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Swift Boat Vets Back, Targetting AARP
February 22, 2005 4:45 AM   Subscribe

Right Wing Front Group Attacks AARP Amazingly the right wingers are going after the American Association of Retired People for being an anti-military, pro-gay liberal front group. Really. Web ads placed on American Spectator mag from USANext have a caption, "The Real AARP Agenda" and a big red checkmark on an American soldier and a green "X" on a picture of two men in tuxedos kissing. The implicit message is that the AARP hates the military and loves gays. Even better, USA Next has hired the media geniuses behind the Swift Boat Veterans to attack the AARP and work for the phase-out of Social Security bia private accounts.
posted by nathanrudy (122 comments total)

 
A red checkmark and and a green X? Talk about mixed messages.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:57 AM on February 22, 2005


It's about time those hippy, pinko oldsters got their come-uppance. I'm so sick of them waltzing around in packs, wearing their Che t-shirts and their baggy jeans down to their knees and letting it all hang out. For too long, America's senior citizens have been destroying its moral fabric with their agenda of free love (especially homosexual free love, as evinced by poster child and all around bad boy Wilford Brimley) and communist ideals such as affordable medication.
posted by the_savage_mind at 5:01 AM on February 22, 2005


According to his bio: Charles W. Jarvis is Chairman and Chief Executive of USA Next and United Seniors Association (USA) ... also served as Executive Vice President of Focus on the Family in Colorado .
posted by R. Mutt at 5:03 AM on February 22, 2005


Here is a primer discussion in the form of a derail. Also, courtesy Armitage Shanks:


posted by mek at 5:03 AM on February 22, 2005


i guess this is where they find out where the real political power in this country is ... that is, if many people pay attention to this kind of crackpottery
posted by pyramid termite at 5:11 AM on February 22, 2005


Hey look, a tasteless preemptive strike against potential critics who might oppose Bush's Social Security plan. How... Machiavellian.

Ya know, sooner or later this crap is going to backfire on them. Well, who am I kidding? It's gonna be later, after they're long done.
posted by DaShiv at 5:13 AM on February 22, 2005


armed killers? no.
joyous lovers? yes.

looks like AARP is on the right track to me.
posted by quonsar at 5:14 AM on February 22, 2005


Machiavellian? No. That would call for a bit more subtlety.
posted by raysmj at 5:23 AM on February 22, 2005


Yeah, really. I never realized the AARP was that enlightened.
posted by selfnoise at 5:26 AM on February 22, 2005


You don't need subtlety -- this is America! All the plans get laid out in the media for all to see, and everyone still laps it up. It's a wacky super-crypto-reverse psychology master Machiavellian beat-em-over-the-head strategy that works, damn it, it works.
posted by sninky-chan at 5:26 AM on February 22, 2005


That's American Association of Retired Persons.

/just saying
posted by bingo at 5:27 AM on February 22, 2005


I am curious about their logic, sort of the way I'm told I would be curious if I drove by a car crash. Is there anything linking AARP to gay rights and anti-war sentiment, or is this as bizarre as it sounds?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:27 AM on February 22, 2005


it's as bizarre as it sounds--and they actually supported Bush's prescription drugs card thing, which angered many on the left.
posted by amberglow at 5:32 AM on February 22, 2005 [1 favorite]


Guess the neocons finally figured-out that the old people were going to die anyway, and were way past breeding age. Time to send them off into the forest for the good of the tribe.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:43 AM on February 22, 2005


they actually supported Bush's prescription drugs card thing

So much for the famous Bush loyalty.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:46 AM on February 22, 2005 [1 favorite]


digby: 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...

posted by amberglow at 5:46 AM on February 22, 2005


I was shooting a documentary about a particular few senior citizens right around the time that we were invading Iraq. During the project, I found myself at many gatherings, meetings and coffee cliques. The amount of anger and disgust that I heard from them about the war surprised me. The refused to call it a war. With much reflection, I had been expecting them to be gung ho and pro flag and all that. What I realized is that most of these people lived through and fought in the big one, and had strong opinions about what our flag stands for. They knew what war was about, and they also knew a coward by sight. No wonder George Bush fears this group: they largely hate his guts.
posted by squirrel at 5:48 AM on February 22, 2005


I think playing one generation against another was a terrible mistake of theirs too--Bush played up that people 55 and older would keep the same program, i guess thinking that they would say, "I got mine, fuck everyone else" or something--an attitude that's found throughout their programs/policy. No senior would hurt their children and grandkids.
posted by amberglow at 5:54 AM on February 22, 2005


So let's have a refreshing overlook at the whole shitola

1. make a grassroot organization , for instance "League of concerned parrotting lawyers"

2. as grassroot need manure, say a whole lotta rethorical bullshit

3. rally some gullible moron or pay some out of luck wannabe lawyer to be the "human body"
behind the League, you being the brain

4. hopefully some shit will hit the media fan and stick on some people brain

5. ????? *mefites fill in as you please*

6. Political Profit
posted by elpapacito at 6:01 AM on February 22, 2005


That's much more complicated than just mailing your latest policy agenda to the New York Times and calling it a day.
posted by techgnollogic at 6:09 AM on February 22, 2005


Even better, USA Next has hired the media geniuses behind the Swift Boat Veterans to attack the AARP...

