Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Two opportunities
In the last post, I described USA Next as "a classic Karl Rove style dirty trick." We might not ever know whether or not Uncle Karl was really involved, but if he is even remotely involved, it would be to our tremendous advantage to expose his links.

USA Next is playing a very dangerous game in demonizing AARP. AARP has millions of members, of all races and religions, mostly solidly middle class, and spread across the political spectrum. and they vote. They live in every neighborhood and go to every church. They are not an urban elite like the ACLU. They are not an ethnic "interest group" like the NAACP. And they vote.

Seniors are not a constituency you want mad at you if you expect to work in the political system. Enough seniors are AARP members or know members that they will know that USA Next's characterization of them as unpatriotic and ultra-liberal is just wrong. USA Next is inviting a very dangerous backlash. Our job is to make sure that backlash happens.

I see two possible routes a backlash could take. One is to directly tie USA Next to the White House. At the very least, it would end this Social Security privatization nonsense. I don't get the sense that the GOP members of congress would be very interested in carrying this issue forward without the White House pushing them. It could very well cause a shake up and some firings at the top. It would probably destroy most of Bush's "political capital" and limit the amount of damage he can do during a second term.

The second course is to tar the Republicans in general as the party of low politics and dirty tricks. This would be the time to publicly review Tom DeLay's recent career and the evolution of parliamentary procedure in Congress.

The best of all possible worlds would be if both backlashes happened and if we dragged them out into the midterm election season.

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