Photo: Acorn protest against toxic lenders
The Phoney War
and Voter Fraud
By Carl Davidson
Keep On Keepin' On
If you want an idea of how the Fox-Limbaugh-Hannity media machine and its phony war on ACORN reaches the local level, and how to fight it, here's some recent examples of me going back-and-forth in the on-line commentary pages our our local paper, the Beaver County Times.
As these papers go, the Times has a relatively large circulation and does a decent job with covering local news, but adding some national stuff as well. It's politics are a mixed bag of fiscal conservatism, pragmatism on local development, and liberalism on most social issues, often with a working class angle. You can say most anything on the site, just don't use cuss words, and your posts are rigidly kept to 200 words or less. So it's good training for snappy comebacks.
In any case, two regulars start off with jabs at Obama and ACORN recently. Some people use their real names, some use 'handles':
'Ridiculous' wrote on Oct 10, 2008: "Now we find that the dead are registering to vote in many states. I'm not quite sure how the dead will be voting, but since Obama and ACORN have managed to get them to register to vote, I'm sure they can manage some additional type of miracle! Actually the dead have been voting in Chicago for years.....Even CNN Gets it on the voter fraud taking place on the left.' Then 'JimL' adds: "You're right. Obama was trained under the Daley's too. He well understands the meaning of those votes. What was it they found in Ohio, 10 registrations with same name but listing different birth dates and addresses but similar signatures? Go ACORN."
So I come back with:
CarlDavidson wrote on Oct 13: " You're dead wrong on ACORN and voter fraud.
In most states, ACORN is required by law to turn in ALL voter forms they have that are signed. ACORN itself tries to catch the bad ones, bundles them, labels them as suspect, and turns them in. They catch over 90 percent of them, but in many states, they're not allowed to just toss them.
Thousands of people are hired by ACORN to do voter reg, and they're paid by the hour. Those caught cheating are promptly fired.
It's as if a department store with many employees catches a worker shoplifting, gathers the evidence, call the cops, and then the Store get charged with a crime.
Besides, it's only 'voter fraud' when someone actually tries to vote under a registration not their own. In almost every precinct in the country with pollwatchers from both parties and independent judges, this is much harder these days. Your signature has to match the one on the registration card.
Recognize this for what it is, Red Meat the GOP is throwing out to rile up their base that fears low-income Blacks. "
But my opponents still don't get it, and up the ante:
'finnegan' wrote on Oct 13, 2008: " ACORN needs to be torn apart and every registration that is questionable should be thrown out. Incomplete information any questionable registration that cannot be determined to be truthful!! If anything because NOBAMA worked so closely with this organization we surely don't want a repeat of Florida in the last election...Yes thats right, nothing wrong with Acorn, that's why they are being investigated in 16 states so far! Forget that they registered the same person in Ohio 70 times using a variety of names or that the dead are also registering. LOL, If someone came up and hit some of you guys in the face with the actual ballots of fraud you wOULD still cry NOT SO NO FRAUD HERE!! ".."
So I reply:
"Finnegan, ACORN is a mass membership organization of some 400,000+ low-to-middle income people, mainly African Americans.
Exactly how do you propose 'tearing it apart?'
The mortage loans it won for its members remain some of the safest and best around, and ACORN was in the streets opposing predatory lending and toxic loans when most of you never heard of them, and McCain and crew were for even more de-regulation.
ACORN itself, as is required, bundles suspicious voter apps as just that, and turns them in, as required. Then Karl Rove uses a lot of smoke and mirrors to blame ACORN and Blacks for the credit crisis, then the Talk Radio dittoheads listening to Limbaugh's and Hannity's lies turn into a bunch of snookered and suckered lemmings.
Don't you realize these sources, to use a kind term, are far right, proto-fascist 'infotainment' and not news? Do you bother to use factcheck.org or any reliable source to look deeper?
Time to wake up, things are getting serious. The people you're attacking are your best allies against the real criminals at the top with fountain pens, not six-guns.
Stop McCain, Stop the War, Vote Obama 2008!'"
Now 'Finnegan's wavering a little, but not much:
"Not so sure about those great loans that ACORN obtained seems like many of them weren't so great after all. It was 70 registrations with the same name (of course they paid the street person 1.00 per registration and threw a few cigarettes at him for these registrations) I also know they registered Mickey Mouse in Florida. Yea Carl, ACORN is just a great asset to America. Go McCain/Palin!! "
And so it goes. I'm not sure this applies to my debate partners 'Ridiculous' and 'Finnegan' here, but for some I've met, it doesn't matter if you present them with facts showing they've got it wrong. They stic to it anyway, because the particular lie is only a story that's a cover for something else, a hard-held belief that most Blacks are lazy, shiftless, thiefs, too uppity and don't know their place. but now we have new terms for all these: 'elitist,' ACORN, voter fraud, secret Muslim, Arab, terrorist and 'not one of us.'
I guess it's a sign of progress that those holding to the old stuff have to hide it. There's several hundred regular posters using this local site, and several thousand read them every day. check to see if your local paper or home town paper allows something similar, and join in. Clearly, the struggle continues and these are valuable forums . Keep On, Keepin' On!
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