I thought I would put together a few of the unanswered questions that I am pondering right now.  Perhaps my astute readers have answers.

Where do Conservatives and Republicans go from here?  Regardless of who wins on November 4th, this will still be an open question.

To what extent should we be concerned about Obama’s ties to Acorn–especially given Obama’s repeated denials of his associations to the organization?

What’s in the tape that the LA Times has?  And why isn’t it revealing it to the world?

Is the sort of curiosity politics engenders healthy for the soul?  (I’m going to tentatively answer that “no.”  But then, I’m the guy who apparently thinks nothing is good for the soul!).

Do the offhand things we say actually reveal more about our real thoughts than we intend to reveal?  How low is the bottom, if so?

How comfortable should we feel when the candidate of change has made it so easy to fraudulently donate to his campaign?  If running a campaign is an indication of leadership, then should we expect the Obama White House to have similarly loose security restrictions while remaining similarly close-lipped about what is actually going on?  Is it plausible to believe as many small donors have contributed to Obama’s campaign (in an allegedly recessionary environment) as Obama claims?  As Beldar puts it, “If you watch the infomercial, ask yourself: How many minutes of it were bought with illegal money? A third of it? Half?”

Can McCain pull it out?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

9 Comments

  1. What’s interesting in the article to which you linked is that the person who testified was fired from ACORN for fraudulently charging personal expenses to her credit card. That suggests a certain intolerance of fraud and the voter registration fraud is largely the result of poorly-trained (and poor) workers who filled out some forms to get paid. And ACORN is required by law to turn in all completed forms, even if obviously fake.

    The LA Times keeping the tape under wraps is probably more damaging than releasing it. But the longer they hold it–stoking people’s imaginations–the greater the letdown when the tape is released. Not excepting their violent activities, do you not think that the Palestinians have gotten a raw deal over the past half-century?

    Your offhand comment about the “allegedly recessionary environment” suggests something to me about the level of economic security that you enjoy.

    At first blush, it is troubling that the Obama campaign has disabled even the “default” security settings for their online credit card fundraising but there are safeguards to ensure that the contributions are legitimate (I admit that there appears to have been some abuse but that will come out in the end).

    Additionally, it is important to the campaign to allow prepaid credit cards for those that want to contribute but do not have a debit/credit card tied to a bank account, which is more likely than you might think.

    Regarding your final question: I doubt it but one can always count on the the fickleness of the American electorate. Or their ignorance, sad to say.

    Reply

  2. That article was about strategy; I was thinking ‘vision.’

    Conservatives need to recapture the American imagination and not just the more backward elements that have come to comprise its base. Harping on taxes just doesn’t resonate as deeply as it did.

    The current financial crisis has undermined faith in the market to provide for the common good and conservatives need to find a better argument for small government.

    Reply

  3. “What’s interesting in the article to which you linked is that the person who testified was fired from ACORN for fraudulently charging personal expenses to her credit card. That suggests a certain intolerance of fraud…”
    No, it suggests intolerance of fraud that hurts YOU, not fraud in general. The mob had a habit of offing people who embezzelled from them. Should we take that as an indicator of the high personal integrity of mob bosses and their overall tolerance of theft?

    As for the oft-asked question of “where Conservatives go from here”, the answer is, all over the place. Movements don’t usually have single, unitary heads, or a single unitary current. They are like the Amazon, rife with tributaries wandering all over, but moving generally in the same direction, not unified and purposeful, like the Nile. Sometimes a leader arises, a Reagan, an FDR, etc, and all of the various substreams converge on them. However, that should not be mistaken as “guiding” the movement, as much as it is “attracting” various disparate elements toward yourself. Until such a leader arises, the best conservatives can do is put their best ideas out there and see what sticks.

    Reply

  4. Prufrock,

    “The LA Times keeping the tape under wraps is probably more damaging than releasing it. But the longer they hold it–stoking people’s imaginations–the greater the letdown when the tape is released. Not excepting their violent activities, do you not think that the Palestinians have gotten a raw deal over the past half-century?”

    “Not excepting their violent activities” is a pretty significant qualification to swallow. And I agree with you take on the Times and the tape–but if it’s not damaging, why not release it?

    “Your offhand comment about the “allegedly recessionary environment” suggests something to me about the level of economic security that you enjoy.”

    I take some offense at this remark. It in fact has nothing to do with the economic security I enjoy. I work in an industry that is losing jobs faster than any other right now, and my position is hardly indispensable. I say “allegedly” because I read economists and because it hasn’t been clear until very recently that we are in fact in a recession. Let us remind ourselves that this was the first quarter we had GDP contraction in quite some time.

    “At first blush, it is troubling that the Obama campaign has disabled even the “default” security settings for their online credit card fundraising but there are safeguards to ensure that the contributions are legitimate (I admit that there appears to have been some abuse but that will come out in the end).”

