Oh, stewardess, I speak wingnut

A simple google search could have taught America’s worst columnist that wingers talk about Saul Alinsky all the time. But no:

The Gingrich I seek is not the man above but the one of big ideas. The term gets thrown around a lot, and Gingrich himself is apt to think his every idea is BIG. His mind is always in the tumble cycle. And even when he is spouting boilerplate, he can distance himself from his worn verbiage to say something fresh or provocative or ugly — it’s all the same to him. Out of nowhere, he has exhumed Saul Alinsky, whose fame is limited to university sociology departments, and yet whose name is so perfectly evocative of old-style radicalism, vaguely European in sound, that it fits Gingrich’s recent formulation, “people who don’t like the classical America.” Who dat, Newt?

The reference, although a tad obscure, is nevertheless intriguing. It shows that Gingrich is familiar with the late father of community organizing who died in 1972, and who by occupation and residence (Chicago) is suggestive of Barack Obama.

So dumb, so lazy, so worthless. You’ve never going to convince me that American official discourse is all that different from North Korean official discourse.

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142 replies
  1. 1
    slag says:

    Vote Gingrich: His Mind is Always in the Tumble Cycle!

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    My favorite move: “the term gets thrown around a lot….”

    Yeah, dumbass, by you, just then. You threw it around, without defining or contextualizing it, then commented on it.

    It’s like a comedy routine nobody ever laughs at, but the dick who keeps doing it thinks it’s funny as hell.

    Argumentation, how does it fucking work?

  3. 3
    ericblair says:

    Gingrinch takes a whole pile of wingnut “ideas”, sticks them in a blender, and spews out a constant stream of word salad with some “therefore”s and “since”s interspersed to fake some coherence. He’s Glenn Beck without the obsessive attention span to really get a good conspiracy theory going.

  4. 4
    jeffreyw says:

    “Alinsky… you magnificent bastard, I read your book!

    /Newt

  5. 5

    You’ve never going to convince me that American official discourse is all that different from North Korean official discourse.

    Oh, come now, Occupy DougJ, of course it is. It is conducted in English. With some varying degrees of fluency, of course.

  6. 6
    catclub says:

    @slag: A lot of wealthy minds need to concentrate on the tumbrel cycle. They are not presently.

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    Out of nowhere, he has exhumed Saul Alinsky, whose fame is limited to university sociology departments, and yet whose name is so perfectly evocative of old-style radicalism, vaguely European in sound, that it fits Gingrich’s recent formulation, “people who don’t like the classical America.” Who dat, Newt?

    Vaguely European in sound? How about strongly Jewish in sound? A real-life counterpart to Emanuel Goldstein in the wingnut propaganda universe.

    I didn’t click the link to see which WaPo nitwit wrote this, but I feel confident in calling this person a coward and a weasel.

  8. 8
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Boy, Cohen has some Newt hate……..

  9. 9
    Chris says:

    You’ve never going to convince me that American official discourse is all that different from North Korean official discourse.

    It’s different, as any American Exceptionalist would immediately leap up to tell you, insofar as in the United States, private citizens and the media get to fact-check the official discourse without ending up in front of a firing squad.

    But nothing other than quaint professional ethics obligates the media to do that, and nothing obligates the private citizens to believe it if they do, so there’s limits to how far that distinction goes.

  10. 10
    KG says:

    I want someone to press these jackaboos on the whole “classical America” thing. What parts do they like? Slavery? Jim Crow? Denying women property rights (ok, mostly married women, but still)? Maybe the part where two or three corporations controlled an entire industry (or in the case of Standard Oil, one)?

  11. 11
    c u n d gulag says:

    The name “Saul Alinsky” has the extra added benefit of sounding Jewish.

    You know, THOSE people.

    The ones who formed a cabal and conspired to kill the American middle class and the “American Dream.”

    And remember, a bunch of THEM were involved in The Civil Rights Movement.

    Coincidence?
    I think not…

  12. 12
    Hewer of Wood, Drawer of Water says:

    Angry Doug J – “America’s Worst Columnist”? Please be more specific. With so many contenders, I had to click the link to see who you meant

    I first read it as ‘calumnist’

  13. 13
    General Stuck says:

    Newt’s “Saul Alinksy” reference is pure psyop politicking, directed to the lizard brain cortex of your native tea bagger. And their flopping attempts to use so called liberal boogyman tactics against liberals.

    Newt could be a real political genius for getting himself elected, but he lacks guardrails in a basic way, and drives in and out of the ditch for kicks and to hear himself being provocative and thoroughly brilliant, to him. A stew of ego, resentment, trivia, meanness, and a hardwire connection to the wingnut brain stem. There is no cure for his disease, other than temporary disgrace for jumping one to many sharks.

  14. 14
    opie jeanne says:

    “classical America” would be the one dominated by white males? Or is it the imaginary version of the 1950s, or some other decade that seems so wonderful to people who don’t really remember how it was?

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    is there any scolding of The Left for calling Newt a race-baiter? I figured Dickie would be the one to come to his aid on that score.

