I'd pronounce on the need for change. Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds. Change in the Congress, compliant and corrupt. Change won't come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots. That's what I'll do, I'll organize black folks. At the grass roots. For change.
- Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father; p. 133
Winning a national Presidential election is not at all the same thing as organizing a group of citizens to agitate for more government interventions and taxpayer money. Community organizers generally aim their demands at government bureaucrats, who are doling out other people's money, not their own.
And community organizers can move on to grander schemes these days, without the risk of tar and feathers, when they don't deliver those golden government dollars, or when those dollars just exacerbate problems instead of solving them.
Candidates, on the other hand, must aim their pitches at taxpayers. Taxpayers aren't using other people's money.
This tiny, but wholly significant difference, certainly explains why taxpayers are a bit more difficult to convince. Taxpayers don't like seeing hard-earned money thrown down the dry well of liberals' good intentions.
Taxpayers, unlike government bureaucrats, ask: "Why should we give you more money, when what we already gave you has produced more harm than help to those it was intended to serve?"
That's a mighty tough question for a candidate who's done more running than working.
Did Obama rise too fast for his own good?
Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
- African proverb
Within the span of exactly 12 years, Barack Obama has gone from his first political gig as a state senator -- from the most longstanding, corrupt political-machine city in American history -- to running for the highest office in the land.
Barack Obama has been pretty adept at coupling his truly awesome charisma with Alinsky tactics to latch onto Daley's Chicago machine, and important church liaisons with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Rev. Michael Pfleger to win a state senate spot. With the tremendous assistance of Illinois state senate leader, Emil Jones, Obama was allowed to take credit for quite a bit of legislation. Then, with uncanny luck, he also managed to win his U.S. Senate seat when the chief opposing candidates were both eliminated in the primary and general election due to timely release of tawdry divorce records. Barring some completely unforeseen disaster, Obama will be nominated and heralded with his new Big Zer-O Salute by 75,000 adoring fans in Denver. And he will, for the very first time, face a test of his Alinsky tactics among the diverse American national electorate, the vast majority of whom will have to pay from their own pockets the bills for Obama's velvet revolution.
Obama is high on hope, but low in proven solutions.
"...I'm reminded that the actions of those in power have enormous consequences -- a price that they themselves almost never have to pay."
- Barack Obama; The Audacity of Hope; p. 48
Consider this telling fragment from the Obama timeline, offered by David Freddoso in his new book, The Case Against Barack Obama:
July 31, 1995 - Tony Rezko makes his first political donation to Obama.
July 1995 - Obama seeks (and later receives) endorsement of radical New Party.
January 2, 1996 - Obama begins process of throwing all of his opponents off the ballot.
March 19, 1996 - Obama wins Democratic state Senate primary, unopposed.
January 14, 1997 - Tony Rezko, while claiming he cannot afford to turn on the heat in one of his slums, writes a $1,000 check to Barack Obama's campaign.
February, 1997 - Obama co-sponsors a bill that creates affordable local housing funds in order to subsidize private developers.
August 23, 2001 - Bill co-sponsored by Obama, giving special tax credits to donors to private developers of "affordable housing."
May 21, 2003 - Obama votes for the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act, creating demand for at least 7,000 new "affordable housing" units and letting private developers circumvent local ordinances.
August 14, 2003 - Stuart Levine and Tony Rezko steer $50 million in teachers' retirement money to an investment firm and receive a $250,000 kickback from the "finder."
March 4, 2004 -Obama co-sponsors bill to move forward deadlines of developer-friendly housing bill.
June 15, 2005 - Obama and Tony Rezko close on adjacent properties in Hyde Park.
May 26, 2005 - Chicago Tribune profiles Tony Rezko, noting that he has been subpoenaed in a criminal investigation.
January 2006 - Obama purchases part of neighbor Tony Rezko's lot.
In his first position of any government power, Barack Obama, perfectly evidenced his own pronouncement:
"...the actions of those in power have enormous consequences -- a price that they themselves almost never have to pay."
Syrian-born Tony Rezko is now in prison, after having been convicted by a federal jury on 16 of 24 counts of corruption charges.
Cheating the taxpayers is serious business.
But while Tony Rezko languishes in a prison cell, Barack Obama seeks the Presidency.
And what of those lovely "affordable housing" units that Tony Rezko and his Illinois state Senate handmaiden, Barack Obama, paid for with taxpayer money?
They are rat-infested slums, which have been largely condemned by local authorities as uninhabitable by human beings.
The poor citizens of Illinois are left paying the consequences of Obama's power. He's off in Hawaii resting up for his Denver coronation.
