Representatives from the AARP have been seemingly unlikely participants in the latest round of battles between Alabama conservatives and the state’s budding environmentalist community. But a closer look reveals their enviro push is part of a larger agenda that has resulted in the U.S.’s largest seniors’ advocacy group becoming one of the nation’s loudest voices for liberal causes.
Buddy Smith, executive vice president of the American Family Association, warned conservatives in May that the AARP has veered further and further left in recent years.
“This group is a very, very powerful Washington lobby, and you just may be very surprised and disappointed to see those things that they are promoting and those things they are opposing,” Smith said. “Be very careful that you know what your fees are going for because the AARP is not on your side. If you are a Christian and believe in Biblical values, you can pretty much count on the fact that everything that you are in favor of, the AARP is opposing.”
Smith’s remarks were not the first time conservatives pushed back against the AARP. Multiple media outlets reported in 2009 that 60,000 AARP members abandoned the group in a single month due to the liberal advocacy group’s support of ObamaCare.
But even more troubling than the AARP’s support of the president’s healthcare law is that emails released by a congressional committee show that the group actually gets its marching orders directly from the Obama White House — proving beyond any reasonable doubt that the group is simply advocating for progressive policies, and not for their members.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel, “The emails overall show an AARP leadership… that from the start worked to pass ObamaCare, before crucial details pertaining to seniors had been addressed. [AARP leadership] was in constant contact with Mr. Obama’s top aides, in particular Nancy-Ann DeParle and Jim Messina.”
During the 2012 presidential election, the AARP was one of President Obama’s most prominent supporters, and the Republican ticket’s most vocal detractors.
AARP leadership loudly booed Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan when he told the group that seniors would benefit from the repeal of ObamaCare and warned that Social Security and Medicare were on a path to insolvency if they are not reformed.
“The headlines this weekend were all about the boos Paul Ryan elicited on Friday when he addressed the AARP,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Mr. Ryan deserves credit merely for showing up at an organization that portrays itself as nonpartisan but whose leadership is dominated by long-time liberals who consistently pursue the Democratic Party’s entitlement agenda.”
The AARP has bussed in activists to each of the Alabama Public Service Commission’s public hearings regarding the state’s utilities. They have stood side-by-side with The Alabama Environmental Council, Southern Environmental Law Center, Sierra Club and other groups advocating for the death of Alabama’s coal industry.
But although the AARP’s enviro push may appear out of place at first blush, once their larger agenda is considered, one quickly realizes that any partnership with radical leftists is really just another day at the office.
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