James O'Keefe, the conservative activist famous for making the ACORN "pimp" videos, is back in the news.
According to CNN
James O'Keefe, best known for hitting the community organizing group ACORN with an undercover video sting, hoped to get CNN Investigative Correspondent Abbie Boudreau onto a boat filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session . . . documents show.
The plan was thwarted, CNN says, when Boudreau was tipped off. Assuming the story is accurate (some early reporting regarding an attempted caper at Sen. Mary Landrieu's office was inaccurate
), it seems to me this is the latest example of a man who doesn't know when to get off-stage.
Had O'Keefe quietly transitioned into journalism or traditional activism after the ACORN video, he might well have forever been viewed by conservatives as a hero. Instead, he now appears to be a quixotic youth, desperate for fame and attention.
On one hand, it's hard not to admire his moxie. And one must give him credit for creativity. Clearly, in his mind, O'Keefe is attempting to appropriate the techniques of Sasha Baron Cohen and apply them to advancing his notion of conservatism (which appears to be focused primarily on pointing out hypocrisy within the Democratic Party and the national media).
The problem, of course, is that while O'Keefe brings youth and excitement to the table, he lacks wisdom. What is really needed here is some adult supervision to properly channel this energy into a productive cause. Conservatism can be stodgy and boring, and so there is a need for young activists who can inject energy into it. My guess is that this thirst has caused some conservatives to be too lenient when it comes to tolerating some of the amateurish actions of O'Keefe and his ilk.
Sadly, O'Keefe's insistence on continuing his weird brand of performance art has probably cost him his chance to be considered the 21st-century version of Paul Weyrich or Phyllis Schlafly. Instead, he seems more and more likely to be cast as the conservative version of The Merry Pranksters.