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Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Slime Machine

The Gin Lady, Maureen Dowd, vents her spleen on the vicious and dishonest attackson the AARP in latest screed Swifties Slime Again
Instead of trying to destroy AARP, Republicans should be signing up the seniors' lobby to find Osama.

AARP's super-relentless intelligence network is certainly better than that doddering C.I.A's. Osama has to have turned 50, and AARP somehow knows where everyone who has turned 50 lives.

But no. The same Republicans who used to love AARP when it helped them pass the president's prescription drug plan now hate AARP because it is against the president's plan to privatize Social Security.

"They are the boulder in the middle of the highway to personal savings accounts," said Charlie Jarvis, the president of USA Next, a conservative lobbying group. "We will be the dynamite that removes them." He sounded more like Wile E. Coyote than a former interior official in the Reagan and Bush I administrations. "They can run, but they can't hide," he said. But the walker-and-cane set is hard to picture in the Road Runner role.

The Washington Monthly called USA Next's United Seniors Association, a self-styled AARP rival, "a soft-money slush fund for a single G.O.P.-friendly industry: pharmaceuticals."

Certainly, AARP, the gigantic special interest flush with money, probably does wield undue influence and certainly can be an obstacle to public policy, sticking up too much for what their critics call "greedy geezers."

But AARP doesn't deserve this treatment from the "Swift Boat" political demolition team. As Glen Justice reported in The Times, USA Next, which has spent millions on Republican policy fights, has pledged to spend as much as $10 million on ads and other tactics to "dynamite" AARP and get Americans to rip up Social Security. It's hiring some of the same consultants who helped the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who dynamited John Kerry, a war hero, by sliming him as a war criminal.

Once again, just as W. runs into political trouble, he floats above the fray while the help takes out his opponents. Just as John McCain was smeared by Bush supporters in 2000, Swift Boat assassins can rid the president of any meddlesome adversaries now.

She talks about the USANext ad mentioned in the previous post and then lets loose on Jarvis.
AARP has not taken a position on same-sex marriage. But Mr. Jarvis told Judy Woodruff on CNN's "Inside Politics" yesterday that it had opposed a proposal in November to ban same-sex marriage in Ohio.

This was, of course, specious. The Ohio chapter of AARP objected to the proposal because it said the wording could affect legal recognition of any union, even of older heterosexuals living together.

The oleaginous Mr. Jarvis explained that the soldier was X-ed out on the ad because AARP does not "take a position on veterans and combat veterans' health and support an expansion of their assets. And we do." That is so lame. Just because AARP doesn't endorse a USA Next plan for veterans' health, that doesn't mean it hates American soldiers.

How they can defend these tactics is beyond me. They call themselves people with morals, yet they constantly hit below the belt. I think the only way to hurt these people is to hit them in the wallet, because that's where their heart lies.

(Via Smirking Chimp)