I have often expressed my disdain for polls. It’s nothing against that field (of which my colleague DJ is a hell of an expert), but part of my personality: I simply don’t like “fitting in.” When I hear someone argue a position based on popular opinion, surveys, polls, or the like, I instinctively dig in even further. I choose to decide for myself what I think is important, to trust my own judgment on what is right and wrong. The classic “Bloom County” bit of wisdom regarding the penguins watching the jet seemed to sum up my beliefs quite well: “If 10,000 people all do a silly thing, it is still a silly thing.”
With that in mind, I find myself looking at all the revelations regarding ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now!), and wondering not why I think it’s important, but why more people don’t.
Fact: ACORN claimed that it signed up over 1.3 million new voters this election cycle.
Fact: They have since “revised” that number down to barely a third of that.
Fact: At most recent count, the total number of fraudulent registrations submitted has broken 400,000.
Fact: There are criminal investigations for voter registration fraud against ACORN currently under way in 14 states.
Fact: Barack Obama initially said he has never had any ties to ACORN.
Fact: Barack Obama was the attorney of record for ACORN in a lawsuit in the 1990s pushing Illinois to comply with the “motor voter” law.
Fact: Barack Obama served as a trainer (apparently unpaid, as he claims he never “worked” for them) for ACORN in the 1990s.
Fact: ACORN is legally and officially a non-partisan, non-profit organization.
Fact: ACORN’s “political wing” was given over $800,000 by the Obama campaign for its assistance in campaign events.
Fact: The Obama campaign shared its list of donors who had given them the legal maximum with ACORN.
Fact: ACORN’s “political wing” has officially endorsed Obama.
Fact: The board of directors of ACORN’s “political wing” is the exact same people who sit on the board of ACORN.
Fact: Local officials across the nation have been flooded with new voter registrations collected by ACORN.
Fact: In many of these cases, a huge percentage of those are fraudulent.
Fact:: In one county in Indiana, election officials stopped verifying the 5,000 registrations submitted by ACORN after they had yet to find one — but had rejected over 2,100.
Fact: ACORN has absolutely no systems in place to ensure accuracy and honesty among its paid employees to prevent them from faking registration forms.
Fact: ACORN imposes quotas on its employees for voter registrations.
Fact: Some people have speculated that this is part of a strategy to overwhelm the electoral process with so many registrations that the system will simply break down and not impose any checks on the registratioon system.
OK, that last one’s a bit flimsy as a “fact,” but it offers an explanation for the ACORN model.)
Fact: The idea of deliberately bypassing standard security measures to maximize results — even if it turns out that a large number of them are fraudulent — is apparently shared by the Obama campaign, which has chosen to deliberately shut down the standard practices for preventing credit card fraud.
To me, these are matters that are of critical import. To me, these facts are the kinds of things that make me call for ACORN to be abolished, its directors locked up, its offices razed, and the sites sown with salt.
But apparently I’m the oddball here, because this incredible criminal conspiracy known as ACORN is getting a bye in the mainstream media and the general public.
I don’t mind being on the “outs.” I understand that my sense of outrage is different from a lot of other people’s. But every now and then I find myself wondering not why I find something so obscene, but why others don’t.