(image: Dean Mougianis)

First AARP told the Wall Street Journal it would support cutting Social Security benefits.

Then we launched our “Burn Your AARP Card” campaign, which backed them down and forced them to say they would oppose cuts to Social Security as part of a deal to cut the deficit.

It was clearly an exercise in Weasel Wrds 101, because AARP has a long history of support for Social Security benefit cuts.  But putting them on the sidelines was a big victory nonetheless — AARP had been planning a series of town halls across the country to convince senior citizens that cutting Social Security benefits would “save” the program.

AARP’s support of Medicare Part D was critical in getting that passed under George Bush, so keeping their deep pockets (and their credibility with seniors) out of the fight was extremely important.

Two weeks ago they said they were opposed to the Gang of 6 proposal.  But here we are, with a bill that has even more draconian cuts and a Catfood II Super Congress with only one purpose: to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.  And what does AARP have to say?

“Throughout this debate, AARP has been fighting to prevent any debt ceiling deal from including cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits. Right now, we are analyzing the impact of the proposed deal on our members and all older Americans. We continue to urge Congress and the President to act on a common-sense solution that will prevent cuts to these vital benefits and ensure that Social Security beneficiaries will receive their checks in a timely manner and that Medicare beneficiaries will not lose access to their health care.”

For more information, please contact AARP Media Relations at (202) 434-2560 or visit www.aarp.org/protectseniors.

The vote is tonight and they’re “studying” it. Studying it until when? Until it’s too late?

If Congress splits town after they pass this bill, maybe we can all celebrate by reviving the “burn your AARP card” party.  We’re certainly going to keep it alive, so that when the cuts start coming or seniors don’t get their cost-of-living increases, they’ll know who to blame.