Well, why shouldn't they? It worked once already, didn't it?
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:16 AM on February 22, 2005


The turd blossom attacks AARP for being against the Shrub's Soc Security agenda. Nothing else here to see.
posted by Fupped Duck at 6:18 AM on February 22, 2005


There's something a bit untoward about unleashing a rabid attack dog on granny and pop-pop. I know that the AARP is a powerful and well funded lobbying group, but it seems like this could easily backfire, using the right imagery.
posted by psmealey at 6:22 AM on February 22, 2005


Why would anyone try and piss off old people? Aren't they the most reliable voters on the planet. You would figure if the AARP was trying to promote cannibalism politicians would be lining up to eat babies.
posted by chunking express at 6:24 AM on February 22, 2005 [1 favorite]


Somehow this reminds me of the meme-clash shenanigans recounted in the Wilson/Shea Illuminatus trilogy involving bumper stickers that said things like:

Pregnancy is a Jewish plot

Mind you, it also makes me think of Nazi ecology ... two great things that taste, umm ... real weird together.
posted by kcds at 6:25 AM on February 22, 2005


Aside from the sheer moral repugnancy of this...

Isn't it strange, this stage we've reached where we're now experiencing meta-scandals? "Here come the Swift Boat Vets again. Let's just wait and see what they do to this group!" And, given our stellar track record recently, we'll all just sit back and watch it happen in abject horror, yet fail to actually do anything about it.

From here on out, I wouldn't be surprised to see trailers of upcoming scandals tacked onto Fox's segments.
posted by mkultra at 6:31 AM on February 22, 2005


"I know that the AARP is a powerful and well funded lobbying group, but it seems like this could easily backfire, using the right imagery."

It will.

"You would figure if the AARP was trying to promote cannibalism politicians would be lining up to eat babies."

Beautiful!

The Bushies, even Rove, are not nearly so clever as they think. In almost all cases, they've been unusually aided by accidents of history. One thing that's constant, though, is that they're impulsive, vengeful, and lack a sense of proportion. My theory is that Bush is absolutely astonished that much of the nation and even many Republicans are fighting him on this and he's really pissed off. He can't invade AARP or drop bombs on them, so he's doing the next-best thing.

I can't really believe that they would be foolish enough to release into the wild ads like the one that's running in the lapdog American Spectator. But I hope that they are.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:37 AM on February 22, 2005


The plan isn't to attack or take on old people. There is no objective of creating a generational conflict like the class warfare technique. The message isn't to send old people "off into the forest for the good of the tribe."

This plan is to take on a bloated, institutionalized special interest group.

The message isn't directed to younger people. The message is directed to senior's themselves. As in, "Do you know what this group which claims to speak for you really believes?" I'm sure there are a lot (majority?) of elderly people who support the AARP unthinkingly for the same reason that people in the desert eat sand: it's the only thing there is.

Seems like a perfectly reasonable goal to try to remove the institutional power of one particular special interest group and possible establish a more friendly competitor. I know that if you asked both of my grandfathers if they support AARP, they would probably say yes. But if you told them that the AARP doesn't support our military, then my grandfathers would be shocked and refuse to support the AARP. So this attempt would be beneficial to a lot of old people who just don't have enough information about the AARP.
posted by dios at 7:15 AM on February 22, 2005


Next, they should direct their attention and take on whoever taught me punctuation and grammar.
posted by dios at 7:16 AM on February 22, 2005


My Mom and Dad are in their 60s and they and their friends are far, far more liberal than the younger people in their community (outside LA) who tend to be Desperate Housewives/ yuppie-bots. They also throw way better parties.

AARP is surprisingly connected and techie. I imagine this has already gone out to 90% of their members over the internet. Just in case it hasn't yet I'm going to send it to my Dad. Not only a member of AARP but a retired guy with a lot of time on his hands and friends in the media.
posted by fshgrl at 7:18 AM on February 22, 2005


Everyone knows that nursing homes and bingo nights are prime recruiting grounds for "The Homosexual Agenda". Jesus.
posted by casu marzu at 7:20 AM on February 22, 2005


Here's what I don't understand- what's the actual basis for this attack? I followed the web ad, which went to an "alternative-to-the-AARP-that-I-refuse-to-mention-by-name" site, which is patting itself on the back for hiring the Swift Boat folks.

