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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Alinsky nods 


For conservatives, at least, nothing in the last year has been more gratifying than the right's sudden and rapid adoption of the tactics that have been used against it with such great effect for more than a generation. For instance.

For my money the interesting question is, why has it taken so long? Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals has been around for more than a generation, freely available for conservatives to adopt. But they haven't. Suddenly it is surging on Amazon when the left is already in power and therefore not quite as interested in subversion as it once was. The new audience for Alinsky is obviously on the right, and lefty intellectual snobbery notwithstanding, righties know both how to read and to adapt book learning to their problems. But why now? It is not as if there were not plenty of opportunities to deploy these tactics to the benefit of the right in the past, such as during the Carter and early Clinton years.

My theory, which I have written before, is that the right was essentially ignorant of Alinsky and his book until Barack Obama became a leading contender. Suddenly, even the mainstream media was interested in understanding, or at least explaining, what a "community organizer" is. It was, indeed, important to describe the serious and intellectual basis for community organization, or Sarah Palin's attack ("I guess a small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities") would have done damage that the media Obama campaign would have found difficult to mitigate. So the elevation of the the first "community organizer" to the presidency seems also have transferred the most successful tactics of the left to the right, where -- by dint of their novelty -- they are both shocking and awesome to behold. Ironic, that.

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


66 Comments:

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sun Sep 06, 11:51:00 PM:

The Alinsky tactics were less-known because the changes they wrought from the left were below the radar. Conservatives, who tend to see change resulting from tectonic, less-controllable forces like the market or cultural adaptation, underestimated the effectiveness of quick-strike political tactics. The rise of Obama caught their attention. Had he only made VP or set himself up for 2012/2016, they would still be counting on the slow, inexorable forces of society to create all but the trivial changes.

The conservatives were half-right. Much of the time, such quick-strike tactics wash out with the tide, having accomplished nothing. The error was in believing that this is always the case, and that freezing targets and destroying opponents never accomplishes much of anything.

Interestingly, Clinton's permanent campaign and politics of personal destruction were early harbingers of Obama's approach. Think of them as Alinsky Lite.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 01:03:00 AM:

I would like to think there is another reason which makes the adoption of such tactics a mixed blessing: For Alinsky the ends justify the means. His tactics encourage nasty society-unstabilizing behavior in pursuit of noble goals.

My understanding is that conservatism rejects the idea that utopianism is good in itself, and understands that the pursuit of utopian vision invariably results in tyranny. Conservatism understands that reality is inherently messy. Because there is no utopia to arrive at, there is no end separate from the means used to achieve it.

So I think conservatives have been squeamish about deploying Alinsky tactics because they dont want to encourage a society in which such tactics are acceptable. I think this recent willingness to adopt them is a recognition that sometimes circumstances necessitate that you take the gloves off, but I would hope we do not become complacent about our facility with Alinskyite behavior.  

By Blogger MEANA55, at Mon Sep 07, 01:28:00 AM:

For my money the interesting question is, why has it taken so long?

The answer is simple: It is out-of-character for the right to employ these tactics, but the left has made the grave mistake of forcing the debate to these extremes.

How long will it be before your illiterate former roommate shows his retarded self in these comments to call me a racist?

So far as I'm concerned, it is now all right to say that the left deserves no say at all in how this country is run. A scant year ago, I would have considered my current attitude downright un-American. Now, I don't much care so long as these thieving pieces of human garbage are relieved of their franchise. As of about a month ago, I am just fine with the idea of silencing them.  

By Blogger smitty1e, at Mon Sep 07, 06:22:00 AM:

What MEANA55 said, plus the right feels that its backed against the wall.

Everyone was willing to play along with a centrist BHO. When it became apparent that he felt the 2008 election was more of a leftist coup, the conversation changed.  

By Blogger smitty1e, at Mon Sep 07, 06:24:00 AM:

Furthermore, insisting that we play by the rules (Alinsky #4), i.e. the Constitution, is not a bad thing.

Sure, the GOP has been totally hypocritical about that, and needs to die in a fire. It can then re-emerge, phoenix-like, and set about pursuing Federalist ends.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Mon Sep 07, 08:24:00 AM:

So the Right has discovered Alinsky's tactics. We still have a lot of work to do to fix the government. We still have a lot of problems to solve. For example: How do we get a critical mass of protesters at a rally when so many of us have family and job responsibilities?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 10:13:00 AM:

The Alinsky groups remind me of the French societies that flourished in America in the 1790's and the pro-Soviet groups of the thirties. Only the most vile excesses of both Jacobin France and Stalinst Russia were enough to rein in the efforts of both groups to undermine American freedom. I expect it will be the same again, and the wild destructiveness and oppressive behavior of some foreign dictator the left currently loves and supports, like Chavez or Ahmadinejad will be the only cure. I can only hope, for theri own sakes, that Sean Penn, Van Jones, Al Gore, Keith Oberfuhrer and all the other celebrity symbols of the left don't have to experience it up close and personal in order to learn their history lessons.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 10:35:00 AM:

FROM CAROL HERMAN

By now, seeing who gets slotted into running for the presidency, Americans are learning that it's a selection made "inside a club." (One that used to be called "The Smoke Filled Room.) Even Lincoln knew how to play this. Because he showed up in Chicago, for the republican convention, back in 1860, as an underdog. There were 3 'favorite sons' ahead of him.

