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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obama and ACORN: Fact from Perception

With ACORN back in the news, it's time for conservatives to breathlessly tie everything the group does to the president. I'm now in the dubious position to defend him. That's because as much as President Obama is disingenuous in making it seem as though he doesn't know ACORN, conservatives are no less disingenuous in how they tie him to the group. ACORN is part of a much larger pattern for President Obama in which he is far too comfortable associating and allying himself with radicals. ACORN is also a part of Obama's political upbringing in the corrupt and radical South Side of Chicago. There's plenty to dislike about Obama's past, and ACORN is a part of that. They are, however, just one small part. I've even said that ACORN could bring down Obama, but that's because I'm convinced that ACORN is so toxic that if the truth came out they would bring down everything they've come into contact with. Yet, I believe that ACORN is tied much more closely to Michael Bloomberg than President Obama. That's because Bloomberg is employing ACORN to lead his city's effort to combat foreclosures. Obama has ACORN as one of many organizations. In fact, ACORN has ingratiated itself with all levels of government local, state and national long before Obama showed up. That has nothing to do with President Obama and says much more about the power of ACORN. ACORN grew as a national force under the watch of President Bush not President Obama.

John Fund wrote a piece today about ACORN's ties to President Obama. The ties are this. Obama was a community organizer in the early 1990's. He was very good at it. He wound up helping the campaign of Carole Mosley Braun in the 1992 Illinois Senate race. He did this in conjunction with Project Vote, an ACORN affiliate. Then, a few years later he helped them as an attorney. They helped him in his first election. He hired them for get out the vote efforts in 2008, and he once told a group of community organizers that he and ACORN have fought for the same priorities.

Now, I remember liberals all over the place finding every loose and marginal connection between George Bush and Haliburton. I remember the so called Downing Street Memo which some called the smoking gun that Bush lied about going to Iraq. It turns out the memo was the opinion of a British official. That was the smoking gun.

I also remember conservatives defending Bush against baseless charges. Conservatives all over bemoaned that liberals were drawing nefarious conclusions from marginal evidence. Now, many of those same conservatives are drawing similarly nefarious conclusions from similarly marginal evidence.

There are many conservatives that can't speak or write about ACORN without mentioning the President, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin for instance. (though to be fair Beck is a libertarian more than a conservative) That's really no different than liberals not being able to talk about Haliburton without mentioning President Bush.

There's something that all conservatives dying to impugn President Obama with ACORN must understand. The mechanisms of power in ACORN are consolidated among a small number of people. That includes the Rathke's, the Kest's, Mike Shea, Liz Butler, Zac Pollett, Alton Bennett, and Helene O'Brien. Most of the rest of the organization is unaware of just how rotten ACORN is. Is there any evidence that President Bush and Wade Rathke are friends and/or allies? There's not even any evidence that they know each other. Are we supposed to believe that President Obama is deeply tied into the ACORN corruption even though he barely, if at all, knows Wade Rathke? Is that possible?

The best way to understand the relationship between Obama and ACORN is to put it into perspective. They're a part of a larger group of radicals and corrupt entities from the South Side of Chicago. In my opinion, Obama's relationship with Mayor Daley is much closer and more troubling. Obama crossed paths with Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright, Father Pflegger, along with all sorts of corrupt actors from Chicago's South Side. The political power player behind Rahm Emanuel's first campaign is Donald Tomczak. Tomczak is in federal jail on bribery convictions. Emanual is the Chief of Staff and no one bats an eye on that relationship.

Yet, every time there's an ACORN scandal a host of conservative pundits will trot out and make it seem as though Bertha Lewis isn't Chief Organizer of ACORN but Chief of Staff for the Obama administration. The problem is that when you make leaps that aren't really there you become a propagandists, and propagandists lose. Conservatives need to report the story as it is, not as they want it to be. Making it seem as though President Obama and ACORN are somehow in bed for corruption to take over the world is propaganda. Stick with the truth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post, thank you. Good, and unfortunately rare to see honest, level headed analysis.