The ACORN office in Las Vegas, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008.
Jae C. Hong/AP

Congress finally declares victory over ACORN

From time to time in recent years, I’ve marveled at the Republican preoccupation with ACORN, a community group that permanently closed its doors several years ago. Indeed, as recently as December 2012, Public Policy Polling found that nearly half of Republican voters believed President Obama only won re-election because of ACORN’s interference – even though ACORN didn’t exist at the time.
Of particular interest, though, was Congress. For years after ACORN’s demise, Republican lawmakers continued to insist on provisions in spending bills that blocked ACORN from receiving public funding. The legislative language was about as necessary as measures prohibiting unicorn research, but it seemed to make the right feel better for some reason.
But no longer. Zach Carter reports that House Republicans “appear to be throwing in the towel” in its campaign against the organization that does not exist.
[S]ince the passage of a budget bill in January, which included four different sections blocking funds to the non-existent ACORN, the GOP appears to have abandoned the cause. None of the appropriations bills that have passed the House after Jan. 14 have included anti-ACORN language. Not the Veterans Affairs reform bill, not the recent border crisis bill, not even mundane bills to fund the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Small Business Administration.
“Now that the Republicans have been forced by Obama to give in, it’s time to get government funds flowing to ACORN again so we can steal another election in 2016,” jeered one House Democratic aide, referencing longstanding voter fraud conspiracy theories involving ACORN.
Well, it was funny while it lasted.
Of course, the next question is whether GOP lawmakers might also be willing to end legislative efforts against other imaginary problems.
Revisiting a piece from a month ago, House Republicans recently voted to prevent the Department of Energy from blocking offshore-drilling permits, despite the fact that the Department of Energy has nothing to do with offshore-drilling permits.
Last year, House Republicans also approved a measure to block an Obama administration policy on welfare reform that didn’t existSome Republicans have taken up measures to prevent the imposition of “Sharia law” on the public, despite the fact that there is no effort to impose such a policy. My personal favorite was the effort to stop the “NAFTA Super-Highway,” which never really existed outside the overheated imaginations of the political fringe and Rand Paul.
But that was before the ACORN breakthrough! Any chance it’ll be a sign of things to come?