Community Organizer

Sarah Palin, self-described "pit bull in lipstick," took two swipes at community organizers last night. First, when she claimed that community organizers have no responsibilities:

I guess a small-town mayor if sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.

And again when she suggested community organizers were only seeking personal discovery.

My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery. (Laughter, cheers, applause.) This world of threats and dangers, it’s not just a community and it doesn’t just need an organizer. (Laughter.)

I agree with billmon–this is a Republican dogwhistle at its very best.

Used the way the GOP speakers used the words tonight (i.e. with a sneer), community = ghetto and organizer = activist.

It essentially was a coded way of pointing out Obama’s work in, with and for the black community (see? even I’m doing it) on the South Side of Chicago. Also the fact that his work involved helping low-income people stand up for their legal rights, as opposed to a GOP-sanctioned "real" job like business owner or career military officer (or moose hunter.) They were trying to put Obama back on the same level as Jesse Jackson — i.e., the black protest candidate — and mocking him for it.

To cut right to the nasty, they were using "community organizer" as a euphemism for "poverty pimp."


I gotta admit, I’m impressed in spite of myself. When it comes to playing the dog whistle, these guys are Mozarts.

Though I’ll go billmon one better. I think they’re setting up a very specific attack on Obama’s push to register people to vote that will play right into their expected attempts to use voter ID laws to do vote caging on a massive scale.

You’ll recall that in 2006, the GOP made a concerted effort to go after ACORN, which does a lot of community organizing as well as voter registration of lower-income people. In Missouri, after ACORN self-reported some problems with some of its (former) organizers, Brad Schlozman made a federal case out of it just in time for the elections. But there were hints all over the country of investigations targeting ACORN organizers. In fact, this obviously coordinated national attack on ACORN is, I suspect, at the root of Brad Schlozman’s own legal problems. 

So the Republicans have already laid the ground work for a nationalized attack of the work ACORN does to register and mobilize low-income voters.

Well, what is one of Obama’s big pushes this year? Registering voters–particularly African Americans–and turning them out to vote in November. 

Redstate’s Erick Erickson was just insinuating a connection between Obama and ACORN last week. I suspect we’ll see more, similar moves to equate Obama’s voter registration efforts with ACORN’s efforts to give people a voice.

I plan to return to this attack. But as for interpreting dog whistles, I think this laid the groundwork for attempts to deny those the Obama campaign registers in the next few weeks their right to vote in November.

Update: Marc Ambinder follows the RNC twitter feed so you don’t have to:

  • To Republicans, "community organizer" evokes Marxism and ACORN and corruption. 17 minutes ago
  1. brendanx says:


    Did you miss Giuliani jeering at “community organizer” right before her? It gave me a cold knot in my stomach. Now I know why.

    • dipper says:

      Rudi was positively gleeful mocking the “community organizer”, and so was the crowd. It reminded me of 4 years ago when they displayed their “purple heart” band-aids. They are such delightful people!

      • BoxTurtle says:

        IIR, Obama was working for the Catholic charities outreach, after a major employer closed. Rudi pretends to be a good catholic, perhaps the Cardinal would like to take his confession this week.

        Boxturtle (100,000 Hail Mary’s would be a record)

        • emptywheel says:

          I’m trying to get the campaign to use the bits on his organizing from his intro video at Mile High last week–which just happened to show him working with old white people–in a YouTube. I’d use it to attack Palin for sneering at the notion that we shoudl help our elders.

  2. bmaz says:

    Well, this is an attack point that Obama ought to pick up and fly with. Now. Talk about community organizers including those that assist citizens to vote, and how McCain/Palin don’t want people to vote, especially the poor, the minorities, and those that are hardest hit by the economy that scornful politicians like McCain, Bush, Cheney and Palin have bled dry and given as bribes and royalties to the corporate billionaires.

  3. klynn says:

    Could some kind of third party check be done with lawyers/notaries on new voter registrations before the registrations would be sent to the local Board of elections?

    Could this kind of volunteer base be use to weed out any ”bad” registrations?

  4. wavpeac says:

    I think there needs to be an add quickly thrown together with a picture of Martin Luther King Jr or Jesus…with just the words “community organizer”.

    It could be a 20 sec commercial but they need to get it running fast.

