Roland Burris (D-IL)
Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
[end trumpets; I'll never get another chance to include a picture of Roland Burris, so he wins]
But rather than write a paean to these brave individuals, I will simply steal from Anonymous Liberal (h/t Greenwald (h/t D-day)):
But even if you take these film-makers at face value and assume the worst [A.L. doesn't], the reality is that ACORN has thousands of employees and the vast majority of them spend their days trying to help poor people through perfectly legal means (and receive very little compensation for doing so). Even before yesterday's Senate vote, the amount of federal money that went to ACORN was very small [an ACORN affiliate, unrelated to voter registration, has received $53 million over 15 years]. This is a relatively insignificant organization in the grand scheme of things, but it's an organization that has unquestionably fought over the years to improve the lives of the less fortunate in this country.LINKS: Someone nice conservative put together a great web document with pictures and phone numbers of the Acorn Seven. Rather than call and complain, I suggest you call up the Senators and give them your thanks for standing up to the usual BS that hovers over Congress like flies on poop.
That the GOP and its conservative supporters would single out this particular organization for such intense demonization is telling. In September of last year, the entire world came perilously close to complete financial catastrophe. We're still not out of the woods and we're deep within one of the worst recessions in U.S. history. This situation was brought about by the recklessness and greed of our banks and financial institutions, most of which had to be bailed out at enormous cost to the American taxpayer (exponentially more than all of the tax dollars given to ACORN over the years). The people who brought about this near catastrophe, for the most, profited immensely from it. These very same institutions, propped up by the American taxpayer, are once again raking in large profits.
But rather than focus their anger on these folks, conservatives choose to go after an organization composed almost entirely of low-paid community organizers, an organization that could never hope to have even a small fraction of the clout or the ability to affect the overall direction of the country that Wall Street bankers have. ACORN's relative lack of political influence was on full display yesterday, when the U.S. Senate (in which Democrats have a super-majority) not only entertained a vote to defund ACORN, but approved it by a huge margin (with only seven Democrats opposing).
Joe Conason rises to ACORN's defense as well.
The House of Representatives went a little overboard, it appears. Freshman Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has been a great addition to our government representatives. Glennzilla interviews him on this subject and gets a true money quote:
The amount of money that ACORN has received in the past 20 years altogether is roughly equal to what the taxpayer paid to Halliburton each day during the war in Iraq.