Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What are they accusing Obama of this week?

Well, we all knew it was coming. Obama's a socialist, he's a Muslim, he's an illegal alien - they're struggling for whatever they can find on him. And some of us knew it was all they had left. And Fox News finally went there.

Fox News wants you to know that Barack Obama is a Satanist!!!

Actually, it's like they're travelling backwards in time with their smears. "He's a terrorist!" - that's the latest boogieman. Then "he's a socialist!" - which is like something out of 1950's McCarthyism. And then where to they end up? "He's a witch! Burn him!" - straight out of the Middle Ages. (I'm not sure where to file "He's a Muslim!" - that's not only the current most-scary-guy-on-the-block, it's also a fear straight out of the Crusades. So that one covers both ends of the temporal spectrum.)

It's not like there wasn't some very strong foreshadowing on this. The antichrist email is still floating around out there, after all, despite its obvious stupidity.

The columnist, James Pinkerton, dives straight into it, so you know the thrust of his article.
Could Lucifer play a role in this presidential election? It may sound crazy, but one of the candidates in this race has publicly praised, even emulated, a writer-activist who himself paid tribute to Lucifer. That's right, Lucifer, also known as the Devil, Satan, Beelzebub—you get the idea.
So you can probably guess that he's got some strong evidence, right? I mean, you don't want to just make unsubstantiated allegations under your own byline, do you? Not if you've got any self-respect. Or ethics. But of course, he works for Fox, so what do you expect?
OK, you might be asking, where is this Lucifer stuff coming from? It comes from a man named Saul Alinsky, who devoted his life to left-wing agitation in Chicago. He also wrote two seminal books, "Reveille for Radicals" and "Rules for Radicals," still regarded as key how-to manuals for left-wing activists.

But Alinsky was more than just a leftist; he was a genuine out-there crazy, someone who loved to shock and stun, just for the helluvit. And so in the first edition of "Rules for Radicals," published in 1971, he offered this astounding dedication: "Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgement of the very first radical, from all our legends, mythology, and history … the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer."

This dedication is no secret. David Freddoso wrote about it in his book, "The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate;" and the inimitable Ann Coulter noted it, too, just last month.

And the connection between Alinsky and Barack Obama—and Alinsky and the left in general—is real enough. As John Fund, author of a newly revised book, "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy," observes, Alinsky, who died in 1972, was a sort of godfather to all the activist groups that emerged in the 60s and 70s, the most famous (or, if you prefer, notorious) of which today is ACORN.

Fund notes that young Hillary Rodham was such a fan of Alinsky that she traveled to Chicago, four times, to interview him for an adulatory school thesis she was writing. And Obama is an on-the-record fan too: Fund quotes The Washington Post's Peter Slevin, writing in 2007, "Obama embraced many of Alinsky's tactics and recently said his years as an organizer gave him the best education of his life." Slevin further noted that Obama’s and Hillary Rodham Clinton's "common connection to Alinsky is one of the striking aspects of their biographies."

OK, so the Alinsky-Obama connection is real.
Please note that there are no ellipses there. That's uncut from the article; I'm taking nothing out of context. That's also the entirety of his "proof"

So, to summarize:
1. There once was a radical in Chicago.
2. He made a weird dedication in a book.
3. Barack may have read that book.
4. Therefore, Barack worshipped at the feet of Saul Alinsky, known Satanist.

Is it just me, or are there a few steps missing from that equation?

I couldn't help myself. I read the "response" pages to this wonderful exercise in illogic, and posted. Several times. (You'll find my stuff under "Bill M" - but it links here, so you'll know it's mine. Probably.) But you know what? It's really not satisfying. For one thing, the garbage they're spewing is so easy to cut down - to mix my metaphors further, it's like shooting fish in a wading pool.

(Come on -- who owns barrels anymore? Get real.)

And there's no real feedback. I like a good argument, but with Fox, if they don't agree with you, they just ignore you. I mean, I debunked, I questioned, I even called one guy an idiot. And nothing. There were bits of humor. For example, there was this one guy, who posted 3 comments in a row. No breaks, just the following:
Comment by M
October 28th, 2008 at 9:06 pm
Prayer to Our Lady is far mightier than the devil's power!

Comment by M
October 28th, 2008 at 9:01 pm
Ever notice how an Obama supporter cackles (like the devil) then proceeds to go ad hominem against you?

