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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Agenda Benders 

Has anyone among us not yet seen The Ad?

The Ad (which we think requires no explication here; suffice it to say that the AARP opposes Mr. Bush's plan to privatize Social Security) has already vanished from the website of USA Next, the Republican front group that created it, but there is, of course, no reason why Democrats should not take steps to dissuade the GOP from regurgitating similar hairballs in future. Zemblan patriot T.C. directs us to a five-point strategy devised by Steve Soto of The Left Coaster, who argues that the best way to deal with USAN's smear campaign is to "take this ad and beat the White House over the head with it before Chris LaCivita can slither back to his hole":
First, if he hasn’t done so already, AARP Chief Executive Officer Bill Novelli needs to call Karl Rove and demand that the White House condemn the ad and the tactics of the USAN. Of course Rove will not do this, and Novelli should tell Rove that failure to do this will be interpreted by the AARP as a sign that the White House supports and was a partner in this smear and in future smears.

Second, the AARP should do a press conference after the call to Rove for two reasons: first, they should show the despicable ad to the media and point out to what lengths Bush’s supporters will go to smear the AARP; secondly Novelli should reveal at the press conference that he has demanded the White House repudiate the ad and the USAN smear campaign, and has received no such repudiation from the White House. As a result, Novelli should tell the media that the AARP will assume the White House supports this smear.

Third, after this press conference, Howard Dean should have a press conference whereby he calls on Ken Mehlman at the RNC to repudiate the ad and the smear of the USAN by the end of the day. Dean can then also say that the DNC will be watching to see if the RNC does in fact repudiate this ad and smear, and if the RNC does not do so, the DNC will assume that the RNC plans to engage in the worst kind of politics to support the privatization of Social Security. Dean can then remind the media that such a smear seems amazing given that it was revealed just last week that the White House and RNC worked to get a gay prostitute past the White House security system into the press pool to participate in a disinformation campaign against the American people.

Fourth, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi should hold press conferences later in the same day to call on Republicans in both the House and the Senate to repudiate the USAN ad and smear campaign. Reid and Pelosi can then say that failure by any of the House and Senate Republicans to do so will be interpreted by the Democrats as support for the USAN ad and smear campaign and as hostile to the AARP. Reid and Pelosi can then announce an effort to keep track of which GOP representatives and senators refuse to repudiate the USAN ad and smear campaign, and pointedly broadcast this to the media the rest of the week.

Lastly, knowing that the White House, RNC, and USAN will refuse to repudiate the ad, Novelli can arrange for an appearance at the National Press Club this Friday, whereupon he will summarize everything the AARP did the past week, the lack of response from the White House, the RNC, and USAN, as well as which Hill Republicans refused to repudiate the USAN ad and smear. Novelli can them expose who
really is behind the USAN, the fact that USAN is nothing more than a fundraising front for the pharmaceutical industry and right wing interests, and then announce that the AARP will assume that all of these interests and Hill Republicans are hostile to the AARP and seniors. As a result, Novelli can them announce that the AARP will deal with those Hill Republicans at the ballot box next year in their states and districts.
Meanwhile, Zemblan patriot J.D. advises us that our venerated colleague Billmon, that Photoshoppin' wild man, has already struck back in his own bad way:






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