Bush doesn’t seem to have the capacity for positive
change and growth. He has some well-worn dirty
tricks in his political campaign bag and keeps forever
In the past, when faced with a rival like John McCain in a presidential race,
Bush deviously arranged to have him slandered. Then came the John Kerry campaign
challenge, and, surreptitiously, Bush relied on a lobbying group, USA Next, to
grossly dirty up Kerry’s medal-awarded military record.
Now, with the Bush Social Security privatizing campaign experiencing deep trouble,
the president, in seeming desperation, is again relying on dirty tricks.
This time he is again being helped by the USA Next lobbying group, and the party
to be dirtied up is AARP. This is because AARP has come out so strongly against
the president’s plan to privatize Social Security. The trick this time
is to paint AARP as being in favor of gay marriages and not Social Security.
And, even worse, they’re blaming AARP as being against the military because
AARP doesn’t campaign for military benefits.
While Mr. Bush’s hand in this dirtying up AARP is not visible, and the
president is protecting his “deniability” by not being directly an
instigator of the anti-AARP campaign - neither has the president made any move
to condemn this underhanded campaign, thus giving his tacit support.
In fact, the smearing campaign on AARP promises to be so vicious that the White
House would have real trouble in directly being associated with such a campaign.
USA Next told the press, “We know the people at the White House agree with
us and we agree with them.”
In explaining their organization, USA Next said they are underwritten by millions
of dollars from wealthy donors and business associates the include food, nutrition,
energy and drug companies. In the past, they supported the election of congressional
Republicans. For example, in 2002, they campaigned for Republicans relying on
monies from the pharmaceutical industry, spending $9 million. The Democrats,
at that time, charged that this was an undercover operation of the big drug companies.
In 2003 and 2004, USA Next spent $20 million, and last year alone, sponsored
19,800 TV and radio ads.
This business front group now says it plans to spend as much as $10 million on
commercials and other means to dirty up AARP, except they don’t call it “dirtying
up,” but “challenging” instead. They’re trying to do
this by painting AARP as a “liberal” organization out of step with
the more than 37 percent of AARP members who identify themselves as Republicans.
They call AARP “bureaucratic” and “out of touch.”
In no way do they honestly address the real issue, which is Bush’s wild
privatization scheme for Social Security, a scheme of inducing the under-55 to
gamble on the stock market’s ups and downs for their retirement income
security. By their smearing campaign against AARP, they are attempting to smokescreen
away any honest discussion of the merits and dangers inhering in privatization.
We oldsters will not be taken in by this diversionary clap trap, no matter how
exaggerated claims are made against AARP. The president’s silent acquiescent
Ruhig is well-known in Sacramento for his tireless advocacy
for proposals designed to help seniors live long, happy,
full lives. He has held leadership roles in several advocacy
groups and on government advisory boards. Ruhig once sued
the California Department of Aging for age discrimination,