Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Old Time Religion

The new USA Next, aka, United Seniors Association, aka, Swiftboat Veterans for the Ministry of Truth shell group launched a peculiar broadside against AARP for the senior organization's opposition to President Bush's idea for privatizing Social Security, suggesting AARP supported gays but opposed "the troops".

I don't know who or what the new swift boats were trying to target, but via Sisyphus Shrugged, we learn that AARP has a response that includes:

AARP calls your attention to these efforts because media coverage is clear about the aggressive tone of the language. We question why neoconservatives would choose these tactics.

AARP urges you to judge critically the motivations behind statements made against AARP. For example, whenever you see attempts to discredit AARP presented on Fox News Channel or other media outlets like talk radio shows that regularly carry the neoconservative lobbying group messages, AARP urges you to consider these important background facts:

USA Next is a lobbying group that "has poured poured millions of dollars into Republican policy battles" as reported in the New York Times.

As reported by UPI, USA Next has hired a public relations firm with "plans to spend as much as $10 million to counterattack Democrats opposed to changing Social Security, has hired Chris LaCivita, a former Marine who advised Swift Vets on its media campaign and helped write its potent commercials attacking Bush's opponent, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass."

Creative Response Concepts of Alexandria, Virginia is the public relations firm hired by USA Next. As reported by PR Watch, in 2004 "this firm used right-wing blogs and news sites to turn a CBS report casting doubt about President George W. Bush's National Guard services into a potential black eye for both the network and the Democrats."

As readers of this blog have no doubt recognized, Bulworth says Democrats have a problem in that Republicans have successfully demonized the liberal label, forcing Democrats to campaign and legislate from a mystical and ever shifting "center". Embedded in AARP's response to the swift boat attack ads, lies a potential aid in changing this dynamic.

Notice, if you will, my bold italics of the word neoconservative, which come up in the first couple of paragraphs of AARP's talking points. Now, the label neoconservative, is obviously not a new one, but what is relative new is the association of neoconservatism with a domestic issue. We know from the hub-ub surrounding the Iraq war that conservatives hate the term neoconservative. Conservatives have said the label of neoconservative is, alternatively, anti-semitic (because the said proponents of neoconservatism are Jewish and primarily concerned with the protection of the State of Israel) and a fantasy (because there is no such thing as neoconservative*), and on and on.

Bulworth says, let's associate any and all administrative actions that are injurious to working people and the values of liberalism and freedom as neoconservative even if the policy issue is domestic in nature. The label neoconservative sounds suspicious, and it makes conservatives edgy. Given the intent of the neoconservatives surrounding the Iraq war and the failure to find any weapons of mass destruction, it makes good sense to label any significant policy actions and political actions by the administration as being one and the same as the foolhardy and erroneous neoconservative words and policies in the realm of foreign policy. I would also point out that this association is far from being a mere linguistic one. The neoconservative goal has both a domestic-economic and a foreign-economic policy component.

Thanks, AARP.

* "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist".

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