Reverse Astroturf

Robert Reich provides an example:

On our drive across America, my son and I have spotted spiffy white vans emblazoned with phrases like “ObamaCare will raise your taxes” and “ObamaCare will put bureaucrats in charge of your health.” Just outside Omaha we drove close enough to take a peek at the driver, who looked as dutifully professional as the spanking new van he was driving.

This isn’t grass roots. It’s Astroturf. The vans carry the logo “Americans for Prosperity,” one of the Washington front groups orchestrating the fight against universal health. They’re using Congress’s August recess to heckle Democratic representatives when they meet with their constituents, stage erszatz local anti-universal health rallies, and fill home-town media with carefully crafted, market-tested messages demonizing healthcare reform.

The Republican Party’s fingerprints are all over this.

Uh huh. The Republican party is in shambles. They couldn’t mount an astroturf campaign if they wanted to (though they sure would like to jump on the coattails of the tea partiers). The only people left to fight this are people who are afraid of losing their INSURANCE. That’s regular grass roots folks.

What Reich is attempting here is reverse astroturf, joining a campaign to call legitimate grass roots protesters astroturfers in an organized way that isn’t designed to look like a campaign as such. I don’t think many people are buying it. The campaign to call tea partiers and health care protesters “astroturfers” is pretty transparent as a campaign (at least to me it is). Nevertheless, I thought I’d point it out here.

UPDATE: Iowahawk does an especially good job demonstrating the point. Also The Dana Show. (via instapundit)

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