Pelosi vs. The Old Folks

I’ve tried to follow the whole prescription drug bill story, honest, but it can be hard to keep score of which way the bill is going. This has to be good news, though: Nancy Pelosi, Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy are vowing to defeat the bill. Assuming they’re doing this out of something other than mere partisan pique, this means that (1) the private choice provisions are not just window dressing, but are substantial enough to worry Ted Kennedy, and (2) if they succeed in stopping the bill, Democrats will get the blame for scuttling a popular but expensive and imprudent new entitlement. Win-win!
Seriously, the more interesting tidbit here is this:
In her remarks at the rally, Pelosi also took a swipe at the AARP and its leader, William D. Novelli. The seniors organization endorsed the bill this week and is advertising on television to help secure its passage.
The Californian noted that Novelli wrote the preface to Gingrich’s recent book on health care, and she said, “AARP’s leadership has been in the pocket not only of the Republican leadership in the House, but they helped write Newt Gingrich’s book on how to destroy Medicare.”

Now, the AARP is one of Washington’s most powerful lobbies, and like the NRA, its power comes not from money or organization but from the simple fact that millions of its members take the organization’s guidance seriously in deciding how to vote. And the AARP has led the charge in some past Democratic campaigns to scare the old folks (think back to 1982 or to the catastrophic health insurance debacle). The idea that the organization may be on the GOP’s side has to warm the heart of any Republican partisan.