******************** THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO WWW.LEGALINSURRECTION.COM ********************

This blog is moving to www.legalinsurrection.com. If you have not been automatically redirected please click on the link.

NEW COMMENTS will NOT be put through and will NOT be transferred to the new website.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

AARP Shills for Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) made news this week by joining the chorus of fear-mongering Democrats who suggest that those opposing Democratic health care restructuring proposals are prone to violence. As reported The Providence Journal:

“My family’s seen it up close too much with assassinations and violence in political life. It’s a terrible thing when people think that in order to get their point across they have to go to the edge of violent rhetoric and attack people personally,” Kennedy told the nurses, union officials and AARP members finishing their breakfasts at the invitation-only event in the Providence Marriott hotel. “It’s fine for people to debate the issue and attack the issue, but when they go and stoop to the level of the vitriolic rhetoric that we’ve seen this debate turn up, it’s very, I think, dangerous to the fabric of our country.”

In a subsequent interview, Kennedy went further in warning that angry opposition could create physical danger for elected leaders.
But that was not the real story. This was a "townhall" event sponsored by two labor unions and AARP. The event was not open to the general public and only supporters of Democratic health care reform were allowed in. AARP, which hosted the event, screened questions from the pre-screened crowd:

Saturday’s event, hosted by the AARP, was open to the media, but attendance was limited to a select group that largely supports a health-care overhaul.

In contrast to some public meetings hosted by the Rhode Island delegation in recent weeks, the audience was completely passive. There was no sign waving, shouting or heckling.

“I think they are democracy in action,” AARP senior state director Kathleen Connell said of the rowdy public forums. “But I don’t think that some of them produced good information. I wanted a different experience.” ...

Kennedy spoke generally about health-care legislation for 25 minutes before fielding six questions that were screened and asked by the moderator, Connell....

There was little discussion of the more controversial elements that have surfaced at recent public forums, such as the cost and impact on illegal immigrants.

“This was not really the sort of thing the other politicians have done. This was an ultra-controlled environment,” said Justin Katz, of the conservative blog Anchor Rising, who was allowed to videotape the event from the back of the room.

The role of AARP in supporting Democratic party proposals has received some attention, but not nearly enough. AARP presents itself as a neutral organization interested in the welfare of seniors, but in fact, AARP has extensive financial interests in promoting its affiliate insurance plans.

If the Kennedy event is any measure, AARP is a shill. It acts as if it is interested in an open debate, but in fact carefully controlled the Rhode Island event so that Patrick Kennedy could mouth his hyperbole about opposition violence without having to answer any hard questions.

Related Posts:
Patrick Kennedy Exposes Privacy Threat
Rush Was Right: Dems Call For "The Kennedy Memorial Health Bill"
Ghouls Preparing To Dance on Sparkman's Grave
Is the Left-Wing Hoping for Violence?

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook


  1. When I passed the bar, I somehow got a complimentary one year membership to the ABA. Which was kinda cool, because I had the joy of sending them a nasty letter canceling my membership without ever having had to give them money. (W was in the White House, so they were in full bore hyper-partisan mode at the time.)

    Part if me almost wishes I was 65 so I could do the same thing to AARP.

  2. AARP sends out the cards when you turn 50, so you will not have to wait so long. It also says something that are 50 makes eligible for a "retired persons" association. I've thrown out the two mailings I've received so far.

  3. Strange wording in my comment, should be "that 50 makes one eligible"

  4. Hmm. I need to call my folks and see if they are members.

    On a related note, my doctor buddies are absolutely furious with the AMA. I haven't heard any stories about them losing members like the ABA after the Bork hearings, but I'd be surprised if something similar wasn't happening. And it'd be a good thing. All of these organizations have devolved into little more than Democrat subsidiaries. ACORN without the tax evasion (I'd say pimps and prostitutes, but, well....).

  5. I started getting sign-up stuff from AARP before I even turned 30!

  6. AARP is NOT neutral, and it has not gone unnoticed. My parents, my husband's parents, and both sets of my grandparents have cancelled (or decided not to join) AARP because of their ridiculousness in political events and conversations. I guess hubby is eligible in five years or so ... he'll be joining over my dead body ...

  7. There were a lot of appalling things that went on during that health care debacle, but this is one of the ones that really pissed me off.

    My whole life I've listened to democrats and AARP demagogue republicans over senior benefits. Watching AARP push legislation that straight out slashed medicare by a half trillion bucks was astonishing. Anyone that really cared about seniors having good health care should have been repulsed by that display - and many seniors were.

    Then recently I saw pictures of a couple grannies marching in one of the dem rallies in Washington, holding signs that said "Hands off my Medicare" and I realized they were either stupid or they were liars. I wish I had been there to ask them if they knew the dems had cut a half trillion out of our medical benefits.

    And in October I received a mailing informing me that my medicare advantage plan was canceled as of the end of 2010. There is now only one PPO available for MA in my area and the cost is more than 50% higher than my old plan and the benefits are somewhat less.

    I can hardly believe that any seniors remain members of that organization. I don't even know what to say about that.