    They could add, “Community organizers wrote the constitution, abolished slavery, gave african americans the right to vote, gave women the right to vote…it’s no wonder republicans mock them.”

    • Dismayed says:

      I think there needs to be an add with the Founding Fathers that says “community organizers”

      I think the absolute scorn these people showed for “community organizer” equates to a scorn on volunteering, or community participation, or even community. That should be attacked for the desparagement of democracy that it is. They show a hatred for the most basic unit of democracy. The community.

      Community organization is Leadership at its finest, at its core. None of these silver spoon trust fund babies could have gotten off first base without a staff to get them through university. I think Barak’s bonifieds scare the hell out of them.

      Remember, remember, remember – KKKarl ALWAYS attacks his opponents strengths. The Obama campaign would be well advised to remember this and use it as a prime consideration in all strategy.

      • klynn says:

        It would be great if the ad came from a strong community organizer type of group. I do not want Obama’s camp to come off on the defensive for something that is great.

        A grassroots movement against the “slam” on community organizers, community development and the volunteer spirit would be so much more effective, and positive.

  5. BoxTurtle says:

    I say we’ve got PLENTY of time to obey whatever stupid rules they come up and we should. And make sure they abide by them as well.

    Any fight we pick will be easily delayed until after the election. We need to make sure that folks can vote regardless of any court decisions.

    And we fight back NOW on the “ghetto activist” attack. I’d start with a commercial that says “While McBush worked hard on , Obama was . Which one worked out better?”

    Boxturtle (I’m Boxturtle and I approved this message)

    • BoxTurtle says:

      Never enclose things in greater then/less then signs. The above SHOULD read:

      And we fight back NOW on the “ghetto activist” attack. I’d start with a commercial that says “While McBush worked hard on (insert Bush agenda item here) , Obama was (insert community activity here). Which one worked out better?”

      Boxturtle (Stupid literal minded blogging software)

  6. klynn says:

    I remember in my Freshman year of college professors imparting wisdom on critical thought. One of the more important was, “Compare praxis to praxis and theory to theory.” Kind of a higher take on the compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges…A basic lesson…

    Palin’s speech failed to compare her life twenty years ago to Obama’s. That aside, she should not even be comparing herself to Obama and making the case she is more experienced than him. Unless she IS that power hungry and sees herself as the next President. (Watch your back McCain.) When will she compare her experience level to Joe Biden, her campaign equal?

    My guess? Never.

    Her constant comparison of herself to Obama is incredibly telling on many levels, including her perspective on race…or the lack of perspective on race…or poverty…which is “more of the same” from modern Republicans.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      When will she compare her experience level to Joe Biden, her campaign equal?

      My guess? Never.

      I’ll go along with that. The GOP has already confirmed what we already suspected: They’re going to run this campaign on personalities, not issues. Expect to hear how much “like us” Palin is. And how much fun McBush is to hang around with. And how…different….Barak Hussein Obama looks and acts.

      Boxturtle (And did you notice he’s black and has an islamic name?)

  7. AlbertFall says:


    “Community organizer” was never a Rep attack point before.

    You supply a chilling logic to what the line of attack might be.

    A corrupt DOJ disenfranchising voters across the US immediately before an election?

    Knowing the level of disrespect the Bushies show for the law or constitution, I could imagine it. With 60 days to election, they may not have time to implement it.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, they have bee working on it since they got hammered in 2006. Figured out they need a new math. That is what a fair amount of the US Atty mess was over and a lot of action in the Civil Rights Division etc. Also, they have been running Republican Lawyers/Federalist Society seminars/meetings around the country to train local lawyers and activists to be able to function as a whole starting about now. This is an organized play they are making.

  8. BoxTurtle says:

    If that’s what they’re planning, it’s likely they’ve been working on it since “Dangling Chads”. What you’re seeing now is action. Expect to see lawsuits in republican controlled tossup states a bit closer to the election. The closer to the election, the less time there is to counter their actions.

    Boxturtle (Here in Ohio, they’re likely counting on Diebold)

  9. rosalind says:

    and so it begins…

    from a link at daily kos:

    “The Code of Virginia states that a student must declare a legal residence in order to register…By making Montgomery County your permanent residence, you have declared your independence from your parents and can no longer be claimed as a dependent on their income tax filings — check with your tax professional. If you have a scholarship attached to your former residence, you could lose this funding. And, if you change your registration to Montgomery County, Virginia Code requires you to change your driver’s license and car registration to your present address within 30 days.”

    misinformation aimed at virgina tech students, where obama just did a voter registration drive.