The first night, by "voice affirmation," it seemed the republican nominee was "picked." But the printer had not finished printing the ballots. So, during the night, Lincoln's team went to each of the favorite sons; and told them. "None of you have name recognition. You're all locals. You won't win against the democratic candidate, the little giant, Douglas. What you need to do is get behind Lincoln, because he can win. He has something you don't have; which is national recognition.

Later, when Lincoln won, he brought his "TEAM OF RIVALS," into his Cabinet.

Nixon, too, wanted to be president. And, he, too, learned the art of overcoming his own personality (average voters didn't like him), by doing "dirty tricks" to his opponents. Putting stooges into crowds. Making it look as if his opponents had enemies among the people.

Brilliant enough. And, Nixon was lucky enough to be in place to be nominated when LBJ 'crapped out at the hot table,' and ran home to Texas. Rather than face defeat in 1968. In Chicago.

Fair and square is not part of politics. And, it's no different backstage, where different characters vie for the audience's attention. Backstage they are not playing the roles they become adept at playing 'on stage.'

You don't even need Alinsky, when you realize our entire political system is the world's longest running soap opera. We do get citizens elected to be our substitute 'aristocracy.' Even in the beginning, there were dynasties. But where are they now? The Adams Family? Didn't get past John Quincy Adams. The Roosevelts? Two excellent presidents. But fading now, because it's one thing to be president. Another to have your sons turn out to be geniuses. Blame it on genetics. And, the way it works. Otherwise, Albert Einstein would have cornered the math market by producing children.

Doesn't stop the "elites" from dedicating schools to their grandure. So what now? A haarvard credential just got dragged through the mud. (Oh, and they were in charge of Alinsky's 'bible?' Hardly likely. You can't be saved when you're spiraling down. And, your ship is flying apart.) You need a book to tell you this?

America is great when the majority of people really get pissed off. And, politicians? They know what our ancestors did with a bucket of tar, and some feathers.  

By Blogger jim, at Mon Sep 07, 10:36:00 AM:

The right - snooty conservatives, "civilized" republicans - have been in perpetual denial for a generation, and refused to acknowledge they have been in a street fight rather than a moderated high school debate. This delusion is seen clearly by their opposition which takes advantage of it at every turn, and laughs at it privately. It is the pride (ego) and sloth of the right (ists) that makes them so vulnerable and psychologically weak. The bottom line is they would rather be right and intellectually tight than win. It is a devastating flaw not a strength.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 10:44:00 AM:

"Lefty intellectual snobbery notwithstanding"? TH, I read you because sanctuary from the holier-than-thou conservatives comes at a premium and I enjoy reading intelligent discussion from opposing points of view. This sort of backhanded aside was something I thought beneath you, given how things link evidence and arguments used to carry a premium. But I suppose I shouldn't expect any better from a righty.

Do you see how off-putting and destructive that was? I was doing it to try and make a point, and will try to avoid such in the future. Can you do the same?  

By Blogger B, at Mon Sep 07, 10:45:00 AM:

This comment has been removed by the author.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 10:47:00 AM:

Much of Rules for Radicals promotes tactics that are essentially dishonest and immoral -- lying, personal attacks, etc. The cult of Alinksy believes that that they know how things should be ... and that the rest of us don't ... we're not enlightened. Thus, anything goes as long as it's in the name of the cause -- it's a pseudo-religion spawned by the devil. You need a defective moral compass to think you're justified in stealing from the public treasury because it will somehow advance the Revolution. I don't know that it's a model I want to follow.

I'm not anti-government. My local town's is actually pretty good. If you go back 150 to 200 years ago, the leaders of New York City had vision. We had our corruption too, but things actually got built.

Federal government is the problem. We need to downsize it. If we don't, it'll go broke -- in which case who knows what happens.

Right now we need the sunlight of good reporting. Hopefully that will lead to some Democrats in Congress waking up to the Sleep of Reason.

Link, over  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Sep 07, 10:51:00 AM:

"How do we get a critical mass of protesters at a rally when so many of us have family and job responsibilities?"

Apparently, just wait until unemployment is high enough...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 11:10:00 AM:

Meana55 said: So far as I'm concerned, it is now all right to say that the left deserves no say at all in how this country is run

And how do you propose doing that, 55? A military coup along the lines of Chile in 1970 where you throw out the elected President and use the military to suppress the opposition and run the government? Or maybe a populist revolution like Iran in 1968 when the citizens get rid of their leader and install a new form of government? Perhaps you'd prefer to adopt a theocracy instead since it's clear democracy isn't working for you? Or do you envision a quasi-rule of law coup like Pakistan in 1996 when the government was simply dissolved?

Man, are you guys sore losers!. After spending 6 years of this country's blood and capital to bring democracy to a foreign country halfway across the globe you want to upend ours nine months into the new administration of president elected in free elections?

--Because the current deficit would have been just as bad if McCain was president??

--Because it was OK for the former administration to sign a $7 trillion unfunded medicare prescription bill but not for the current President to make good on his campaign promise to offer health care options to all Americans?

