….the mightiest controversy can grow. We have a policy here of not jumping into things as soon as they hit the news. There have been too many burned fingers from doing that, because you can’t trust what passes for “news” in the U.S. So when the latest round of accusations against the (breathe in…) Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (…and breathe out) came out, it seemed prudent to sit, watch, and wait.
This is because ACORN is a large political bogey man. Involved in voter registration drives since the 1980s, they came under fire during the last presidential election for committing registration fraud. Critics said it was a conspiracy aimed at inflating Democrat voter rolls. Supporters said it was a few bad apples trying to make a few extra bucks inflating their registration quotas. As yet there is no determination of where the truth lies, just the continuing partisan squabble.
Now, ACORN employees have been secretly videotaped giving advice to undercover reporters on how to get government assistance to start a brothel. Bizarre? Oh, yeah – very. And again the critics are saying it’s part of the vast ACORN conspiracy, while supporters say it’s just a few more bad apples. And again we’re waiting patiently for facts amid the political posturing.
The Right wants to connect President Barack Obama to ACORN’s indiscretions, just for the obvious political mileage such a connection would give them. The Left wants to minimize any misdeeds on ACORN’s part to minimize the damage Obama’s connections with the group may cause. I doubt Barack Obama has any personal knowledge of these issues, but that’s just because we’ve recently discovered he has spoken to Gen. Stanley McChrystal once since taking office. Gen. McChrystal is the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. If Obama isn’t up on what his commanding officer in Afghanistan is doing, he probably has no clue what ACORN is doing, either.
Since the latest ACORN revelations it seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon: the Congress is voting to drop government support for the group; banks are withdrawing from partnerships with ACORN’s housing projects; the media are indulging in the usual orgy of speculation, rumor, and instant opinion; ACORN is suing the reporters who may have broken the law by taping its employees without their knowledge; ACORN is firing people to make the point it’s not institutional corruption; local government agencies are getting involved. This is going to play on the week-end political chat shows for weeks to come.
And so far that’s the only fact we really have here: the media is making money selling ACORN. We don’t get paid here at The Recent Future. It’s a side-effect of being cautious about jumping into controversy and waiting for facts to emerge.
UPDATE 9/29/09: Nevada authorities have taken legal action against ACORN for voter registration fraud, according to this FOX News story.