    • skdadl says:

      For those of us who aren’t there, this is the kind of detail that is so valuable in explaining how the deed is done (especially when we suspect, with good reason, that someone is planning to do it here), so thanks very much, rosalind.

      As always, EW, this post is such an eye-opener, always one step further.

  10. chrisc says:

    I have yet to see any vetting of Palin’s educational credentials. She is applying as backup for the nation’s premier job and we know almost nothing about her education. Supposedly, she spent a semester in exotic Hawaii and then transferred to a school in Idaho and then transferred to another school in Idaho. I wanna know why she transferred, what courses she took, what grades she got, what groups she belonged to, etc. She has a communications major and the first dude has a high school diploma. OK- did she ever take a history course or a constitutional law course? Or even an accounting course?

    I’m not doubting the dog whistles, but I think Sarah Baracuda may have somethings she doesn’t want us to look at too closely. And if we do, she can probably crank out a lot more “uppity” trash talk and throw it at Obama.

    • bobschacht says:

      Palin’s college days are briefly summarized in an AP dispatch :

      Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin enrolled at Hawaii Pacific College – now known as Hawaii Pacific University – as a freshman in the Business Administration program in 1982. But she only stayed one semester.

      Palin transferred to North Idaho College for the 1983-1984 school year and eventually graduated from the University of Idaho in 1987.

      Cinnamonape added some color to these bare bones.

      Bob in HI

    • eyesonthestreet says:

      After seeing the youtube video of Palin at Andrew Sullivan’s blog, of her addressing a Master Commission group for her Wasilla Assembly of God church, I went to the link for the Church, which has posted a notice that the site is shut down due to traffic. However, if you google the church, the home page is available, and it seems this church is affiliated with religious colleges across the country, and the world. Part of the “training” for leadership roles is to be an evangilist in other countries.

      Did Sarah Palin follow the evangelist path and has she been to other countries in her youth to promote her cause? and if so, why not say so?

      Sullivan intro:

      After last night’s national debut, here’s another speech by Palin in the Assemblies Of God church she grew up in. (Have we ever had a president from the Assemblies of God before?) She comes across as a charismatic, Pentecostalist charmer in favor of the Iraq war as part of God’s plan. Track has a Jesus tattoo on his calf, by the way. My favorite quote: “Y’all are a bunch of cool-looking Christians.” Her pastor speaks after her of the “last days” when the lower 48 states may have to seek refuge in Alaska. This governor is on a path, by her own testimony, that is being guided by God.

      link: http://andrewsullivan.theatlan…..ectin.html

      Assembly of God Bible Colleges:……;Itemid=29

      • chrisc says:

        North Idaho College is a community college with an open-door admissions policy. It is in picturesque Coeur-d’Alene. Very non-elitist, not religious AFAIK but very outdoorsy. And programs that will shuttle the student to another Idaho school to finish.

        Univ of Idaho is in Moscow, Idaho. I’m sure that gives her extra special foreign policy cred.
        I did not find any specific religious affiliation. Sarah was born in Idaho and her father grew up there, so when she left after her first semester in Hawaii, she probably went to a school her family was familiar with.

        I want to know how well she did and what coursework she took.

  11. freepatriot says:

    fuck the dog whistle

    tell it like it is

    Jesus was a community organizer

    pontius pilate was a governor

    sarah palin ain’t no christian

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Totally agree with freep and MrWhy on this topic about community organizers. FWIW, Joe Klein has a very good post up at TIME exposing the fraudulent insults about Obama’s community organizing — spoken shamelessly last night by Mrs Palin.…..r_doe.html

      But like bmaz, I’m inclined not to underestimate her. I think she’s the personification of all the people who’ve felt denigrated and insulted the past 30 years — she’s sticky. She isn’t going to let McCain dump her easily and if he tries, he’s in for one hell of a fight.

      But she was dishonest in her insults about Obama’s organizing.
      And having read this post, the direction her speech took makes a whole lot more sense.