--Because it was OK to allow the government to spend $850 Billion bailing out Wall Street but not spend $800 billion to stimulate the economy?

--Because it was OK to offer tax cuts that cost more than the shortfall of Social Security and Medicare combined but not try to pay for them?

--Because it was OK for the government to take over Fannie and Freddie but not GM?

--Because it was OK to go to war with two foreign countries but it's not a good idea to include the costs of either on the annual budget?

--Because it was OK for a Republican President's "first day of school" speech to be broadcast to millions of kids across America but it's not OK to have a Democratic president do the same? "Why is it political for the president of the United States to discuss education?"asked Newt Gingrich, who was then the House Republican whip. "It was done at a nonpolitical site and was beamed to a nonpolitical audience" Thanks, Newt!

The hypocrisy is breathtaking.  

By Anonymous TMLutas, at Mon Sep 07, 11:18:00 AM:

While the Constitution was in ascendency, while the Founders were, more or less, in the driver's seat, those on their side were smart to adopt the tactics of defense and conservatism. It is only when the Constitution no longer is top dog and the Founders are no longer animating our politics that it makes sense for their advocates to adopt the aggressive tactics of an Alinsky.

The left expects to be the barbarians at a tea party but grandma just pulled out her scattergun and they haven't even realized how much the rules just changed.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 11:19:00 AM:

Alinsky's ideas may have lead to political power, but I always felt like you were sacrificing your soul in the end. If both sides are practicing them, I do not think that is very good thing for our countries political health. For our country to function like it historically has, people have to have faith in certain things like the democratic system. I would much rather see both sides abandon Alinsky's ideas than adopt them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 11:22:00 AM:

As a committed Capitalist, I suggest nobody buy Rules for Radicals, but rather download the key elements off the internet for free. Why give Alinsky's estate any royalty money if they are still receiving it? I got the whole book online and I intend to buy the Rules for Conservative Radicals that I have seen on sale.  

By Blogger leishman, at Mon Sep 07, 11:23:00 AM:

I thought Clinton was a boob, but didn't really consider adopting the tactics of the dark side (i.e. Alinsky) until eight merciless years of attacks on two decent men--GWB and Dick Cheney, and now an attempt to inculcate a socialist/collectivist/statis agenda. Now the gloves are off and, with some slight regret at stooping as low as the mouthy left, I'm all for destroying the credibility and reputation of the Dem leaders. The left has shown no reluctance or decency (Bushitler, assassination fantasies in plays and signs), and it's time for a balanced, tit-for-tat approach on the right.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 11:25:00 AM:

To Anon at 11:10

Two wrongs don't make a right.

Link, over  

By Blogger Rich, at Mon Sep 07, 11:37:00 AM:

To: Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 11:10:00 AM:
No it was not right when Bush did it and many said so, but we are the peons and so it was not news. It is not right now either but this was not an entirely free election as there was much that suggested fraud and manipulated results. Key to reactions is the people being fedup with a government of the elite. People are saying you work for me not the other way around. Why do you have better benefits than I do, that I am paying for them? Why do you go to congress a middle class person and end up wealthy? Why is it that you do not pay your taxes for years and then act as if it was just a slip of the mind.
The "elite" act as if we are stupid, and its okay when our betters tells us what to do. Most of the problem with the current administration is not that it was okay when Bush did as much as them acting as if they are our betters ad we should just shut up about it. Previous administrations at least made a pretense of faking it, not this one.  

By Blogger Michael, at Mon Sep 07, 11:48:00 AM:

I think one reason is that it wasn't necessary during the Carter and Clinton administrations; even if you had the press decidedly liberal-leaning, there was plenty of debate about their aims, policies, and personal peccadillos (you may recall a little of that about Clinton). Where they've thrown their lot so fully with Obama, declaring any dissent from his views to be racist or rabblerousing or idiotic, that they've created the impetus to offer back a big F.U. in more radical terms.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 11:52:00 AM:

@ Rich: Fraud? Election results were well in line with polling from a variety of neutral sources, and basically predicted by fivethirtyeight.com. Is it a great big conspiracy between all of the polling entities, the vote counters, and the politicians, and the voters? Or do you have interesting proof of some kind?

Or is it all a figment of your victim-complex imagination. Real conservatives resent anyone who plays the victim, even sympathetic voices, so grow up.

-The Other Anonymous  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 11:55:00 AM:

Alinsky is a a punk and his tactics only deal with how to get into power....there is no substance to the turd-bot. Sure it's important for the right to know how leftists work, but good lord man, we should not follow their path to nowhere.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 12:09:00 PM:

It's about time conservatives woke up. Leftist scum like Obama and Van Jones cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be compromised with. This is a battle of Good vs Evil. The Obama vermin are determined to destroy a once great country, it's up to decent people to stop them.  

By Blogger RKV, at Mon Sep 07, 12:10:00 PM:

I'd like to suggest some reading on where we go from here - Sun Tzu's ART OF WAR. We're inside their OODA loop and need to stay there folks.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 01:09:00 PM:

Agreed, but you won't find OODA in Sun Tzu. I think that Sun Tzu preceded John Boyd by a couple of thousand years.  

