ACORN: villain or victim?

The Republicans, faced with one of the most crushing defeats imaginable across the country and at all levels of government, have done what any blind squirrel does: grabbed the only nut they could find and held on for dear life. “ACORN! ACORN! Voter Fraud!” they’ve been screaming, while making outrageous claims about the extent of “fraud” and desperately trying to pin it all on the Obama campaign. A little perspective is in order, although you’re never going to find it on FoxNews and right wing talk radio.

Last year, a top elections official implicated the community group ACORN in what he called “the worst case of voter-registration fraud in the history of the state of Washington.”

Referring to similar shenanigans by ACORN this year in other states, Republican John McCain said in Wednesday’s presidential campaign debate that the group is “on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history … maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” McCain sought to tie his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, to ACORN.

The fabric of democracy? Oh noes! And since when has the Republican party and the neocons given a tiny little damn about the fabric of democracy? Where was John McCain the last eight years while Cheney/Bush and their cohorts went about disassembling not just the fabric but the entire framework of democracy?

And the Seattle case?

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, a Republican, said last year that the ACORN case in Seattle had nothing to do with manipulating outcomes and everything to do with the workers’ efforts to keep their $8-an-hour jobs. If anyone was defrauded, it was ACORN, an acronym for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

“The defendants … cheated their employers to get paid for work they did not actually perform,” Satterberg said. “The defendants simply realized that making up names was easier than actually canvassing the streets.”

The heavy publicity about Mickey Mouse and other fraudulent voter registrations around the country are no different than the Seattle case and, as has been stressed a number of times, ACORN had no choice legally but to submit whatever registrations they had gathered, even while notifying the registrar that there were obvious problems.

Maybe FoxNews could run a few of their “investigations” into voter caging by Republicans. Because they’re “fair and balanced.”

And maybe pigs will fly.

The Republican approach is to whip up hysteria through their allies on Fox and talk radio, while Palin and McCain throw out scary vague references during their rallies. The Obama response? “Hey, if there’s fraud, let’s get a real investigation going. Use the special prosecutor.”

The Obama campaign announced Friday that it is asking Attorney General Michael Mukasey to turn over any investigations of voter fraud or voter suppression to Special Prosecutor Nora Dannehy.

Dannehy is also the special prosecutor recently appointed to investigate the U.S. attorney firing scandal.

And McCain/Palin?

The McCain campaign suggested that Obama and his campaign were engaging in partisan politics by requesting the special prosecutor’s involvement. In a statement issued Friday night, McCain-Palin spokesman Ben Porritt called Obama’s request “absurd” and said it was an attempt to “criminalize political discourse.”

“Rest assured that, despite these threats, the McCain-Palin campaign will continue to address the serious issue of voter registration fraud by ACORN and other partisan groups, and compliance by states with the Help America Vote Act’s requirement of matching new voter registrations with state data bases to prevent voter fraud,” Porritt added.

Partisan politics? Oh. My. God! Can you imagine that? How dare they!? You’d certainly never catch Sarah Palin engagin’ in partisan politics. The very idea! I do like the response that the Obama campaign suggestion comprises “threats.” Threats? Did the campaign suggest siccing the prosecutor on McCain? Or is the use of the word “threat” simply engaging in partisan politics?

Best news of all this is that the Obama campaign has refused to roll over and whimper like the Kerry campaign did when faced with stupid and outrageous slander. Not all the pitbulls are in Alaska.

This video shows both McCain and Palin are making claims against ACORN and Democrats of voter fraud. Jonathan Turley explains why these are the same voter suppression tactics used by Bush. Also explained is why the Justice Department and the FBI “leaked” information on the investigation of ACORN because it is illegal to release such information so close to an election.

For more on ACORN - So Where’s the ACORN ‘Voter Fraud’?

Previously posted on TheZooACORN Explained

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