    Even considering the source, it’s amazing how Newtie has managed to keep these people bamboozled about his alleged intellect for twenty years. He really is, after Dumbya, the greatest beneficiary of the working-the-refs strategy. In the real world, I think his pathetically self-aggrandizing “I was hired as a historian” horseshit hurt him worse than the actual fact of lobbying that lies beneath it.

  16. 16
    russell says:

    he has exhumed Saul Alinsky, … and yet whose name is so perfectly evocative of old-style radicalism, vaguely European in sound

    Throw the jew down the well
    So our country can be free

  17. 17
    beltane says:

    Oh, it’s Richard Cohen, coward and weasel. He predicts a Gingrich defeat which will force Obama to “re-think liberal dogma”.

    Old-school Soviet propaganda was more uplifting than this crap. At least it had the added benefit of patriotic music being played in the background.

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: sorry, I meant, of course, “an historian”

  19. 19
    BGinCHI says:

    Instead of Richard Cohen, why doesn’t the WaPo just print Beetle Bailey or Nancy on the op-ed page?

  20. 20
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    Cut me some slack, Jack! Chump don’ want no help, chump don’t GET da’ help!

    Sheeeit.

  21. 21
    k488 says:

    I say, Smithers, this “Iced Cream” is delicious!

  22. 22
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Alinsky was hardly radical. William F Buckley called him ‘an organizational genius’, but…..he was a community organizer, so Newt can grind that organ whilst the monkey passes the cup.

    Oh, and Alinsky was from Cheecago, so he has that going for him.

  23. 23
    Rock says:

    Even forgetting, as Angry DougJ point outs, the hilarity of Cohen failing to recognize that Alinsky is famous among wingnutarati, that’s what it takes be called a genius these days? Spouting out the name of a semi-obscure progressive? John Peter Altgeld! Where’s my column Cohen?

    Bonus hilarity later on in the column when Cohen suggest Obama would achieve greatness if only he were brave enough to take on public-sector unions. Never mind that Obama has already pissed all over federal employees by freezing wages, what kind of idiot thinks public-sector unions are destroying the country?

  24. 24
    flukebucket says:

    I stopped reading at “perspicacity”. What a dick head.

  25. 25
    pj says:

    It’s amusing to me that many of Alinsky’s efforts in Chicago were formed in a partnership with Newt’s Catholic Church. I’d like Newt to explain how ending a hiring ban on blacks in the State Street department stores was socialist, or extreme. It was done without breaking one window. Alinsky merely bussed in black church members to Marshall Fields to shop. All day. Every day. They ordered items to be delivered c.o.d., and then cancelled the order as it was being prepared in the warehouse. The hiring ban was dropped. How was that radical? Which side were you on, Newt?

  26. 26
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Can someone explain who Saul Alinsky is and why do the wingnuts care about him. What does all of this have to do with Obama. I have no idea. Is this code for something, because it makes no sense to me.

  27. 27
    taylormattd says:

    So dumb, so lazy, so worthless. You’ve never going to convince me that American official discourse is all that different from North Korean official discourse.

    Yup. Nothing will ever matter in this country unless the media radically changes.

  28. 28
    Amir Khalid says:

    Cohen gives Noot far too much credit for being an intellectual provocateur. Just how much has his run for president elevated intellectual discourse in the Republican campaign so far? And as for Noot being able to challenge Obama to think outside the box… just where in Noot’s pile of cockamamie notions is Obama supposed to find inspiration?

  29. 29

    Newt Gingrich is the lyrical jesse james, where is the democratic lyrical jesse james? why aren’t the dems having an equal shitshow to the one the gop is putting on? richard cohen wants answers! well more sinecures, then answers.

  30. 30
    slag says:

    @James K. Polk, Esq.: I know. I laughed out loud at that part. Part of me wonders if Brooks’s whistles are accidental. But they’re so damned consistent that it becomes really hard to assume ignorance.

  31. 31
    Culture of Truth says:

    I was wondering who this was, but yes, Cohen really is the worst.

    In truth they do this everybody. Every Democrat is weird, foreign, alien, a traitor. Dukakis, Gore, Kerry. Even good old boy Bill Clinton had recruited by the Soviets, or something. Of course it’s easier and uglier with Barack Obama.

  32. 32
    Mark S. says:

    Let me be the 20th person to point out that Saul Alinsky is “vaguely Jewish in sound.” There’s a reason they use his name and not, say, Eugene Debs.

  33. 33
    beltane says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The worst thing about this column is that Cohen indirectly accuses Gingrich of Jew-baiting. However, if someone were to directly accuse Newt and the teabaggers of this Cohen would take them to task for being shrill and of playing the anti-Semitism card unfairly. And besides, the teabaggers love Israel so it’s all good.

    As I said, a coward and a weasel.

  34. 34
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Also, why is considered intelligent. My kitteh has more sense and smarts than him.

  35. 35
    Mark S. says:

    Oh, and I could tell that was Richard Cohen without even clicking the link.

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Is this code for something, because it makes no sense to me.

    see what @russell: said

  37. 37
    Water balloon says:

    Clueless old fool. He doesn’t listen to talk radio, where Alinsky is mentioned more than Reagan.

    That’s part of the reason why people like him think the Left is where all the vitriol comes from. They ignore the cesspools of talk radio and anonymous e-mail chains, where most conservatives get their news, and focus on liberal writers who mock conservatives and think they’re the ones poisoning the national debate.

