Last night, on Hardball, Chris Matthews had on
Chris Charlie Jarvis of USA Next, the group that made the stupid attack ad on AARP; the following little bit of dialogue ensued, as if out of an absurdist play:
JARVIS: That was a tiny little ad on one Web site.
MATTHEWS: Who approved it? Did you?
MATTHEWS: Why did you approve it?
JARVIS: Because I wanted to test to see how long it would take for the liberal blogs in this country to go berserk over a single image.
Since the idea of a right-wing group making an attack ad that's false in order to see if the left reacts is so laughable, I went to my trusty computer afterward to see if anyone else was commenting on it. Kevin Drum had a bit from CNN's Inside politics, in which Jarvis said almost the same thing:
JARVIS: We were testing to see whether left liberal groups would overreact. And they did. The hypothesis was that they would focus on one single tiny image on one Web site.
And Kevin added:
POSTSCRIPT: By the way, Jarvis claims the ad is a legitimate attack on ARRP because "they do not take a position on veterans and combat veterans health" and because they opposed the Ohio gay marriage ban. The first charge is ridiculous and the second is mendacious. AARP clearly stated that they opposed the Ohio law — and only the Ohio law — because it was so broadly and vaguely written that they were afraid it could affect things like power of attorney for unmarried older couples both straight and gay.
And that got me thinking. If you can take one position by one group on one state referendum, and infer a generalized position from that; and if you can take the fact that the same group hasn't taken a position on a different issue and generalize from that; and you think this is ad is fair:
then you must also think this ad is fair: