Brandishing the Transmorgrifier: ACORN and likeminded progressive organizations appear to wield semantic tools to make their way in the public arena, changing names to hoodwink the innocent.

Ever catch the cartoon strip of Calvin and Hobbs, playing with imaginary transmogrifier guns? Zap! Hobbes, Calvin’s stuffed tiger, turns Calvin into a miniature pterodactyl. Zap! Calvin retaliates by turning Hobbs into- something. Zap! Zap! Back and forth until the gun overheats and Calvin is stuck in owl-form and must wait until the transmogrification wear off. Every now and then, I notice that the transmogrifier guns make their way into the public arena – like the time education reformers of the progressive stripe realized parents were becoming increasingly discomforted by “outcome-based education.” No problem! Zap! Give it another name. Write it up as a “new” program. Issue resolved. Then there’s ACORN, the Alinskyian community organization making the news for all sorts of scandals – embezzlement in high places, voter registration fraud in low places. After years of controversy, the US House has finally voted to cut federal funding to ACORN while California, Georgia, and Minnesota have called for investigations or discontinuation of state funds. Even the US Catholic Church pulled Acorn off the nipple last autumn.