  38. 38

    Thing is, Newt IS an intellectual of the Right Wing.

    Chew on that, then cry for our beloved country.

    Because the audience has partitioned the brains, as outlined by Dr. Robert Altemeyer in The Authoritarians. (Free, online, if you search engine it. ) Their minds are so full of inconvenient facts that must never touch; lest the collision of fact and anti-fact blow their head apart.

    So Newt is the bespoke orator of their creed. Because he says nothing; and so rousingly!

  39. 39
    Angry DougJ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    He was a community organizer.

  40. 40
    slag says:

    @Culture of Truth: Holy crap, it’s Cohen! Wow. I didn’t know he could whistle like that. The man’s got chops.

  41. 41
    lacp says:

    @Rock: The Richard Cohen kind?

  42. 42
    srv says:

    You’ve never going to convince me that American official discourse is all that different from North Korean official discourse.

    Freedom is having twice as many choices for Leader as they do in North Korea.

  43. 43
    apostropher says:

    Can someone explain who Saul Alinsky is and why do the wingnuts care about him

    A Jew who organized poor blacks half a century ago, thereby utterly freaking out New Honkistan and establishing himself as the proto-ACORN bogeyman.

  44. 44

    @opie jeanne: “classical America” would be the one dominated by white males?

    White male property owners. And I think you know what “property” they mean.

  45. 45
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Rock:

    what kind of idiot thinks public-sector unions are destroying the country?

    I don’t know. Someone who’s paycheck is signed by a company that would like to get into privatized education.

  46. 46
    Kilkee says:

    Just the worst piece of dreck I’ve ever read. Really. Talk about mailing it in.

  47. 47

    And the demonizing of community organizers continues apace. Can’t have anything that serves the interest of common people against the powerful. They don’t even try to hide their fascism anymore.

  48. 48
    Bulworth says:

    Alinsky was hardly radical. William F Buckley called him ‘an organizational genius’, but…..he was a community organizer, so Newt can grind that organ whilst the monkey passes the cup.

    And he tried to enfranchise those people….

  49. 49
    Chris says:

    @srv:

    Freedom is having twice as many choices for Leader as they do in North Korea.

    Dmitri Orlov summarized it by saying that that while the Soviet Union imposed “one bitter pill,” the United States gave a choice between “two placebos.”

  50. 50
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Please don’t do that. It’s pronounced Historian, with an H, so you use “a”.

    You don’t say “an unicorn.”

  51. 51
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Water balloon: Oh please. They’re all on Drudge’s alert. They think Drudge is mainstream.

  52. 52

    @ericblair: Reactionary Poetry Magnets™

  53. 53

    @Kilkee:

    Just the worst piece of dreck I’ve ever read. Really. Talk about mailing it in.

    Consistency requires sending it in via DHL, or FedEx, or UPS….

  54. 54
    Bulworth says:

    @The Other Chuck: I haz a hard time understanding the incredibly brilliant conservative mind.

  55. 55
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Go read the wikipedia page. Two words: Community Organizer.

  56. 56
    rlrr says:

    I’m not sure what’s supposed to be so horrible about Saul Alinsky

  57. 57
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Bulworth:

    And he tried to enfranchise those people….

    and had the nerve to think that middle class people could be radicalized, too.

  58. 58
    Butch says:

    @Hewer of Wood, Drawer of Water: You beat me. I was going to make the some point.

  59. 59
    slag says:

    @opie jeanne: The funny thing is that Newt is pretty much speaking David Brooks circa 2008 here:

    Their policies obviously conflict, but their skills, world views and moral philosophies set them apart, too. One man celebrates communitarian virtues like unity, [who dat, Brooks?] the other classical virtues like honor.

  60. 60
    EconWatcher says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    Saul Alinsky was not a radical? He wrote a book called Rules for Radicals. Just sayin’, that may not be the most convincing response.

    Anyway, these kinds of attacks are funny, because they have such a retro feel to them. It’s like Newt thinks it’s 1950, and anyone who’s ever bumped into a real leftwinger can be smeared by association. They will go nowhere with people who are not in the 27%. People can judge whether Obama is a radical by his record, and that only looks radical to wingnuts.

    Now the guy who wants to arrest judges and fire civil servants if they’re liberals–that guy seems kinda radical.

  61. 61
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Cohen’s so dumb, he doesn’t understand that when gNoot says “Saul Alinsky”, his audience of mouthbreathers hears “JOOOOOOOZ”.

  62. 62
    RevDave says:

    apostropher – “New Honkistan” – brilliant, having not heard that one!

  63. 63
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Mark S.: I saw the WaPo URL and knew it was going to be Cohen.

  64. 64
    chopper says:

    Saul Alinsky … “people who don’t like the classical America.”

    what does newt have against jews?

  65. 65

    Saul Alinsky was not a radical? He wrote a book called Rules for Radicals.

    Which is often interpreted as “rules to follow to be become a radical”, when in fact it was more like “rules you should still follow when you’re already a radical”. Stuff like working within the system to change it, and not looking down on less-educated blue collar folk. Stuff the GOP is terrified that those on the left will read because it might help them undermine the GOP’s so-far successful strategy of stoking resentment and division among the working class.

