Thursday, September 24, 2009
Obama and ACORN: A Love Story
Why did the president feign ignorance of ACORN when his relationship with the group goes back almost 20 years?
by Candace de Russy | September 23, 2009 | Pajamas Media
. . . Long before the latest scurrilous revelations, [ACORN] had nationally gained a reputation for rampant voter-registration fraud; aggressive, even physical, shaking down of businesses; and, most recently, blatant tax-cheating.
Obama’s playing dumb about ACORN is disingenuous in the extreme. His longstanding activist, political, and financial connections to the group, as Stanley Kurtz showed prior to the presidential election, are wide and deep. Indeed, they constitute his most significant and enduring tie to the anti-capitalist and revolutionary “New Left” movement of the 1960s.
Sol Stern writes that ACORN sprang from “one of this movement’s silliest and most destructive groups, the National Welfare Rights Organization.” The NWRO’s strategy was to eliminate welfare requirements and overwhelm welfare offices with clients, simultaneously staging disruptions and sit-ins, in order to bring about “a radical reconstruction of America’s unjust capitalist economy.”
Obama could have only been buying into this vision by intimately allying himself with ACORN and its ilk over the years.
In his pre-law school years as a community organizer in Chicago, Obama was brought into ACORN’s orbit by the group’s city leader Madeleine Talbot, who recruited him into training her own staff. Though some years after Obama’s early organizing work, it was Talbot who masterminded a display of what radicals term “direct action”: she and her fellow activists stormed a session of the Chicago City Council, preventing participants from entering the session. Afterward, taken off in handcuffs and charged with disorderly conduct and mob action, she stoutly defended the organization’s strong-arm tactics.