But where's the anti-military, pro-gay marriage thing coming from? Or is this just some arbitrary meme?
posted by mkultra at 7:26 AM on February 22, 2005


But if you told them that the AARP doesn't support our military

Please back this up. What exactly makes them non-supportive? If you mean they don't endorse the current war, please say that instead.
posted by dig_duggler at 7:33 AM on February 22, 2005


I think you missed the point, dig_duggler, which, ironically, is that not everybody asks the question you are asking.
posted by crazy finger at 7:39 AM on February 22, 2005


dig, I wasn't making the argument that they were. What I said was IF you told my grandfathers that they didn't support the military, then my grandfathers wouldn't support them. I make no assessment of what AARP actually does believe. I just pointing out there is fertile grounds to attack the AARP by appealing to traditional and conservative elderly people.
posted by dios at 7:39 AM on February 22, 2005


AARP Magazine - Little old gay lady might lose house because she couldn't marry her lesbian partner.

Far as I can tell, that's it. I can't find any AARP position on Iraq, and their only military position seems to be Support Our Troops.

That ad is cracked.

That being said, a Republican lobby group hiring a Republican PR firm isn't much of a scandal, and acting like criticizing the AARP is beyond the pale is silly. It's attacking the AARP with that lame ad that's not cool.
posted by techgnollogic at 7:43 AM on February 22, 2005


"I know that the AARP is a powerful and well funded lobbying group, but it seems like this could easily backfire, using the right imagery."

It will.

In almost all cases, they've been unusually aided by accidents of history.


Given your past track record with political predictions, I'm not surprised that you would cite "accidents of history" to explain why things didn't go as you'd imagined.
posted by trharlan at 7:50 AM on February 22, 2005


The point of this ad isn't to directly attack the AARP. The point is to signal Bush Supporters to speak out whenever the AARP speaks out, so that whenever AARP opposition to whatever BushCo is doing happens, then, with our "unbiased" media, this group will also get coverage.

This changes the story from "AARP disagrees with Bush" to "AARP disagrees with Bush, accused of bias." Then, of course, the story becomes, "Why is the AARP biased?" We will spend several news cycles on that. By the time the story finally stops being vetted, the legislation is passed, and BushCo has yet another opposition group firmly media-whipped, and goes on with whatever they want to do next.

Why do they do this? Because it works.

And, remember -- the AARP supported BushCo's drug bill. Doesn't matter. You're either with us, or against us. There is no such thing as a loyal opposition.
posted by eriko at 7:52 AM on February 22, 2005


Unfortunately for you, trharlan, you don't know my actual track record. Is there a name for extrapolating a curve from a sample of one?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:54 AM on February 22, 2005


So how much is the warm and fuzzy Art Linkletter getting to sell out his generation's grandkids? Seriously, I want some reporter to press him on the subject. You signed up for the program, Art, we get to ask you hard questions. That's the way it works. Of course, his grandkids don't have anything to worry about.

Also, Marshall's latest post references a Washington Monthly story that the umbrella organization United Seniors Association is a front for the pharmaceutical industry. Somebody badly needs to ream that industry out.
posted by pmurray63 at 7:54 AM on February 22, 2005


I just pointing out there is fertile grounds to attack the AARP by appealing to traditional and conservative elderly people.

translated: military force good, homos bad.

it is a simple, effective christian message of love which resonates with more than just elderly americans.
posted by three blind mice at 7:55 AM on February 22, 2005


This plan is to take on a bloated, institutionalized special interest group.

How is SS "bloated"? It's solvent for decades to come, unlike, say, our military or the current budget or medicare (BTW, we still don't know how much that monster is going to cost), all three of which have been horrendously abused by Shrub, and all three of which are coming apart at the seams.

By comparison, SS is doing just fine. And how the hell is it a "special interest" group? Any person who has ever received a paycheck gets it eventually. By "special interest group" you must mean "99% of all Americans."

To add another anecdote: My dad is loaded and as Conservative as they come. He gets a pension of about 6K/mo., and SS adds a few hundred dollars to that. He's a poster-perfect example of someone who by all accounts shouldn't receive SS, simply because he doesn't need it. But that's the thing--trying to take a few hundred bucks a month away from a rich person is just as supposedly egregious, if not moreso, than taking it from a poor person. In a nutshell, Shrub is making a big mistake to try and divide and conquer the AARP set. They're starting to realize how he burned them on medicare, and they're easily the last "special interest group" anyone would want to tangle with.
posted by bardic at 8:00 AM on February 22, 2005


Is there a name for extrapolating a curve from a sample of one?

"Guessing?"
posted by Cyrano at 8:01 AM on February 22, 2005


This plan is to take on a bloated, institutionalized special interest group.

How is SS "bloated"?


They were referring to AARP, not Social Security.
posted by pmurray63 at 8:01 AM on February 22, 2005


if you told them that the AARP doesn't support our military, then my grandfathers would be shocked and refuse to support the AARP.
If I told them that, I think it more likely they'd say, "Who the hell are you, and why should we believe you?" But then, maybe they really do believe anything they're told.

AARP is not a special-interest group in any sense that's different from AAA or for that matter, Exxon. They are profit-making corporations. When Bush's prescription drug plan supported one of AARP's product lines, AARP supported his plan. Privatizing Social Security doesn't help AARP, Inc., so they don't support it. They also caught an enormous amount of flak from their members for the drug plan support, so they are somewhat less likely to sell out the elderly.

