December 28, 2009

The Tattlesnake – Why the GOP Hates ACORN and the Poor Edition

Remember those ACORN-office videos that a right-wing ringer named James O’Keefe, posing as a pimp, surreptitiously taped with Hannah Giles, a young woman pretending to be his prostitute, that were a media kerfluffle a few months back?


Watching them gave me a familiar feeling – it was the same feeling I had back in 2003 when glowering TV Doctor Colin Powell, performing at the U.N. Club in New York, shook a vial of white powder in front of the camera and claimed it was Saddam’s Very Own Anthrax. The feeling only increased when ‘Dr.’ Powell produced artist’s renderings of super-secret Iraqi chemical-labs-on-wheels, views that we apparently couldn’t catch photographically from sophisticated spy satellites or aerial reconnaisance overflights because – well, he never actually said why.

This feeling, as close as I can come to describing it, is akin to doing Houdini’s Chinese Water Torture trick, wherein the master magician was suspended upside-down in a glass-paneled cabinet filled to the top with water — only instead of water, imagine horse manure.

The Tattler was wincing with disgust while laughing as I watched geeky white boy O’Keefe, dressed for all the world like Sonny Bono when he had Cher, babe, trying to pass himself off as Mr. Bad Ass Pimp to a collection of black women from the ‘Hood who had doubtless seen the real thing at sometime in their lives – it was like casting Wally Cox as Don Vito Corleone: “Gee whillikers, we’ll make ‘em an offer they won’t get mad at and refuse!”

Hannah didn’t play her role much better – she was dumb enough, but a little too clean and preppy – but hers wasn’t the important role.

The college-educated ofay voice of O’Keefe, in the same tone as a census-taker, earnestly asking for help to avoid paying his pimp taxes and advice in running a brothel with underage girls rightfully had the ACORN women stifling grins. This was a surreal spectacle that only a teabagger could swallow whole without gagging on the absurdity.

Well, a teabagger, our vacuous illiberal media, and the growing crop of space cadets in our Congress.

It was expected that the GOP would indulge in their usual over-popped level of fake moral outrage – they paid for the video, after all — and the pundits live off their crumbs, but couldn’t we have had at least one Democrat call ‘bullshit’ on this silly nonsense? No one but a halfwit would believe this skinny white boy wearing his mother’s old chinchilla coat is actually a pimp, and anybody who’s been around a city block more than once knows it. But the risible sight of O’Keefe in his cartoon pimp outfit is instructive, both as to the contempt with which the corporate Republican elite hold the public, and to their knee-shaking fear of the extension of democracy and equality to people without money.

The Republican Party’s fringe-right wingnuts, excuse me for repeating myself, have long had a bitter grudge against ACORN, the community service group that registers voters and helps poor people. Why? Because, to put it simply, the GOP hates the poor, even though they work diligently to produce more of them to reward their corporate backers with a large pool of ever-cheaper labor. This is filtered through several levels of the corporate Republican psyche:

Level One: They hate them, naturally, because they’ve been incredibly effective at registering low- and no-income voters who tend to vote for Democrats. I’ve seen ACORN in action on several occasions and, contrary to right-wing myth, never once saw an ACORN representative tell anyone what candidate or party to vote for but, since they operate in neighborhoods where Bill Kristol wouldn’t go for a nightcap with friends, even Mommie Dearest from Wasilla could figure out how the new register is going to cast his or her ballot once in the polling place.

Level Two: ACORN shows people how to claim their rights and there’s nothing a Republican hates more than some sepia-shaded minority or poverty-stricken white demanding their damn rights. Rights, in their opinion, are for the landed gentry, preferably those with at least two ‘lands’: main residence with a circular driveway and spacious vacation home. These modern Scalia Federalists know that the only right an indigent person deserves is the right to clean their house, cook their food, raise their kids, or trim their lawn at whatever wage and under whatever conditions the employer determines is fair, without interference by meddling Big Government, or ACORN, trying to insure the menials have ‘rights.’

Level Three: This taps into the deep panic of every Republican that one day they, too, could be out on the street, flat broke and without a relative or sugar daddy to help them, selling StreetWise or begging change with a foam coffee cup. In a sensible person, this would lead to support for social safety net programs and the like, in case they ever happened to hit rock bottom; in the bizarre psychological landscape of the wingnut, this becomes a vicious loathing of poor people, perhaps as an easy self-justification for their hatred: ‘They’re poor because they deserve to be poor.’ For all of their neverending blather about hard work and pulling up bootstraps, some of the more intelligent wingnuts, deep in their dark little hearts, know very well life is largely a crap shoot; a gamble that starts with the accident of who you are born to, and continues with lucky breaks and class advantages all along the way. They are well aware that most of American life is not a meritocracy where your fate is cast by your talent or intellect – the aforementioned Kristol lad and George ‘Junior’ Bush being two prime examples – and that success is usually rigged in favor of those with the proper family connections or the ability to suck up in a manner that would embarrass the average swamp leech. One of the major reasons the official Washington GOPocracy so despises Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama has to do with their personal histories – they came from humble beginnings and actually used their talent and intelligence to prevail in a game that’s supposed to be the sport of the privileged and well-born. And, of course, they were all helped into the Big Show by ACORN-registered voters.

It’s no surprise that Democrats as well as Republicans voted to defund ACORN – most of the Dems seem as afraid of offending the Right-Wing Attack Dogs and their corporate funders as any cracker GOP politician – but federal money was only ten percent of ACORN’s revenue, so they’ll still be around.

Then, when some gun-toting teabaggers, inspired by Fox News or Limbaugh, barge into an ACORN office and start ‘refreshing the tree of liberty’ with the blood of these uppity voter registration tyrants who refuse to call the white man ‘Suh’ anymore and celebrated the election of that black Hitler in the White House, our Big Media, nudged by the GOP, will play it as a political contest as to who is at fault for the attacks – yes, it was wrong for these enraged patriots to open fire on innocent unarmed people, but didn’t they invite it by continuing to belong to a communist/socialist/fascist/terrorist/criminal organization that hates America like ACORN? Why, just look at these undercover videos of them encouraging a pimp and his hooker to break the law!

And we will move another inch closer to the ignorant new Dark Ages of President Palin 2012 as Obama is blamed by the Pundi-twits for not doing enough to prevent the attacks, such as forcing ACORN to disband with federal troops. In the cause of freedom, of course.

© 2009 RS Janes.

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