Don't Let Alinsky Win:
Conservatives itching for an all-or-nothing showdown with Barack Obama risk playing right into his hands. A crisis is exactly what he wants. To understand this, it is necessary, once again, to understand that most of his playbook comes from radical organizer Saul Alinsky, and that his playbook also assuredly draws on the work of professors he encountered at Columbia University, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.You also might notice that videos of Obama's minions are popping up all over the place lately saying even more outlandish things with greater frequency. It's not often that an Op-ed changes my mind so drastically but this one just might do it.
"The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength," wrote Alinsky in Rules for Radicals. "The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step…."
Cloward and Piven, meanwhile, called for "a political crisis… that could lead to legislation for a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty." They propose actions that "would generate severe political strains, and deepen existing divisions…. [B]y the collapse of current financing arrangements, powerful forces can be generated for major economic reforms at the national level." And: "Advocacy must be supplemented by organized demonstrations to create a climate of militancy."
A crisis is Obama's friend. An angry reaction is his ally. Disorder is his goal.
His mortal enemy (speaking tactically), on the other hand, is steady, sober, thoughtful, rational pressure by political adversaries who are willing to take the time to consolidate gains, explain themselves, reassure the public that it (the public) has nothing to fear from them (Obama's adversaries), and which constantly calibrates their words and actions to make it evident that they are keeping the moral high ground. A government shutdown does not fit this model. Forcing a debt crisis does not fit this model. Incendiary rhetoric doesn't fit the model, nor do all-or-nothing ultimatums.
This is not -- repeat, not -- to advocate a weak cautiousness. Boldness in trying times is definitely a strength. But it should be a well-planned boldness of considered actions -- preferably "gamed out" in advance -- rather than a reactive or (even worse) angry recklessness. Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, for instance, is probably the boldest proposal put forth with unified Republican support in well over a decade. Yet it didn't come out of nowhere. It was carefully crafted, carefully rolled out, and sold by a man of high intelligence whose looks and demeanor are more that of the reliably do-gooder brother than they are of the ogre the liberals want to portray. It is exactly the right sort of gambit.
Read it all.
This should serve as a serviceable metaphor. The charging horses represent the Democrats, Braveheart's men represent the Tea Party, and the spears represent the 2012 election.