The New York Times looked into the groups that are mounting ad campaigns against the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.
A brand new conservative group calling itself Americans for a Strong Defense and financed by anonymous donors is running advertisements urging Democratic senators in five states to vote against Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee to be secretary of defense, saying he would make the United States “a weaker country.”
The blitz against Mr. Hagel is of a sort that has generally been reserved for elections and some Supreme Court nominations.
Another freshly minted and anonymously backed organization, Use Your Mandate, which presents itself as a liberal gay rights group but purchases its television time through a prominent Republican firm, is attacking Mr. Hagel as “anti-Gay,” “anti-woman” and “anti-Israel” in ads and mailers.
Those groups are joining at least five others that are organizing to stop Mr. Hagel’s confirmation, a goal even they acknowledge appears to be increasingly challenging. But the effort comes with a built-in consolation prize should it fail: depleting some of Mr. Obama’s political capital as he embarks on a new term with fresh momentum.
I get the first group; they sound like the kind that would crop up when a RINO runs for any kind of office, and they’re probably financed by the Koch brothers who have nothing better to do.
But what’s with the sock-puppet pseudo-liberal group that is buying the time through the GOP shop? Is this some attempt to make it sound like the opposition to Mr. Hagel is bipartisan? If so, that’s a pretty odd way to go about it. I’m sure there are plenty of liberals who are disappointed that a Democratic president feels that he had to appoint a Republican — again — to the Pentagon.
My tin-foil-hat guess is this is a trial run for the next election cycle where we’ll see a bunch of liberal-sounding groups out there that are basically GOP PAC’s in drag. Not only is the intention to conduct stealth campaigning, they’re counting on scamming Democrats into giving money to Republicans.