The bottom line is that attacking AARP is not attacking the elderly. Talking as though it were is an oversimplification. The attack is crap, but it is not an attack on seniors.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:07 AM on February 22, 2005


And, remember -- the AARP supported BushCo's drug bill. Doesn't matter. You're either with us, or against us. There is no such thing as a loyal opposition.

Yeah, but you've got to wonder to what degree this sort of attack poisons the AARP well - frankly, AARP is one of the best-funded, best connected, most powerful "special interests" in this country - not an organization of which you want to make a permanent enemy.
posted by kgasmart at 8:08 AM on February 22, 2005


The attack is crap, but it is not an attack on seniors.

But it can be easily spun as an attack on seniors, which the Democrats will immediately do, if they've got any brains.

Wishful thinking, I know...
posted by kgasmart at 8:09 AM on February 22, 2005


What eriko said. These guys don't go the washroom without a full media battle plan. I'm sure that the good folks at Fox News have already been tabbed to play an influential role in this effort to gut or significantly reduce the influence of the AARP.

Btw, I don't know enough about the AARP to say that they are an entirely non-bloated or benevolent org, but if they are standing in the way of social security "reform" the Administration clearly sees them as fair game, and they need to be ready to kick back hard.

Like bardic, I still haven't seen anything resembling a case for social security reform. If you want a private equity account to help get some more upside while planning for your retirement, get a f*cking IRA. SS was never intended to be anything other than a safety net, not a retirement nest egg.
posted by psmealey at 8:11 AM on February 22, 2005


IF you told my grandfathers that they didn't support the military, then my grandfathers wouldn't support them.

So your grandfathers pay no attention to facts but believe whatever some ideologue tells them. I guess you come by it honestly.
posted by languagehat at 8:19 AM on February 22, 2005


I'm sure that the good folks at Fox News have already been tabbed to play an influential role in this effort

Bingo!
posted by casu marzu at 8:20 AM on February 22, 2005


Baby Boomers.. attack!
posted by stbalbach at 8:22 AM on February 22, 2005


"USA President and CEO Charles Jarvis served as deputy under secretary at the Department of Interior during the Reagan and Bush administrations. His resume also includes experience as legislative director for Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and campaign chairman for presidential candidate Gary Bauer.(9) Jarvis was also the executive vice president of Focus on the Family."[Source]

Hmmmm.
posted by fourstar at 8:22 AM on February 22, 2005


So your grandfathers pay no attention to facts but believe whatever some ideologue tells them. I guess you come by it honestly.
posted by languagehat at 8:19 AM PST on February 22


I hope that cheap shot felt good for you. I would have thought such petty snipes beneath you.

Elderly people are notoriously reliant upon advocacy groups; very few are net-savvy advocates. It is lame that you would use such facts to insult my grandfathers, who are remarkable gentlemen, and a petty snipe at me.
posted by dios at 8:27 AM on February 22, 2005



posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:31 AM on February 22, 2005


charming
posted by techgnollogic at 8:33 AM on February 22, 2005


Petty Snipes is my great-great-grandpappy, and I'm offended that you're offended dios.
posted by bardic at 8:39 AM on February 22, 2005


Here's a simple task:

Tell us how the AARP is a liberal organization.

Show us where they don't support the military.

Tell me how they push the dreaded "homosexual agenda".

Untill you can, dios you are blowing hot air.
posted by ozomatli at 8:42 AM on February 22, 2005


If you repeat something often enough, however unsubstiantiated, off base or distorted it might be, it eventually becomes truth to some. We've seen it before. For 20 years, Cons have gotten away with spinning the ACLU as a subversive and anti-American organization, an org whose stated charter is to conserve America's original civic values - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Having been so successful in doing that kind of thing for so long, if these guys even think they can get away with suggesting links between the AARP and NAMBLA, they'll try it.
posted by psmealey at 8:43 AM on February 22, 2005


Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
posted by casu marzu at 8:44 AM on February 22, 2005


AARP's information page states that it is a NONPROFIT nonpartisan organization and its 2003 annual report puts membership at 35 million.

Membership in AARP is open to any person age 50 or above. With 25 percent of the U.S. population in the 50+ category, nearly half of all people in this age bracket are AARP members.

That's a lot of people to piss off.

Some of the assumptions and characteristics of AARP's membership in this thread range from the quaint and the two-dimensional to the ludicrous. 35 million is a pretty big universe to stereotype, and many of us here might dispute that age 50 is ancient.

And the "retired" thing is a holdover - 44% of the membership works part or full-time. Several years ago, the organization moved away from the use of the word "retired" in their name - kinda like Prince adopting a symbol as a name: AP Stylebook - AARP - use only the initials for the organization formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons.