  66. 66
    rlrr says:

    @rlrr:

    I guess it’s along the lines of how Newt and the rest of the GOP would have us believe western Europe is some sort of dystopian hellhole.

  67. 67
    Mark S. says:

    @Rock:

    Bonus hilarity later on in the column when Cohen suggest Obama would achieve greatness if only he were brave enough to take on public-sector unions. Never mind that Obama has already pissed all over federal employees by freezing wages, what kind of idiot thinks public-sector unions are destroying the country?

    Cohen also believes that a Gingrich candidacy will make Obama pull out of Afghanistan and abolish affirmative action.

    And god Cohen has an awful writing style. It’s twee and dismissive. Who the hell is his audience supposed to be?

  68. 68
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Semantics, semantics. I don’t see it as radical, but Newt’s entourage will see it differently.

    From the book;

    Outlining his strategy in organizing, Alinsky writes:
    There’s another reason for working inside the system. Dostoyevsky said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families – more than seventy million people – whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]. They cannot be dismissed by labeling them blue collar or hard hat. They will not continue to be relatively passive and slightly challenging. If we fail to communicate with them, if we don’t encourage them to form alliances with us, they will move to the right. Maybe they will anyway, but let’s not let it happen by default.[2]
    For Alinsky, organizing is the process of highlighting whatever he believed to be wrong and convincing people they can actually do something about it. The two are linked. If people feel they don’t have the power to change a situation, they stop thinking about it.

  69. 69
    Suffern ACE says:

    @chopper: The absence of symmetry and proportion in their architectural style.

  70. 70
    Water balloon says:

    @Suffern ACE: you’re thinking of the younger generation of clods. The Mark Halperin types. I question whether Cohen even owns a computer.

  71. 71
    Redshift says:

    @Rock:

    Bonus hilarity later on in the column when Cohen suggest Obama would achieve greatness if only he were brave enough to take on public-sector unions. Never mind that Obama has already pissed all over federal employees by freezing wages, what kind of idiot thinks public-sector unions are destroying the country?

    The Village always believes that Democrats aren’t brave and bold leaders unless they screw over their base. (Though they’re quite balanced about it — they also believe Republicans are brave and bold leaders if they screw over the Democrats’ base.)

  72. 72
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    I played the “who said it game” with this quote. Before I clicked the link, I guessed George Will.

    Turns out I was close.

  73. 73
    Redshift says:

    @Mark S.:

    And god Cohen has an awful writing style. It’s twee and dismissive. Who the hell is his audience supposed to be?

    People who started reading him back when he wasn’t quite so awful and there weren’t as many other outlets for reading opinion writing. They’re slowly dying off and he’s not trying to appeal to anyone new, so he’s sort of a metaphor for the newspaper industry as a hole.

  74. 74
    eemom says:

    OT: Steve Benen is leaving Washington Monthly to work for Rachel Maddow.

  75. 75
    The Moar You Know says:

    You’ve never going to convince me that American official discourse is all that different from North Korean official discourse.

    If by “indistinguishable save by volume and quantity”, then yes.

  76. 76
    Chris says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Anyway, these kinds of attacks are funny, because they have such a retro feel to them. It’s like Newt thinks it’s 1950, and anyone who’s ever bumped into a real leftwinger can be smeared by association.

    Retro indeed. If any association with people from fifty years ago is fair game, someone dig up William F. Buckley – the son of a bitch supported segregation and cheered for Francisco Franco, and they all follow in his footsteps.

  77. 77
    Redshift says:

    Er, I mean “as a whole.” The original is not too far off, though.

    Cole, where’s my damn edit button?

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    Red-hot pokers are too good for Cohen. I’d dull them first.

    O/T Benen is decamping Wa Monthly for Maddow’s shop.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....034961.php

  79. 79
    Emma says:

    @Suffern ACE: Methinks thou hast hit the nail upon the head. I no longer trust the Kaplan Brain Trust not to be trying to improve the corporate bottom end rather than informing the public.

  80. 80
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’m not sure what’s supposed to be so horrible about Saul Alinsky…

    @rlrr: Hippies used his book. Therefore Alinsky is worse than Satan.

    In three more years he’ll be an unironic hero to conservative everywhere, who will quote him to support any insane idea they have, much as they do with Adam Smith today.

  81. 81
    Hill Dweller says:

    OT: Benen is leaving Washington Monthly to become a producer on Maddow’s show.

    The number of blogs I visit daily continues to dwindle…

  82. 82
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods: G-Will hates Gingrich, in part no doubt because his pedestrian lack of subtlety gives pompous, pretentious wannabe “an historian”s who pimp family values while banging younger co-workers a bad name

  83. 83
    trollhattan says:

    [FYWP, in moderation. I see what I did, I’ll use pretend Dutch spelling.]

    Red-hot pokkers are too good for Cohen. I’d dull them first.
    O/T Benen is decamping Wa Monthly for Maddow’s shop.
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c…..034961.php

    Reply

  84. 84
    eemom says:

    @Redshift:

    hey, were you at the 50th birthday reunion in NYC last weekend? I didn’t see you.

