The ACORNing of Planned Parenthood

Ideas and Issues

indiana-planned-parenthood-MM4ASS8-x-largeNew Orleans     The one thing that I have always told organizers, as I imagine we all have, is that any tactic too often repeated, loses its power. Somehow the Republicans, including in Congress and on the Presidential trail, don’t seem to have gotten this message and are trying once again to video-scam a respected nonprofit institution, Planned Parenthood.

A lawyer for the organization sent a letter to a Congressional committee already acting in lockstep “looking” at two heavily edited videos stirring the red meat on the Republican grill. He documented 65 recordings “without their knowledge” and 10 “attacks” over 8 years that they have attributed to David Daleiden, through a fake company called Biomax Procurement Services in a so-called “campaign of corporate sabotage.” Let’s hope the facts matter, because that was not the history with ACORN.

It’s not just me seeing the connection either. Here’s the award winning Heather Digby Parton on

[Iowa Congressman Steve] King, for example, was one of the first lawmakers to urge the defunding of low-income housing group ACORN, which went belly up following similar undercover videos suggesting criminal activity. To this day, he keeps a tiny acorn in his pocket to remember his crusade. Now, he’s got his eyes on another organization. “This represents ACORN’s scalp,” King said off the House floor Thursday, pulling the acorn out of his pocket. “Ask me after the appropriations cycle and see if I have a talisman in my pocket for Planned Parenthood’s.”

One would think that Democrats would never go along with the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, since the ramifications for millions of low income women would be so dire. But the ACORN precedent is instructive. When those doctored videos were released, the Democrats had a majority in congress and the first African American president had just been elected. And ACORN was not just another community organizing institution, it was essential to voter outreach among an important Democratic Party constituency. Yet the Democrats in Congress simply crumbled like a cookie made with way too much white flour.

The Republicans recognized that their language and their attitudes on women’s issues were destructive in the last couple of election cycles and suggested that politicians and pundits take a less insulting approach on the campaign trail. But the base is not happy with that and they seem to have shifted their strategy now that their guerrilla hoaxers have provided them with some video they can use to put women’s organizations on the defensive and set up another ACORN spectacle to de-fund another liberal backed institution. They are going to try to turn Planned Parenthood into the Democratic Party’s Todd Akin. The only question is whether the Democrats will have the fortitude to resist.

Geez! Talk about a hope-and-prayer strategy. Luckily, Cecile Richards and her gang at Planned Parenthood have proven they can take these shots and fire back and have the friends and money to do so.

There are big stakes here. Bigger than most of us might realize at least according to the

Republicans remember what they did to ACORN. If they could do the same to Planned Parenthood, it would be a bigger victory for them then winning the White House. And it would be devastating to women all over the country.


As we approach the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Please enjoy Led Zeppelin’s If it Keeps on Raining (When the Levee Breaks – Rough Mix) from the Album Coda Deluxe.  Thanks KABF.