Obama Following Alinsky Script In Shutdown Showdown
Posted 06:42 PM ET
The playbook is "Rules for Radicals" by Saul D. Alinsky, the late Chicago socialist and father of community organizing.
As a student of Alinsky, Obama studied his political war manual to a fare-thee-well. And now he's putting his mentor's hyper-cynical tactics into overdrive to win the battle for bigger government versus Republicans.
We went back and checked Alinsky's 196-page screed for clues to Obama's negotiating strategy, which has confounded veteran GOP leaders, who are used to some give-and-take and at least a semblance of comity in talks with Democrats. He's following it to the letter.
Alinsky taught his leftist acolytes conflict is good and every crisis is an opportunity to agitate for more power.
Here are his rules for conflict resolution:
• No matter how complicated or morally gray an issue, polarize it as Us vs. Them: "All issues must be polarized if action is to follow." Added Alinsky: "One acts decisively only in the conviction that all of the angels are on one side and the devils are on the other."
This is why Obama has spent the last few months saying the Republicans in so many words are devils. "Our enemies (are) always immoral," Alinsky advised.
• Clearly identify the enemy by putting a bull's-eye on his back: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalized it, and polarize it." The president has targeted "Tea Party Republicans" — namely GOP Sen. Ted Cruz — for rebuke, taking every opportunity to demonize them as "crazy extremists" and "radicals," while knowing the media would never call him out on his own radicalism.
• Mock the enemy and his arguments: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage."
During a Maryland speech last month, Obama cited New Hampshire state Rep. Bill O'Brien's remark that ObamaCare is "a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850."
"Think about that. Affordable health care is worse than a law that lets slave owners get their runaway slaves back," Obama quipped. "I mean, these are quotes. I'm not making this stuff up."
That calculated stink bomb was met by a chorus of gasps and boos from the largely black audience.
• Never stop attacking: "Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose," Alinsky wrote. Obama, his star pupil, even took the tragic backdrop of the Navy yard shooting to demonize Republicans.
• Goad the enemy into doing or saying something stupid, or turning on each other in frustration. "The real action is in the enemy's reaction," Alinsky wrote. "The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength." The GOP's old bulls played along by undercutting conservatives like Cruz.
• Hit below the belt: "In a fight almost anything goes," Alinsky advised. Also, "In war the end justifies almost any means." This is why Team Obama defies decency at every turn.
• Dress your big-government power grab in moral garments: "Goals must be phrased in general terms like 'Liberty, Equality ... Common Welfare.' "
Obama pretends he wants the debt ceiling lifted because he wants to "pay our bills" and be "fiscally responsible." But he cares no more about that than "helping the middle class" save on health premiums.
His real goal is to inflame voters against Republicans to grab more power in the next election, as Bill Clinton inadvertently revealed Monday in an Orlando speech.
"Constant conflict is actually often good politics," the former president said, "because the more you can inflame your supporters the more likely they are to show up at Election Day."
• Finally, never compromise: "Allow no middle ground," Alinsky asserted. "'Reconciliation' means that when one side gets the power and the other side gets reconciled to it, then we have reconciliation."
Republicans still don't know who or what they're dealing with.