Just like they’re demonizing Acorn now, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) was once right-wingers’ main target. Remember the elder George Bush describing Michael Dukakis in 1988 as a “card-carrying member of the ACLU,” implying he was some kind of pinko radical? Yet there are few missions more thoroughly patriotic and American than the ACLU’s: protecting the civil liberties guaranteed in the Constitution, whether it involves a teenager wearing a T-shirt bearing an unpopular message or the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, whom the organization stood by on a case relating to church land ownership (despite the fact that Falwell implicated the ACLU in the 9/11 terrorist attacks). From 6-7:30 tonight, newly elected national president Susan Herman — a professor at Brooklyn Law School, an author and a noted authority on constitutional law — will stop at the local ACLU’s Max Wohl Civil Liberties Center (4506 Chester Ave., 216.472.2220, acluohio.org) for an open house to bring people up to speed on what the group is doing these days. The event is free for members; you can become a “card-carrying member” for $20. Go to the group’s website or RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. — Anastasia Pantsios
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