Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Stand and Be Counted

Good article today by Ms. Molly Ivins about the rather ridiculous attack ad put out last week.
You may not believe it, but I swear it is true: USA Next's first salvo was to accuse the geezer lobby of being against our troops in Iraq and in favor of homosexual marriage.

No joke, what journalist-blogger Josh Marshall calls "the fogey-bund" stands accused of being anti-soldier and pro-gay-knot-tying. A charming Internet ad shows a muscular hero of the desert in combat fatigues with a big X across his picture, and on the other side are two guys in tuxedos getting hitched with a big check across their picture. Under these two pictures, it says, "The REAL AARP Agenda."

I haven't laughed so hard since President Bush informed us that we have had a close and enduring friendship with Japan for the past 150 years.

Being old enough myself to join the AARP -- not a member, but well into Wrinkly City -- I find this the most deliciously zany, mortifyingly awful moment since the time a speaker of the Texas House called on a bunch of people in wheelchairs to stand and be recognized.
Anyway it's a good vigorous article.

Apparently, however, the purpose of that ad may not have been to convince anybody to turn against the AARP but to "test" liberal bloggers (like yours truly). According to Newsweek, "But the real reason, said USA Next's CEO Charlie Jarvis, was pure political provocation.The ad was a "test," Jarvis said, to see whether "left-wing bloggers" would"focus entirely on one image and explode about it. My guess was right."

I'm not sure what the test was intended to prove. Perhaps that our focus on it could push the ad into the mainstream? Or is he operating under the theory that we will focus on dirty campaigning and not the actual bill? I'm pretty sure we can do both, actually.

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