Image vs. substance

aarpWatch what we do, not what we say — Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell


It is astonishing to see the AARP symbol on Tom Reed’s facebook page.  Until now, Tom has mocked and disrespected the AARP. Evidently Tom is moderating his image, presumably to win votes of moderates. Here are some cases in point:

    • NO MORE
    • AARP
    • Visits Meals on Wheels and similar agencies
    • Urges compliance with the SAFE Act.

These changes in image lack substance–Tom is very set in his opinions, and so far changes in image haven’t been reflected in votes. Tom continues to take a hard line on unemployment compensation, minimum wage, immigration reform, and other pressing issues.

How will Tom’s views evolve?  Will he continue to soften his image but still vote with the GOP leadership, or is the softer image a precursor to more moderate votes?

© William Hungerford – April 2014



About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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7 Responses to Image vs. substance

  1. josephurban says:

    Who can say. After all, the AARP was one of the major forces in favor of the ACA. And if you look at Mr Reed’s website on the issues he is very clear. He has voted to repeal the ACA. In it’s place he wants a system that guarantees coverage for all at affordable prices (like the ACA), allows people under 26 to stay on parental policies (like the ACA), supports marketplace competition (like the ACA), and fixes the “donut hole” for seniors (the ACA does this by 2020) . The only addition to the ACA he proposes is tort reform. Tom is learning that people want the individual elements of the ACA once they understand what the law contains. He also knows that there is a certain constituency that is against …just against…taxes, Obamacare, government, etc. So he is playing both sides of the issue. Voting to repeal is easy because it will not happen. He actually supports most of the specifics of the ACA but cannot admit it.


  2. Anne says:

    The AARP is a pretty powerful group and not easily fooled, even by Tom’s talking out of both sides of his mouth. Having watched him these past few years, I’ve concluded that Tom’s votes always follow a specific order of ascendency: first it’s what his corporate sponsors want, then it’s what will feather his own nest, best, and then, in election cycles, it’s these pandering falsehoods that he believes his constituency will be stupid enough to buy. Sure, let’s slap a banner up over our image, and never mind how much damage our actual actions may have done to the group in question. Good times!


  3. Deb Meeker says:

    I was mildly shocked to see Reed’s glowing congratulations to AARP. First, he’s against most of what they stand for, and second, there is a Conservative version named AMAC. Reed’s
    endorsement of AARP couldn’t have made them happy if they noticed. I’m wondering why he wouldn’t plug this group? It supposedly helps the seniors he’s abandoned, while touting the majority of his rhetoric.
    I called AMAC to find out how they would handle pointed questions about their funding and more about their political views, and was directed toward this web site.


  4. whungerford says:

    It may be significant that Tom reserved his kudos for the Elmira chapter of the AARP. Not long ago he dismissed the national AARP’s view on Obamacare with the comment “that won’t work.”


  5. BOB McGILL says:

    READ THIS. You know very well that the AARP and OBAMA are in CAHOOTS

    By now, most people are aware that AARP publicly supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, even though the organization knew it would cut more than $700 billion from Medicare. It also supported the Act despite the fact that AARP members overwhelmingly opposed it, about 14 to 1.Recently, however, emails between the White House and AARP have been uncovered, revealing the extent to which they worked together to get the bill passed, including deceiving seniors about the consequences. This relationship has come into question many times, but AARP continues to claim that it is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that does not coordinate with any candidate or political party.
    The emails tell a different story. Various White House staffers — all the way up to Jim Messina, the Deputy Chief of Staff — discuss with AARP leadership how to convince both senators and seniors who may be contacting their representatives that passing Obamacare is critical. Messina even urged AARP’s CEO Barry Rand to threaten Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson with the organization’s influence.

    The emails repeatedly reveal that AARP leadership knew that a vast majority of their members were opposed to Obamacare.

    Read Latest Breaking News from
    Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!


  6. josephurban says:

    There is no doubt that the AARP lobbied in support of the ACA. I am not sure why this is “news” as their literature over the last 5 years has been pretty clear as to where the organization stood. I thought lobbying is what organizations do. I am happy that Chuck Woolery of the “Dating Game” and the “Love Connection” has re-exposed this trend. The AARP does lobby. Yep.

    Time and again I have seen the claim that the ACA is “cutting $700 billion” from Medicare. Not entirely correct. Over a 10 year period the ACA does reduce the growth of Medicare payments to hospitals. That is true. That is a fact. The ACA reduces the growth of payments. I think , as a fiscal conservative, this is a good thing. Saves money..

    I have contacted Mr Reed’s office a couple times and asked which Medicare PROGRAMS are being cut. Which services will seniors no longer have access to? I have never been given an answer. Perhaps someone could tell us specifically WHICH PROGRAMS will no longer be available to seniors because of the ACA. Is there a section in the law that outlines these program eliminations? As someone who will soon join the Medicare system this is important to me.

    “The devil is in the details”. I hope Mr Reed or those who oppose the ACA will develop a list of programs that the ACA cuts.Then we can do what we need to do to fund these deleted programs for seniors. Wouldn’t that be a good idea?


  7. Anne says: has some good articles on the ACA and Medicare, so you’d probably be able to find some answers to your questions there (they do refer to it as “Mediscare” in some cases, based on the large number of distortions that are being floated by opponents of the program). My admittedly cursory look at some of the entries there this morning does, in fact, support what you say in your post–that there are no cuts to actual programs, that the drug plan ‘hits’ have to do with employers’ not being able to deduct subsidies from their tax liabilities, and not that seniors will pay an additional tax themselves, or lose their coverage altogether. I know a number of people–conservative Republicans all–who are on Medicare and none of whom, to my knowledge, have suffered any loss of coverage due to the ACA (and trust me, with this krewe, I’d have heard plenty about it, were it the case). I can also say that just yesterday, a medically necessary prescription for my son was covered by his new plan, a prescription that would have cost me $984 out of pocket. So seriously? Thanks a whole LOT, Obamacare!
    And there is not a note of sarcasm as I write those words.


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