By Blogger Fat Man, at Mon Sep 07, 01:18:00 PM:

The joke is that Alinsky himself, community organized a white working class neighborhood on the south west side of Chicago called Back of the Yards. It turned out that the community thought its biggest problem was the incursion of black people into its turf, and that the solution was to support George Wallace in the 1968 presidential election.

Tactics are not substance. Alinsky may have been a socialist, but his tactics can be used by anyone.  

By Blogger Joseph, at Mon Sep 07, 01:43:00 PM:

The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Thank you. We have strong opinions on hypocrisy. We're for it.

The U.S. is based on hypocrisy. If Thomas Jefferson weren't a hypocrite, the Declaration of Independence could not have been written.  

By Blogger John Lynch, at Mon Sep 07, 01:51:00 PM:

It's simple. The Republicans have very rarely lost control of the whole government. The usually control Congres, the Presidency, or both.

This is the first time since 1993 that wasn't true. So, it's not a big surprise to see conservatives adapt the tactics of the politically weak.  

By Blogger MEANA55, at Mon Sep 07, 01:54:00 PM:

anonymous@11:10

You've missed my point. The "how" of silencing your side is my next problem. What's important today is that I've resolved the "why" and reached "should."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 02:01:00 PM:

Your Capella University pop-up is blocking any chance for foxfire users to actually read your post text as it 1) Blocks the view of posted text, 2) Prevents copying it to read in a note pad window and 3) Lacks and "X" to shut it down.

Please take steps to make your site usable.  

By Anonymous Jim Durbin, at Mon Sep 07, 02:37:00 PM:

There are levels of adoption, and it's important to recognize that Alinsky methods are just as much about motivation of your base as they are about bringing pressure to bear on those in power.

I've read his whole book, and took away the two or three things I could use, but I got a lot more from de Tocqueville, Tacitus, Sallust, Ceasar, and other dead white men.

The advantage is community organizing is really about finding a sore spot among poor people and exploiting it for your own advantage. The tea parties are about the people themselves rediscovering they are in charge, and putting pressure on their elected leaders to do so.

I would strongly suggest that you read Rules for Radicals before assuming conservatives are using Alinsky tactics.

When you can point to the outside person coming in to organize us, then you can call it Alinsky. When you have a poop fetish, you can call it Alinksy. Until then, it's actual civil unrest.

Alinsky wishes he had tea party crowds behind him. He might have accomplished something.

In the end, he and his disciples sold out for money and power and now try to rule the people they formerly tried to organize.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Sep 07, 02:50:00 PM:

"-Because the current deficit would have been just as bad if McCain was president??"

That's cute, how you refer to the 'current' deficit knowing full freaking well that the real deficits are, by design, yet to come. This also doesn't take into effect additional coming expenditures associated with other parts of Obama's agenda. (cap and trade, socializing health care, propping up GM, et cetera) And if you'd been honest about the contents of the link, you would not have said 'just as bad' because the prediction still had McCain's hypothetical deficits as lower than Obama's.

Though it is reassuring to have a leftist acknowledge Obama's deficits as 'bad.' I'm getting rather used to hearing about how great they are, and even that we need more of them.

Misleading 'fact.' Hypocrisy inapplicable.

''--Because it was OK for the former administration to sign a $7 trillion unfunded medicare prescription bill but not for the current President to make good on his campaign promise to offer health care options to all Americans?'

If you'd paid attention at the time, you might have noticed lots of bitching by fiscal conservatives about that as yet another expensive entitlement made for political expediency.

There's also the matter of simply reducing the disagreement to dollars and cents; it's one thing to give old people a break on the tax-payers' dime, and another thing to completely rework the entirety of the health care industry at the whim of the government.

False application of political beliefs and comparing apples to chainsaws, no hypocrisy.

'--Because it was OK to allow the government to spend $850 Billion bailing out Wall Street but not spend $800 billion to stimulate the economy?'

Hah! No. I don't know anyone who thought that. In fact, I remember an awful lot of complaining that Bush was even considering it.

Fan of re-writing history to suit your arguments? Apparently. (see below)

False application of political opinion, no hypocrisy.

'--Because it was OK to offer tax cuts that cost more than the shortfall of Social Security and Medicare combined but not try to pay for them?'

Again, if you had paid attention at the time you might have noticed that those tax cuts led to an increase in tax revenues by the state. That little inconvenient truth led to some amusing political cartoons and brain hurt among Democrats.

'Lowering taxes led to more money for the government? I don't understand!' Liberals have never really understood market economies, and they couldn't predict or understand this even though the same damned thing had been done in the 1980s, with the same result.

Historical and economic ignorance, no hypocrisy.

'--Because it was OK for the government to take over Fannie and Freddie but not GM?'

Hah! Fannie Mae was 'taken over' by Congress in 1968 by a Congress which had Democrat majorities in both houses, and was signed by a Democrat President. Freddie Mac was *created* by the government in 1970 by the very next (Democratic majority) Congress.

Yeah, that's *totally* the same thing as taking over a private corporation.

Historical ignorance and false application of political opinion, no hypocrisy.