Comment by M
October 28th, 2008 at 8:59 pm
People that vote for Obama, God preserve them, are committed to the devil.
So, having read all the scary-religious stuff that came before, I wrote:
Comment by Bill M
October 28th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Hey… uh, "M" (no relation, incidentally)… you know that as a Catholic, several of the people who posted here think that you're an idol-worshipper and a papist, and that you're going to hell too, right? (That "prayer to Our Lady" thing? It’s kind of a clue.) I just thought I’d point this out, in case you missed it.

Personally, I've got no problem with you, but this is a discussion I've been in already. I thought I'd warn you that there are those, especially the ones who go all overboard about "end times" or "Rapture" (or maybe the ones who've been blessed by the Kenyan Inquisition against witches) - yeah, if you let them get in charge, your life won't get any better.
And sure enough, four posts later, just to prove my point, we get this:
Comment by ohplease
October 29th, 2008 at 12:07 am
argggggggggggh … I totally cringe reading this "prayer to our lady" stuff !!!!!!!!!

The bible clearly states that NONE OTHER THAN GOD ONLY IS TO BE WORSHIPPED !
get off the blasphemies ! Mary was a jewish girl who conceived, carried and birthed Jesus … that was her quest !!! Nowhere does the bible write, teach, suggest or insist that she be "worshipped" !
Irony is a wonderful thing.

So anyway, I thought I'd write Mr Pinkerton directly.
From: [me]
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 11:45 AM
To: [him]
Subject: The Devil Is In the Details: Another Obama...

Dear Mr. Pinkerton,

I read your article regarding Barack Obama's connection to Saul Alinsky, and I have a couple of questions.

Are you serious about this article? Really? Because it's a long way from April Fools Day. And you actually put your name on this drivel?

Give me a break. "A guy who died when Obama was 11 put a weird dedication in a book, and Obama might or might not have read it!" Are you at least a little bit ashamed of this kind of bottom-feeding?

I'm just curious. Thank you for your time,

Bill M (Albuquerque, NM)
And surprisingly enough, he actually responded.
From: [him]
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 11:32 AM
To: [me]
Subject: re: The Devil Is In the Details: Another Obama...

Dear Bill:

What did I write in the article that was not true?

I think that if the McCain campaign had highlighted Obama’s Alinsky connection, Obama would then have lost votes. Do you disagree?


Jim Pinkerton
So, dutiful seeker after truth that I am, I responded to that.
Re: The Devil Is In the Details: Another Obama...
Sent:Tue 10/28/08 1:17 AM
To: [him]


Well, let's see. Your entire argument for a connection is "There's this radical and organizer. It doesn't matter if he died when Obama was 11, they were both in Chicago at some point during their lives. They never met, but Obama might have read one of his books. Books which have nothing to do with Satanism, but one of which has an odd dedication to Lucifer, in his role as dissident. Therefore, Obama knew a Satan-worshipper."

Admittedly, that was not stated explicitly in your article, but that is exactly what you want to imply. That Obama is responsible for the personal lives of every person he's ever met, or in this case, someone who worked in a similar field, in the same approximate geographic location.

To answer the second of your questions, yes, I disagree. Obama would not have lost votes, because anyone who would believe that drivel would already not be voting for him. And McCain would have looked like a fool.

To quote your article:

And Obama is an on-the-record fan too: Fund quotes The Washington Post's Peter Slevin, writing in 2007, "Obama embraced many of Alinsky's tactics and recently said his years as an organizer gave him the best education of his life." Slevin further noted that Obama's and Hillary Rodham Clinton's "common connection to Alinsky is one of the striking aspects of their biographies."

If you're paying attention, you note that at no point has Obama met Alinsky, nor is there even evidence that he read any of Alinsky's books. "Embraced many of Alinsky's tactics"? They were in similar fields (a community organizer versus a community disorganizer, essentially), and getting a lot of people to work together, regardless of the outcome, will always have similar tactics.

I think that my argument with you boils down to two simple questions (and I'll even give each a subsidiary question).

1. Was Alinsky a Satanist?
a. Do you really believe that?

2. What evidence do you have that Obama has studied Alinsky, knew Alinsky, or did anything but walk down the same street twenty years later? (And you'd probably have to dig to figure that out, anyway.)
a. Do you believe that the spirit of Alinsky has possessed Barack Obama?

You have taken the most tenuous of connections, and attempted to conflate them in such a way as to inflame the under-educated and unthinking. And so, to answer your first question (in my roundabout way) the basic thesis of your article was a lie. And if you want me to point out a specific falsehood, I'll probably have to go with your statement "OK, so the Alinsky-Obama connection is real." Because you have shown no real evidence that it was.

Thank you for your time,

But it's been two days, and no further response.

Sadly, a lot of my correspondence seems to end that way.

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