Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Shocking ACORN propaganda from crazed leftists who clearly hate America:

(alt. video link)

Catch what Sully said, starting around 1:05 in? That's the part I really worry about -- McCain's desperate flailing down the homestretch is going to do nothing but start the Obama Administration off with wingnuts believing the election was "stolen." Best way to beat this back, of course, is to win by a landslide.

(h/t: Steven D/Booman Tribune)

(On a related note, in case you missed it.)


John Evo said...

I'm more cynical than you. I think this whole ACORN fanaticism is just to cover-up their own truly illegal and election-changing activities.


bjkeefe said...

I think you're partly right about that, especially when considering the top-level strategists -- it's classic GOP misdirection, where they accuse "the left" of something closely related to what they themselves are doing.

But that doesn't change what the average wingnut believes, which is what I worry about, and it also doesn't change the fact that the McCainiacs are just throwing everything they can think of at Obama, and this one thing seems to resonate with their base.

In other words, while the fearmongering about ACORN ties in with their own voter suppression efforts, it's also a separate thing. Depends on which ratfucker you're talking to.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't have to be one or the other. The two are complimentary. It's a lot easier to pull off your own voter suppression efforts, conducted on a massive, sweeping scale, if you can point to ACORN and Obama and claim, as McCain has, that Obama "may be perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." So John Evo is exactly right: the ACORN nonsense is misdirection, a smoke screen to cover their own activities.

But at the same time, as Brendan points out, only the top level Republican strategists really know it's a smoke screen. The ignorant Republican base actually believes it, and that's where Brendan's concerns come in: If Obama wins, the day after the election there will be millions of conservatives who believe it was the result of the "greatest fraud in voter history."

There's no reason to wonder if they are going to doubt the legitimacy of the election, should Obama win. They will. It's baked into the cake. Even if Obama wins by a landslide; conservatives will just say it proves the scale of ACORN's crimes. Republicans have already started preparing this excuse; they now contend that ACORN's fraud has a self-reinforcing effect: the fraudulent registrations change the turnout model in polls, which then fraudulently helps boost Obama's poll numbers, which in turn boosts the sense of inevitability, which in turn causes more people to say they will vote for him, further boosting his poll numbers, etc., leading to an Obama landslide, all started with the "seed" of ACORN fraud.

The crew of loonies at NRO and other right-wing blogs are even weaving into this narrative the Saul Alinksi story, explaining that Obama learned this exact election-stealing technique from "the radical community organizer."

One last thought: We're talking microtrends, here, but this is even clearer if you think in terms of macro trends. As a general rule conservatives refuse to accept the legitimacy of Democratic government. This is a feature of conservatism going back at least to the 1950s, and was most dramatically illustrated by the explosive growth of anti-government militias during the Clinton years. Even when the legitimacy of Clinton's election was never in doubt, conservatives joined militias in droves.

Now add Obama's skin color and rumors about his religion, nationality, and ideology, and the result is going to be a significant number of conservatives who believe that the government has been taken over by some kind of radical, anti-American extremist.

Anonymous said...

One other thought, as I watch the video: I really think Sarah Palin falls into the latter category: she's one of the wingnuts who actually believes the charges against ACORN and Obama. Somehow I don't see her as being bright enough or capable of the kind of strategic thought necessary to recognize the tactics for what they are.

And one other point that has been implied by both of you but not directly stated: one important function of all the noise Republicans are making about ACORN fraud is that it can be used to pressure state Attorneys General and the courts to throw out or complicate processing of the hundreds of thousands of new voter registrations. So, it's not so much that the ACORN noise is *cover* for the Republican's own voter suppression efforts, but in fact a critical component of their voter suppression efforts.

bjkeefe said...

Many good points, Twin. One thing I'd mildly dispute:

Even if Obama wins by a landslide; conservatives will just say it proves the scale of ACORN's crimes.

I don't doubt the fringe elements will parrot this -- there gets to be a point where a conspiracy theorist can make every new bit of (real) information fit the existing belief, no matter how contradictory it might seem to a member of the reality-based community.

However, a landslide instead of a narrow win will cause many saner Reps/cons to admit the truth. Some will doubtless say grudging things like, "Well, there were some irregularities, but …" No one who wants to be taken seriously is going to want to claim that Obama "stole" the election if he, say, breaks 300 electoral votes, at least when the audience is something other than a camera-free backroom at CPAC.

We're already seeing a schism forming on the Right, where the non-loons are looking for ways to distance themselves from the wingnuts who treat The Corner, LGF, RedState, Confederate Yankee, etc., as gospel. Even if they don't all come out and endorse Obama, you can see all sorts of signs, from navel-gazing musings about the state of their party to deafening silence (instead of speaking on behalf of McCain).

In my more hopeful moments, I think that the endless wingnut whining about "voter fraud" could help generate momentum into addressing the many real problems with our electoral system.

bjkeefe said...

Meant to say, following up on the penultimate paragraph in my last comment, that intelligent righties' efforts to distance themselves from the mouth-breathers need not be explained by a change to a more moderate or liberal mindset. In many cases, I'm sure they're just as firm in their worldviews. What may be motivating such people is a realization that a singular focus on appealing to the dumb is no longer the way to get to 50%+1.

Or so I hope. I'm sure it won't go away forever, of course. But maybe, just maybe, such a strategy will be set aside at least for a little while.