Rule 6: A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
Rule 7: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
~Alinsky, Saul Rules for Radicals
How many times can you call the Republican Party the Party of no? How many times can you blame George Bush? How many times can you call your opposition racists for disagreeing with you? How many times can you claim all Conservatives are stupid? How many times can you claim the Tea Party is violent, with no evidence to back it up? How many times can you say the economy is like a car in a ditch and the Republicans are drinking slurpees instead of helping get it out?
At first blush, based upon the record of the Obama Administration and its defenders over the course of his first two years in office the answer would seem to be a very large number indeed. The number is not, however, infinite. Eventually, the people defending you will tire of the same threadworm arguments being regurgitated ad nauseum.
In other words, if you want to keep the dogs happy and ready to attack on command, you better throw them some fresh meat from time to time. People may genuinely believe to the core every single principle for which you stand, but if they are forced to defend those principles using the same tactics over and over and over again they will eventually lose their edge and the argument right along with it.
It is critical that people enjoy what they’re doing. The concept that a happy workplace is a more productive one is not new, nor is it without as much if not more merit in the political realm, so expect the Democrats to make some dramatic turns in their approach between now and November of 2012. Already, we are beginning to see more and more of a move towards painting anyone who disagrees with Obama, not merely as racists, but as birthers – a concept much more insidious in that inherent in the implication is that Obama is “not one of us”. It is a diabolical way for Democrats to claim Conservatives, and particularly Tea Partiers, look at Obama as “one of those people”.
Yes, they drove some memes into the ground to their own detriment. After all, the failure to develop a new strategy before the midterms did not end well for Democrats, but make no mistake about it the end game for Democrats was never the midterms, it was always 2012. Assuring Obama’s reelection maintains the all-important veto to protect Obamacare, provides at least the possibility of a swing in the Supreme Court, and will usher in the reckless abandon of a lame duck President who seemingly will stop at nothing, and listen to no one who stands in the way of his ideologically driven agenda.
Get ready Conservatives – the game’s about to change.
Note: I have begun here to keep the posts about the rules briefer both for readability and because a book is in the works that will contain more exhaustive material.
Thank you Howard Dean for proving my post about goading the Right with racist claims!
Credit to Brad Pratt on FB for pointing me to this interview.
“The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.” -Saul Alinsky
This is the Democratic strategy in a nutshell. I wrote earlier about the Alinsky Reaction Chain, and the current methods employed to keep conservatives off track are nothing more than a continuation of those thoughts.
Why is a race such a hot topic? Because if you’re talking about race, you’re not talking about 9.5% unemployment, a quadrupling of the deficit in one year, the corruption and failure of the stimulus, the unpopularity of Obamacare, the failure to address illegal immigration, the fact that the majority of the nation doesn’t want the Federal Government suing Arizona over S.B. 1070 or any other myriad of unpopular policies and Presidential failures.
The Left wants you to talk about race, birth certificates, obstructionism, and anything else it can think to throw at you that will cause an emotional response and make you react without even thinking about it. It’s not an accident, it’s a tactic and it’s working.
The Left will attempt to goad you into talking about any subject it can think of to keep people from discussing the nefarious schemes and abject failure of this Administration and its policies. It is your job to be smarter than that. It is your job to know when Alinsky tactics are being used against you and ignore them. It is your job to shine light on the failures and lies of this Congress and this Administration and ignore the goading designed to make you react exactly the way they want you to.
It’s not your job to defend yourself or the Tea Party or anyone else against false charges of racism or violence. In short, it is your job to generate more light than heat. Don’t take the bait! Put the pressure on the Left to defend their positions and proposals.
This is the essence of the Alinsky reaction chain…
The tenth rule: The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign. It should be remembered not only that the action is in the reaction but that action is itself the consequence of reaction and of reaction to the reaction, ad infinitum. The pressure produces the reaction, and constant pressure sustains action.
