ACORN: Still Scary, Apparently

Posted by | March 15, 2011 18:23 | Filed under: Contributors Opinion Sandi Behrns

by Sandi Behrns

Ever since Barack Obama won the presidency, we’ve had cause to see many media pieces on why it’s so hard to change a person’s mind, even when confronted with facts. Conspiracy and misinformation on the right have colored every aspect of Obama’s tenure: from birtherism to “pallin’ around” with terrorists; from being a secret Muslim to having had the election stolen for him by that most nefarious band of community organizers, ACORN.

The truth about ACORN is that it was (very important point here!) a collection of community organizations that worked on issues affecting lower and middle-income Americans (housing, health care, social issues, and yes, voter registration). At least, that’s the objective truth. If you’re a Republican, though, there’s a very good chance you “know” that ACORN’s voter registration efforts were purely fraudulent and that those ineligible voters are what stole the 2008 election for Barack Obama. Never mind that, if that were so, we would be talking about over 9.5 million illegal votes, nationwide… that’s not important right now.

In September 2009, polling showed that 52% of Republicans believed that Obama had not actually won, and that ACORN was to blame. So it is with some sense of relief/hope(?)  that Dave Weigel today reports:

From Public Policy Polling’s survey of Republican voters comes this:

GOP voters think that the ACORN threat has gone down significantly. In November of 2009 we found 52% of Republicans thought ACORN had stolen the election for Barack Obama in 2008. Now only 25% think the organization will steal the election for him again next year, while 43% think it will not and 32% aren’t sure yet.

Only 25%. That’s an improvement, to be sure. However, this very belief is what drove right-wing pseudo-journalist James O’Keefe to produce his extremely damaging, if entirely fabricated, undercover videos of ACORN workers dispensing illegal advice to a “pimp” and his “prostitute.” This, in turn, led to Congress voting to defund ACORN and, inevitably, to ACORN’s final dissolution in March 2010. So excuse me if I’m not terribly impressed that, having launched a massive attack based on lies and media manipulation and having utterly destroyed ACORN, GOP voters now think the threat posed “has gone down significantly.”

What to make of that 25%? Are they simply ignorant to the fact that ACORN no longer exists? Or are they so married to their conspiracy theory that ACORN is now the Illuminati – working behind the scenes, pulling the strings to ensure the Maoist/Muslim impostor recaptures the White House in 2012? What to make of the 27% who no longer see ACORN as a threat? Are they the ones who got the message that ACORN is no more? Or is it simply that following the GOP wins in the midterms, do they just no longer need that bogeyman?

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Sandi Behrns

Sandi Behrns is a noted policy nerd, new media & web developer, and consultant to progressive organizations and campaigns. She is a senior contributor to Liberaland, and the Executive Editor of Progressive Congress News.

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