SO WHAT WAS THE ARRESTED ACORN PIMP LOOKING FOR?
I can't tell what ACORN pimp James O'Keefe and his merrie band had in mind when they were arrested for trying to tap Mary Landrieu's office phones in New Orleans, but I'll toss out some links and you can try to connect the dots if you like.
Landrieu isn't someone they could bring down in the midterms -- she was returned to office in 2008 and doesn't have to run again until 2014 -- although I'm sure they fantasized about forcing her to resign (in which case she'd presumably be replaced by Republican governor Bobby Jindal). But when I look at the blog posts about Landrieu that Robert Flanagan, one of O'Keefe's co-"plumbers," wrote for the right-wing think tank known as the Pelican Institute, I don't see much: there's a silly philosophical dispute with Landrieu about "personal responsibility," and then there's a post from November taking note of a complaint by the liberal group CREW charging that Landrieu may have made a donation to the U.S. Treasury to cover up a quid pro quo on behalf of a contributor. That's mildly scandalous, but really, it's traffic-ticket stuff -- it's not going to force her out of office.
I wonder if what these guys were looking for concerns something along the lines of this, which I happened to notice in Ben McGrath's article on the Tea Party movement in this week's New Yorker (an article that's quite sympathetic -- as all mainstream write-ups of the movement seem to be lately):
One of the men at the meeting offered to drive me around the lot to speed up the search, taking the opportunity to show me a three-ring binder that he kept in the back seat of his van, full of homemade graphs showing the growth of the national debt, and Internet printouts that hinted at links between, for instance, ACORN and an Obama campaign office in Louisiana.
That could be a reference to this story, also from November, involving congressional nutjob Steve King:
Rep. Steve King: Bauer was hired to 'erase tracks' between Obama, ACORN
Newly appointed White House counsel Bob Bauer is "perfectly positioned to be tasked with erasing the tracks between Obama and ACORN," one Republican lawmaker charged Friday.
The lawyer's hiring, announced this morning shortly after Greg Craig officially resigned the post, was also an attempt by the White House to deflect any fallout that may arise from an ACORN investigation currently underway in Louisiana, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) added in a statement.
“Bob Bauer has a public record of defending Barack Obama’s relationship with ACORN, the congressman told supporters. "Bauer’s hiring appears to be a tactical maneuver to strategically defend the White House exactly one week after Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell raided ACORN's national headquarters in New Orleans and seized paper records and computer hard drives that may lead to the White House.”
However, the link between Bauer, the president and ACORN's Louisiana office is long, winding and confusing, at best....
Yes -- in 2008, Bauer, in campaign mode, said the ACORN investigation was a political move. And later Bauer became White House counsel. There doesn't seem to have been anything more sinister going on than that. But everything's a big conspiracy to these guys.
The wingnuts didn't like a voter registration drive in Louisiana conducted by ACORN and Project Vote; The New York Times noted in June 2008 that
the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in Washington ... paid for the drive because Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat, is up for re-election....
Wingers think Landrieu won election to the Senate in 1996 via voter fraud. The charges were leveled by Neal Hogan of a group called the Voter Integrity Project. Google Neal Hogan and you find yourself off in Shadow Land: these guys say he was the head of the D.C. chapter of the Christian Coalition (and that he fraudulently claimed a Texas law license he didn't have); this LaRouchenik says he was a private investigator hired in the '90s by paranoid wingnut congressman Dan Burton to investigate the Clinton "Chinagate" story; and his name and bio appear on membership rolls of the Council for National Policy, which was described by The New York Times in 2004 as "a little-known club of a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country" that "gathers in strictest privacy."
So my guess is that O'Keefe et al. thought they could find some sort of Landrieu-ACORN-Obama Octopus -- or not so much an Octopus as a White Whale long pursued by prominent wingnuts -- and make all of liberalism and the entire Democratic Party come crashing down.
Or something like that.