Why Obama will throw ACORN under the bus
By Frank Salvato
web posted September 28, 2009
The spotlight of scrutiny is shining brightly on ACORN these days and rightly so. Where ACORN's defenders have the audacity to insist that the employees caught on undercover videotape giving advice to a perceived "pimp" and "prostitute" on how to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and internationally traffic in underage Guatemalan prostitutes were simply "a few bad employees," anyone with a brain recognizes that the problem is systemic in the organization. But what some are misdiagnosing or not completely understanding is how President Obama could be so nonchalant about the issue in recent interviews. It's because ACORN – for Mr. Obama – has served its purpose and just like Van Jones, Tom Daschle and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, ACORN is about to be tossed under the bus.
In past articles and in many radio interviews, I have insisted that Barack Obama is just another Chicago machine politician, albeit a very successful one (If you don't understand the phrase "Chicago machine" read the book Boss by legendary Chicago journalist Mike Royko). And like every good Chicago machine politician, Barack Obama is following the cardinal rules:
▪ Do what you have to in order to get elected.
▪ Once elected, consolidate as much power as you possibly can.
▪ Reward those who helped you get elected.
▪ Position yourself for re-election and your retention of power.
In each of the steps Barack Obama has performed so far he has done so in a most exemplary fashion.
In getting elected to the various and limited number of offices he has held Mr. Obama has done what he has needed to do in order to be victorious. From using legal avenues to get his competition removed from the ballot to leveraging his clout with the Chicago Democrat machine to pilfering the mantra of the 1992 Clinton campaign – "Hope & Change" – Barack Obama has said and done everything required to win elections.
Once Mr. Obama was elected to the presidency, he and his team – led by Chicago politicians Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod – started to consolidate power, not only amongst the ranks of the Democrat national organization but in the Executive Branch. In addition to his nominations for cabinet posts, Mr. Obama set to putting in place a shadow cabinet of "czars." From Van Jones to Mark Lloyd to Cass Sunstein to John Holdren, Mr. Obama began empowering trusted and like-minded individuals to help oversee his agenda while enlisting special interest groups and community organizations to facilitate legislation of the agenda.
Additionally, once Mr. Obama ascended to the Oval Office, he began to craft ways to reward those individuals and organizations that aided him in his political quest for the presidency. But here is where the rubber meets the road. In order to position himself for re-election Mr. Obama has to retain the individuals and organizations among his supporters who performed and/or have the potential for providing superior campaign performance while dispensing with the non-performers and/or liabilities.
Do you remember all that talk by Mr. Obama about a civilian national security force?
"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
The key words in that passage are "achieve the national security objectives." While everyone else was focusing on the dichotomy of our US military and a civilian counterpart, the real focus should have been on the definition of what Mr. Obama believes to be our "national security objectives."
Let's take the aforementioned quote and put it into context by incorporating this quote by Mr. Obama:
"We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
As we have witnessed over the past eight months, Mr. Obama has quite the different vision of what is and what isn't important where the well-being of our nation is concerned. Therefore, his idea of what comprises our "national security objectives" is also quite different from what we have come to expect and understand. Truth be told, this above average Chicago machine politician has coalesced his need to consolidate power with the implementation of his agenda, facilitated by a mostly manufactured mortgage crisis and a perceived economic crisis, into a marketable set of new age national security objectives.
In the Stimulus Package Mr. Obama effectively raided the US Treasury to reward a plethora of special interest groups. If the intent of the almost trillion dollar stimulus package was to create jobs and kick-start the economy why then were millions and in some cases billions spent on:
▪ The San Francisco Salt March Mouse
▪ A magnetically levitating train line from Disneyland to Las Vegas
▪ Lithium battery research
▪ Zero emissions power plants & carbon capture projects
▪ The National Endowment for the Arts
▪ "Global warming" research (even as temperatures continue to fall)
▪ Digital television conversion
▪ Unemployment benefits, food stamps & earned income credits
In an effort to be accurate, there were provisions included that actually generated stimulus to our economy. $30 billion (or less than 5% of the spending in the bill) went to fix bridges and/or other highway projects. $40 billion was allocated for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects, even though protection against the threat of an Electro-Magnetic Pulse attack were ignored. When one includes the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts approximately $90 billion out of $825 billion (or about 12 cents of every $1) was for something that could be considered a point of economic stimulus.
What is unquestionable about the Stimulus Bill is that in each of the instances where a special interest was served – this group is dominated by eco-zealots and unions – an Obama supportive voter block was rewarded for their campaign efforts. With much of the $825 billion yet to be spent, it isn't hard to understand that the bulk of this "embezzlement" will be allocated to Obama supportive groups just prior to the 2010 and 2012 elections.
In the auto industry bailout, the United Autoworkers Union was awarded a handsome package under the guise of GM trying to restructure outside of declaring bankruptcy, which it eventually had to do anyway. The bailout facilitated the General Motors Corp. giving the United Auto Workers union 17.5 percent of its common stock, $6.5 billion of preferred shares and a $2.5 billion note to fund a trust that will take over retiree health care costs starting in 2010.
For his support, Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric – the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, which all but fielded cheerleaders for the Obama campaign – was rewarded with a position on President Obama's Economic Advisory Board. Today, NBC and, in a much larger degree, MSNBC have been idiotically supportive of anything and everything Obama almost to the point of comedy. Immelt is most certainly an influence in these efforts.
The AFL-CIO was rewarded in the appointment of two of their brethren. Dennis Hughes was appointed to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and former special assistant to the United Steel Workers Union, Ron Bloom, was appointed the Manufacturing Czar.
And Mr. Obama said this in addressing the SEIU (Service Employees International Union):
"The question I want the SEIU to ask yourselves is not who's talking about your agenda, but who can change our politics in Washington to so we can actually make your agenda a reality...Your agenda has been my agenda in the United States Senate. Before debating healthcare I talked to Andy Stern and SEIU members. Before immigration debates took place in Washington I talked to Eliseo Medina and SEIU members. Before the EFCA (Employee Free Choice Act) I talked to SEIU. So we've worked together over these last few years and I'm proud of the work we've done. I'm just not satisfied because I know how much more we can accomplish as partners in an Obama Administration. Just imagine what we could do together...Imagine having a president whose life's work was your work..."
Meanwhile, ACORN, who was slated to be a major player in the upcoming census taking, has become a political liability to Mr. Obama and his agenda. In Chicago machine politics liabilities are shunned, disassociated, disavowed and, essentially thrown under the bus. In discussing ACORN, President Obama had this to say to George Stephanopoulos:
"...are there folks in the Democratic camp or on the Left who haven't always operated in ways that I'd appreciate? Absolutely..."
When asked about Congress cutting off funding for ACORN, Mr. Obama said:
"Frankly, it's not really something I followed closely. I didn't even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money. What I know is what I saw on that video was certainly inappropriate...[but] this is not the biggest issue facing the country."
So, ACORN will be cast on the ever increasing political ash heap amassed by the Obama Administration, not because they didn't perform, but because they became a liability and because they became unusable for future endeavors.
But with or without ACORN, Mr. Obama, the quintessential Chicago machine politician, is well on his way to adhering to the machines cardinal rules. He has attained elected office. He has consolidated power. He has rewarded his minions. And he is positioning for re-election.
Do you remember when I mentioned Mr. Obama's quote about the "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded?" Have you figured out just who and/or what organizations the "force" is comprised of yet?
Here's a hint: "...just look for the union label..."
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network and on The Captain's America Radio Show catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get weekly updates about new issues