The "right-wing commentariat" has a new villain to replace ACORN, and it has a far more familiar acronym: AARP. The basic line of attack is that the AARP has struck "backroom deals" with Democrats on health care reform to steer insurance business its way, writes Evan McMorris. The House GOP has issued talking points, picked up yesterday by Michelle Malkin and the conservative Human Events magazine. More are sure to follow.
"They're using their standard methods to target us," an AARP official tells Talking Points Memo. The lobbying group has weathered such storms before but says the tone is different this time. Instead of conflicts of interest, it's being accused of corruption and secret deals. The big GOP push will be to have the group classified as an insurance company because it gets royalties from licensing its brand to insurers. One GOP congressman says he's already begun an investigation into the possibility.