This is rich. Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is complaining to the Justice Department about the attention being focused on the determined effort by ACORN, Obama's wholly owned vote-fraud division, to steal the 2008 election. Adding ignorance to gall, the campaign demands that what it calls a "Special Prosecutor" must investigate not ACORN but — you guessed it — the McCain campaign and the Bush administration.
The art form to which chutzpah has been raised in this instance is a letter from the Obama campaign's top lawyer, Robert Bauer of the Perkins Coie law firm in Washington. Of course these days, due to the intricate web of traps for the unwary known as "campaign finance regulations" — for which Sen. McCain has no one but himself to blame — all candidates for high office need legal teams. Obama, though, is a special case.
When not scorching the earth to destroy ordinary citizens who have the temerity to ask the messiah blunt questions, or threatening political opponents with prosecution for campaigning against him, or promising war crimes investigations against the opposition party if Americans are daft enough to put his toadies in charge of the Justice Department, Obama comrades can be found editing the amendments to the last modification of their most recently restated campaign-finance reporting errors.
One day the candidate is taking money hand over fist from fictitious supporters like "Good Will" and "Doodad Pro." The next day, he is illegally raising funds from foreigners (perhaps more than a staggering $63 million), including from Palestinians — who figure a candidate who pours tens of thousands of dollars into the coffers of a terror-supporting former PLO spokesman like Rashid Khalidi is a safe bet to make a prophet out of Jesse Jackson. On still other days, Obama finds himself having to explain his campaign's misrepresentation of the $800,000 payday it gave his old pals at ACORN.
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, is essentially a Marxist shakedown outfit. One of its main rackets is election fraud — but it can also be very helpful if you happen to be a Leftist activist who finds himself needing, say, to foment a riot, vandalize public property, shut down legislative hearings or opposition conferences, harass the families of elected officials, extort leave-us-alone pay-offs from banks, promote illegal immigration, or the like.
Like ACORN, Obama is a community organizer in the Saul Alinsky radical mode, and he goes way back — two decades back — with the organization. He represented ACORN as a lawyer, taught "organizing" to ACORN's up and coming rabble-rousers, colluded with ACORN in Chicago "get out the vote" projects, funded ACORN when he sat on the boards of left-wing charities, and exploited ACORN's enthusiastic support when he won his senate seat in 2004 — a victory the "non-partisan" ACORN can't help itself but claim credit for.
THE SPECIAL-PROSECUTOR CANARDAnd now, as the heat has been turned up on ACORN for tossing what little caution it has ever had to the wind as it goes into overdrive on Obama's behalf, The One himself is riding to the rescue. In an Orwellian brush-back pitch, the Obama campaign demands that DOJ investigate the McCain campaign and Bush Justice Department officials for what it portrays as the trumpeting of "unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud."
Before we get to that last farcical assertion (by the guy who wants to be responsible for enforcing federal law, no less), Obama ought to be embarrassed by the sheer stupidity the letter conveys.
Bauer addresses his complaints to both Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Connecticut U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy. Why Dannehy? Because, according to Bauer, she is the "Special Prosecutor" appointed by Mukasey to investigate whether crimes were committed in connection with President Bush's firing of nine U.S. attorneys. "The appointment of a Special Prosecutor was necessary," Obama's legal beagle opines, "because the Department's leadership was the focus of the investigation and unable to credibly undertake an independent, professional and credible inquiry."
Wrong. Glenn Fine, the DOJ inspector-general appointed by President Clinton and retained by President Bush (since keeping George Tenet on at CIA was apparently not enough), issued a Democrat-pleasing report calling for an investigation of the already mega-investigated U.S. attorney firings — notwithstanding that the president's termination of executive branch appointees is not a crime. Mukasey responded by selecting Dannehy to lead the probe. But Dannehy is not a "Special Prosecutor."
Instead, because the investigation involves officials who worked in Washington at either Main Justice or the White House, the attorney general determined it would raise potential conflicts of interest to assign a prosecutor from Main Justice or the U.S. attorney's office in Washington. As is routinely the case in such circumstances, the investigation was given to a veteran prosecutor from another district, in this case, Connecticut. The investigation, however, is still being done by the Justice Department. Dannehy is not independent. She reports to the deputy attorney general (which is standard — all district U.S. attorneys report to the DAG). The DAG reports to Mukasey. The Justice Department is not recused from the investigation (as it was, for example, when Patrick Fitzgerald prosecuted Scooter Libby or when Lawrence Walsh investigated Iran-Contra).
