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Clintonian Parsing Is Alive and Well in the Radical Left Precincts of Academia

Posted on January 29 2011 8:00 am
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If you thought the days of mindnumbingly obtuse linguistic parsing were gone — boy, were you wrong!

After I wrote here at NewsReal that Peter Dreier, a steadfast defender of ACORN and radical Marxist Frances Fox Piven, was a paid consultant for ACORN I received a politely worded email from the Occidental College professor:

Mr. Vadum,

You’re entitled to your opinion about my scholarship and political views. But you are factually incorrect when you say I was a paid consultant to ACORN.  I have never been paid by ACORN for anything.

Peter Dreier
E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics
Chair, Urban & Environmental Policy Program
Occidental College

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral” – Dante

I inquired further because the explanation didn’t sound quite right. Here is my reply to Dreier:

Because ACORN’s check bounced? That would make you a member of a rather large cohort, Professor Dreier.
You object only to the word “paid” I gather. You acknowledge serving as a consultant to ACORN, right?
If you stand by your statement that ACORN never paid you anything, I will correct the item.
Do you stand by it?
P.S. The Dante quotation below is one of my favorites.


Apparently not amused, Dreier responded with this:

Mr.  Vadum:
I was never paid by ACORN for anything.  And this isn’t because a check bounced but because I was never hired by ACORN to do anything for them.
Peter Dreier

To which I replied:

Professor Dreier:

Fine. My apologies for using the word “paid.” I will correct the record.

But again you parse. You say you were “never hired” by ACORN. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, was Frances Fox Piven, but it would be folly to argue that she did not function as a consultant to ACORN especially since she even now serves on the board of Project Vote and because she was instrumental in the establishment of the National Welfare Rights Organization that created ACORN.

Did you serve as a consultant to ACORN? It would make sense that you would. I’ve read the transcripts of the housing-related conferences at HUD that ACORN was involved in. You’ve been an outspoken advocate for ACORN for decades, it would appear. You are much more than a mere ACORN booster.


To which Dreier replied — oh, wait! He never replied. I wonder why.

If you serve as an unpaid consultant to an organized crime syndicate/terrorist group like ACORN I guess that makes it OK.

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