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.