Newt Gingrich's Secret Alinsky Love
"I believe in the Constitution; I believe in the Federalist Papers," the former speaker of the House told a
Can you feel it? Talking about the late, great
Having covered some of the
For example, one of the most memorable rules in Alinsky's popular "Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals," instructs, "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Watching Gingrich go after the media in debates by personalizing figures like
Unfortunately for Gingrich, the tactic flopped when he tried to go after
Obama, by contrast, only reluctantly turned to a personalizing and polarizing populism in recent months, after almost three years of fierce obstruction by congressional Republicans. Many Obama supporters urged him to get more Alinsky-tough -- like Gingrich.
In fact, quite a number of conservative thought leaders who hate Alinsky love his books. His advice shows how to get results, regardless of whether you're a lefty or righty.
"The best way to describe Alinsky is a 'pragmatic populist,' "
As a result, the "father of community organizing," as he is widely known, may be more passionately popular on the tea party right these days than he is on the
The sincerest form of flattery may come from conservative adaptations of Alinsky's model like
By contrast, the left-progressive
Yet, as much as the right begrudgingly admires Alinsky, conservative political correctness prevents many from admitting it. It's easier to police their ranks by pinning a soft-on-Alinsky label.
In rebuttal, we have
I'm changing my view of Gingrich's Alinsky obsession. It might be the result of love more than hate. After all, they have so much in common.
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