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Right Wing Tools
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Innuendo as argument...



The organization responsible for this ad -- USA Next -- is led by former Republican appointee Charlie Jarvis. This is not Jarvis' first foray into Republican SS-reform advocacy. In 2002, he moderated a panel that "previewed a series of renewed and invigorated campaigns soon to come from the conservative movement" -- campaigns that would "bring heat to those places where members are not feeling the heat".

It has taken 4 years, but Jarvis has rolled out his slimepaign. James Lileks -- in mid-2003 -- put his finger on this type of argument.
It’s almost as if you have two options:

  1. I disagree with my opponent's position on taxation, and therefore I shall oppose it.


  2. I disagree with my opponent's position on taxation, and therefore I believe he has sex with goats.
On the facts:

1 [yes, only 1-ed.] result from www.AARP.org for "Gay Marriage"


21 results from www.aarp.org for support troops:


Hardly what one might call "support for gay marriage" or a "lack of support for the troops". Not that professional political slime like Charlie Jarvis really care.

Decent people -- and a decent Republican Party -- should shun Jarvis, and the USA Next organization. Sadly, after spending the past year griping about the misleading implications of professional spinconteurs like Michael Moore, I fear they will stuff integrity and embrace the snake.

UPDATE: It's worse than I thought. I went digging around the USANext website to see if I could find any basis on which they could claim that the AARP is opposed to US troops and/or advocating gay marriage.

1: Troops

2: Gay Marriage

Mentions of "gay marriage" - 1. A blurb in which they claim the AARP is "actively promoting liberal causes like gay marriage".

Digging deeper in the site, I find their specific allegation:
"AARP fought against the sanctity of marriage in Ohio and perhaps other places."
Leaving aside the "perhaps other places" line -- read: they don't stock evidence, but they sell insinuation by the pound -- let's look at what the AARP actually said about Ohio. From a statement published on the AARP of Ohio website...
AARP Ohio is concerned that the broad language contained in State Issue One, known as the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, will have unfair and injurious consequences for many older adults.

State Issue One goes far beyond simply defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Ohio already has a law that defines marriage in exactly those terms. State Issue One would prohibit state and local governments from recognizing any legal status for unmarried couples of the same or opposite sex.

State Issue One would deny rights of property ownership, inheritance, pensions, power of attorney and other matters of vital interest to the health and well being of unmarried older couples.
USANext claims the AARP "fought against the sanctity of marriage in Ohio"...but the statement from the AARP explicitily recognized the fact that "Ohio already has a law that defines marriage in exactly those terms", and limited their criticism to the property and contractual legal rights of unmarried couples, regardless of gender.

USANext has clearly and willfully misrepresented the AARP. Defamation would not be too strong a word.

UPDATE II: James Joyner does a bit of research of his own, with similarly dissatisfying results. Still, he writes...
One hopes, though, that inflammatory advertising will be backed up by facts.
He'll be disappointed.

UPDATE III: The Left side of the blogosphere weighs in, too.

Kevin Drum



Atrios, amusingly, calls them the AARHP.

Digby



The Left Coaster



Matthew Yglesias



TalkLeft



Matthew Gross



Ezra Klein



Steve Gilliard




Oliver Willis



UPDATE III: Pennywit, who obviously appreciates the True Danger, is both witty and caustic...

 
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Comments
Why the term "idiotarian" was originally coined---to cover the idiots of both Left and Right.
 
Written By: Lurking Observer
URL: http://
actually to specifically describe falwell
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
You forgot to mention Art (Oh whoa is me I lost my drug crazed daughter)Linkletter has been all over Fox pushing USA Next.
 
Written By: Marc
URL: http://cranialcavity.net
Several Ohio Republicans also opposed State Issue One, including Senator Mike DeWine.
 
Written By: drew
URL: http://
The Republicans were only too happy to employ USANext to promote the Swift Boat liars. Why do you expect them to suddenly develop integrity in the Social Security debate?




-
 
Written By: jri
URL: http://
C'mon, this has been escalating for YEARS. See if you can name the specifics for these examples:

I dislike my opponent's politics, therefore I will make a huge deal about consensual sex with a legal-age member of the opposite sex.

I dislike my opponent, therefore I will make ads suggesting that this Vietnam vet is somehow allied with Osama bin Laden, through morphed images.

I want to win at any cost, so I will make voters think my opponent will ban the Bible and take away your guns.

I want my foriegn policy to have popular support, so I will use innuendo to convince a majority of voters that Saddam Hussein was somehow behind or linked with 9-11.

Examples abound.
 
Written By: tubino
URL: http://
Well, Tubino, in order:

* Republicans--and I disagreed with them at the time--were hardly the first to make private sexual matters into public issues.