'--Because it was OK to go to war with two foreign countries but it's not a good idea to include the costs of either on the annual budget?'

Stop believing your own propaganda. Supplementary war costs were voted on separately to keep sneaky fucks like Murtha from loading it up with pork, knowing it would be passed. That it 'wasn't listed on the budget' is a retarded myth propagated by Internet guerrillas.

Comparing major foreign policy decisions with Congressional budgetary procedure is kind of dumb anyway.

Hypocrisy inapplicable.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Sep 07, 02:50:00 PM:

'--Because it was OK for a Republican President's "first day of school" speech to be broadcast to millions of kids across America but it's not OK to have a Democratic president do the same? "Why is it political for the president of the United States to discuss education?"asked Newt Gingrich, who was then the House Republican whip. "It was done at a nonpolitical site and was beamed to a nonpolitical audience" Thanks, Newt!'

Why did Democrats piss and moan about it then, but they aren't now?

"The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students," said then House Majority leader Dick Gephardt. Thanks Dick!

Note that neither Gephardt nor Gingrich are even still members of Congress, so using their statements as a method of measuring the hypocrisy of others now is, again, kinda dumb.

Also note that the people who had kids in school in 1991 are likely not the same people who have kids in school in 2009. So in no way, shape, or form can any parent's decision to keep their children from this broadcast be construed as hypocritical because of something that happened when they themselves were children. That's ridiculous.

Old, stale political hypocrisy, and none for the people that the statement actually concerned. (the parents)

Based on misleading or flatly incorrect information and the stereotyping of conservatives as saying, doing, and believing whatever helps you to make your point, you tried to label an entire wing of the country as dirty hypocrites.

I don't know what to say in sum. That was a pretty epic fail.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 02:52:00 PM:

From Link,

There's an Al Sharpton-like character in Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities -- Reverend Bacon. He pays inner city residents to get bussed around to his protests. He's very careful to have them packed toghether to look like a much larger crowd on TV -- and the TV crews co-operate.

That's not what this is about.

Link, over  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 03:15:00 PM:

"Rules for Radicals" isn't all that new. The Wobblies (IWW) used many of the the same tactics. See John dos Passos' books.

The reason the Right hasn't stooped so low is that these rules break the faith with fellow citizens. That faith and the accommodation that follows is the secret of American success.

Remember, American society is a high trust society. That makes it work so much more efficiently than low trust groups.

A big part of Obama's political problem is that people realized that he lied to everyone during his campaign - he broke many peoples' trust.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 04:10:00 PM:

Though I think that TMLutas pretty much has it right it seems to me that thinking of this in terms of the Prisoner's Dilemma rather than Alinsky Tactics is more accurate. The conservatives are finally figuring out that Tit for Tat is the only rational strategy available as sticking to their principles effectively made their message to be, "thank you, Sir, may I have another?"  

By Anonymous DoDoGuRu, at Mon Sep 07, 04:20:00 PM:

Don't forget that there are a lot of McCain-like bed-wetters on the Right who are more concerned with being "better than that" than they are with, you know, defending the Republic.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 04:43:00 PM:

From Link to DoDoGuRu,

You can call McCain a lot of things, but not a bed-wetter.

The counter-Obama Revolution won't work without independents ... something I've been harping on here for a long time. Catholics and a good share of Hispanics too. The Republicans lost the independent vote because Bush-Cheney morphed into Big Statist fuck-ups. Even Clinton had better traditional Republican credentials. We don't need a repeat.

Blue Dog Democrats actually matter more right now than the entire Republican party, because of this. They need our support.

We don't need dirty tricks. We just need to shine a harsh light on Obama & Co for openers ... and make it clear that we want to kick out any and all who in Congress whi support Obama.

Link, over  

By Blogger Tom Perkins, at Mon Sep 07, 04:53:00 PM:

Meana55 said: So far as I'm concerned, it is now all right to say that the left deserves no say at all in how this country is run

And how do you propose doing that, 55?

Getting 50%+ enough of the vote and keeping it by governing according to principles that increase liberty and acknowledge personal responsibility and agency.

Then we ignore the 49 or so leftmost percent until they dry up, being watered only by their own stupidity, which without stolen money is insufficient to maintain life.  

By Anonymous DoDoGuRu, at Mon Sep 07, 05:35:00 PM:

I can call McCain a bed-wetter all I like, because that's what he is on a whole slew of issues. McCain whined about "tone" and refused to even bring up the most damning aspects of Obama's kaleidoscope of cartoonish leftist associations and beliefs. He was "above it", and now we have a fool bringing communist Truthers into the White House.

That's because McCain's pride is more important to him than victory: being - or at least being called - a Statesman more important than winning against a toxic adversary. On everything that is not explicitly tied to victory in foreign wars, McCain is a deal-maker and a panderer with no grasp of the true import of ceding domestic politics to fools and thieves who move in circles with communists, racialists, deep ecologists, and terrorists.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 05:56:00 PM:

McCain is one of the few Republicans who took a vocal position against the Prescription Drug Benefit, which by itself is still worse than anything Obama has done to date. McCain was one of the few in Congress who tried to rein in Fannie / Freddie when it wasn't popular to do so. He was past his sell-by date in 2008, but any other Republican at the top of the ticket would have lost by at least 5% more. If it weren't for the financial crisis, McCain might just have pulled it off.

