ACORN Disbanding; Press Not Handling It Well
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has announced that it is disbanding.
Though the hard-leftists that formed or were running it are likely to show up in some other venue and perhaps in a successor organization down the road (Update: or perhaps burrow themselves into the government, as NB commenter "Hunter 12" suggests), this is a moment to savor. Two twenty-somethings, acting entirely on their own, assisted later by a skilled mentor who knew the value of their work and how to maximize the mileage to be gained from it, brought down what had turned into a pretentious, intimidating, fraud-riddled wing of the Democratic Party's get out the vote effort. All that remains -- frankly more than should be allowed to remain -- is ACORN Housing Corporation. According to USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, whose related article is behind its subscription wall, is saying that ACORN Housing "has a separate budget and board."
In one last act of sympathy, most of the press is giving ACORN's leaders a chance to vent without rebuttal and in some cases supplying their own sour grapes. Here are some examples:
(The Associated Press, in an article written by Michael Tarm)
"It's really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks from partisan operatives and right-wing activists that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need," ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan said.
... "ACORN has faced a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era," ... (ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis) said. "The videos were a manufactured, sensational story that led to rush to judgment and an unconstitutional act by Congress."
ACORN's board decided to close remaining state affiliates and field offices by April 1 because of falling revenues, with some national operations will continue operating for at least several weeks before shutting for good, Whelan said Monday.
(The New York Times, in an article by Ian Urbina)
“For Acorn as a national organization, our vindication on the facts doesn’t necessarily pay the bills,” Bertha Lewis, the chief executive of Acorn, said in a statement.
(Ben Smith, in his own final sentence in a post at the Politico)
The collapse of the national group, though, reflects the impact of a conservative assault that never prompted any prosecutions.
(Reuters, in an unbylined item)
"ACORN has faced a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right wing attacks," the group said in a statement announcing the moves.
A journey into the fever swamps brings forth Jason Leopold at Alternet (Remember? Unless it's an incredible coincidence that there's another unhinged guy by the same name, this is the Jason Leopold who just knew that Karl Rove's indictment in the Joe Wilson-Valerie Plame affair was a done deal), soooo predictably playing the race card:
The (O'Keefe-Giles) video was trumpeted by Fox News and other right-wing news outlets, starting a stampede in the mainstream press and in Congress, where a majority of panicked Democrats joined the herd in approving legislation to strip ACORN of federal funds. The stampede, which trampled ACORN and its mostly black and Hispanic organizing staff, soon pulled in President Barack Obama, who often has touted his work as a community organizer in his youth.
One exception to the failure to get reaction from sensible, non-leftist people is at CNN:
ACORN's announcement was welcomed by Matthew Vadum, senior editor of the Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank based in Washington. "I won't be shedding any tears," said Vadum, who said he has been studying the organization for years and written extensively on the organization. "ACORN is a thoroughly corrupt organization that abuses taxpayer dollars and breaks the law at every opportunity. To suggest that it was set up is laughable."
He added in a telephone interview, "For ACORN to claim that it's a victim of McCarthyism, as I've seen CEO Bertha Lewis do repeatedly, doesn't even pass the laugh test. It can't be taken seriously."
ACORN's McCarthyism whines don't pass the laugh test. Oh, but its demise does bring on a smile, along with a prayer of gratitude for the courage and brilliance of James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.