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My One and Only Post on ACORN. Hopefully.

I haven't really written anything about the ACORN scandal, as it's just a transparent and cynical waste of everyone's time. But I do think Michael Tomasky gets the bigger picture right. So head over there if you want some commentary.

By Ezra Klein  |  September 18, 2009; 5:45 PM ET
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Thank you for the post. I was looking for a commentary on this from a non-right-wing source.

Posted by: alekdavis | September 18, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Huh? This is pretty arrogant. Ezra, you spend your whole day arguing for an expanded welfare state and you're not going to defend it when it fails? You work for a major newspaper and you're not going to discuss the media implications of this story. Foolish.

If you're not going to address issues in the media that challenge your point of view then your just preaching to the converted. Which is a waste of time.

Get your act together, stop pretending there is not a story when there is.

Posted by: PositiveSum | September 18, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

its interesting that Ezra even brings this up and doesn't just sweep it under the rug but does point us to the post of someone basically doing that. So he's going to make it a Democrat/Republican thing. Ok, the nice difference is that I would expect the group he claims had voter registration fraud wasn't being funded by tens of millions of dollars by the Federal Government and the President wasn't a former attorney for them.

oh and no talk of the voter registration fraud cases against ACORN in the 2008 election. I'm not surprised. I'm disappointed, but not surprised.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 18, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I thought the comment at the end of the article about liberal versus conservative media was interesting.

It got me thinking about how liberal media is sorta like regulatory capture. People who were educated at institutions that infused them with a worldview that causes them to have a predisposition towards certain ideas and parties, even though they word hard to not show bias.

This is distinct from the conservative media who seem to be more aware of their bias and coordinated. They're more like Bernie Madoff and his feeder companies than they are like the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Posted by: zosima | September 19, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

WTF is the federal government even funding paid registration of the poor anyway?
Oh, yeah...they deliver votes for the Democratic party.

Posted by: WrongfulDeath | September 19, 2009 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Ezra, it IS relevant to your healthcare cause.

The ACORN story is all about that "waste, fraud, and abuse" the Democratic Party says they're going to clean up, to pay for Obama/Baucuscare.

Their inability to do so, after years of stories and warnings about the corruption of ACORN, and even now, the inability of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote against funding them or blocking a real investigation.....

Speaks to the American people's inability to trust the Democratic Party to "clean up waste, fraud, and abuse" in Medicare or Medicaid.

We know better. It's not gonna happen. Any legislation designed to do so will be blocked, and anyone supporting same will be called a "racist who hates the poor."

We weren't born yesterday, Ezra.

Grow some.

Posted by: auntmo9990 | September 19, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I love how both here, and in the linked Guardian piece, the reader comments are mostly from unhinged conservatives who think ACORN is the new al Qaeda or something. Where does this paranoid vitriol come from?

Posted by: simpleton1 | September 19, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow, these GOP arguments about the relevance of the ACORN story are profoundly disingenuous.

(a) ACORN is not a government agency. Maybe you mean this is an example of how private organizations, even with federal backing, are unable to effectively regulate themselves? Sounds like a great argument for health care reform to me.

(b) When it comes to fraud and abuse among *private* organizations that receive federal funding, ACORN has nothing on military contractors.

(c) I don't remember you guys howling about conservative bias in the media when traditional media journalists refused to pursue pretty much any story regarding fraud and waste among contractors during the Bush Administration. In fact, the media's recent blitz on ACORN is the perfect example of how the traditional media is "wired" to respond to requests from the right.

(d) Surely you guys don't mean to assert that no organization associated with conservative politics has ever been guilty of mismanagement and a lack of effective oversight? Your argument is a double-edged sword in the truest sense of the phrase. As Ezra correctly point out, this is just a cynical attempt by desperate Republicans to blow up a relatively minor story about an organization that inexplicably has taken up a central place in the laughable conspiracy theories that ground their worldview.

Posted by: eleander | September 19, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse


It's also worth noting that they're posting on a Friday night. Honestly, it's just kind of sad.

Posted by: eleander | September 19, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The real analog is with those sleazy, corrupt, thuggish contract "security" people that are supposedly guarding the State Department people in Afghanistan and Iraq. They stay on the job with no questions asked while ACORN loses all of its government contracts after this prank.

When ACORN is the only government contractor which is punished, it really exposes the moral bankruptcy and cowardice of the Senate.

Posted by: Mimikatz | September 19, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

LOL. I'm surprised you posted on it at all. Are you sure you're allowed to?

ACORN by design is a hole through which taxpayer money flows to people who don't earn their own. Beyond that, all we're haggling about is whether "pimps and ho's" are less deserving of taxpayers' money than everyone else who didn't earn it either.

If you set up an institution like ACORN, it will draw corruption like a magnet. That consequence is hardly unintended.

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | September 19, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

ACORN: Child "Services" / Financial "Services" / "Voter" Registration --Democrat Funded

Posted by: PositiveSum | September 19, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse


please show me where there is talk of Al-Qaeda. I don't see it anywhere in either sets of posts unless its been removed. All i see is conservatives saying there should be no double standard and liberals crying foul and not wanting this brought up at all. I didn't say for example that jimmy swaggert was right when he did what he did. Why do you stand up for those in ACORN that do wrong? ALso i know this is a limited group which is a legitimate argument that the left could bring instead of just whining about conservatives complaints. What should be done is they shouldn't be "defunded" because they do provide valuable services that are necessary for the poor but they should be highly regulated and watched like hawks to ensure waste of resources doesn't happen and that defrauding of the taxpayer doesn't happen. Why should I work hard every day and pay my taxes and have someone that is funded by the government instruct others how to not pay taxes? Is that really fair??? They shouldn't be allowed to use federal funds and advise people on breaking the law. If these were caught how many other instances does this happen that don't get caught.


exactly what does the time of day have to do with anything? You do realize wherever you are around the world it'd come up as a different time, right?

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 19, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

See John Stewart...

Posted by: PositiveSum | September 19, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I urge those trashing conservatives, to keep in mind that there thousands and thousands of us Independents, who don't belong to EITHER "tribe," who find the Democratic claim that they'll eliminate "waste, fraud, and abuse" in Medicare & Medicaid, when they don't even have the courage to face what Acorn represents or has done, to be a complete bamboozle and okey-doke.

The more your own arrogance offends the very Independents Obama will need, the more you harm the president you support.

172 Democrats in the House voted to de-fund Acorn, and justifiably so. People are watching, and they know it.

Posted by: auntmo9990 | September 19, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

The ACORN videos are horrible - it's worth giving the John Stewart video a look. ACORN deserves a good raking over the coals.

That said, I wonder what kind of film you could make if you sent an undercover crew into a few Operation Rescue or Tea Party headquarters.

Posted by: Sophomore | September 20, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

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