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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4 Responses to “Reverse Astroturf”

  John Says:

“The only people left to fight this are people who are afraid of losing their INSURANCE. ”

Or, um, the insurance industry, which spends tons of money with the K Street firms who create these kinds of campaigns all the time? Nah, it seems really unlikely that a big-spending industry with longstanding connections to powerful lobbying firms could pull this off; it must be a bunch of random ordinary folks with no particular organizational structure or history of doing this sort of thing.

  Rob Sama Says:

K-street is correct. The insurance industry buys their way, and most of what they want, the big players, is to crowd out smaller players and limit competition. The insurance industry has been afraid of REPUBLICAN proposals to let people buy insurance across state lines, thus increasing competition. What the Democrats are proposing, on the other hand, a large centralized bureaucracy, is something that a large insurance industry is more than equipped to handle.

This really is a grass roots movement, organized on the Internet. If my congressman or senators were swing votes, or had a shot in hell at being replaced, I’d be there screaming at them too to get them to vote against this bill. And I’m certainly not a part of the insurance industry.

  Rob Sama Says:

More here on how the insurance industry has tried to work WITH the Obama administration (via TIA Daily):


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