  85. 85
    Johnny Gentle (famous crooner) says:

    What are you talking about? No one’s talked about Saul Alinsky in years!

    Then again, I’ve been in a coma from 2008 until now.

  86. 86
    sherparick says:

    Who was Saul Alinsky? For some reason, perhaps because I was very young at the time, I thought of Saul Alinsky as being a very old man when he died. But he was only 63, five years younger than Newt is now. He was frequently on the radio, TV, and in the newspapers in the 1960s Chicago. Now with quotes like this, he is really un-American is he not (not)?

    “Not at any time. I’ve never joined any organization—not even the ones I’ve organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as ‘that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you’re right.’ If you don’t have that, if you think you’ve got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.”[4]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Alinsky

    Is not Newt, if not the whole Conservative Movement, exemplification of Yeats

    “…The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

  87. 87
    AnotherBruce says:

    I really didn’t know who Saul Alinsky was, and I doubt 95% of Americans do either. But after reading the Wikipedia entry, it looks like there is a lot to admire about the guy. He seems to have worked all of his life to improve conditions for the poor and powerless. Kinda like another Jewish guy did awhile back.

    It’s just amazing how ass backwards the wingers are with their morality. They seem to think that helping folks that need it is some kind of soshalist crime.

    I have to do some further reading on the guy.

    Edited to get out of moderation

  88. 88
    eemom says:

    @Hill Dweller:
    @trollhattan:

    holy shit, not only do we all read the same blogs, we read them at the same TIME.

    A life. We needz to get one.

  89. 89
    EconWatcher says:

    @Chris:

    IIRC, Buckley did publicly express some regret over all of that unfortunate segregation business later, when someone convinced him that overt racism is a sin for Catholics. Too little, too late, of course.

    But the really funny part is, by the time of his death Buckley was considered a liberal crackpot by wingnuts. Did you ever read the story about the National Review cruise near the end of Buckley’s life, when he was heard to say something like, “I say, it is a trifle embarrassing that no WMDs were found in Iraq, isn’t it?” The other people on the cruise cited this as evidence that poor Bill was succumbing to dementia.

  90. 90
    Culture of Truth says:

    And god Cohen has an awful writing style. It’s twee and dismissive. Who the hell is his audience supposed to be?

    The Beltway cocktail party set, which eats it up.

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    @beltane:

    The worst thing about this column is that Cohen indirectly accuses Gingrich of Jew-baiting.

    Considering the huge amount of cash that the Gingrich campaign gets from Sheldon Adelson, this would be a hell of a trick.

    The wife of Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson will contribute $5 million to a “super PAC” supporting Republican presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich, providing a major lift to Gingrich’s campaign as the party’s remaining candidates turn to Florida.

    @opie jeanne:

    classical America” would be the one dominated by white males? Or is it the imaginary version of the 1950s 1850s

    Fixted.

  92. 92
    MCA says:

    Mostly unrelated, but since we’re speaking Wingnutese here, thought I’d throw in a douchebag alert:

    http://www.cnnsi.com/2012/hock.....=nhl_t2_a4

    I’ve never begrudged any athlete’s decision not to attend a White House visit. They’re stupid and meaningless, anyway. The point here is not that Tim Thomas shouldn’t express his political views this way – go for it. The point is that the second-string goalie for the U.S. National hockey team (thank FSM for Ryan Miller, I guess) and reigning Stanley Cup MVP is a dumb as a puck bag wingnut who lists Glenn Beck among his most admired people. Temper your fandom appropriately.

  93. 93
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    as lamh34 (sp?) was pointing out yesterday, Papa Bear Romney was a fan of Saul Alinsky

    Mitt Romney’s Father Palled Around With Saul Alinsky

  94. 94
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @MCA: along with pardoning the turkeys and special guests at the SOTU, ending championship teams visits to the WH is a tradition I would be very happy if Obama ended, but I don’t expect any of it.

  95. 95
    Culture of Truth says:

    This is all irrelevant, since most of Newt’s aquitances have known to pal around with well-nut and radical Newt Gingrich.

  96. 96
    eric says:

    All of this rhetoric is the paint Obama as someone that takes from some to GIVE to another. Alinsky and others like him sought to give some Americans help and that help often included financial aid from the government — state and local. Food stamps are one such form. In short, it is not about racism per se, though the notion of african americans as inherently or culturally lazy certainly abounds; instead, it is getting those people with less to feel angry about those getting something they are not. That is what drives the illegal immigration jihad. Yes, there is racism and yes there are a lot of bigots, but the electoral bang for the buck is getting the masses of white blue collar folks to blame “other” for their situation rather than the real culprit, i.e., the 1%.

  97. 97
    Jay B. says:

    Did some of you not even pay attention in 2008? Jesus, Obama and Clinton both acknowledged their debt to Alinsky. The progressive blogosphere, like Al Gioradano, the Obot’s Obot, showed convincingly how Obama’s campaign used Rules for Radicals to marginalize McCain and get the campaign message across.

    The GOP squealed like a pig about Alinsky and…Oh forget it.

    Cohen is an idiot and I wouldn’t expect him to remember what his address was if there was something obtuse he could write by not knowing it, but Christ. It was in all the papers four years ago.

