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What Obama picked up from Saul Alinsky’s playbook

 
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10/24/2008 05:29 PM
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What Obama picked up from Saul Alinsky’s playbook
Alinsky said, “I have on occasion remarked that I feel confident that I could persuade a millionaire on a Friday to subsidize a revolution for Saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on Sunday even though he was certain to be executed on Monday.”




What Obama picked up from Saul Alinsky’s playbook


By JUANELL GARRETT


Why is Barack Obama always touting hope and change like he invented them?

Suspecting it might have something to do with his community organizing which he apparently thinks qualifies him for the job of president, I read a vintage copy of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

It opens with an acknowledgement to Lucifer — “the very first radical.” Obama learned community organizing at the feet of Alinsky disciples.

According to Alinsky, the job of an organizer is to “agitate, create disenchantment and discontent with the current values, to produce, if not a passion for change, at least a passive, affirmative, non-challenging climate.”

It’s not surprising, then, that the Democratic candidate and his wife made much ado about the meanness of America and about things being tough all over even before the economy really went south last month.

When Obama talks about being your brother’s keeper, he’s probably referring to what Alinsky says about it being in our own self-interest to be our brother’s keeper, so he won’t kill us to get what we possess.

Obama’s own half-brother lives in a Nairobi slum; the Chicago Obamas made $4 million in 2007. I guess we’re not responsible for half-brothers.

In the Alinsky method, the question isn’t “Does the end justify the means?” but rather “Does this particular end justify this particular means?”

Its curious rules of ethics concerning means and ends include these:

•“…concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa” (in other words, if you only have only one means, by default, it’s ethical).

•“…the morality of a means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.”

The latter rule raises questions about what an Obama campaign would be willing to do if it appears to be losing.

Go ask Alice Palmer what Obama is capable of. She’s one of the four opponents that he knocked off the ballot in his first political race by challenging the signatures on their nominating petitions.

When questioned about that, Sen. Obama said, “I think they ended up with a very good state senator.” In Obama’s world, that particular end justified that particular means.

Alinsky said, “I have on occasion remarked that I feel confident that I could persuade a millionaire on a Friday to subsidize a revolution for Saturday out of which he would make a huge profit on Sunday even though he was certain to be executed on Monday.”
The rich are that stupid? Joe the Plumber isn’t, and he’s not even rich.When confronted by the burly, bald aspiring plumber in Ohio about his tax plan, Obama said spreading the wealth around is good for everybody.

For his audacity, Joe Wurzelbacher has had the Alinsky power tactics applied to him by the media and the Obama campaign. We now know as much about his pre-2004 days as we do about Obama’s.


Obama bills himself as change we can believe in and change we need.

Change is good. Except when it’s not.

.....

Juanell Garrett is a writer who lives in Lansing. To reach Midwest Voices columnists, write to the author c/o the Editorial Page,e-mail to oped@kcsta

www.kansascity.com


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