Going super-negative on Obama wouldn't have worked that late in the game. That's a Rush fantasy. MSM wouldn't have let it happen. They wouldn't even let Hillary put a glove on him. McCain's mistake was using ex-Bushies as his advisors when he needed to find distance from Bush.

On all these points, it's because it was the independent vote that mattered and decided it.

McCain should have won in 2000. He would have done better than Bush in the general. McCain would have been a great 9/11 President. He might even have heeded the CIA warnings pre 9/11. Karl Rove will get his own little circle in hell for what he did in South Carolina in 2000. He and Bush have no honor -- the karma came back on Bush. It will someday for Rove too.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 05:58:00 PM:

That was Link at 5:56  

By Blogger jim, at Mon Sep 07, 06:20:00 PM:

Many of the comments continue in a high minded, better than thou, won't stoop to win mindset:

" They need our support.....We don't need dirty tricks. We just need to shine a harsh light on Obama & Co for openers ..."

"
The reason the Right hasn't stooped so low is that these rules break the faith with fellow citizens. That faith and the accommodation that follows is the secret of American success.....Remember, American society is a high trust society. That makes it work so much more efficiently than low trust groups."

This kind of pablum is a symptom of great delirium. These are people who will run to support Obama speaking to school children. Why will they support him on this? First, they are desperate for a rational discussion with the left about...... anything and they think this will demonstrate a high minded fairness which will be reciprocated. Fools. Reagan did it and its only fair is their thinking etc etc. The right will "fair" itself to extinction. When has the left EVER let the pure notion of fairness weaken their position? Again, fools. Why do they want a rational discussion? Because they think the world is ordered in a rational manner and driven by an orderly, propositional, reductive and scientific search for the truth. This is the foundation of their world view, their delusion. They presume the left joins them in their search for the truth when truly the left wants to extinguish them and everything they hold dear. The reason to object to Obama speaking to schools is because you object to him speaking to schools and do not choose to give ground to your opponent. One doesn't have to be immoral, but you do have to be serious about winning and realize that winning requires thinking.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 06:31:00 PM:

So Jim you're for dirty tricks? That's your contribution. How about death squads? What exactly are you advocating, other than striking a tone that you're "tough."

Link, over  

By Blogger jim, at Mon Sep 07, 06:38:00 PM:

"So Jim you're for dirty tricks?"

LOL yeah. Did you read "One doesn't have to be immoral, but you do have to be serious about winning and realize that winning requires thinking."

Let me repeat - Think. Twice in some cases.  

By Anonymous SBP, at Mon Sep 07, 06:41:00 PM:

Dicentra at Protein Wisdom wrote a very thorough nine-part analysis of Alinsky's book a while back. I've collected links to all nine parts here.

As she said, she read the thing so you don't have to. :-)  

By Blogger MEANA55, at Mon Sep 07, 06:52:00 PM:

Death squads, Link?

Thanks. That's something I hadn't considered until now.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 06:57:00 PM:

I've changed my mind and favor death squads. Even if some are used on members of my family. Things have deteriorated to the point they'll be used against us unless we act quickly. Argentina under peron was a much better place than under the Kirchners.  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Mon Sep 07, 07:07:00 PM:

Anonymous:
Argentina under peron was a much better place than under the Kirchners.

Since the Kirchners are Peronistas, I have trouble following that logic.Are you saying that Juan Domingo or his widow Isabel, a.k.a. Evita II, were better Peronistas than the Kirchners?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 07:53:00 PM:

A plan ... death squads optional (kidding)

1) Firstly, we don't want Healthcare or Energy passed. They're abominations. They'll be hard to get rid of, if adopted. They have long phase-ins ... on purpose. If Obama doesn't get some kind of Healthcare passed, he'll have problems within his party. It'll encourage Hillary to run in 2012. How much will Obama compromise? TBD. A half bad bill may be worse than a wholly bad bill -- as it'll be harder to reverse.

If the fight on Healthcare drags on, Dems losing governorships in New Jersey and Virginia could take a toll. This is because the Blue Dogs matter. They have to be scared into seeing that they're the ones who will pay the price in 2010. For the next several months, Blue Dogs matter more than the entire Republican party ... think carrots and sticks. Not every Dem in Congress is evil.

Pushing for tort reform as part of Healthcare is a help. Dems will never agree. I'd press for all in Congress to have to join the general pool -- they shouldn't get a better deal than veterans. Neither should GM retirees. Aren't we all equal pigs?

My bet is that Obama goes "all in" with a public option, and will do it with only 51 Senate votes if he has to. He'd rather be a one-term Transformer than a Bill Clinton. Yes, his ego is that big.

2) Obama remains personally popular. My own research showed him to be a scumbag crook ... but most Americans still don't want to hear it. This is the "Six Degrees" phenomenon. A better meme is his competency. Note that we still haven't had a real crisis yet -- the pirates hardly ranked.

3) In 2010, run against the Dem leadership not Obama. Nancy, Henry I, Henry II, Bernie, Charlie ... The only way to get these scumbags tossed out of their Committee chairs is to vote out the Democrat from your district. If need be, also run on reversing all the ridiculous legislation that got passed.