  98. 98
    Sad_Dem says:

    You know who else only liberal elite college sociology departments know about?

  99. 99
    pragmatism says:

    @Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal: damn you. now i have “The Power” stuck in my head. i’m going to go do the running man until it goes away. also, too, i wonder which state fair Snap! is headlining these days.

  100. 100
    handsmile says:

    Yes, I’ll agree with the 21, 22 or more commenters above me that N. Leroy’s mention of “Saul Alinsky” was intended to goose the lizard brain’s anti-Semitism. But do so in Florida? It seems to met that Florida would be one of the few states in which that particular dog whistle/cat call would be ill-advised.

    Also as Hewer of Water…(#12) observed, “America’s Worst Columnist” is by no means obvious given the ferocious competition, replenished daily.

    And to ADJ, if your gonna link to Kaplan Test Prep Daily, howzabout a warning? I strive to withhold my meager kopecks from that noxious rag by clicking onto it as seldom as possible. (If only Dana Priest and Harold Meyerson could find a new employer, sigh.)

    And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the use of the word “perspicacity”!

  101. 101
    Chris says:

    @EconWatcher:

    IIRC, Buckley did publicly express some regret over all of that unfortunate segregation business later, when someone convinced him that overt racism is a sin for Catholics. Too little, too late, of course.

    Like you said TLTL. According to his wikipedia page, he changed his thinking in the mid-1960s, but also as late as 2004 said “the point I made about white cultural supremacy was sociological. It reflected, in a different but complementary context, the postulates of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. […] The call for the ‘advancement’ of colored people presupposes they are behind. Which they were, in 1958, by any standards of measurement.” All of which sounds more like justification/retconning than sincere apology.

    I’m willing to bet that he never retracted his cheerleading for Franco, or for similar regimes in South America, on the other hand.

  102. 102
    wenchacha says:

    @russell:

    Thanks for the laugh! Borat left out all the brown people, though. No wonder people complained about the song.

  103. 103
    David Koch says:

    @eemom: oh shit.

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    Benen is invaluable.

  104. 104
    grandpa john says:

    @Hill Dweller: Well i sure as hell hope that he takes that god awful, idiotic Captcha they use with him when he goes.

  105. 105

    @pragmatism:

    i damned sure wasn’t going to be the only one.

  106. 106
    David Koch says:

    Saul Alinsky = southern strategy code-talk for Jew Christ-killer.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    pragmatism says:

    @Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal: the running man isn’t as fun without the billowy mc hammer pants. i think i have some old Z Cavaricci tapered pants from high school somewhere that would help. i need the “whooshing” sound.

  109. 109
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @handsmile:

    But do so in Florida? It seems to met that Florida would be one of the few states in which that particular dog whistle/cat call would be ill-advised.

    Somehow I don’t think he’ll be using that bit of his stump speech if he shows up at the “Retirement, Schmetirement” assisted living community in Miami.

  110. 110
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @handsmile:

    Yes, I’ll agree with the 21, 22 or more commenters above me that N. Leroy’s mention of “Saul Alinsky” was intended to goose the lizard brain’s anti-Semitism. But do so in Florida? It seems to met that Florida would be one of the few states in which that particular dog whistle/cat call would be ill-advised.

    Hence the dog-whistle rather than the full-on hog call of his food-stampery. Also, too, “Alinsky” is just Russkie-sounding enough to the hit the european/sosch’list note as well. You combine that with a Likudnik foreign policy to get the Adelson money, and you’re rollin’ from Pensecola down to Del Boca Vista. And one of the keys to Newtie’s success with wing-nuts is his ability, some say sociopathology, to believe whatever self-contradictory spew, or as Dickie Cohen would have it, “BIG IDEAS”, tumble out of his pie-hole.

  111. 111
    Angry Egilsson says:

    You cannot have a post trashing Richard Cohen without a reference to his epic Let-Polanski-Go-But-Let-Me-At-Him-First column: http://voices.washingtonpost.c.....rst_l.html.

    Or remember this one? http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ge=printer That one is about how only “fools – or a frenchman” could oppose the Iraq war.

    It’s hard to imagine a more fetid stew of self-conceit and absurdity than Richard Cohen.

  112. 112
    buckethead says:

    Glenn Beck used to like to bring up Alinsky on his show and in his wacko chalkboard diagrams, I suspect Newt is also trying to signal to Beck’s audience that he is a fellow traveler.

  113. 113
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Angry Egilsson:

    That one is about how only “fools – or a frenchman” could oppose the Iraq war

    My personal favorite is his post-invasion, post-no-WMD justification for the IRaq War because he felt the need for “therapeutic violence” after having watched 9/11 on his TeeVee. It really is astounding that he won the Pulitzer after his brain rotted, but then I have no idea who made that decision.

  114. 114
    Redshift says:

    @eemom: Nah, I couldn’t make it.

  115. 115
    Chris says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    My personal favorite is his post-invasion, post-no-WMD justification for the IRaq War because he felt the need for “therapeutic violence” after having watched 9/11 on his TeeVee. It really is astounding that he won the Pulitzer after his brain rotted, but then I have no idea who made that decision.

