culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Monday, March 17, 2003
The march of astroturf. Since
ten days ago when we first located a fake Medicare letter that Republicans had written for shills to sign and send to their local papers, those letters have so far appeared verbatim in four newspapers:
Juneau Empire, courtesy of GOP shill Jeff Pomeroy of Eagle River.

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, courtesy of GOP shill Dirk Maurins of Honolulu, whose astroturf we've noted before but Unblinking has documented most thoroughly.

The Zephyr (Galesburg, IL), courtesy of GOP shill Paul Burnett of New Baden.

Norwich (CT) Bulletin, courtesy of GOP shill Raymond C. Joyner of Manchester.
Q: Why is astroturf bad?

A: When you read the Letters to the Editor in your home newspaper, the assumption is that you are reading the unvarnished opinions of your fellow citizens, not the scribbling-for-hire of professional political hacks at GOP headquarters. All questions of the mean-spiritedness of the policies themselves aside for the moment, the astroturf deception is especially insidious because it's so petty. You think you're reading your neighbors' views when in fact you're reading a political advertisement. Upon discovering that you have unwittingly read a piece of astroturf, you feel cheap, dirty and violated afterward. Or you should, anyway.

Q: Why do Republicans have to stoop so low?

A: Because their domestic agenda never resonates with anything resembling popular appeal, so they are forced to create phony consensus with tacky bribes, like the shabby bumper stickers, mouse pads, T-shirts and tote bags that astroturfers Jeff Pomeroy, Dirk Maurins, Paul Burnett and Raymond C. Joyner will receive for being good apparatchiks via GOP Team Leader, the official GOP propaganda and bribery website.

If you're just tuning in, "astroturf" refers to bogus Letters to the Editor because they represent "fake grass roots" politics.

UPDATE: The Mad Prophet has found even more examples.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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