This is damage control folks. We have still have big problems to address, and Obama didn't create them .... years of bad bi-partisanship leadership did it. I still have doubts that the Republicans are up to the task long-term.

Link, over  

By Anonymous space commando, at Mon Sep 07, 08:06:00 PM:

One of the salient points in Alinsky's narcissistic manual is that once the revolution has succeeded, much energy needs to immediately go into fighting the anticipated counter-revolution. There is this obvious hypocrisy in the behavior of the left today. The ridicule piled on people who are protesting the tax reform, or questioning healthcare stings. Being treated like a loon for wondering what was up with the President's link to Bill Ayers made some people go underground and that is where you find stuff like Alinsky. Seeing Hollywood toast Hugo Chavez and a Green Jobs czar sounding off in the mold of Mumia is making normal people feel the fire. We are reading Rules for Radicals to learn their tactics from them. Whether or not others employ them to the extent that the left has remains to be seen. I hated when people talked so vilely about President Bush, so I won't do it about President Obama. But I won't be cowed by tactics taken from a style manual for stooges either.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Mon Sep 07, 08:51:00 PM:

Dawnfire, thanks. I was mentally composing a list of where Anonymous was using false equivalences and leaving out important facts, but you did it better than I.

Anonymous, if you focus on refuting the arguments that are actually being made, rather than somewhat-related arguments you believe righties must be making, it would be a good thing. Don't leap to conclusions. Be precise.

As to the objection early in the thread to the use of the phrase "lefty intellectual snobbery notwithstanding," I think it should be bolded or all-caps, not removed. Those of us who work in fields dominated by liberals can trot out boatloads of examples of exactly that - lefties who quite openly consider conservatives to be ill-educated and unthinking. It's not a myth or exaggeration cooked up on right-wing sites in resentment.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 09:48:00 PM:

Interestingly, Clinton's permanent campaign and politics of personal destruction were early harbingers of Obama's approach. Think of them as Alinsky Lite.


There's an excellent reason for this. Our current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - oh yes, First Female of the Clinton era - had written a thesis on Saul Alinsky back in college, and apparently even was given an offer to work for that master of democratic corruption.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Sep 07, 10:29:00 PM:

Tyree:
///So the Right has discovered Alinsky's tactics. We still have a lot of work to do to fix the government. We still have a lot of problems to solve. For example: How do we get a critical mass of protesters at a rally when so many of us have family and job responsibilities?///

Many have said this in the past and the answer, -uncomfortable as it may be, is simply this: You (we) WILL HAVE TO MAKE THE TIME AND PAY THE PRICE. Freedom isn't free, and I'm long past tired of hearing this excuse from people who "support our troops", (those who have their whole lives on the line), yet themselves won’t even take a personal day/holiday from work to help get the job done. Quit whining and put your shoulder(s) to the wheel. That’s the only way we can make it happen. If we don’t do it,… Who will ???  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Tue Sep 08, 12:48:00 AM:

Alinsky's ideas may have lead to political power, but I always felt like you were sacrificing your soul in the end.

Hardly. The right knows how to turn it off when the battle is over and no longer necessary. For the left it is a way of life. Its how they do business. Its how they roll. They don't know any other way.  

By Anonymous vicki pasadena ca, at Tue Sep 08, 12:54:00 AM:

My only comment to all of you, the Republican party will never make inroads in the congress or the senate until they have some good candidates. It is the same problem you have with potential presidential candidates? Who, who? Gingrich, Romney, Palin, Jeb Bush, Huckabee, Bachman? Please.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Sep 08, 07:33:00 AM:

I partly agree with Vicki. Repubs can run against Nancy & Barnie and Chuck and win control of the House in 2010. The map favors the Dems in the Senate in 2010, however.

In 2012 the Repubs will need good candidates. Right now they have no bench.

I'm a fan of Boehner, but don't know if he has broad appeal  

By Blogger pbuxton, at Tue Sep 08, 08:24:00 AM:

War is not a monolectic, but at least a dialectic (often more). Classical liberals, libertarians and conservatives are not (and cannot be, to maintain a pluralistic republic) powerful enough to enforce their standards: we must adapt to the opposition's.

We cannot surrender our moral principles, but their expression must adapt, if for a time. This too is part of the moral horror of war.

I do not recommend adopting all their tactics, certainly, but I will note one great reason for getting down to your enemy's level: because, once you've maneuvered yourself into a position of superior strength or numbers, that's how you deliver the body blows.  

By Blogger davod, at Tue Sep 08, 09:18:00 AM:

"It's simple. The Republicans have very rarely lost control of the whole government. The usually control Congres, the Presidency, or both."

I do not think this is correct, at least not from the 1900s on.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Sep 08, 10:05:00 AM:

"My only comment to all of you, the Republican party will never make inroads in the congress or the senate until they have some good candidates."

She speaks Truth.

"Gingrich, Romney, Palin, Jeb Bush, Huckabee, Bachman? Please."

However, your list of absurd options are all people who have sought and, you know, won political office somewhere on the Republican ticket. Which is why you've heard of them. That you don't like them doesn't mean that they'd be poor candidates.