      And I trust that I’m not the only one just ‘beyond contemptous’ that Rove — implicated in outing a CIA agent — is now working from behind the scenes to help with this continued nastiness…? Despicable.

      • lllphd says:

        oh god yeah; rove’s nasty fingerprints were all OVER her speech.

        in fact, it gave us some interesting insight. sort of like the insight into the veep pick he was pushing when he predicted obama would go after a cheap political choice instead of a governing choice. (we need to be watching what he’s saying, cuz his predictions about the dems seem to come true for the repugs!)

        here’s the insight: all the nastiness, the sarcasm and derision? this is how rove is feeling these days. he was banished from paradise because his nasty tactics got him into trouble – not with bush, who’s right there with him – but with the dems, who have been doggin him (a little too slowly for my tastes) for his various sins.

        and then they beat his machinery in 06! the nerve, the very idea, the outrage!!

        yup, i bet big money he oversaw the crafting of that venom.

  12. UrbanGorilla says:

    Spot on!

    But, I beg to differ that the “dog wistles” will require overly much interpretation. These self-righteous assholes are not going to even bother to couch their prejudice in slime tactics and rhetoric. Consider this bald faced assertion from Westmoreland:

    Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term “uppity” to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday.

    Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.

    “Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity,” Westmoreland said.

    Asked to clarify that he used the word “uppity,” Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”

    Can you believe that shit! I mean seriously. These people still think this crap is going to play outside of afternoon mixers at the club; and, damn, I hope to god the country has the collective balls to stand up and prove them very, very wrong!

  13. bell says:

    wavpeac #4 message – that is an excellent suggestion.. i hope the democrats take up your idea and run with it…

  14. AZ Matt says:

    Abramoff was not a community organizer so the Judge sentenced him to 4 years on top of the 2 years he has done and $15,000,000 fine.

  15. Sara says:

    “Uppity” will play quite well with the white over 60 crowd I suspect is being targeted by McCain’s Campaign. To understand it, you have to remember some detailed history of the Civil Rights Era.

    While the Movements of the 60’s got significant white support, it never, even at its heighth, was more than about 40% among the then youthful cohort, and strong support was slightly less than 20%. You can say almost ditto for the 60’s Anti-War Movement, though for those exposed to the draft there was more support, given self interest. While those attitudes are not fixed in concrete, fact is attitudes such as these don’t change that dramatically as a cohort ages.

    In this campaign we see slices of this from different directions — the difficulty Obama has had with Older White Working Class Women who supported Hillary but when she didn’t make it, considered McCain a possible alternative. We see it in the gender gap Obama v. McCain at the upper end of the age range. And we see it in what I am sure is a focus group tested use of terms such as Uppity and Elite against Obama. These approaches touch deep chords of resentment among those of an age to have experienced these movements, but not to have been part of it — not to have made the emotional commitment to movement culture and goals. Sadly, that is the majority of that cohort. And yep, they will hear the dog whistle.

  16. maryo2 says:

    OT –…..ref=slogin

    “Albert J. Stanley, a former executive with a Halliburton subsidiary, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges that he conspired to pay $182 million in bribes to Nigerian officials … between 1995 and 2004 while KBR was working in a consortium with three companies from Japan, France and Italy.”

    But the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) adds this detail:
    “As the oil-service company’s CEO , Mr. Cheney promoted Mr. Stanley to run KBR… in 1998.”

    Obviously, Italy-Cheney-Niger-bribery-France are the same players and vices in the yellowcake forgeries scandal.

    • Minnesotachuck says:

      Obviously, Italy-Cheney-Niger-bribery-France are the same players and vices in the yellowcake forgeries scandal.

      I suspect this involves the country of Nigera the former British colony on the coast, not the landlocked former French colony Niger.

  17. joejoejoe says:

    I don’t think Obama or Dems should answer the actual community organizer slams. That’s what the GOP wants. Answer the charge that Republicans didn’t make — that the teachings of the Catholic Church are a bunch of bunk.

    The Developing Communities Project was funded in part by a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a project of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, funded by the Catholic laity. Don’t respond to the ‘community organizer’ slam, ask why Republicans oppose the Catholic social gospel.

