The first couple of pages of Vadum’s piece are devoted, mostly, to excoriating Joe Conason with the facts of ACORN’s criminal behavior, and he rightly points out that leftists generally are appalled that the right has learned to produce political theater. On the third page, he turns his sites to other useful idiots:
Others on the left are rushing to ACORN’s defense and the more prominent defenders are just lip synching Conason’s lyrics.
The most famous member of the useful idiot brigade is actress Whoopi Goldberg. She said on “The View”:
Everything, I mean, you know, there are boneheads in all organizations. We’ve worked for them. We know that they’re there. But do you kill the whole thing? And I don’t think so. A lot of people think that you should kill it. But you can’t answer, you can’t tell me where those people who become even more disenfranchised go.
Ezra Klein of the Washington Post concurs and links to Michael Tomasky, who in turn follows Conason’s talking points. Tomasky is editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. George Soros’s Open Society Institute funds it.
The American Prospect’s Adam Serwer taps into his inner useful idiot once again, arguing that the right takes “the ACORN scandal as a kind of vindication of all their paranoid fantasies of what ACORN was responsible for.” Would that it were true.
Fellow Salonista Glenn Greenwald joined the chorus too, while Amanda Terkel of Think Progress preferred deliciously naughty misdirection as she harped on Republicans’ own hooker hypocrisy.
The consistently execrable David Neiwert of the appropriately named Crooks and Liars blog was particularly creative in coming up with the argument that Fox News was “punk’d” by O’Keefe and Giles. Neiwert wrote a book called The Eliminationists in which he argued that within every conservative there is a Nazi waiting to break out and murder leftists.
ACORN will not go away quietly. It’s too big and too powerful. Power never concedes anything without a fight, so it’s not at all surprising that the group is already trying to whitewash its deep-seated, systemic problems.
The independent audit announced by ACORN last week is a fairy tale.
It is packed with left-wing political hacks including Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta and SEIU President Andy Stern. Both men have the ear of President Obama and Podesta even helped organize the Bush-to-Obama transition. Of course, SEIU Local 100 and 880 are part of the ACORN network, a fact that ACORN tried to cover up earlier this year by scrubbing references to the locals on its “affiliated organizations” page.
Longtime ACORN ally Jerrold Nadler, who was endorsed by ACORN’s political party in New York state, the Working Families Party, came up with a truly original defense of ACORN. The legislation to cut off funds for ACORN is a constitutionally proscribed bill of attainder, he says.
Maybe the congressman’s right. We should heed his advice and just skip the constitutional concerns altogether and head straight to a criminal prosecution under federal racketeering laws and deal with these people the way we do with other gangsters.
Appointing a special prosecutor might be a good start.
Read the whole thing, and check out this Chris Wallace interview of ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis and Darrell Issa. Shorter Lewis: “We’re happy that you caught us, and I’ma letchoo ask a question, but first I gotta say . . . .”