August 17, 2009
Alinsky's Rule 12: Destroy the Individual
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
Hillary Clinton used to complain about "the politics of personal destruction," but the Republicans of the 1990s had nothing on the radicals of today. Other than the occasional observation by Rush that Chelsea Clinton wasn't going to win any beauty contests, she didn't have to worry about her child or extended family.
But these liberals today are something else. For almost eight years they say that George W. Bush is another Hitler, and then whine when anyone compares their healthcare plan to the German plan under the Nazis. We heard one despicable attack on George W. Bush after another, and all the time the media stayed silent. But anyone says anything about their messiah Obama, or puts up an offensive poster, and you'd think the world had come to an end if you watch the liberal news.
Speaking of news, these liberals can't take any dissent. On the left side of broadcast media you have CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS. There's a grand total of one on the right, Fox News, and they can't stand the idea that it even exists. Sure, for decades conservatives have lamented liberal bias in the news. But I never saw the sheer hatred toward any network that I see for Fox. They want it off the air, and over at Democrats.org they're actually getting some companies to drop their advertising.
To this day they attack every single member of Sarah Palin's family with apparent impunity from criticism from the media.
We saw how after the defeat of Proposition 8 in California the brown shirts of the "gay rights" movement attacked Mormons, storming their churches and issuing the most vile slanders and attacks.
Carrie Prejean gave one of the most unoffensive and nice answers I've ever heard to a question on gay marriage, yet was subject to the most vile and insane attacks from everyone from hollywood media types to Keith Olbermann.
Even Anderson Cooper, supposedly a "serious" CNN anchor, made "tea bagging" "jokes" with his guests, referring to a gay sex practice too disgusting for me to explain here.
And all of this is considered quite normal for liberals, from what I can tell. Olbermann and Cooper are still employed at their respective networks.
As Sister Toldjah asked last week, "Since when the hell did the MSM ever give a damn about Hitler comparisons?"
Andrew Breitbart nails all this and more in his column today in The Washington Times, which I am reproducing in it's entirety:
George W. Bush-by-proxy syndrome
There is an extensive body of writing from both sides of the political aisle that has analyzed the extraordinary depths of hatred leveled at former President George W. Bush.
His birth into a wealthy and politically connected family is where a lot of the animus starts. His rejection of his Connecticut roots and adoption of a rugged Texan persona naturally riled his birth-constituency. His disjointed speaking style also alienated many others - especially those who covered him in the Northeastern media. Naturally, some of his initiatives were controversial. His allies say he didn't do enough.
But all presidents make mistakes, pursue unpopular ideas, possess off-putting personality traits and don't do enough to appeal to their core supporters. Something far more insidious was at work in the hatred of our most recent former president.
Now that Mr. Bush is quietly going about his retirement, this strain of rage - the GWB43 virus - has spread like wildfire, finding unsuspecting targets, each granting us greater perspective into what not long ago seemed like a mysterious phenomenon isolated only on our 43rd president.
The first person to catch the virus was Sarah Palin, whose family also was infected, including, unforgivably, her children.
Then it was Joe the Plumber, for asking a question.
Next were the Mormons.
Then it was Rush Limbaugh - who hit back.
Next, tax-day "tea party" attendees were "tea bagged."
Then there was a beauty contestant.
And a Cambridge cop, too.
And now we have town-hall "mobs."
Smile ... you've been "community organized."
When put on the media stage, these individuals and groups have been isolated for destruction for standing in the way of a resurgent modern progressive movement and for challenging its charismatic once-in-a-lifetime standard-bearer, Barack Obama.
This is their time, we've been told. And no one is going to stand in the way.
The origins of manufactured "politics of personal destruction" is Saul Alinsky, the mentor of a young Hillary Rodham, who wrote her 92-page Wellesley College senior thesis on the late Chicago-based "progressive" street agitator titled, "There Is Only the Fight."
Mr. Obama and his Fighting Illini, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, have perfected Mr. Alinsky's techniques as laid out in his guidebook to political warfare, "Rules for Radicals." In plain language, we see how normal, decent and even private citizens become nationally vilified symbols overnight - all in the pursuit of progressive political victory.
"Rule 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)"
With the complicity of the mainstream media and abetted by George Soros' money and netroots nation, Mr. Bush never stood a chance.
But the more the virus spreads, the more we study it and, perhaps, find the cure. The repetitive use of the same technique against anyone who would dare stand up and oppose the progressive movement and especially its leader has exposed the game and rendered its tactics less effective.
In fact, one could make the argument that the Republican Party, usually slow on the uptake, has finally figured it out. There are no major Republican targets out there opposing Mr. Obama and his aggressive agenda. The conservative movement appears leaderless, but perhaps for the best.
Maybe that is the strategy: Standing back and letting the Obama machine flail in its pursuit of its next victim.
A grass-roots movement of average Americans has stood up, making it extremely difficult to isolate and demonize an individual.
Mr. Alinsky noted in "Rule 12" that it is difficult to go after "institutions." And attacking "tea baggers" and "mobs" has only created more resistance and drawn attention to the left's limited playbook. Even Americans expressing their constitutionally protected right to free speech are open game.
Now that many people are Googling the Alinsky rule book and catching up with the way Chicago thugs play their political games, Mr. Obama and the Fighting Illini are going to be forced to create new rules - or double down on the old ones.
Worse yet, as his approval ratings descend rapidly - Rasmussen has him at 47 percent, the lowest of his presidency - angry citizens may be turning the tables on him, using Mr. Alinsky against him.
They won't have to "freeze" and "personalize" him either. He's got 3 1/2 years left with the klieg lights focused on him. And if Mr. Obama can't get the economy rolling and continues to demonize everyday folks for his failures, he will be further isolated from sympathy and even ridiculed.
Yes, it's cruel - and effective.
Ask Mr. Bush, the magnanimous guy who gave the new president a heartfelt hug the day he took office. He knows.
Boy, I wish I could see his famous smirk right about now. I always loved how much they hated that.
The Democrats made a classic error after the last election by overestimating their mandate. A majority of voters wanted the Republicans out, and thought they'd give the Democrats a chance. But they didn't buy into the entire socialist-left Democrat agenda, and they're finding this out the hard way now.
In the end, I think Andrew might be right; the left has overplayed it's hand. The American people are waking up and we're seeing it at the town halls. More, the town halls are showing that liberal-left tactics of intimidation aren't working anymore.
Posted by Tom at August 17, 2009 9:30 PM
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Well Tom. You can't implement your agenda if you don't win. That goes for both sides. I don't know if you have any interest or have ever worked elections. But I can tell you this. And this is one of the reasons I hope my involvement in this aspect of our political process is over. I don't remember one lost election when my fellow campaign workers and myself, or my opponents, lamented that we "should have stayed with a positive message."
Personal destruction is cheaper and easier. It doesn't say mush for the process, but it works.
Posted by: Truth 101 at August 18, 2009 9:36 PM
Would you like some cheese to go with this whine? Is there anything of interest here other than whining? People picking on you? Maybe if the republicans in office actually did something of substance other than saying "no" and throwing a wrench in the gears you'd have something better and more interesting to write about. You sound like you're tattle tailing to a teacher on the playground who doesn't care.
Posted by: Rob at July 26, 2011 11:25 AM
Yawn. Rob, you bore me. Try again.
Posted by: The Redhunter at July 26, 2011 8:40 PM
What you've established is that personality attacks are immoral and that the left is hypocritical in its use of them. What you haven't is that they don't work or that politics of both parties cares about morality or consistency.
Posted by: Joe at February 2, 2013 10:15 AM