the Kerry example is completely inapplicable to the AARP. During the campaign, the Swifties new what they needed to accomplish--smear John Kerry the candidate so mightily that he would become positively toxic for large groups of voters. The AARP, last time I checked, is not a candidate; that is, annihilating the organization's credibility doesn't somehow translate into increased support for the Social Security phase-out scheme. Also, even if the AARP were to dissolve tomorrow, Republicans still have formidable roadblocks standing in their way, not the least of which is internal dissension.

If nothing else, this latest episode in the sorry saga of the Swift Boaters demonstrates that the White House's most reliable political instinct, above all else, is to destroy the opposition by any means necessary. Remember, Bush started off the presidential campaign with warm 'n' fuzzy initiatives like the mission to mars and the Medicare prescription drug bill. When this tactic failed, the Bush campaign figured "to hell with it," and reverted to what it really loves doing; namely, dirty tricks that would even make Nixon blush (well, maybe not). Likewise, the White House tried ginning up a phony Social Security crisis to sell its plan, which has so far proven a resounding failure. What's Plan B? The old reliable, of course. 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.

rayman :: 3:07 PM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!