    Emptywheel is likely spot on about the long-term plan to discredit organizers who register voters but if Obama can counter with a defense of the social teachings of the Catholic Church (an effective nod to the Catholic middle class voter) it will screw up the GOP narrative.

    Why does the GOP have a problem with Catholics?

    • wavpeac says:

      The catholics used to be anti violence. yes, pro life, but also against the death penalty. Against racism. For helping the poor. And last but not least…here is the biggie, the catholics must have learned something from the christian wars…because they are often against war. Many catholic religious leaders spoke out against vietnam.

    • dopeyo says:

      “Why does the GOP have a problem with Catholics?”

      Most Catholics in the U.S. (I’m one, too) overlooked the Catholic Church’s teachings on
      1. Pre-emptive War in Iraq
      2. Immigration reform
      3. Nuclear disarmament
      4. The death penalty (and the 152 convicts W executed in Texas)
      5. Living wage

      I don’t have much affection for Cardinal Ratzinger, but I wish they’d listen a little more to him and a lot less to Bill O’Lielly and his gooper pals.

  18. wavpeac says:

    Well, I think that using a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. would be playing the race card appropriately. I think that pointing out that all the times that we fought for civil rights we have done it by organizing the common people to fight against the money and power brokers. It’s an age old problem. It’s who we have always been fighting. I think it would energize our base. My sister in law is against racism, but loves Mcsame. I think she could be won over if she saw the racism in all that “community organizer slamming”. Cause that’s what it was.

  19. Sara says:

    As to the use of Acorn as either a model of what will be targeted in opposition to Obama’s voter registeration efforts … I think it is a very bad example. At least here in Minnesota, and I understand elsewhere, Acorn was infliterated by Republican Operatives who were paid to mess up their processes. But at the same time, Acorn in 2004 did a very poor job of recruiting and training their workers, refused to fix their problems even when friendly help was offered, essentially looking on recruiting voters as an adjunct to recruiting Acorn supporters. This is one reason why Obama’s campaign did not want donors to give to programs outside the campaign this year. He wants existing Democratic Elected Officials, State and local party structures, and the Obama Campaign structures to do this work. In Minneapolis, for instance, the Voter Drives are all being run through Keith Ellison’s efforts (5th District Congressman), as a project done in collaboration with other Campaigns. (State Legislators, Obama, Franken, etc.) They can follow every new registeration through the process and make certain they are on the lists. All workers get the same training, and any legal issues go to the same group of organized lawyers who resolve any issues (hopefully). I understand that some variation on this unified effort is being done all over the US — the DNC has pushed all the State Parties to put into the effort — and candidates at all levels are getting the same message. While I am sure there are ways that Republican Operatives could infiltrate and mess up this, just as they did Acorn, I suspect they will be more likely to be found out, given this structure. The same lawyers who got injunctions against our former Republican Secretary of State for some of her rulings back in 2004, are the same crew that will be working closely with the Ellison-Obama program which has DFL State Sponsorship.

    • emptywheel says:

      My point is not that there’s a tie between them. It’s that:

      1) The Republicans have ALREADY started insinuating there is a tie between them
      2) In 2006, there was a documented campaign, involving both the national and state level GOP, to trump up charges against ACORN, in what was in key ways a test run for this
      3) They will use the groundwork of 1 and 2–and the efforts of Giuliani and Palin–to suggest ALL voter reg drives are evil and criminally suspect

  20. FredJ says:

    I think the ’dog whistle’ theory is a bit paranoid. Palin found a way she could compare herself to Obama, and make her sound better. This is normal political talk in an election year. She was trolling for votes, not sending out secret commands (on television!).

    I don’t think Palin knows that ’community’ = ’ghetto’. She has no personal experience there. She compared her hometown to Obama’s Chicago neighborhood.

    Anyway, being vice-President is worth a warm bucket of piss.

    • lllphd says:

      fred, (a) i don’t think she wrote that speech. she’d read anything they put in front of her, just about.

      (b) tell cheney about that warm bucket of piss, why doncha?

  21. JohnLopresti says:

    computer says try twice: AZ had a difficult time devising a way to tweak voter ID. Check this tale of the problems one elderly person encountered, she needed to produce a witness because she was too elderly and born in a western Applachian state in an epoch before state government kept certifiable birth records. Slightly OT, Hearne has a new outfit instead of ACVR this season, maybe I will find it’s fictitious business name.

