Congratulations, Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe. You killed ACORN. Who’s next? The Salvation Army?
Yes, it’s true. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now—known by most of America as ACORN, and by Inner America as “that dastardly evil fifth column of race-baiting, socialist election racketeers”—is officially kaput, having announced its own demise just a day after Congress passed sweeping reform that would provide health insurance—for the first time—to many of the same urban poor ACORN sought to help.
“It’s really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks from partisan operatives and right-wing activists that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need,” ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan said in announcing the group’s intentions to fold.
This was not a terribly surprising move; last month, we at Mother Jones predicted as much after ACORN’s biggest state organizations—in California and New York—shuttered. And while no one’s shocked that the overwhelming tide of right-wing rancor made the group’s business—mostly advice and voter registration—impossible, it’s still mystifying why this group got retrogressives’ goat to such a grand extent.
Was it because of allegations that some voter registration drives were invalid or suspect? Kind of the pot calling the kettle black there, seeing as how MoJo has exposed plenty of black-bag-type ops by right-wingers and how a GOP operative wrote the book—literally—on election rigging. (He’s the pioneer of the illegal 2008 New Hampshire phone-jamming scam we reported about here.
No, it seems the two big strikes against ACORN were Barack Obama—that “community organizer” extraordinaire—and the urban (read: minority) focus of the group’s efforts. Classical conservatism, having given way to unbridled angry white-guyism—rule of the Archie Bunkers, by the Archie Bunkers, for the Archie Bunkers—simply can’t deal with a grassroots organization to agitate for progressive reforms. That might offer the disaffected working class an alternative to Tea Party hatred—and we can’t have that in Inner America.