    It’s probably the most honest statement he’s ever made, and it goes for most of the people who supported the invasion, too. The WMD/al-Qaeda dance notwithstanding, the reasoning for the conservative base was fairly simple: Fucking Hajjis hurt us bad on 9/11, and we have to get even.

    Related is the belief that “every ten years, the United States needs to pick up a little country and throw it against the wall just to show we mean business.” War = emotional gratification.

  116. 116
    MarkJ says:

    @Chris: Seriously. I don’t know why Newt’s opponents (and I hope Obama does this if Newt wins the nomination) don’t say something along the lines of: I’m trying to solve your problems and Newt keeps babbling on about this Alinsky fellow, whoever he is.

    As for Richard Cohen – he didn’t make a single point in that entire article. Newt could be really good, except that he could be really bad. Ergo, I’ve said nothing – thanks for the paycheck WaPo.

  117. 117

    @pragmatism:

    the right corduroy pants can add a dj scratch element to the running man.

  118. 118
    DanielX says:

    I have to wonder about the selection of Richard Cohen as America’s Worst Columnist. Was this, like, from a checklist, or long term comparison, or what? He could well be the worst, it’s just that there are several contenders for the position.
    Cohen is well up there in the standings, especially when you include in the twit factor.

  119. 119
    dm says:

    A simple google search could have taught America’s worst columnist that wingers talk about Saul Alinsky all the time.

    I know that I hear Alinsky’s name being used as a pejorative a lot, but I hang out in the wrong neighborhoods.

    So I did that google search, and I’d say that DougJ is wrong about this. Most of the first seven pages of googleanings were “Who is this Saul Alinsky Newt was talking about?”, plus something from Investor’s Business Daily and from Human Events. Wingnutopia just isn’t page-rank enough, I guess.

    Surprise nugget: Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis at Wellesley was on Alinsky.

    I had to click on the link to find out which of the Washington Post’s columnists was the worst, though. Such rich pickings to choose from.

  120. 120
    g says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Yes, it’s an all-purpose code for Wingnuttia. You can evoke scarey Chicago politics, which evokes dirty hippies, which evokes uppity minorities, radical socialism, which evokes Communism.

    The funny thing is, Alinksy’s main contribution was as a tactician, and the Wingnuts always decry “Alinksy-ite tactics” as if it were something illegal or harmful, but it’s the same kind of tactics used by Tea Partiers or pretty much any group trying to advance their political cause.

    Even more so hilarious that Newt, of all people, is warning against Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” since Newt proudly brands himself as a radical.

    but they’re projecting more than a multiplex during summer blockbuster season.

    Read this wiki article on “Rules for Radicals” – you’ll recognize some tactics:

    “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.”

    “Does this particular end justify this particular means?”

  121. 121
    MarkJ says:

    @dm: Ahh . . . that explains it. Newt’s still stuck his personal glory days – the ’90s – running against Hillary. That’s why he’s so fixated on Alinsky.

  122. 122
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Saul Alinsky and George Soros are the twin hearts of the conspiracy that is liberalism (as far as true-believer wingnuts are concerned). Seriously, some of you have never heard about this before?

  123. 123
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Leave it to BJ commenters to make this thread about Gingrich instead of the topic of Doug’s post

  124. 124
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Pretty much, if you don’t know the Saul Alinsky slur, you should not have been offering your opinion about national politics to anyone for about the last five years or so

  125. 125
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Again: this is why I do what I do

  126. 126
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    OK, I’m expecting some beer, or hotcakes, or cold cash for keeping m_c tied down to one of last night’s threads and out of this one, for your reading pleasure.

  127. 127
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I guarantee you that if that crazy fuck had made it to the Tides Foundation with all those guns, everyone outside of the right would know about this Saul Alinsky Red-baiting biz, or just, y’know, if more liberals could bring themselves to actually think about anything other than how great they all are for being liberals

  128. 128
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Uhhhhh m_c single-handedly improves pretty much every thread past I CAN HAZ EPIC GNOOT FAIL, NOM NOM STEPHEN COLBERT RALLY

  129. 129
    mjshep says:

    @ericblairEric you forgot “profoundly” and “fundamental.”

  130. 130
    Svensker says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yes. It’s a horrendous conspiracy by “Liberal Jews” to take over a good Christian country and turn it into a sockalist godless abortionful paradise. Soros and Alinsky personify everything horrid about “Liberal Jews.”

    “Liberal Jews” (scare quotes intended) are the scariest people on earth because they are intelligent and evil and capable of such great cunning that they can rot a society just by thinking about it! (Non-conservative Blacks and all Muslims are evil but are unintelligent/savages, so not really as scary.)

    Right wing Jews are still God’s Chosen People and are helping to bring about Greater Israel which will then usher in the 2nd coming of the Christ, so they are acceptable. However, it is preferred that they stay in the Middle East kicking Palestinians out of their homes rather than confusing real ‘murkins by living in the U.S.

    At least this is my reading of the Christianist Zionists I know.

  131. 131
    Brachiator says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Saul Alinsky and George Soros are the twin hearts of the conspiracy that is liberalism (as far as true-believer wingnuts are concerned). Seriously, some of you have never heard about this before?