  22. wavpeac says:

    The line that got to me was listening to….(crap I hate being over 40) some repug that ran for the nomination and talked before the bald cross dresser from new york. (can’t think of any of their names) Anyway, he said that his daddy worked hard…and ”lifted heavy things” (I loved that since my husband is an electrician I could really relate). Then he said that he grew up poor. He said but the difference between his hardworking life and that of the Obama crowd is that he earned himself a better life instead of waiting for hand out from the gov’t. (paraphrasing). I thought that was really one of the meanest lines from the whole night. He was poor and worked hard and got rich, if you aren’t rich and need help you are a whiner.

    Ugh…I think it fits the whole community organizer pitch. The whole night was a hate fest for a class war.

    • UrbanGorilla says:

      Ugh…I think it fits the whole community organizer pitch. The whole night was a hate fest for a class war.

      Ain’t that the truth! But the best retort is to call out media and make them address the lies. It can’t be Barrack. He’s above the fray and can’t, shouldn’t be drawn into an argument with a two bit hussy.

      Now would be a good time to implore Hillary to rejoin the battle. Her chops are irrefutable while Palin is a cheap substitute. If Hillary has any interest in helping the Obama campaign, why not implore her to take on the pretender. NOBODY brings it like Hillary, with facts and logic, and she cannot be accused of sexism and is above reproach in terms of her experience.

  23. Evolute says:

    Community organizing is a serious threat to the Republican democratic ideal. I’m sure, along with the ambient temperature, the facts scare the bejesus out of the diehard. In 2006 their Great White hope, Palin, won her governorship with 99,619 votes, a 49% mandate. Community Organizer Obama won 3,597,456 votes with a 70% margin.

    And on her executive experience as governor, it’s like being chosen to captain a ship, say the Exxon Valdez, where on day one the first mate has a crew, the ship is afloat and in order, with maps in the draw and you only have to get it from point A to point B. Obama’s only executive experience is running his campaign, the Ark that he built.

    bmaz @25 Your right, if the Hail Mary pass doesn’t work – tilt the field so the ball falls in your lap. With the now handy excuse that if Obama had picked Hillary you guys would have won.

  24. Nathanhj says:

    Thanks for this diary.

    I’ve seen that ACORN is already under attack in 2008. They’ve been slagged in NV, NM, WI, CT, and OH that I’m aware of. More of the same as what you saw in 2004 and again in 2006. Doing something right it appears.

    They also released this statement on the attacks at the GOP convention.…..2adbf6d900

    ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) President Maude Hurd issued the following statement after presumptive Republican V.P nominee Sara Palin and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani made disparaging remarks about community organizing at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.

    “ACORN members, leaders and staff are extremely disappointed that Republican leaders would make such condescending remarks on the great work community organizers accomplish in cities throughout this country.

    The fact that they marginalize our success in empowering low- and moderate-income people to improve their communities further illustrates their lack of touch with ordinary people. Through community organizing, people are empowered to take action to solve their own problems, develop leadership skills and make decisions that improve their lives and their communities.”

    ACORN has been building organizations and developing leadership among low- and moderate- income residents in neighborhoods throughout the United States for 38 years. During that time, ACORN chapters have worked individually and collectively to organize innovative grassroots campaigns on a number of critical issues. As the nation’s largest grassroots community organization with more than 400,000 member families, ACORN employs 400 organizers that carry a huge responsibility of helping disenfranchised people in their communities.

    In the past 10 years, ACORN has helped more than 30 million American families through our various organizing campaigns: better schools, financial justice, living wages, community improvement, immigration, healthcare, predatory lending, voter engagement and utilities.

    The total monetary value of recent victorious ACORN campaigns was quantified in a 2006 report entitled, “ACORN Wins”. Over the last decade, ACORN’s victories amount to $15 billion, an average of $1.5 billion per year going directly into low- and moderate-income communities to help strengthen working families. (For a copy go to…..Report.pdf)

  25. Minnesotachuck says:

    A long email about Palin’s background in Alaska, by a self-described housewife from Wasilla, has been virally flying around the internet. It has now been posted at the Centrist Voice site. Here’s part of what the author says about why she wrote it:


    First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

    Secondly, I’ve always operated in the belief that “Bad things happen when good people stay silent”. Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

    Third, I am just a housewife. I don’t have a job she can bump me out of. I don’t belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that’s life.