I think part of the reason AARP might be talking such a strong stand against the Bush SS plan is they got burnt so badly by supporting the prescription drug thing last year - reportedly a huge number of member complaints and defections.

I think eriko is right on the money on this one.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:47 AM on February 22, 2005


Untill you can, dios you are blowing hot air.
posted by ozomatli at 8:42 AM PST on February 22


Would it be fair to ask that you take me to task for what I did say as opposed to demanding that I argue something I never stated? Because I didn't say that they push the agenda. In fact, I admitted that I didn't know what they said. My comments were only that this makes sense politically and isn't a silly move.
posted by dios at 8:49 AM on February 22, 2005


It is amazing that that some people apparently did not read, or could not understand dios's comment, yet are attacking him as if he personally created the ad and they alone are in possession of the Truth.
posted by loquax at 8:52 AM on February 22, 2005


dios,
I guess I got it from the strong use of passive tense in your first few posts, You seemed to be arguing by proxy through some imaginary conversation with your granfathers.

I will apologize for possibly mischaracterizing your postion.

I understand the realpolitk rational behind the ads, but I would like to least see you admit that the ads have really no factual basis. Unless of course you see no problem with the ads at all.
posted by ozomatli at 8:54 AM on February 22, 2005


Amazing. My parents belong to the AARP, and the interesting thing is that, despite the fact that they have pretty much been rah-rah Republican all my life, I suddenly found that we were on the same side sometime after Bush Sr. took office... and obviously this was before the whole SS thing (and, in fact, a bit before they retired). I was amazed that they completely agreed with me about Desert Storm, and have continued to agree with Iraq, etc.

My father credits the G.I. bill with mostly funding his university education, and he worked for the Federal government all his adult life until retirement, with absolute, unfailing loyalty, commitment and enthusiasm. I don't know what turned him off ('til now I thought it was probably my golden powers of persuasion), but the GOP lost an absolutely faithful, idealistic, straight-up-honest, old-school, true "American values" couple when they lost my parents. I wonder how they did that?
posted by taz at 8:58 AM on February 22, 2005


OK ozomatli, languagehat, read dios' first post again. Christ! Hold those knees of yours down already!

And thank you furiousxgeorge, that's much nicer.
posted by anthill at 9:04 AM on February 22, 2005


As an AARP employee (and therefore, card-carrying member), I thought it might be best for me to respond to some of this.

Lemme first say, after reading some of the later comments in this thread, that AARP is _not_ a corporation. AARP is a non-profit organization. All revenues that come into the organization go back into our various programs and initiatives. We DO have a for-profit subsection (where the Web site lives, which is where I work)--AARP Services, Inc--whose sole purpose is to make deals and bring in advertising, clients, and revenue to fund everything AARP as a non-profit organization does.

Most people do not realize just how much AARP does. We're not just a lobbying organization, or a discounts group. People forget that AARP started to help get retired teachers health insurance (we were originally NRTA, National Retired Teachers Association) way back in 1947. Most people don't know that before 1965 (Medicare), it was virtually impossible for older americans to get Health Insurance. The purpose of AARP is to increase the quality of life for those people who are over 50 years old, and we do that in MANY ways, whether through our discounts, insurance, free tax counseling, low cost legal work, our HUGE research area dedicated to aging issues, assisting grandparents raising grandchildren, helping those poor over the age of 55 get employment, fighting for what's known as Universal Design housing, ensuring that as people get older they maintain their driving skills without endangering others, and tons of other stuff. It would take way too long for me to go through everything I know of on the site. And really? I've worked for this organization for over five years now, and to be honest... I STILL don't know all the things we do for both our members and the community at large.

So, I guess I take a little umbrage at people who equate us with other corporations (btw, AAA is also a non-profit, NOT a for-profit). Or people who just joke about how we're just an organization of old people who want more and more. We do a _lot_ of good out there.

All that being said, yes, we are also a very tech saavy group (especially here in the Web team), and we're striving to become more so all the time. When it comes to this social security stuff, we started a blog to follow the issue which is getting some good traffic. Expect to see more blogs in the future as well.

Yeah, we're big. We have to be, considering everything we do and continue to do for our members and people over the age of 50. We have an advertisement that we've run a few times. It's a pie graph, all the color red, which states: "Percentage of the population growing older: 100%" We're about to hit a major growth in the retired/older american population as the Boomers start to drop out and it's going to be a MAJOR influence on our culture. If we don't start laying the groundwork now to protect and help these people now, what then?

I don't agree with everything AARP has done. I believe they should have fought the Medicare bill more (many people do), but over time I've come to accept that the purpose of our assent was to get at least some progress done fixing the system, and the come back later to tweak and improve. And I believe that this will still happen.

AARP's on the right side of this issue. USA Next is playing dirty, and that's reprehensible, especially when I think of how great AARP is for so many people. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.
posted by tittergrrl at 9:09 AM on February 22, 2005


ozomatli, I think techgnollogic may have gotten it above.

