Last night's entry about President Obama FALSELY claiming that AARP has endorsed "his" health care "plan" was--while accurate--something of a head fake. It was not meant to imply any kind of approval of AARP. The people who run AARP are bein as two-faced as they can possibley be on this push for health care "reoform", which cannot possibly "help" the elderly (who have adequate, if endangered health care now with Medicare, and can only lose by a government taking on too much, so that it may not be able to afford Medicare OR Social Security in the future).
There are two sides to AARP: Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. There is the largest association of the elderly in existence, which uses its "clout" tp provide services to the elderly at reasonable cost, and otherwise to advance what you might call the "non-controversial" "interests" of the elderly. THAT association has not endorsed the idea of an expensive expansion of the role of the Federal Government in health care (which can only ENDANGER Medicare and Social Security).
The other side of AARP is its political side--the side dominated by the people who administer AARP as an instrument of their own POWER. Those people believe totally in Big Government, and are not really interested in wjat will promote the long term interests of the elderly--which interests, by the way, should--and usually do--include concern about their children and grandchildren, and not just how much money they can get the Federal Government to pay directly to the elderly. That second side of AARP has produced people, promoting themselves as having policy positions with AARP and virtuallly as speaking for AARP, who are being used by the mainstream media to SUPPORT the idea of Obamacare. Yes, in the case of those AARP people, those people are using the mainstream media to advance their own POWER and interests, even as the mainstream media is using them to adance the agenda of the mainstream meida. The real interests of the elderly have nothing at all to do with this EVIL side of AARP.
Thus, you have people identifying themselves with AARP who are out there condemning the "scare" tactics of the opponents of this insane move for health care "reform" at the time when we can LEAST afford it--the time when such a massive government "overhaul" will put ALL programs for the elderly at extreme RISK.
Has the administration of AARP shown similar reactin to the more bovious, and more unjustified, "scare" tqactics of Democrats almost every election? Has lthe administration of AARP shown such public "concern" about Democrt attempts every election to suggest that Republicans want to take away Social Security and Medicare? Nope. In fact, I would say that this side of AARP has ENCOURGED "scare tactics" to "protect" Medicare and Social Security. This side of AARP has operated as a leftist political interest group, rather than a promoter of a consensus, neutral view of the best long term interests of the elderly.
Should the elderly be concerned about the effect of health care "refrorm" on their interests. Darn right they should. That is not "scare". That is what AARP is supposedly there for. Instead, you have those "spokesmen" identifying themselves with AARP going on the mainstream media and primarily supporting the mainstream media agenda notion that health care "reform" opponents are exaggerating the ill effects that the propsed "reform" will have on the elderly. This part of AARP obviously believes that they can be part of the POWER PLYAERS controlling health care in America, and that is what they obviously want to be. They have alwyas liked the leftist Democrat idea of "free" Federal money, and central planning. Their idea of advancing the interests of the elderly has always been for the Fedreeral Government to take from everyone else and give to the elderly. They apparently fail to see the DANGER of expanding this diea to the idea that the Federal Government can give to EVERYONE, and merely take from the "rich". The elderly themsleves, not blinded by leftist ideology, perceive the real danger to their interests in banrupting the country.
Where is the AARP talking about Obama's "cuts" in Medicare? Yes, those "savings" that Obama is promising in Medicare are what used to be called "cuts"--when proposed by Republicans. AARP was all in favor of "scare tactics" against Republicans in those circumstances, at least to the extent giving a benign approving neglect to "scare" tactics of the most blatant sort. President Obama is even saying he is going to use the "savings" from Medicare to "pay" for this new health care "reform"--fianancing the new "reform" on the backs of the elderly rather than using any legitimate "savings" to STRENGTHEN MEDICARE. This is the kind of thing AARP should be resisting, but this second side of AAARP is doing its best to defuse the opposition.
It is AARP which should be asking CRITICAL, probling questions of politicians, rather than leaving it totally to their elderly membership (and other ordinary citizens). It is AARP which should be looking CRTICIALLY at the language of the health care "reform" bills, and PROBING the long term possible effects of the bill. Insead, as stated, this second side of AARP sesems determined to try to defend President Obama and the Democrats, and to demonize the (often elderly) opposition to thie helath care "reform" that those elderly correctly perceive is RISKY--risky especially to the elderly. No, I don't expect "yelling' from AARP. But I expect SKEPTICISM, and I am not seeing it. These public "spokesmen" of the AARP are out there acting liek their job is to protect and promote Big Government, rather than to represent, SKEPTICALLY, their supposed constituency.
Now, like any leftist political interest group, the AARP seems to be good at talking out of both sides of its mouth (or the mouth of its "spokesmen"), depending on who they perceive the audience to be. Thus, you hav that statement of yesterday, where the AARP denied supporting the President's health "reform" "plan". And if an AARP "spokesmen" goes on a CONSERVATIVE program, or is interviewed by a conservative, the "spokemen" will emphasize that the AARP has not, in fact, "endorsed" the present House bill. The "spokesman" may even agree with the conservative questioner about certain "concerns" iabout the bill. Let that same "spokesman", whoever, get on a mainstream media outlet, and he is likely to TRASH the strong opposition to health care "reform" as trying to "scare" the elderly--needing the mainstream media to point out how the opposition is "misrepresenting" the push for helath care "reform".
Is the AARP--at least one side of it, being the public side--a leftist political interest group, more than a true "association" representing what its elderly membes want? Oh, I think it is. Just like the leadership of unions is often representing its own agenda, and proting their own POWER, more than really representing the interests of union members, I believe that is true of AARP. The people in charge at AARP have become a leftist interest group--primarily, I belive, to advance their own POWER.
Is the AARP betraying the elderly? Oh, I think clearly they are. While I don't believe in polls, it is about as clear as it can be that MOST of the elderly either oppose health care "reofrm", or are SERIOUSLY skeptical about it. AARP is NOT representing THOSE elderly. Nor is the AARP asking SKPETICAL questionis about the proposed legislation, and demanding CLARITY. Then there is the substantive point that the Big Government people at AARP just fail to appreciate the DANGER to the elderly represented by health care "reform", including the DANGER of BANKRPUBING the Federal Government. Not only is the Federal Government putting more and more pressure on Medicare to "save" money--at the ultimate cost of care for the elderly--but a bankrupt government cannot pay for the Medicare and Social Security we have promised senior citizens will be available for them.
Bluntly: You should NOT belong to AARP. I have long since ceased to belong (now being age 62). I perceived long ago that AARP has those two sides, and that one side is nothing more than a Big Government, leftist political interest group interested in its own POWER.