INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Loose Morality of the Aged

Despite ceaseless entreaties by mail, I've never been interested in joining the AARP--especially since their support last year of the Medicare reform bill which legalized a shameful cave-in to the all-powerful drug lobby.

This bill, to refresh your memory, while purporting to give seniors more affordable prescriptions, and thus a campaign talking point for Bush and Gang, actually forbids the government from negotiating with the drug industry on drug pricing. In other words, we got hosed, and once again, the evil genius, Karl Rove, managed to shield his puppet George from taking fatal heat on it. He also contrived somehow to convince the AARP in the bargain. (Would the Dems please steal some of this guy's fairy dust?)

So my attitude towards the AARP has been very simple: Up Yours, and you ain't gettin' any dues from me. However, now that they're fighting Bush on Social Security, they're starting to look human again. And they've attracted the ire of right wing wackos like the Swift Boat group and others who are mounting a campaign to accuse Their Graynesses of supporting a "shameful liberal agenda," in particular, same sex marriage and opposition to the troops in Iraq.

Yeah right. Those old fogies really love gay marriage. Those WWII and Korean vets really hate soldiers.

One would like to think that the wackos have shot themselves in the foot this time, but Paul Krugman, the astute observer of the NY Times, sounds a depressing and cautionary note.

Krugman is not willing to count these fools out:

"It's tempting to dismiss this as an exceptional case in which right-wingers, unable to come up with a real cultural grievance to exploit, fabricated one out of thin air. But such fabrications are the rule, not the exception. " . . . .

. . . So it doesn't matter that Social Security is a pro-family program that was created by and for America's greatest generation - and that it is especially crucial in poor but conservative states like Alabama and Arkansas, where it's the only thing keeping a majority of seniors above the poverty line. Right-wingers will still find ways to claim that anyone who opposes privatization supports terrorists and hates family values.

Their first attack may have missed the mark, but it's the shape of smears to come. "

Well, maybe I'll stop tossing the junk mail pieces from AARP. Could a membership be next?


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