    It’s troubling at first blush, and at every blush thereafter. And why should we wait for the end for it to come out? I don’t think conservatives “stole” the 2004 election. But I think that the Democrats stand to lose any right to complain about it unless they are more transparent about Obama’s donations. How much of his money came from overseas? And how is that “the politics of change?”

    “Additionally, it is important to the campaign to allow prepaid credit cards for those that want to contribute but do not have a debit/credit card tied to a bank account, which is more likely than you might think.”

    It is, in fact, not more likely than I might think because I think it is very likely that people are using pre-paid credit cards. I live, lest I remind you, in a city with a lot of economic struggles and talk to people frequently about those struggles. But all the same, I wouldn’t put this need on the same level as basic security and fraud provisions (nor would such fraud provisions exclude these types of cards).

    Reply

  5. “As for the oft-asked question of “where Conservatives go from here”, the answer is, all over the place. Movements don’t usually have single, unitary heads, or a single unitary current. They are like the Amazon, rife with tributaries wandering all over, but moving generally in the same direction, not unified and purposeful, like the Nile. Sometimes a leader arises, a Reagan, an FDR, etc, and all of the various substreams converge on them. However, that should not be mistaken as “guiding” the movement, as much as it is “attracting” various disparate elements toward yourself. Until such a leader arises, the best conservatives can do is put their best ideas out there and see what sticks.”

    Josh–that’s a great point. I’m hoping for that leader to come from Louisiana in 2012. However, I think there is some question about the messaging of the Republican party and the stickiness of its message. Partly, stickiness comes from having a message that is coherent and understandable. My concern is that right now, Republicans don’t have that message.

    Reply

  6. Sorry about that personally offensive remark, Matt.

    Two points:
    Josh,
    ACORN is required by law to turn in completed voter registration forms and their problems with personnel stems from their attempt to employ people who benefit most from it, like convicts and poor people. It’s not a moral flaw to be poor or disenfranchised but people in a desperate situations often take shortcuts.

    Matt,
    By accepting prepaid credit cards, the Obama campaign has opened itself up to a lot of criticism but it is vital to give the previously disaffected and disenfranchised–to the point that they do not even have a debit/credit card linked to a bank account–the opportunity to contribute to a candidate they believe in. In credit card transactions generally, there is an assumption of legitimacy so it is not out of bounds for the Obama campaign to accept these donations upfront and determine their legitimacy afterward.

    Reply

  7. Prufrock,

    No problem.

    When it comes to pre-paid credit cards, I don’t think the “find out after the election” is enough justification for what they have done. The mail costs 42 cents, after all. Certainly people who can afford to donate to Obama can afford a stamp. Opening up the system to foreign investors, as the Obama campaign has done, smacks of the very sort of political corruption that Obama has vowed to change. The reports at this link are pretty damning:

    http://www.pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/archives2/026566.php

    Highest regards,

    matt

    Reply

  8. 1. I believe that ACORN ties, William Ayers ties, and even Jeremiah Wright ties are definitely political relevant. I’m not worried about Obama being a terrorist, I’m worried about how far Obama wants to push his far-left semi-socialism agenda. All of these connections point to a past that has been significantly involved in supporting, and working for those who support far-left radical ideology. I believe Obama wants the best for our country. But his far-left positions on things like abortion, economic policy, and foreign policy combined with his lack of experience worry me immensely. I briefly wrote about this here:

    http://allusboys.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/america-be-careful-who-you-vote-for/

    Since the economy is of such primary importance, and the continual bias of the MSM, these issues have not significantly helped the McCain campaign. In any other year, this issue, I believe, would severely damage Obama. But Obama can spin out the effective rhetoric that McCain and Palin are just “distracting” from the issues such as the economy, etc. The McCain Campaign has not done a quality job at arguing that the democrats are the ones at fault for this economic situation, with radical “non-partisan” organizations such as ACORN being at the forefront of the problem.

    I have argued that the Democrats can take the blame for this issue here:

    http://allusboys.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/whose-to-blame-for-the-bailout/

    Reply

  9. I never said anything about ACORN’s registration drives. My comments were all about your assertion that firing a woman who was stealing from them was in some way indicative of their overall moral ideals. It isn’t. We all get upset when we’re the ones getting the shaft, whether or not we would do the same to others.

    The larger problem with ACORN though, is that their overall tactics and attitude (they protest outside of bankers homes, scaring their children, fill bank lobbies in order to block legitimate business, etc) mean that I feel little need to give them the benefit of the doubt when they are caught turning in fraudulent signatures. Also, the idea that just because they are required to turn in all signatures collected absolves them from any responsibility to flag the obviously fraudulent ones for the Sec of State’s further review, or stop using individuals who show a repeated pattern of turning in high numbers of them (and no one has argued thus far that ACORN took any such steps) doesn’t wash. Combined with their thuggish behavior, I think that there are justifiable concerns over Senator Obama’s long-term associations with them.

    Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.