One has to figure that Obama, a U.S. senator running for president, and his hot-shot Washington lawyer grasp the elementary difference between "independent" and "not independent." So why publicly file a letter that is so wildly off base? Obviously because the letter is a political document, not a legal one.
Obama clearly hopes to discredit the multiple ongoing investigations of ACORN by tainting DOJ with the Democrats' trumped up claim that empty GOP allegations of election fraud prompted the U.S. attorney firings. The thin reed for this is David Iglesias, the U.S. attorney in New Mexico who was dismissed after the state's top Republicans complained that he was not moving on vote-fraud cases.
The claim won't wash. To begin with, it's not even accurate as to Iglesias. Obama's lawyer suggests that election fraud "did not exist" in New Mexico; in fact, what Iglesias found was that whatever fraud his office had learned about could not be reached by federal law. That's because, as Bauer conveniently fails to mention, elections — even federal elections — are state-run affairs. Absent strong evidence of an interstate scheme of fraud or, say, use of the U.S. mails to carry out the fraud, election improprieties do not violate federal law no matter how clear they may be.
OBAMA & ACORN, ATTACHED AT THE HIP Which brings us to ACORN. Obama's longtime ally is now being investigated in at least 14 different states for election fraud. Cynically, Obama is banking on the fact that most people don't grasp the state/federal distinction. By taking aim at the Justice Department, his letter obscures the fact that the numerous investigations of ACORN have been undertaken not by DOJ but by state authorities — and in some instances by Democrat law-enforcement officials who find themselves unable to turn a blind-eye to ACORN's blatant tactics.
For example, in Nevada, where ACORN appears to have submitted thousands of phony voter registrations — including filings on behalf of the Dallas Cowboys' star players — the FBI participated with other agencies in a raid on ACORN's Las Vegas office. But the investigation is being run by state authorities, not the feds.
The choice to use the Cowboys makes perfect sense, for when it comes to fraud, ACORN truly is America's Team. As Jim Hoft details in a useful Pajamas Media account, "The Complete Guide to ACORN Voter Fraud," state agencies are examining ACORN's activities not just in Nevada but in North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Michigan, and New Mexico (where Iglesias may be gone but ACORN is alive and well).
This year alone, ACORN has filed 1.3 million voter registrations, and already — without thorough scrutiny by forensic law-enforcement investigators — tens of thousands of them are known to be fraudulent. The group, moreover, is known to have bribed voters to register dozens of times and to have hired convicted felons as registration recruiters.
Interestingly, ACORN's Nevada program is known as "Project Vote." As detailed by Steve Gilbert at Sweetness & Light, Project Vote has long been ACORN's "voter mobilization" arm. In 1992, it was directed in Chicago by a young "community organizer" named Barack Obama. The resulting registration of 150,000 new voters became the springboard for his political career. As observed about Obama's efforts by top ACORN agitator Madeline Talbott (a staunch proponent of the lawlessness ACORN euphemistically calls "direct action"): "Barack has proven himself among our members. He is committed to organizing, to building a democracy. Above all else, he is a good listener, and we accept and respect him as a kindred spirit, a fellow organizer."
ACORN is not just carrying out voter fraud in the here and now. Over the years, as Hoft recounts, several its operatives have been convicted for these activities. And how could it be otherwise? What voters need to understand is that ACORN is a revolutionary Leftist organization. It was founded in 1970 by Wade Rathke, a former member of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) — the Communist organization from which Bill Ayers' Weatherman terrorist group split off in the late Sixties. It is adherent to the radical principles of Saul Alinsky, of whom Obama is a disciple — in fact, he authored a chapter in an anthology called After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois.
Under the aforementioned heading of "direct action," ACORN has made fraud, extortion, harassment, and menacing core parts of its modus operandi. As a matter of principle, ACORN believes that the established bourgeois American order is racist, materialist, imperialist and illegitimate. ACORN no more cares about election laws than about other laws it decides must be circumvented in the service of the higher purpose it reveres: "Change."
For nearly 20 years, Obama and ACORN have been attached at the hip. And now he rides to ACORN's rescue.
— National Review's Andrew C. McCarthy chairs FDD's Center for Law & Counterterrorism and is the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books 2008).