    PS: The FDL techies are almost surely aware of this, but the comment script doesn’t deal well with the inclusion of multiple paragraphs within the blockquote function.

  26. freepatriot says:

    I saw bill schnieder say that the repuglitards were down to 28% of registered voters, nationwide

    sarah palin might have shored up the repuglitard base

    she’s shrinking it too

    the number of voters who are moral and intelligent people is up to 72%

    that ain’t good for the repuglitards or john mcsame

  27. masaccio says:

    Our job is to work with the republicans who have some residual sense of shame. Among our Jewish Republican friends, we can talk about the end times philosophy of Sarah Palin. Among our business friends, we point out relevant business issues, for example, the drain private health care inflicts on them (I have tons of other examples).

    The idea is to shame them into not voting. If we reduce McCain’s margins among liberal repubs, we have done what we can do.

  28. lllphd says:

    is anyone else noticing just how unbelievably, erm, paternally palin is being MANAGED???

    i mean, we’re not to expect any one-on-one interviews with her for a while? what is THAT? was biden so cloistered???

    are they that afraid she’ll screw up?

    talk about sexist!

  29. lllphd says:

    woopsie; didn’t see ew’s notes on scully’s penning palin’s speech.

    cut from the same cloth, tho, he and karl.

  30. tejanarusa says:

    Chiming in late – you are so right that this is a meme that’s starting up:

    John Fund (WSJ columnist, author of new book “Stealing Elections”) was on Talk of the Nation this p.m. He repeatedly stated half-truths and falsehoods about ACORN, saying that they frequently and deliberately register ineligible voters, and have been repeatedly convicted for such “voter fraud.”
    He went on to state, several times, that Obama was a “community organizer” for ACORN and, (gasp) “EVEN” was their lawyer.
    A caller called him out on that last, btw. But nobody said that Obama worked for Catholic Charities, not ACORN. I have to admit, right now, I don’t know the answer to that.
    But I do think now that this is the 2nd-day roll-out of this particular dogwhistle.
    And, no, it’s not paranoid to think so. I don’t think you can be too paranoid when interpreting these people’s intentions. They are evil.

  31. lllphd says:

    dismayed, i am also.

    and yeah, an ad with the founding fathers would be quite good.

    in fact, this whole issue reflects the age old conflict btwn the pull to aristocracy and the break to democracy. to put it more succinctly, btwn the cult of leader worship and the true individuality fostered by democracy.

    so an ad might look something like:
    “there are those who place so much impassioned importance on leadership, they forget what a democracy is really about. our founding fathers recognized that true freedom comes from following the will of we, the people. those among us who work with the people, with our communities, organizing their efforts toward their goals, toward their aspirations, toward the fulfillment of our most treasured rights, display our most democratic leadership. not least among these is our right to vote. don’t just vote this fall; get out and organize your community to register every citizen to vote, and then make sure they can make it to the polls and all our votes get counted. it’s everyone’s right; it’s everyone’s responsibility. it’s the american way.”
    ***voiced over dissolving images of kings and despots, fading to images of the founding fathers in group discussions (those great paintings of yore), the preamble to the constitution, fading to susan b. anthony and mlk jr organizing, and contemporary photos of community organizers, obama among them.

    after obama’s capitulation to o’reilly last night, i fear not just a slide but a nosedive to the right to match mccain’s. we gotta stop this trainwreck.

  32. Nell says:

    I’ve got anecdotal evidence in support of EW’s theory. At the Obsidian Wings blog, a commenter suggested that part of countering the scary vibes Republicans are trying to create around community organizing would be to name the organization for which Obama worked (an eight-parish project of the Catholic Church’s Campaign for Human Development).

    An ex-Republican commenter, someone who’s voting for Obama but is steeped in what the GOP wants people to think, responded revealingly. First, it was clear that he had no idea for whom Obama had worked as an organizer (which by itself supports the original commenter’s point). But second, it’s clear that the community organizer=ACORN meme is well established in conservative/Republican circles: [naming] some of them maybe. “Friends of the Parks” sounds just dandy. But you don’t really believe that bringing ACORN into this would actually help do you?