Friday, October 17, 2008

How Do You Like Them ACORNs?

The latest Threat To Democracy As We Know It is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a.k.a., ACORN (their server is down, so the link is to a Wikipedia article). Formed in 1970 in Little Rock, Arkansas, ACORN has grown internationally: It turns out that its subversive mission of improving wages and services for poor people has a mysterious appeal in such prosperous nations as Mexico and Peru. In 2004, ACORN added voter registration to its brief. As suppression of voter turnout is a key tactic of the Rove-Delay strategy for a permanent Republican majority (remember that?), ACORN's efforts to increase voter turnout incurred the wrath of the Republican party, which immediately began accusing the 350,000 member of organization of criminal interference in the sanctity of the vote. In short, ACORN is one of those community organizations that the right ridicules because they fear its strength.

Typically, the sanctimonious uproar over ACORN is the usual demagogic twaddle aimed at concealing a darker agenda. After all, no one will say that they oppose a high voter turnout; that would be downright un-American. Better to put lipstick on a pig by claiming to protect a sacred right from hordes of poor people who would ruin the feast if they insisted on sitting at the table. ACORN use of paid signature gatherers seemingly offered an opening, and every conservative from John McCain to Rush Limbaugh has moved to exploit it (exploitation being something they are very good at).

Except, as Hendrik Hertzberg points out here, it's a sham. It turns out that ACORN is well-aware of the temptation for signature gatherers to inflate their paychecks by submitting false registration papers. So, it cooperates with state authorities by taking steps to identify bad submissions. So, there's nothing to worry about. The greatest danger here is that Republican hot air will hasten the global warming process...

I've been remiss by failing until now to include a link to Hertzberg's daily New Yorker blog on the Election 2008 sidebar. Hertzberg is arguably the best liberal political writer we have, consistently educing nuanced insight with elegant, witty prose...

I knew better. I knew better I knew better I knew better. Don't give up on the Red Sox! Even so, I gave up last night when Tampa Bay took a 7-0 lead in the top of the seventh and missed out on the late-inning impossibilities as Pedey, Pap, Big Papi, Youk, Coco, Justin, and J.D. architected the best post-season comeback since 1929. Pedroia singles in a run. Boom! Big Papi's bat wakes up to the tune of a three-run homer and it's 7-4 after seven. Fenway Park goes nuts. Boom! J. D. Drew clouts a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth and Mark Kotsay's double fall just out of the reach of B. J. Upton, the Rays' splendid center fielder. Coco Crisp then fouls off pitch after pitch until he decides that he really likes the tenth offering and laces it to center to drive in the tying run. In the top of the ninth, shaved-headed rookie Justin Masterson works out of a jam by forcing a double play ball. With two out and the sacks empty in the bottom of the ninth, Kevin Youkilis scrapes out an infield single and takes second on a throwing error. The Rays walk Jason Bay to set up a force play and to make the left-handed batting J.D. Drew face a left-handed pitcher. The laconic Georgian crosses them up with with a game-winning single that bounces into bullpen in right field. Much happiness and jumping up and down on the field and in living rooms all over New England.

The Sox are still down three games to two and have to go to Tampa for the remainder of the American League Championship series. Tampa is plenty good and you have to like their chances. But talk about one hell of a last hurrah!...

How about those TCU Horned Frogs, anyway?!...

Friday's Choice: NOLA's own Zigaboo Modeliste serves up "O-B-A-M-A, Obama (Obamagroove)." Available for download on iTunes:

2 comments:

Betty said...

Where on earth did that one guy get all his notions about ACORN? It always amazes me to hear people spouting off about things that they don't know anything about. (Excuse the dangling preposition. lol) Seeing people like those on the first video always makes me want to climb up in a tower somewhere and blast away at them. That wouldn't be right..... would it?

rgg said...

Bobby and I went to the TCU game last night -- *total* domination by the Frogs! Lots of fun for us, of course.