For anyone who didn't catch it on TPM, there's more.
posted by kableh at 9:10 AM on February 22, 2005


best of thread, tittergrrl. Thank you.
posted by psmealey at 9:13 AM on February 22, 2005


The Dios Strategem, a Summary:

• Say something contrary or offensive
• Abuse passive voice for lack of clarity
• Act shocked when called on behavior; suggest the reader read the contrary or offensive comment again
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2005


Woah. Good comment, Tittergrrl. Truth told, I had no idea the sheer scope of the stuff the AARP involves itself with.
posted by absalom at 9:18 AM on February 22, 2005


It is amazing that that some people... are attacking [dios] as if he personally created the ad and they alone are in possession of the Truth.

Welcome to the internet.
posted by S.C. at 9:19 AM on February 22, 2005


Another stupid right-wing anti-gay campaign. Tinky-winky, Spongebob, and now the AARP. I needed a good smirking chuckle though: what does the AARP have to do with the GAY agenda?
posted by davy at 9:19 AM on February 22, 2005


Here are two more ads that were in the pipeline:





Courtesy of Josh Marshall (talkingpointsmemo)

On preview: credit to kableh, above, for providing the same link.
posted by WestCoaster at 9:23 AM on February 22, 2005


erm. Just realized — I should clarify my earlier post by pointing out that my parents changed their allegiance/ideas at some point before they joined the AARP. I don't want to suggest that they were politically influenced by AARP.
posted by taz at 9:24 AM on February 22, 2005


thanks, titter. My grandparents belonged, my parents belong, and i'll join too, i bet (altho supporting the prescription drugs card thing was a giant mistake.) This tempest in a teacup ad is a good opportunity for you guys to get back the members you lost over that, and i hope you use it. We need strong voices speaking out against privatizing SS, and you're one of them. You better fight back, and hard, against these swift boat liars. I want to see AARP spokespeople on TV every day--learn from what happened to Kerry.

Metafilter: Petty Snipes is my great-great-grandpappy, and I'm offended that you're offended dios.
posted by amberglow at 9:26 AM on February 22, 2005


According to Josh Mashall, they've stopped the already infamous ad running on the AS website.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:33 AM on February 22, 2005


I think you missed the point, dig_duggler, which, ironically, is that not everybody asks the question you are asking.

Sorry, I'm an idiot today. It's gotten to the point where my irony meter misfires alot. What I once took as must-be-irony is a lot of times dead serious nowadays.
posted by dig_duggler at 9:37 AM on February 22, 2005


In this era of The Daily Show, that line is getting more and more blurry anyway.
posted by DaShiv at 9:42 AM on February 22, 2005


It is lame that you would use such facts to insult my grandfathers

Hey, you're the one who insulted your own grandfathers by saying they would automatically believe what some idiot told them about AARP. I was just pointing it out. And yes, I did enjoy it. I'm easily amused.

Great comment, tittergrrl. I've got to send in my money and become a member.
posted by languagehat at 9:45 AM on February 22, 2005


If you repeat something often enough, however unsubstiantiated, off base or distorted it might be, it eventually becomes truth to some.

In the case of AARP, it would appear to be already working, unless of course Wayne B from Smithtown arrived at his theory about AARP being "liberal propagander" through his own investigations.

(Self-repost from this thread, because I too have a "selfish agenda.")
posted by gompa at 9:49 AM on February 22, 2005


Thattagrrl.

And in 17 years, I'm joining AARP.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:20 AM on February 22, 2005


Not sure if anyone else caught this in the comments section:

I feel USA Next is "Fair & Balanced," when dealing with the important issues of today and the future. Thank You, USA Next------- Bill Menefee Saint Augustine, Florida

Gray is the new black and 'Fair & Balanced' is the new 'War is Peace'.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:32 AM on February 22, 2005


Good catch, WinnipegDragon. See what other nonsense you can find in the lobby group's gargantuan support-quote assembly line. Lots of freeper-rich ore towards the bottom! See it *sparkle* *sparkle* !
posted by techgnollogic at 10:45 AM on February 22, 2005


Too bad the AARP will just forget about this after their nap
posted by TetrisKid at 10:47 AM on February 22, 2005


Nice to see that USA Next is stepping to the fore on lobbying the Academy to give full consideration to "the Passion of the Christ" for best picture. What this has to do with protecting the rights of our senior citizens and providing for a "legacy of freedom", I have not a clue.
posted by psmealey at 10:54 AM on February 22, 2005


Nice one Tetris.
posted by bardic at 11:05 AM on February 22, 2005


it seems like this could easily backfire, using the right imagery.

Hence their insulation from the White House.

This plan is to take on a bloated, institutionalized special interest group.

By creating another one?

AARP is not a special-interest group in any sense that's different from AAA or for that matter, Exxon. They are profit-making corporations.

Except that AARP is a non-profit.

Don't forget that USA Next, which used to be the United Seniors Association, was founded by a guy with ties to (who else?) the Moonies.