    And the GOP is sure to get some mileage out of this latest from Soros:

    George Soros predicts riots, police state and class war for America

    Soros goes on to say that as the crisis in the Eurozone only worsens, the American financial system will continue to be hit hard. On the way to a full-blown collapse, he cautions, Americans should expect society to alter accordingly. Riots will hit the streets, says Soros, and as a result, “It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”

    As another poster noted, some Balloon Juicers are fixated on Newt. Similarly, I expect this Soros thing will spark the inevitable Greenwald Fever. Meanwhile, the GOP will be pushing the “Obama and Soros want to burn down America” screed.

    Michelle will strike the match.

  132. 132
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Svensker:

    All you have to do to see fairly recent history examples of this sort of thing is glom onto some back issues of Der Stürmer to see all of these tropes in play. The Jew as despoiler of Aryan youth, the Jew as financial manipulator, the Jew as secret fomenter of war for profit, etc. Obviously, to play to American audiences, you have to make adjustments, and narrow the trope to “liberal” or “soshulist” Jews, but the basic elements do not change.

  133. 133
    vhh says:

    In Orwell’s 1984, the Devil and Enemy of Big Brother and all Right Thinking People is one Immanuel Goldstein, who is modelled after Leon Trotsky and is the object of the daily political revival meeting called the Two Minute Hate. In this book, Orwell showed how language is used to further political dominance and oppression. Newt wrote a famous memo along the same lines back when he was rising to the speakership. While symbolic speech is always important in politics, the constant bleating of formulas like “Saul Alinsky” , “Fiat Money” and the various epithets applied to Hispanics, Blacks, Liberals and Anyone Different than Evangelicals Who Sound Southen seems to have reached a crescendo with the current set of GOP presidential candidates. Newt, like all good totalitarians, has even appropriated terms from the Left with which to attack Romney. A real sign of the crisis is that John Podhoretz, high ranking wingnut and hereditary editor of Commentary, recently referred to the candidates as a Former one term gaovernor, a House speaker who was forced to resign, a former Senator who lost by 18 points, and a crazy man. Perhaps, after so many disappointments, Peak Wingnut is at last upon us. Not clear if it will fall on Super Sunday or the third day of the GOP convention. Pass the popcorn.

  134. 134
    Nellcote says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    sorry, I meant, of course, “an historian”

    I don’t know, calling Newt an ahistorian seems about right to me.

  135. 135
    kc says:

    Cohen:

    Still, his restless mind commends him. He has the perspicacity and the gall to advance almost any proposal, and this is good. The country is in bad shape. The middle class is eroding and poverty is growing and jobs are going overseas and social mobility is frozen and American exceptionalism has gone to Europe and Washington is just plain stuck. We need ideas.

    Sweet Jesus, that’s awful.

  136. 136
    Bill Arnold says:

    Quote from the Saul Alinsky wikipedia article:

    One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as ‘that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you’re right.’ If you don’t have that, if you think you’ve got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated.

    Good advice.

  137. 137
    Chris says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Yeah, it really is. No wonder they hate his guts.

  138. 138
    paperbagmarlys says:

    I just can’t engage nutters about Alinsky.

    However, I’d love to ask Newt what he thinks about Alinsky’s relationship with the Catholic church. Alinksy was working on a huge project with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (a program that was continued after Alinsky’s death and indeed became part of the US Catholic Conference with significant funding an influence) at the end of this life and, indeed, his client for his last campaign in Rochester was, doh, the Catholic Church. Does this mean that Gingrich, as a Catholic, stands for Alinksy’s principles? Does this mean that the Catholic church, like ACORN, needs to be shut down before it turns us all into Kenyan Commies? Goodness, what could it possibly mean that Alinsky was in bed with the Catholic church?

    See what I mean? Do you know a nutter who could handle that question?

  139. 139
    priscianusjr says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: @pseudonymous in nc: Cohen’s so dumb, he doesn’t understand that when gNoot says “Saul Alinsky”, his audience of mouthbreathers hears “JOOOOOOOZ”.

    The funny thing is that casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition and Gingrich’s biggest financial backer by far, doesn’t get it either.

  140. 140
    Cowbelle says:

    More liberals need to read Alinsky. Mostly these days he’s read by the Right who think they’re doing oppo research into the socia~list threat.

  141. 141
    Peter A says:

    @priscianusjr: I’m sure Adelson gets it, he just doesn’t care. He knows Gingrich isn’t a real anti-Semite, and that the US is in no danger of turning into 1930s Germany. In fact, for some Jewish businessmen using anti-Semitic dog whistles to get idiotic white goyim to support your cause might represent a sweet sort of irony.

  142. 142
    Jamie W. says:

    Disappointingly, James Rosen of Fox News has chosen much the same attack route. http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....l-alinsky/

    He then doubles down by stating that the Tea Party has “expressed admiration” for Alinsky. Um, really? No, I think they’ve taken the “if you can’t lick ’em, use their tactics against them” approach.

    Additionally, he can’t do math, as he states that not one in 100,000 voters knows who Alinsky is. Considering that if every person in the US was a registered voter that would total fewer than 4,000 people, I think it’s safe to say he pulled that statistic out of his butt. Hyperbole much?

    Geez, what happened to journalism? and how disappointing that a reporter I thought was of some value has released a piece of trash like this.

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