As·tro·Turf // (ās’trō-tûrf’)
2) Describes formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous “grassroots” behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass.
Once upon a time, you were able to tell the underdogs apart from The Man. The underdogs were the disenfranchised, the downtrodden, the working and jobless poor; The Man was the douchebag at the gold course who earned 400 times what you did by exploiting underdogs. The underdogs fought the system; The Man was the system. The underdogs organized grassroots campaigns to fight the system; The Man spent millions of corporate dollars in ad campaigns on television and in print to keep you misinformed. The underdogs went door to door; the Man sent you glossy, professionally designed campaign flyers. The point of a grassroots campaign was that it was the people getting directly involved in politics to affect social change; the point of Astroturfing is to gain your sympathies by making you think they’re a grassroots campaign and not a corporate-sponsored propaganda being staged by – you guessed it – The Man.
But The Man has far too much at stake to let the people really speak for themselves. That’s why they only pick the cream of the crop, by which I mean they find the biggest idiots they can and put them on the front lines to speak on their behalf. This health care reform bill has brought the lunatics out in a big way – conspiracy nuts, Ditto-heads, racists, gun nuts, and other ignoramuses (sometimes they’re all one and the same). They gather ignorant fucks from around the country to become their foot soldiers, lobbying on behalf of the very corporations trying to ensure that the public’s needs come second to their own; these dupes protest against their own self-interest. What you thought were people protesting the public option were actually unwitting representatives of big insurance companies – bought and paid for with their (our) dollars.
When you have to lie to people to get your agenda pushed through, you demonstrate that your agenda will not stand on its own merits. Astroturfing is dishonest to its core, but the protesters don’t seem to know that. It is a form of lying to the public because it’s corporations pretending that they ARE the public. For that, corporations who astroturf automatically lose the moral high ground; they have no right to pretend they speak for us when they spend so much money trying to screw us. It’s like greenwashing, in that rather than doing something in the public’s interest, they are simply making it seem as if they are. Perhaps instead of being concerned about how they look, they ought to be concerned about how they act.
Astroturf is a good product; when you can’t play on grass because the weather in your home state is inhospitable to grass, you get Astroturf. You can play on it year round and doesn’t require the environmentally unfriendly practice of having to water 6,396 square feet of it every couple days. It looks greener, too. But some of the things that make Astroturf great are the same things that make astroturfing bad. It’s fake, synthetic, plastic, the product of a corporation and not of nature. Astroturf may look greener, but it will never replicate the natural variety, color, and texture, of real grass.
Astroturfing has a long history; it didn’t start with town halls and it won’t stop there either. Oil companies are doing it, too…
Check out Maddow’s exposee on Recess Rally (the health care reform protesters)
…and another one. God Bless Rachel Maddow for being the only one calling out these dickwads and naming names.
Finally – the White House stepping up to the bullshit – http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/settingtherecord
Nowadays I’m wondering to myself, “if they hate the public option so much, the loud, obnoxious geezers protesting public health insurance better not be on Medicare”. If these astroturf imbeciles suffer a heart attack on the way to a town hall rally to disrupt the talks with their ignorant psychobabble-onian bullshit, they really better just lie there and die.
I’m bout to drop a little knowledge that might – or might not – come as a shock to the ignorant fucks protesting health care reform. In fact, let me put this in its own paragraph just so the idiots amongst us can really get the picture:
43 MILLION AMERICANS ARE ALREADY COVERED UNDER A SINGLE PAYER PUBLIC OPTION. IT’S CALLED MEDICARE. YOU IGNORANT, REPUBLICAN FUCKS.
Medicare is less expensive than private insurance and provides better coverage, only it does it for old people. Which brings me to my next point:
MEDICARE HAS NO DEATH PANELS. THERE IS NO MANDATORY EUTHANASIA FOR OLD PEOPLE. YOU IGNORANT, REPUBLICAN FUCKTARDS.
Most people on Medicare seem to be happy with it. I really do not see a downside to expanding it to apply to all Americans. Especially considering that…
IT’S CHEAPER THAN WHAT WE WOULD PAY FOR PRIVATE INSURANCE. YOU SIMPLE ASS, IGNORANT, REPUBLICAN FUCKTARDS.
The reforms would prohibit private insurance companies from rationing health care, or denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. In other words…
THERE IS NO RATIONING OF CARE – REFORM WILL STOP RATIONING, NOT INCREASE IT. YOU SIMPLE ASS, IGNORANT, CORPORATE-DOUCHE-BAG-DEFENDING, REPUBLICAN FUCKTARDS.
And one more thing:
THIS IS NOT A GOVERNMENT TAKE-OVER OF HEALTH CARE. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE. MORONS.
Why is it wrong that a majority of Americans would prefer to cut the middleman out and take control of our own health care? How can conservatives concerned about waste oppose this? These are the fundamental question at the heart of health care reform. Forget about Obama trying to kill your grandma; it’s bullshit. “Death panels” are bullshit. Forget about the buzz words. Forget about the loud, obnoxious cuss words from cantankerous bloggers and the old farts who are sabotaging the discourse over a public option that many of them are already beneficiaries of.
The Republican party opposes this plan simply as a political move. They know Medicare works, so they know better than to mouth off with all that “death panel wants to kill your grandma” bullshit. Their lies are blatant. What they want is to weaken Obama. It’s not even a conspiracy; it’s on the public record. A congressman was even quoted as saying so. But if I wrote a blog about that, it would only encourage the Republicans among us to fight the public option even more. See, they’re not the most mature bunch; they would protest a plan that works in their own best interest just to see Obama fail. It’s snot-nosed child shit. But maybe, if I appeal to reason, they might come around on this. Or not. To tell you the truth, I’m not really banking on the dumb fucks. I’ve come to accept that logic really does not work on them, or it would have succeeded a long time ago. They are eternally the foot soldiers of the corporations, never really knowing who or what they’re working for, never knowing that they’re working against their own interests. They’re lost.
But to the rest of you, maybe you’re on the fence about the public option. You’re smart, but maybe you don’t have all the facts. I hope you take a better look. Google this shit. Don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh. You will find no death panels, no government take over of health care, and no conspiracy to kill old people (seriously…what the fuck?). What you will find is Medicare for all. A public option, belonging to you and me. At the end of the day, what corporate interests in the insurance industry are trying to do is prevent us from having their own say in health insurance. It’s no different than if I gathered a group of 10 people and told everyone to chip in so we could pay our own insurance. I do not see how that has become a bad thing. It’s the only option that empowers us to pool our resources so that we can cover our own asses – like our grandparents already do under Medicare. These cynical fucks talk about choice, but insurance companies don’t want us to have that choice. I say, fuck em. You know what to do.