And that Chris LaCivita, the guy hired by USA Next to push their anti-AARP smear campaign, was the guy running the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign. And that he may have been involved in jamming Democratic Party phone lines during the 2002 campaign. He's also executive director of Progress for America, which was also mentioned in that Washington Monthly article:
Another GOP soft-money conduit is Progress for America, a self-described "national grassroots organization" that listed zero income from membership dues on its last tax return. Like many such groups, it is run by a handful of operatives with a half-degree of separation from the GOP. Its founder is Tony Feather, the political director of President Bush's 2000 campaign. Feather's own consulting firm handles direct-mail and get-out-the-vote contracts for Bush's reelection effort, the Republican National Committee, and the party's congressional campaign committees. The former political director of one of those committees, Chris LaCivita, is now executive director of PFA. The group's Web site used to describe its purpose as "supporting Pres. George Walker Bush's agenda for America," but that slogan, apparently too brazen to pass legal muster, has since been changed; now PFA supports "a conservative issue agenda that will benefit all Americans." The group hopes to raise up to $60 million in soft money this year, and has enlisted the help of some prominent Republicans to do so, including Bush's campaign manager, chief campaign counsel, and party chairman. Thus, when Bush's lawyers accuse the Democrats of organizing a "soft-money conspiracy," they know what they're talking about.
Progress for America's lawyer, Benjamin Ginsberg, also served as counsel to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. However, he had to resign that role when it was revealed that he was also the chief outside counsel for the Bush campaign, which violated the requirement that 527s can't be connected to a political campaign.
posted by Vidiot at 11:34 AM on February 22, 2005


Why do they do this? Because it works.

I'm hard at work modifying this approach so that it can be applied here at MetaFilter, to convince all of you that my FPPs are best of web and my comments are best of post.

So far, it's not going well.
posted by davejay at 12:45 PM on February 22, 2005


davejay, you need a bigger budget, that's all.
posted by anthill at 1:02 PM on February 22, 2005


and some Swift Boat Liars, and a whole rightwing noise machine to amplify and repeat them endlessly across all media...
posted by amberglow at 1:05 PM on February 22, 2005


you know, i'm no davejay supporter -- quite the contrary, if you look at the one or two posts in which i only vaguely sort of criticize him for something wrong that he did -- but i have to say that his FPPs are some of the best things seen on the web.

not to mention his comments are usually right up there with the best ones in any given thread.

davejay, some of your opponents have lost touch with reality in criticizing you. can you tell us why you're so awesome?
posted by lord_wolf at 1:56 PM on February 22, 2005


It's official, conservatives have jumped the shark!
posted by mygoditsbob at 2:06 PM on February 22, 2005


I'm simply offended that there is often a discussion of "what makes a good fpp" without including davejay's posts, which are simply offering an alternate viewpoint about what constitutes a good FPP.

Why is liberal MeFi so biased against davejay?
posted by mkultra at 2:19 PM on February 22, 2005


Because davejay = Hitler.
posted by casu marzu at 2:29 PM on February 22, 2005


Those that criticize davejay only do so to deflect attention away from their own shortcomings, or worse, their own odd sexual proclivities. Why is the anti-davejay crowd so immoral?
posted by psmealey at 2:30 PM on February 22, 2005


Personally, I like to avoid the 'Filter altogether and get my information about davejay from objective sources. And davejay's FPPs are the most objective sources of davejay information I know.
posted by gompa at 2:36 PM on February 22, 2005


SCANDAL ON THE BLUE!!!!

davejay has BEEN moonlighting as davegay, MALE prostitute!
how did davejay get FPP privileges WITHOUT proper credentials?!
when will the COWARDLY mefis pick up this story?!
is it true davejay was one of ONLY six posters to have access to the quonsar DOCUMENTS?!
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:42 PM on February 22, 2005


*sigh* Another davejay critic, projecting his own faults upon davejay. So predictable. But isn't that the way it always works?
posted by furiousthought at 2:57 PM on February 22, 2005


Damn straight, furiousthought. We need to use reason, not crazy liberal scaremongering. Davejay isn't going bankrupt anytime soon.
posted by Tlogmer at 3:08 PM on February 22, 2005


I happen to have in my possession a secret tape. A tape that I personally taped secretly of Davejay. Even though we have been very close in the past, I felt that his conversations would someday be blackmail comedy gold. While I cannot play the tapes for you until I have heard back from Davejay, my lawyers tell me I can allude to the part on the tape where he confesses to putting foot-long wieners into a certain body orifice.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:28 PM on February 22, 2005


I actually did vote for Davejay before I voted against him.
posted by Hlewagast at 4:32 PM on February 22, 2005


My blue dress from the Gap has Davejay on it.
posted by amberglow at 4:38 PM on February 22, 2005


Metafilter: Davejay
posted by FYKshun at 4:56 PM on February 22, 2005


This message brought to you by the Davejay Veterans for Truth.
posted by wendell at 5:11 PM on February 22, 2005


I used to be a Republican. Can't stand them anymore because of crap like this. Though they are willing to go down as low in the dirt as needed to win at ANY cost, they have become sniveling cowards.

