Once again, this is beyond surreal.
Yesterday, this ad appeared on the front page of The American Spectator:
If you haven't seen it yet, take a moment and let that image sink in (picture borrowed from DailyKOS.
Have you ever seen such a blantantly shameless political tactic? That thing isn't a parody. It's a real goddamn ad published by USANext. It's been taken down in response to pretty obvious criticisms, but the original picture linked to a page that didn't mention a word about AARP's activities or positions regarding the armed forces or gay marriage. It was a blatant attempt to play on Americans' kneejerk prejudices regarding those issues to paint the AARP in a bad light.
This is just another example of a serious of right-wing attack campaigns that have been going on for the past few years. If you do a little looking, you can see the attack machine grinding its wheels:
Put the AARP in the Progressive Camp
Art Linkletter to B*slap AARP Tonight on Hannity&Colmes! (9 PM EST)
Drugs and Porn?
Charlie Jarvis, USA Next Chairman, Attacking Liberal AARP on O'Reilly TONIGHT! (Vanity)
Linkletter Claims AARP is Country's Largest Liberal Lobby
AARP: I won't be joining
It's really no surprise that this is happening. It occurs whenever Rove perceives Bush as being in danger on a certain issue. It happened when they perceived a political disadvantage regarding Kerry's standing as a an ex-soldier when compared to Bush's own record, when they saw a financial threat from the coffer's of Soros, and when they saw a credibility problem vis-a-vis John McCain. And, surprise surprise!, USA Next has hired a lot of the same goddamn consultants
So why associate the AARP with hating the troops and favoring GLBT individuals? Because Bush's advisors know that he's in some serious shit regarding social security reform. Most analysts are skeptical of his ability to pass it, which is problematic since he's spending so much capital in pursuit of it. Many commentators from the right are scared that a failure will spillover to the rest of his agenda, becoming his own version of Clinton's health care reform disaster. Even Charles Krauthammer is biting is nails over this one because the date Bush gave in the State of the Union doesn't seem real enough to the average American. So in response, it looks like they're lashing out at what seems to be the biggest superficial reason for Social Security reform's inevitable failure in the only way they know how (a covert smear campaign), overlooking the much larger problem, which is that Bush doesn't have enough people in the Senate on board with his ridiculous plan to fund reform to avoid a filibuster and make his plan a reality.