Palin, Cloward, Piven and Kafka

What happened to Sarah Palin is a political game changer on the national level.  It also may be a preview of what every American may face in a few years.

The 18 ethics charges filed since she rose to prominence in Republican circles might be the first time the left has successfully used the Cloward-Piven Strategy to stop an individual politician on the national level. 

For those who do not know, the strategy was developed in the late 1960s by two sociologists at Columbia.  In a nutshell it seeks to "hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse". 

It was implemented in NYC where activists on the left lobbied for new social programs then worked to fill the rosters.  By the early 1970s there was one person on welfare for every two working in NYC.  This nearly resulted in NYC declaring bankruptcy in 1975, averted only by a federal emergency loan.

In the case of Sarah Palin, political opponents overloaded her with a flood of complaints and consequent legal fees, thus pushing her toward a personal financial crisis and her exit from the public arena.  Like NYC she may come back, but the rules of the game have changed.

Some of the complaints her legal team responded to were simply absurd.

Complaint alleging interference in a job hiring was filed under the name of Edna Birch, a busybody character on the British soap opera Emmerdale. Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, said no one by that name could be found living in Alaska and the filer refused to use a real name, so the complaint was dismissed Feb. 20.

Forget about the fairness or irrationality of this complaint.  The mere fact that she had to engage an attorney to respond to it means anyone with a computer, printer and a few stamps can force a politician to incur thousands of dollars in legal fees.  And while these sort of Kafkaesque tribunals have normally been reserved for prominent Americans, we might all get to participate in the future.

TARP, the Stimulus Bill, GM/Chrysler Bailout, Cap & Trade and Healthcare reform will create hundreds of new bureaucratic tribunals and czars with the power to investigate and punish those who are found to be non-compliant.  You don't need to hire a lawyer to trigger an investigative process; you just need to file a complaint.

Whether it's a politically motivated effort or just the rant of a schizophrenic neighbor we all might get to experience this sort of madness in the future.
What happened to Sarah Palin is a political game changer on the national level.  It also may be a preview of what every American may face in a few years.

The 18 ethics charges filed since she rose to prominence in Republican circles might be the first time the left has successfully used the Cloward-Piven Strategy to stop an individual politician on the national level. 

For those who do not know, the strategy was developed in the late 1960s by two sociologists at Columbia.  In a nutshell it seeks to "hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse". 

It was implemented in NYC where activists on the left lobbied for new social programs then worked to fill the rosters.  By the early 1970s there was one person on welfare for every two working in NYC.  This nearly resulted in NYC declaring bankruptcy in 1975, averted only by a federal emergency loan.

In the case of Sarah Palin, political opponents overloaded her with a flood of complaints and consequent legal fees, thus pushing her toward a personal financial crisis and her exit from the public arena.  Like NYC she may come back, but the rules of the game have changed.

Some of the complaints her legal team responded to were simply absurd.

Complaint alleging interference in a job hiring was filed under the name of Edna Birch, a busybody character on the British soap opera Emmerdale. Palin's attorney, Thomas Van Flein, said no one by that name could be found living in Alaska and the filer refused to use a real name, so the complaint was dismissed Feb. 20.

Forget about the fairness or irrationality of this complaint.  The mere fact that she had to engage an attorney to respond to it means anyone with a computer, printer and a few stamps can force a politician to incur thousands of dollars in legal fees.  And while these sort of Kafkaesque tribunals have normally been reserved for prominent Americans, we might all get to participate in the future.

TARP, the Stimulus Bill, GM/Chrysler Bailout, Cap & Trade and Healthcare reform will create hundreds of new bureaucratic tribunals and czars with the power to investigate and punish those who are found to be non-compliant.  You don't need to hire a lawyer to trigger an investigative process; you just need to file a complaint.

Whether it's a politically motivated effort or just the rant of a schizophrenic neighbor we all might get to experience this sort of madness in the future.