How far will Obama go?
"A broad multiclass, multiracial movement is converging around Obama's ‘Hope, change and unity' campaign because they see in it the thrilling opportunity to end 30 years of ultra-right rule and move our nation forward with a broadly progressive agenda."
It's certainly no secret that America has a number of citizens who would prefer rule by a dictatorship of the new-and-improved rainbow proletariat, but that number has traditionally been a small fringe. Obama seems to believe, however, that he will win the rest of us over.
The groundwork for Obama's rise has been laid since 2000.
Alinsky Rule 13:
"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
Since 2000, this nation's citizenry has been bombarded in systematic fashion with polarizing tactics aimed at one person: President George W. Bush. And collaterally, at his party. At the "religious right." At "hard-hearted" conservatives. At anything and everything whatsoever traditional-American.
This pervasive manipulation of public opinion has been so effective that Democratic victories in 2008 at all levels of government have carried the aura of foregone conclusion.
Polling, however, does not coincide at this point with certain Democrat victory in November. A great many have asked, "Why not?"
Perhaps the leftist polarizers, in their zealotry, lost sight of Alinsky Rule # 11:
"If you push a negative hard enough and deep enough it will break through into its counter-side."
Since polarizing the President went national, with the nearly complete assistance of the mainstream media, it broke through, rather quickly, to its counter-side and produced a sizeable backlash among large swaths of the American electorate.
Polarizing the President in war time produced nearly instant and whole-hearted support from our armed forces and their families, which helped to reelect G. W. in 2004. Polarizing the President and his Christian faith quickly produced a determined opposition among those voters, which are a clear majority of our citizenry. The myriad sufferers of "Bush Derangement Syndrome" have been forced to contend with American common sense within a number of constituencies.
This Alinsky polarization worked well in the short term, but once it became too pronounced, it merely served to energize opposition, most especially since the Democrat victories of 2006. The leftist polarizers may gleefully point to the President' low-approval rating that hovers at about 30%. But the Democrats' Congress has an approval rating that is the lowest in history, at 9%. This speaks to the fact that power shifts in American politics occur frequently and rather quickly. Alinsky's tactics are more suited for socialist revolution, not for the shifting realities in a democratic republic.
Revolution in America ain't the same thing as dethroning a Czar, now is it?
Obama's attempt to keep his campaign on the polarizing shtick, by constantly attempting to tie John McCain to George W. Bush, does not seem to be working with voters. If it were working as planned, then Obama would be leading in polls by double digits, instead of being mired in a statistical dead heat.
If John McCain had been Bush's VP, this would be easy. If John McCain had not been in the forefront of rightfully attacking "mismanagement" of the Iraq War, Obama's tactic might work. Or if we were not winning the Iraq war with the McCain/Petraeus surge, the surge that Obama said would make "no difference," this continued polarizing might succeed. If John McCain did not have the reputation of being a maverick within his own Party, this tactic might be a winner.
Unfortunately for Obama, the polarizing-Bush tactic seems to have long ago lost its impact, and now simply falls flat among a great many American voters, the majority of whom voted for the President in 2004.
Alinsky Rule #7 has come into play:
"A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag."
Bush bashing is so yesterday, Barry.
Tactics are no good at covering up a bad record of solutions.
"...most people who serve in Washington have been trained either as lawyers or as political operatives -- professions that tend to place a premium on winning arguments rather than solving problems."
- Barack Obama; The Audacity of Hope; p. 48
Even the most cursory observer is left to ponder whether Barack Obama truly believed that his community organizing tactics, learned at Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation, would be enough to counter his legal education's priority on "winning arguments."
If he had stayed in the predominantly local business of "organizing black folks" for long enough to develop real skill at actually solving problems, seeing firsthand what ideas worked to produce good results, then he might be able to run for President after, say 30 years, on the proving grounds of politics.
If Obama had chosen a more upright and respectable venue for his political career, instead of choosing the most renowned political machine in America as his base, he might have avoided the personal favors and pay-to-play schemes of a Tony Rezko and who knows what others.
But since he chose a path that relied on Alinsky tactics and perennially running for higher office instead, Barack Obama seems not to have learned much about creating genuine solutions.
Smooth seas do not make skilled sailors.
Taxpayers generally require a track record of at least a few workable solutions in their President.
Hillary Clinton nailed this guy, the wily Barack Obama, last year:
"...I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002."
It would seem that the American public is beginning to wake up and see precisely the same thing.
And I would say that Obama's Alinsky hoodwink is coming home to roost.
How it ever got this far will keep historians busy for decades.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is an independent journalist and a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at kyleanneshiver.com.