Some defenders of ACORN are blind. Some like Joe Conason are something else again.
Some defenders of ACORN are blind. Some are useful idiots.
They say ACORN means well despite the ongoing scandal related to an undercover video sting operation. In it, now-fired ACORN employees across America advised two young people pretending to be a pimp and a prostitute on how to set up an underage illegal alien sex slave ring.
ACORN backers say — as they have always without fail said whenever ACORN faces an employee-related scandal — that the workers were just a few bad apples and that ACORN is focused, as Democratic strategist Paul Begala says, on improving “the real lives of real people.”
There are useful idiots and then there’s Joe Conason who ought to know better. He’s just whining now because the right has finally learned the power of political theater.
Even as evidence mounts that ACORN is a criminal organization, the longtime Bill Clinton apologist brushes aside legitimate concerns about the group in a column on Salon.com.
Trekking into new frontiers of denial and dishonesty, Conason blames ACORN’s recent troubles on the political right: “Like so many conservative attacks, the crusade against ACORN has been highly exaggerated and even falsified to create a demonic image that bears little resemblance to the real organization.”
As the first in a series of videos emerged, Conason appeared on CNN reflexively dismissing them, questioning the propriety of such undercover journalism, and calling the videos “propaganda.”
In his Salon column, Conason continues digging a hole for himself, arguing that “ACORN’s troubles should be considered in the context of a history of honorable service to the dispossessed and impoverished.” Although the undercover operatives may have had fun duping “a few morons into providing tax advice to a ‘pimp and ho,’” what ACORN actually does is help poor families file for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and fight foreclosure so they can stay in their homes, he writes.
In fact, ACORN does not have “a history of honorable service to the dispossessed and impoverished.”
This is a common misconception on the left where the group is viewed as having roughly the same moral rectitude as the late Mother Teresa. It is thought of as unassailable because it is believed to be doing good. The fact that it is so regularly attacked by conservatives and Republicans causes the left to cheer even louder for ACORN.
But the evidence shows that ACORN does not mean well, and that any good the group may happen to do for people is purely incidental.
ACORN grew out of the tumultuous 1960s. Founder Wade Rathke, who was charged with inciting violence in 1970 after a welfare rally he organized turned into a riot, had worked as a draft resistance organizer for the radical group Students for a Democratic Society. SDS splintered over tactics and one faction, the Weather Underground, was led by President Obama’s friend Bill Ayers.
Rathke was also an organizer for the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), a group whose members physically occupied welfare offices, intimidating social workers and insisting that they be given every government welfare dollar that the law “entitled” them to. That group followed what has since been called the Cloward-Piven Strategy after sociologists Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward.
They defined a model of political and economic subversion that called upon activists to pack the welfare rolls to spread dependency, bankrupt the government, and cause uprisings against the capitalist system. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani blames the Cloward-Piven Strategy for pushing his city close to bankruptcy in 1975.
The same year as his arrest, Rathke founded ACORN to carry out the strategy of upheaval and the agenda of welfare entitlement. That agenda manifests itself today in
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online