* That's a ridiculously tendentious view of the Max Cleland ad in question, though it seems to have become common knowledge by repitition. The ad referred to the two then-current main foreign foes, and discussed Cleland's record. Should they have left the screen blank? Shown pictures of puppies? Simply putting pictures on a screen does not constitute an implication of "alliance".

* The "ban the bible" stuff was disgusting and ridiculous. They deserved more criticism for that than they got. I do, however, wonder why that got more attention than Democratic allegations that the Bush administration likes book-burning?

* The public believed that Saddam was "likely" behind 9/11 only two days after it happened, and far before the administration mentioned the Iraq issue. (according to a WaPo poll)
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
"* The "ban the bible" stuff was disgusting and ridiculous. They deserved more criticism for that than they got. I do, however, wonder why that got more attention than Democratic allegations that the Bush administration likes book-burning?"

Any links to the Dem Bush book burning campaign or stories about it??? I didn't hear about it.

"* The public believed that Saddam was "likely" behind 9/11 only two days after it happened, and far before the administration mentioned the Iraq issue. (according to a WaPo poll)"

There are also a good number of people that still believe it. Polls as recently as a couple months ago show this. I don't recall the exact poll, but I could probably track it down. It was still a pretty ridiculous number, like 35% or something.
 
Written By: Losing Faith
URL: http://
Any links to the Dem Bush book burning campaign or stories about it??? I didn't hear about it.

Howard Dean: "I think a library trustee is pretty important [during] an administration that likes book burning more than reading books." He also said ""You can't call the president a fascist. ... we're not trying to do that this week anyway."

Look, I do not believe this excuses the Republican excesses. It does not. I'm mostly annoyed at the idea--from either side--that this kind of rhetoric is unique to, or more common on, "the other side". It's not.

There are also a good number of people that still believe it.
I know. For the life of me, I don't understand it. Though I keep hearing about them, I don't know of anybody who actually believes that Saddam was behind 9/11. I have to wonder where these idiots are. Hell, by the night of 9/11, I was talking about Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, etc. It wasn't concrete, but I thought it was pretty well known who and what he was....and was not. My long-standing assumption is that the vast majority of people simple don't pay attention....and Saddam Hussein was the only name they recognized.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
JON:"Though I keep hearing about them, I don't know of anybody who actually believes that Saddam was behind 9/11. I have to wonder where these idiots are. "

Here's some help:

A new study by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) shows that supporters of President Bush hold wildly inaccurate views about the world. For example, "a large majority [72 percent] of Bush supporters believe that before the war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction."1 Most Bush supporters [57 percent] also believe that the recently released report by Charles Duelfer, the administration's hand-picked weapons inspector, concluded Iraq either had WMD or a major program for developing them.2 In fact, the report concluded "Saddam Hussein did not produce or possess any weapons of mass destruction for more than a decade before the U.S.-led invasion" and the U.N. inspection regime had "curbed his ability to build or develop weapons."3

According to the study, 75 percent Bush supporters also believe "Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda."4 Most Bush supporters [55 percent] believe that was the conclusion of the 9/11 commission.5 In fact, the 9/11 commission concluded there was no "collaborative relationship" between al-Qaeda and Iraq.6

Bush supporters also hold inaccurate views about world public opinion of the war in Iraq and a range of Bush's foreign policy positions.7

Sources:
1. "The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters," Program on International Policy Attitudes, 10/21/04.
2. Ibid.
3. "Iraq's Illicit Weapons Gone Since Early '90s, CIA Says," Los Angeles Times, 10/07/04.
4. "The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters," Program on International Policy Attitudes, 10/21/04.
5. Ibid.
6. "Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed," Washington Post, 06/17/04.
7. "The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters," Program on International Policy Attitudes, 10/21/
 
Written By: Steve J.
URL: http://radamisto.blogspot.com
A new study by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) shows that supporters of President Bush hold wildly inaccurate views about the world.
Yeah, I've read that. PIPA has a habit of doing research designed to make Republicans look bad. (asking questions that Republicans are more likely to get wrong than Democrats, but not the reverse. That sort of thing)

At any rate, that seems to be merely a restatement of the previous persons point. I'm certain that these people exist...it's just that I haven't actually met any of them. Which seems odd, if I'm to believe that for much of the past few years, they represented ~half the population.

I'd also note that the questions are somewhat vague. We did discover shells containing such chemicals - we did discover dormant WMD programs, facilities, and precursor materials - and we did document quite a lot of connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda. (yes, the 9/11 report documented them) I wonder if the vagueness led to spillover. I don't know the answer to that. Other than that, I'd refer back to my previous answer.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

 
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