The Koch-funded Washington Free Beacon is launching its first strikes on Hillary Clinton with their breathless report about "The Hillary Letters" and her oh-so-secret relationship with that radical community organizer, Saul Alinsky.
I thought the letter (embedded below) was sweet. It was written in July, 1971 while Clinton was working in Berkeley. In it, she asked when "Rules for Radicals" was to be published, and expressed a desire to stay in touch, telling Alinsky she hoped they could "have a good argument some time in the near future." That suggests some differences between the two of them as to strategic organizing tactics, and indeed there were.
But that's not stopping the right wing from shouting Alinsky! in place of Benghazi! at every turn. When there's no policy arguments to win, the right does what they always do: demonize their opponents with the fake boogeyman.
The gist of the right wing hysteria rests in the perception of Alinsky as radical, an idea that is absolutely outrageous when a Democrat is involved, but is of no consequence when conservatives are involved. No one, for example, is pointing out that Freedomworks hands out Rules for Radicals to all new employees and freely uses the principles contained therein to organize tea partyers according to the very same principles they decry in the hands of the left.
Adam Brandon, spokesman for FreedomWorks, which has been organizing tea-party activists and includes Mr. Armey as chairman, says the group gives Mr. Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" to its top leadership members. A shortened guide called "Rules for Patriots" is distributed to its entire network.
Mr. Brandon called the effort to associate Mr. Obama with Mr. Alinsky "a double-edged sword." While Mr. Alinsky was an avowed liberal Democrat, "his tactics when it comes to grass-roots organizing are incredibly effective," Mr. Brandon said.
He cited the group's sending of tea-party activists to town-hall meetings. "When the first five people step up to the microphone to challenge a congressman,'' he said, "it completely changes the dynamic of the town hall—he spends all of his time defending himself."
Right wing hypocrisy on Alinsky is an attempt to paint Hillary Clinton as some kind of hard-left radical redistributionist in order to distract people from the reality of her centrist politics which might actually appeal to some less insane Republicans.
It's just spin, sound and fury, but it's precious nevertheless and worthy of mocking at every turn.