The trouble with witch hunts
Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009
* One of the problems with witch hunts - aside from the fact that they’re too often used for nefarious purposes - is that they eventually start to burn those who merely associated with the alleged witches. Things can get way out of hand because it becomes impossible to stop the endless strings of associations that can be made.
And so it goes with this ACORN thing. Not content to just bash the organization, it’s now been deemed necessary by some that those who’ve associated with the group must also be demonized.
Enter Republican US Senate candidate Mark Kirk.
You’d think with all the boasting about how Kirk is the heavy-duty GOP primary front-runner, that someone known as one of the most liberal Republicans in DC (which is somewhat of a misnomer because DC GOPdom is so rightwardly skewed) wouldn’t have to prove he’s just like those bloggers at Illinois Review.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. IR does a very good job on many, many things. But the site has been obsessed with ACORN lately and has been pairing the group with the Service Employees International Union in a single name for weeks. Kirk eagerly jumped on the IR bandwagon yesterday and produced a complicated flow-chart to demonstrate why the US Census should disown SEIU because the union has supported ACORN in the past.
ABC7 didn’t cover the presser, and neither did NBC5 or CBS2. The Olympics coverage is pretty much drowning out almost everything right now. Fox Chicago had a preview of yesterday’s Kirk presser on its early morning show, but nothing else has been posted on its site.
The Tribune ran a brief story…
The Sun-Times mixed in a foreign policy angle…
* Obviously, Kirk is following the classic GOP presidential election strategy. Move way right in the primary and then move to the center for the general. Reassure the Downstaters and the more right-leaning suburbanites that he’s with them now. Then worry about assuaging the moderate independents later. He’s also obviously taking advantage of the fact that SEIU has endorsed the Democratic frontrunner, Alexi Giannoulias.
But, as I’ve pointed out before, this SEIU thing is a landmine for Illinois Republicans.
State Rep. Beth Coulson is considered the best bet to hold onto Kirk’s US House seat, but she’s been endorsed by SEIU in the past.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard received an SEIU contribution earlier this year.
The Republican State Senate Campaign Committee accepted $10,000 from SEIU in March.
House Republican Leader Tom Cross took a $10K contribution in February from SEIU Healthcare, which was once a brother/sister of ACORN Illinois, back when the group existed (there are actually two $10K contris listed from SEIU to Cross on the same day, but that could be a duplicate computer entry).
As explained at the top, it’s dangerous to conduct a guilt by association witch hunt of SEIU when so many of Kirk’s fellow Illinois Republicans have been taking the union’s cash over the years. If SEIU is guilty of its associations with ACORN, then what does that say about the Republicans who have associated with SEIU? Where does the witch hunt end? Does he want to burn them all?
Maybe that’s why yesterday’s presser was so lightly covered.