Wednesday, March 09, 2005

AARP - Still in the Crosshairs

USA Next's gay-baiting campaign to discredit AARP might have imploded, but the AP reports a broader GOP effort continues.

Everywhere he goes, Bush promises the group's members they won't be touched by his plan, while his backers say the AARP is out of touch and prone to scare tactics.
The story quotes an unnamed officlal of USA Next as saying TV, radio and direct mail comprise the next wave of hand-to-hand combat between the two organizations. Oddly, the story refers to the single Internet banner ad which amounts to USA Next's entire campaign so far, but neglects to mention the embarrassment which forced them to pull the ad after only a few hours on one conservative website.

One cannot help but notice that the administration's supporters have chosen to attack AARP rather than offer substantive support for Bush's proposal for private accounts. The AP quotes one high-profile conservative who doubts the wisdom of this approach.

"Going after the AARP is nuts," said Republican strategist Ed Rollins, who recently conducted a bipartisan poll on Social Security. "Don't make them the enemy."
Mr. Rollins' advice, while sound, comes a bit too late, it seems.