The Republican attack machine’s routine is to assault every demographic that opposes their corporatist, Christian agenda, and they have used legislation as well as the investigative arm of Congress to suppress opinions that are contrary to their lies and deceit. Now that they have declared war on women, minorities, gays, the working class and the poor, they have turned their attention to their last bastion of support; the elderly. Republicans are not singling out retired people specifically, but instead are preparing to attack AARP for supporting the Affordable Health Care Act.
On April 1st, a Ways and Means health and oversight subcommittee will convene to interrogate executives of the elderly lobby to determine how the group will benefit from the healthcare law Republicans want to destroy. The Republicans contend that AARP will benefit financially from $200 billion in cuts to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program if seniors replace the MA plan with a Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) that AARP endorses. In typical Republican fashion, The Ways and Means hearing will not only cover the Medigap program, but will investigate “AARP’s organizational structure, management, and financial growth over the last decade.”
The trouble began during the healthcare debate when AARP, a senior advocacy group, debunked the ridiculous lie that the healthcare bill would include “death panels.” At the time, Republicans began a campaign to convince seniors to drop their membership in AARP to weaken the group financially and abate their voice as a lobby for the elderly. The GOP action is similar to attempts to weaken unions and their ability to lobby for labor. Although the elderly are the Republicans only growing demographic, they must separate them from any organization that challenges the Republican propaganda machine.
Republicans have used the cuts to Medicare as propaganda to garner support for repealing the healthcare law, and as usual, they revert to fear-mongering and deceit to convince seniors to oppose the health law. Republicans have incrementally built up alternatives to Medigap as independent advocacy groups for seniors with programs like 60Plus. In ads for 60Plus, Republicans contend that the health law and Congress will cut $500 billion from Medicare and cause seniors to lose their doctors, vital tests like MRIs and CAT scans, as well as long waits for medical care. It is typical Republican scare tactics and as with the death panel meme, they have enjoyed great success by questioning the credibility of groups that oppose Republicans’ agenda.
The Republicans have used the tactic of calling into question the credibility of liberal organizations and advocacy groups like AARP, Planned Parenthood, and ACORN by either defunding them or publicly questioning their motivations. Along the way though, Republicans are isolating another demographic and they are running out of groups to disenfranchise. For two years Republicans have attacked gays, students, immigrants, the unemployed, students, the poor and middle class as they promote their conservative agenda.
Republicans are making a high-stakes gamble in going after the senior advocacy group because they are running out of groups to attack. One would think that the outrage and opposition to Wisconsin’s union busting scheme would open the eyes of Republicans, but they are oblivious to the will of the people. It is especially curious that Republicans are willing to lose support from the elderly in order to gather support for repealing the health care law. It is not surprising that Republicans are using their standard fear mongering tactic to achieve their goals. In Arizona, Republicans used fear of Mexican immigrants to get support for the papers please law despite the fact that the propaganda is summarily false. In California during the Proposition 8, same-sex marriage debate, Republicans falsely contended that if gays were allowed to marry school children would be indoctrinated into the gay lifestyle; the ban was successful. Republicans blocked the Dream Act by imputing that if Mexican immigrants’ children were allowed to go to college, they would be taking away education funds for white students.
The list of groups Republicans have used propaganda to demonize is unlimited and it becomes apparent that Republicans have contempt for Americans who oppose their corporatist, Christian conservative agenda. The attacks on a woman’s right to decide their own reproductive health has as its basis Christian opposition to abortion, and Republicans have been ruthless in their comprehensive assault in Congress as they cut programs like Planned Parenthood.
Trying to comprehend the strategy behind the attacks on every demographic in America is becoming an exercise in futility. By alienating and enraging every single group, it looks like Republicans are deliberately sabotaging their electoral chances in coming elections. In Nevada and California, Sharon Angle and Meg Whitman lost support from the Hispanic population because they would not support immigration reform or the Dream Act. Opposition to the repeal of DADT and same-sex marriage has alienated many gays from the Republican Party, and in order to pander to the religious right, the opposition continues unabated. Perhaps Republicans are counting on a resurgent moral majority voting bloc to bolster their chances in future elections. However, the religious right is comprised of Hispanics, gays, women, elderly, students, and working-class Americans that Republicans have marginalized or attacked outright.
The only aspect that makes any sense is that by demeaning and attacking every demographic, Republicans hope the groups will point the finger at each other as the source of America’s problems. The only groups that have escaped the wrath of Republicans are the extremely wealthy, religious right, and corporations. However, as noted above, the religious right includes sub-groups comprised of immigrants, gays, students and every demographic Republicans are attacking. Although many Americans are ignorant of Republicans’ attacks on Americans, they all fall into a category that Republicans have singled out to attack and marginalize. Seniors may not be aware of the assault on women’s rights, but they will feel the effects of Republicans when they see groups like AARP being attacked.
In a perverse way, it is good that Americans are finally seeing the lengths Republicans are willing to go to destroy America and its democratic form of government. Incrementally, the GOP has assaulted every segment of American society and the voters will get retribution at the ballot box. The recall efforts in Wisconsin should be a wake-up call to Republicans. But like all true believers and liars, Republicans’ arrogance stemming from their success in 2010 has blinded them to the anger they are eliciting from their all-encompassing assault on the American people. Republicans are losing support from gays, working-class Americans, women, students, minorities, the poor, and now the elderly, but they can count on support from corporate America and the 400 richest families in America. They have assaulted, demeaned, disenfranchised and shown abject contempt for every other segment of American society and the population will have their retribution.