- Rules for Radicals, p. 129
Conspiracy theories abound, and conjecture is fine as long as it is not implied to be factual, but if the Left can make you react out of fear and/or anger, they will eventually get you to do or say something stupid that they can use against you. Make no mistake it is all Alinsky all the time with this group. Don’t let them outthink you. Stay a step ahead.
This just couldn’t wait until I got to the tenth rule in my series, because the Obama Administration is controlling the reaction chain, and conservatives have got to get it back. We had it during the town halls, after the election of Scott Brown, and for a while on terrorism, but they have it now.
They are controlling the reaction chain only because we are letting them, and we simply cannot let fear and paranoia overwhelm our logic and reason. Don’t let them make you so angry and frustrated that you resort to unfounded conspiracy theories or veiled threats of violence – this is EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO DO.
Stay calm. Stay logical. Stay strong. Stay focused. Stay peaceful. Use the fact that you are on the right side as your shield against their provocations, and always remember that their intention is to spur you to do or say something stupid.
“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
“…you do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral arguments.”
- Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
It almost seemed unnecessary to write about the fifth rule because this President and his Administration have used it ad nauseum to the point where a discussion of this tactic almost seemed superfluous, but I will at least hit a few high points, and then move on to the rest of the tactics.
If you want to understand the role that ridicule plays in the Alinsky method, and particularly in the way in which the Obama Administration uses Alinsky, you need look no further than Sarah Palin. From the moment that she was introduced as John McCain’s running mate the Alinsky machine within Obama’s campaign flew into action at full speed to find ways to mock, denigrate, and ridicule her. Obama’s campaign dispatched a slew of vultures to descend on Alaska in an effort to dig dirt, stir trouble, and uncover any malcontent who might have the tiniest bit of salacious information on the Governor.
How Obama used, or rather allowed his campaign personnel to use, rule 5 on Palin is worthy of an entire book so I’ll just hit a few high spots. Perhaps nothing so typified the mockery of Palin as Saturday Night Lives’ treatment of the Alaska Governor. The following clip gives a flavor of how widespread the Palinization was leading up to the 2008 election.
This President and his Administration can’t seem to let go of Alinsky tactics. They live by them, and if they continue to cling to them they will die politically by them.
Let me quote Alinsky from Rules for Radicals to illustrate why this is so…
The basic tactic in warfare against the Haves is a mass political jujitsu: the Have-Nots do not rigidly oppose the Haves, but yield in such planned and skilled ways that the superior strength of the Haves becomes their own undoing. For example, since the Haves publicly pose as the custodians of responsibility, morality, law, and justice (which are frequently strangers to each other), they can be constantly pushed to live up to their own book of morality and regulations… You can club them to death with their “book” of rules and regulations [emphasis added].
And always keep in mind the central theme of the Alinsky methodology…
The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
Now your job as a conservative is to stop reacting to the senseless and baseless accusations and begin to put pressure on this Administration to live up to their own “book of rules”. Find the contradictions, the lies, and the myriad of ways in which Obama and his advisers and appointees have failed to live up to what they said they would do, and what a reasonable Government should do.
Tweet them. Blog them. Include them in letters to your elected representatives. Drive them home relentlessly and “club them to death with their “book” of rules and regulations”.
In his biography of Saul Alinsky, Sanford D. Horwitt recounts this incident in Alinsky’s life,
“…in the spring of 1972, at Tulane University…students asked Alinsky to help plan a protest of a scheduled speech by George H. W. Bush, then U.S. representative to the United Nations – a speech likely to include a defense of the Nixon administration’s Vietnam War policies. The students told Alinsky they were thinking about picketing or disrupting Bush’s address. That’s the wrong approach, he rejoined, not very creative – and besides causing a disruption might get them thrown out of school. He told them, instead, to go to hear the speech dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan, and whenever Bush said something in defense of the Vietnam War, they should cheer and wave placards reading, ‘The KKK supports Bush.’ And that is what they did, with very successful, attention-getting results.”
