Since I first became a fan of Bill O’Reilly when I watched him take down Barney Frank, I feel it only fair that I commend the Massachusetts Democrat for his recent appearance on the Factor. Last fall, I thought the talk show host got the best of the Congressman. This time, Barney came off looking better. And he made some pretty important points.
They were discussing the Democrat’s about-face on ACORN; he now believes that the federal government should stop funding the controversial left-wing organization.
Saying ACORN “forfeited” its rights to get federal funds, the Democrat reminds us that this isn’t just about the organization’s apparent willingness to help set up a brothel for underage girls. He points out some of the group’s other problems, including its sloppiness in their voter registration and the embezzlement of its officers.
He regretted that the legislative branch had to take this up, questioning whether Congress had the authority to single an organization out. I believe he was referring to Bills of Attainder which, in any case, don’t apply in this case. Article I, § 9, ¶ 3 of the Constitution provides that: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed.” And that means that Congres may not “single out one or more persons and imposed punishment on them, without benefit of trial.” Such bills seem only to apply in matters of criminal law, not federal appropriations.
I just don’t believe preventing the government from subsidizing an organization is the kind of punishment the framers had in mind.
Finally, I thought O’Reilly was being remarkably petty in trying to press the Democrat to say he admired the two twentysomethings who orchestrated the sting. He did finally get the Congressman to praise them, but to what end? It was more important to hear a liberal Democratic Congressman come out against a corruption left-wing organization.
(H/t Ann Althouse.)