It's funny that you listed Newt Gingrich as a poor candidate for making inroads into Congress, when he was House Majority Leader for years.  

By Blogger B Dubya, at Tue Sep 08, 11:28:00 AM:

I don't think that the right-center is actually employing Alinky's rules. I think what is going on is that these rules have been "outed" by the actions of the far left, and that viable defenses against them are being developed.

It was not Alinsky tactics that got rid of Van Jones. It was the the fact that this cretin was exposed as the commie, truther loon that he is in a way that his handlers couldn't defend against or deny.

The far left, even in the Democratic Party, is a very small contingent, accounting for only about 20% of the party. This lunatic, subversive fringe, wholly indoctrinated and schooled in the lying legacy of the Soviet KGB propaganda planted in this country in the 1960s, is the cadre we should marginalize and silence. They are the antithesis of what being an American is all about and they deserve no voice in policy or leadership.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Sep 09, 08:07:00 AM:

It's funny that you listed Newt Gingrich as a poor candidate for making inroads into Congress, when he was House Majority Leader for years.

You mean the guy who was Speaker of the House for 3 years during which he hatched an unsuccessful revolution forcing the government to shutdown for several days (allegedly because his feelings were hurt), carried on an affair with a woman on his staff and was run out of town by Messrs. DeLay and Boehner in 1998, whom he referred to as "cannibals" following an ethics violation for which he had to pay $300,000?

That Newt Gringrich? Oh yeah, I remember him.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Wed Sep 09, 10:34:00 PM:

Anon 8:07. Get the facts straight before firing.

As for candidates, NH has two exceptional ones: Senator Judd Gregg and former Senator John Sununu. Not charismatic, but both very solid.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 10, 07:51:00 AM:

Anon 8:07. Get the facts straight before firing.

Village Idiot, tell me which part of my statement is not factual? Gingrich's role in the government shut down? His affair with his staffer? The coup by DeLay and Boehner? That he referred to his fellow Repbulicans as cannibals? Or that he paid a $300,000 ethics violation fine? Hmmmm? Which is it?

Next time, I suggest you use the google before you aim, and provide links to the contrary if you feel compelled to fire. Otherwise, you're no more believable than a senator yelling "You lie" in a crowded room.

Thanks for playing.  

By Anonymous Peggy McGilligan, at Mon Sep 14, 02:17:00 PM:

When President Obama hired Clinton-era players, he didn’t just signal a failure to grasp the fundamental lesson of that administration – loss of trust. Take Barack Obama’s CIA director, “nice, quiet, civilized” Leon E. Panetta. Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff. California State University – Monterey Bay’s patron saint. Founder of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. Leon Panetta, who flew back to Monterey at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and announced to the CSU, “There has been a stalker in the White House. It was frightening.” Thanks to some rather adroit media manipulation, students heard only Panetta’s accusations, but learned nothing of Monica’s exculpatory blue dress from local KSBW TV News. Panetta controlled the school’s cable TV, from which even CNN disappeared. Fox News would never be an option. Panetta who, from his publicly-funded political institute opposed George W. Bush’s Homeland Security reorganization, and the detention of enemy combatants at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

When Leon Panetta denounced Bush’s policies form his Panetta Institute, located squarely on the former US Army Fort Ord, where both his so-called “think tank CSU,” and his namesake institute are located, it was Memorial Day 2002. So, Panetta told the national television audience he was located in Salinas, Calif. instead. Conspicuously absent from the CSU’s bookstore, and its own well-stocked tax-funded oppression studies library: any textbook by a Caucasian author, any text by a Christian author. Panetta even used KSBW News to deflect Gary Condit’s detractors during the Chandra Levy disappearance. (Remember Fox News commentator Barbara K. Olson? Remember Flight 77?) Perhaps not coincidentally, Panetta’s CSU opened its doors on 23 August: Italian anarchists Sacco & Vanzetti Memorial Day. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis pardoned the Sicilians posthumously 23 August 1977, making Sacco & Vanzetti Day official. How the US Department of Education facilitated this hideous little “experiment,” and how the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), conspired to accredit the boondoggle, and grant these Alinskyites a license to steal is yet another story.

Saul D. Alinsky, among other things, was a clotheshorse, who often donned a fedora. Louis Farrakhan always appears nattily attired. Al Capone’s official mug shot features “Big Al” in a three-piece suit. People tend to give Panetta a pass, if only because he wears a necktie. Interestingly, Panetta began his political career as a Republican. Panetta switched to the DNC because in his words, “They had a bigger tent.” Saul Alinsky passed away in 1972, in Carmel Valley, Sicilian Panetta’s infamous 17th congressional district. I first ran afoul of Panetta; while out trying to appease the radical professors, hate mongers and race baiters, he’d hired to inculcate Marxist philosophy into our daily lives. Personnel is policy. Anyway, the far-Left’s enforcer-in-chief it seems slipped unannounced into my on-campus residence and surreptitiously replaced my showerhead with a stingy water-conserving device. In like manner, my wall-mounted fire extinguisher would vanish shortly thereafter. Gone without a trace. But things were about to get worse, much worse: http://theseedsof9-11.com  

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