The Tea Party MUST be aware of such wolf in sheep’s clothing attempts to bring discredit to the movement. It is the way the Left has been most successful at marginalizing its opposition, and the media eats it up.
“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”[ From the dedication page of Rules for Radicals]
“Radicals must be resilient, adaptable to shifting political circumstances, and sensitive enough to the process of action and reaction to avoid being trapped by their own tactics and forced to travel a road not of their choosing.”
“Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.”
“Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life.”
“Last guys don’t finish nice.”
“A racially integrated community is a chronological term timed from the entrance of the first black family to the exit of the last white family.”
“The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.”
“A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage — the political paradise of communism.”
“The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displace by new patterns…. All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.”
“An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent… He must create a mechanism that can drain off the underlying guilt for having accepted the previous situation for so long a time. Out of this mechanism, a new community organization arises….”
“The end is what you want, the means is how you get it. Whenever we think about social change, the question of means and ends arises. The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action. He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work. … The real arena is corrupt and bloody.”
“The third rule of ethics of means and ends is that in war the end justifies almost any means….”
“…the organizer must be able to split himself into two parts — one part in the arena of action where he polarizes the issue to 100 to nothing, and helps to lead his forces into conflict, while the other part knows that when the time comes for negotiations that it really is only a 10 percent difference.”
First, from the site,
“Conservative interests know that while Liberals are most adept at breaking their own necks with their tongues, Radicals are most adept at breaking the necks of Conservatives.”
“He will fight conservatives whether they are business or labor leaders.”
“The fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.” 
What does it mean?
This tactic is genius in its simplicity. The idea is to keep the attention on your opponent by simply peppering them with the ways in which they fail to be perfect. No one is perfect and so the rule is powerful.
In fact, it is one of the most powerful tactics in the Alinsky arsenal. We will see as we go along that this rule, along with the fifth rule and the thirteenth rule are the heart and soul of how the Obama Administration uses Alinsky rules to their benefit.
Alinsky points out the Christian church because it was through the churches in Chicago that he first began to implement his strategies. When he approached Pastors, he found that it was nearly impossible to speak to them about Christianity (or so he says) because they were focused on the church, the people, the money and all that made up the infrastructure of the institution and not on the philosophy or theology that guided that institution. 
Why is this important to understand? It points out a basic flaw. People often profess one thing and then live in complete contradiction to what they profess, or at the very least neglect the things they claim to be most important in favor of the most expedient.
Let us be clear that people being people are generally going to fall short of any expectations they put upon themselves. The key Alinsky found was that this could be used to discredit those making claims they did not live up to. It is a deceptively simple and powerful tactic.
For example, suppose someone you know is encouraging you to stop smoking (oh, I don’t know let’s just say it’s the President of the United States) because they assure you that they are concerned about your health. They know the dangers of tobacco and they care about you. You really need to stop smoking so you can be around to be their friend.
Now let’s suppose you find out that this person (oh, I don’t know let’s just say it’s the President of the United States again) is actually smoking themselves. The next time they tell you that you need to quit smoking, what is the first thing you’re going to say? You are going to say, “Hey, wait a minute. Don’t lecture me about smoking when I happen to know you do it yourself”. You would be telling them to live up to their own book or rules-this is Alinsky’s fourth rule, and it is a strategy against which it is difficult to defend.
How has Obama used it?
Sarah Palin: In an article entitled, “I still hate you, Sarah Palin” the author lays out how Obama eviscerated Palin with Rules for Radicals and finishes by saying this,
“What you clowns need, in other words, is a Rules for Radical Conservatives to explain what you’re up against and teach you how to compete before it’s too late.” 
In essence what I am presenting through these series of articles is the framework of just such a manual for Conservatives (yes, a book on this does exist). While Conservatives are beginning to come around to what Rules for Radicals is all about, I have been screaming about it for way too long now.