AARP against your SS plan? Brand them pro-gay and anti-military. Forget debating the issues. If you have something worthwhile, it will stand up to scrutiny and you should welcome it as a chance to strengthen your own position. Nope, not these panty-wastes. They like to slap and pull hair.

When I was in the Young Republicans in college, there was always a few be-suited nerds who never went to any of the parties at the conventions, sometimes carried a bible around with them, ALWAYS stayed on message, literally hated anything that was labeled 'Democrat' or 'liberal' and never seemed to get laid.

These are the guys in charge of the Republican party now.
posted by UseyurBrain at 5:46 PM on February 22, 2005


Davejay is why love mefi.

Seriously, I haven't read a better thread devolution into sillyness since usenet circa 1994.
posted by djeo at 5:53 PM on February 22, 2005


...and never seemed to get laid.
Oh, they were getting laid--it just wasn't with who you think.
posted by amberglow at 6:29 PM on February 22, 2005


It's easy when there's such good, plentiful material to work with.
posted by anthill at 6:31 PM on February 22, 2005


Q: What if I am too young to join as a full member of AARP?
A: For those under 50 who support the association's goals and objectives, we offer an associate membership. Once an individual celebrates a 50th birthday, the associate member automatically becomes a full member, receives a membership card, and can take advantage of all of our benefits and services.
posted by Jim Jones at 7:17 PM on February 22, 2005


We are all davejay now.
posted by herostratus at 11:15 PM on February 22, 2005


davejay took me on a trip once. To Sacramento. Oh, it was to be an innocent trip celebrating California's leaving the United States and hooking up with Austria. So davejay said. But once we arrived, did I get what I wanted? Did I get liederhosen? Did I get streudel? I DID NOT. Davejay lured me into a room with promises of quonsar and Witty posts and then, once I was inside, he ran away and left me with...with....(sob) Art Linkletter. Who wouldn't let me leave until I said the darndest thing. Which for him was, "Grandpa is a homo". I don't blame davejay though. We'll always have Sacramento. Swoon.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 8:13 AM on February 23, 2005


Did he offer to take you out to get plo chops?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:19 AM on February 23, 2005


This campaign just infuriated me. I mean, take on the AARP...sure. But to just make stuff up, and accuse them, without merit, of being anti-military...when you're talking about the generation that fought WWII, Korea and slowly but surely, Vietnam? This just goes to show the evil written large on the carapaces of the vermin that infest this administration.


On the topic of Davejay, I think that it's important to remember DaveJay's attempts to stimulate patriotic security with his...dare I say it...almost glorious FPP and thread entries. I believe that the Lawd herself speaks to Davejay, and thus he is best suited for leading us through the morass of the intarwebs.
posted by dejah420 at 9:30 AM on February 23, 2005


"This just goes to show the evil written large on the carapaces of the vermin that infest this administration."

But this isn't written large, unless most of their evil is written large. This is on page one of their playbook. This is the Bush family modus operandi—have a surrogate who plays extremely dirty; the more egregious the lie, the better.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:41 AM on February 23, 2005


Proud card carrying member of AARP. Their Road and Tow services are tops.

On preview: Can you still say "tops" post GannonGuckertGate?
posted by trii at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2005


Anti-American Road Patrol?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:59 AM on February 23, 2005


The funny thing is, before I logged in, there was an anti-democrat banner on this page that read, "You don't support democrats. Why should your ketchup? W Ketchup is America's Ketchup."
posted by premiumpolar at 2:20 AM on February 24, 2005


meanwhile, college Republicans are chanting Hey hey, ho, Social Security has got to go! at events. They're not afraid to shout the real aim of all this.
posted by amberglow at 6:03 AM on February 24, 2005


I made some posts right next to Davejay's and I don't think he deserves credit for them. He took the links from other sites on the web.
posted by srboisvert at 3:28 PM on February 24, 2005


Did anyone else notice a strange bulge in Davejay's back?
posted by fidelity at 5:46 PM on February 24, 2005


Davejay and I did blow together back in college. He paid.
posted by billsaysthis at 6:13 PM on February 24, 2005


By the way, in case anyone is still reading this thread...

The CEO of the company behind these ads, Charlie Jarvis (who is also a former Interior Department official in the Reagan and Bush I administrations), says that the only people who should apologise are the left-wing bloggers who have spread the image. According to him, left-wing bloggers are the only ones who owe the gay couple in the photo an apology, and it is the bloggers the couple should sue for using their image without permission. From the article in today's Washington Post's "Reliable Source":

"They ought to be suing all the left-wing blogs for circulating this [ad]. That's who they ought to be asking for an apology."

As Jarvis sees things, the couple's protest is "silly" and "a diversionary tactic." And that the real issue is AARP's "liberal" agenda.

*sigh*
posted by terrapin at 5:42 AM on March 3, 2005


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