Republicans and conservatives are fond of referencing Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky, but most have never read his body of work. I’ve always referred to Alinsky’s secular agitator bible, “Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals,” as the sequel to “The Communist Manifesto.”
Published in 1972, shortly before his death, “Rules” was a significant part of President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s political upbringings, although Alinsky influenced Obama more. Obama followed in Alinsky’s community organizing footsteps in Chicago in the ‘80s.
Alinsky’s 13 rules are effective. The first step to challenging them is actually recognizing them. Here’s how Democrats and the Democrat Media Industrial Complex (DMIC) Alinsky-ized Brett Kavanaugh in the lead up to, during, and after his U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Rule 1: ‘Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.’
Yesterday, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein resorted to show-me-the-man-and-I’ll-show-you-the-crime tactics, by forwarding to the Department of Justice an anonymously penned letter alleging that Kavanaugh committed sexual misconduct while in high school (Kavanaugh is 53). Feinstein said she possessed the letter during the confirmation hearings. She undoubtedly thinks she’s got an ace in her hand, but I’m certain it’s a joker.
Outnumbered 51-49, Senate Democrats know the arithmetic isn’t on their side. If Democrats and Republicans each hold court along party lines, Kavanaugh is our next justice, thanks to the nuclear option Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell employed last year to get Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed.
But a two-senator lead means the tie-breaking voter, Vice President Mike Pence, better be on call next month when the roll call vote to confirm Kavanaugh is held. Democrats undoubtedly consider rogue Republican senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, of Maine and Alaska, respectively, to be free agents, particularly over Roe v. Wade.
Democrats relentlessly questioned Kavanaugh about abortion. The goal was to create doubt that Collins and Murkowski would vote to confirm him. If uncertainty exists, it’s unlikely that Democrats from states President Trump won in 2016 will cross the aisle. If Democrats somehow secured 51 nays, we’ll have the modern day version of Bork-ed: Kavanaugh-ed.
Rule 2: ‘Never go outside the expertise of your people.’
Alinsky wrote in “Rules” that “the issue is never the issue.” The reason the Democrats are obsessed with the documents the president withheld has nothing to do with the documents; it has to do with the fact that the Democrats on the judiciary committee were unwilling to have substantive legal discussions.
Why? Simple: because Kavanaugh would have made the Democrats—several of whom are trained attorneys—look like first-day law school students. Since he’s authored 307 opinions, from 2,700 cases, during his 12 years as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, along with dozens of speeches to law schools and legal groups, Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence bona fides are not only rock solid, but also very public. There is zero we don’t know about Kavanaugh’s interpretive approach and acumen.
Rule 3: ‘Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.’
I suspect this rule guided The New York Times’s and Associated Press’s show-me-the-woman-and-I’ll-show-you-the-crime expedition two months ago for the work emails of Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, who was hired earlier this year as town manager of Chevy Chase, Maryland. The Times requested any emails that contained the words “gun,” “abortion,” “federalist,” or “gay.”
Perhaps the Times believed Mrs. Kavanaugh was fond of attending The Federalist Society lectures about concealed-carrying lesbians who believe abortion is creepy. The Times’s request was a big dud; 85 pages of emails later, and, I’m sure, much to the newspaper’s chagrin, nothing incriminating, and nothing about guns, abortion, gays, or federalists were discovered. The AP requested all of her work emails, but hasn’t yet reported its findings.
Rule 4: ‘Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.’
Although there weren’t explicit questions about Kavanaugh’s Catholic faith, he noted his work with the Catholic Charities. This rule was the basis for California Sen. Kuckoo Kamala Harris’s lie that Kavanaugh called birth control abortion-inducing drugs (have you noticed how often I’ve already written about abortion?).
And here’s the American Civil Liberties Union’s predictable fear-mongering that Kavanaugh would usher in the theocratic oligarchy. In fairness, I’m not angry at the ACLU, because voting is a lot like any decision or purchase: it’s done based in fear or greed.
Rule 5: ‘Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.’
Kavanaugh has been in Washington for decades. He’s what many of us would call an “establishment” figure. This has provided an opportunity for the DMIC to attack his establishment “elitism,” which President Trump swore to reject by draining the swamp.
The median household income of Kavanugh’s ZIP code is $12,000 a month, his house cost $1.2 million to purchase, and Kavanaugh racked up tens of thousands of dollars in credit debt to buy Washington Nationals season tickets.
As coach of one of his daughters’ basketball teams, his moniker is “Coach K.” Now, if the nickname Coach K doesn’t smack of elitism, I don’t know what does. The DMIC showed no qualms in portraying Kavanaugh as an out of touch Beltway insider. Oh yeah, and people will die if he’s confirmed.
Rule 6: ‘A good tactic is one your people enjoy.’
Democrats know most of their voters are out for blood, and a “good tactic” was to inextricably link Kavanaugh to President Trump, an “unindicted co-conspirator,” according to Harris and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, due to the plea deal of Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. “Unindicted co-conspirator” is lawyertalk for “I don’t have any evidence whatsoever, so I’ll just regurgitate a scary-sounding term like ‘unindicted co-conspirator.’“
In the old days, Democrats weren’t quite as politically loony as they currently are, and were definitely more likable. Unlikeability is a good tactic for Democrats, because a justice’s temperament is important, and the more unlikeable Democrats had been in their questioning, the better the chances Kavanaugh would have lost his cool.
But alas, he kept his cool, especially during Harris’s entrapping questions about possible conversations he had with Trump’s lawyer’s firm regarding the Robert Mueller investigation. The Democrats tried to force Kavanaugh into the role of de facto spokesman for the president, but he was ready for them.
Rule 7: ‘A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.’
I didn’t watch every second of the hearings, but I watched more than 75 percent, and Democrats said Trump’s name dozens of times. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker handled Trump fatigue by putting on a theatrical production worthy of Broadway. Booker, whose claim to fame was interrogating Mike Pompeo about gay sex during his secretary of state confirmation hearings, dared his Republican colleagues to expel him from the Senate.
As was expected, President George W. Bush’s name also popped up. Kavanaugh worked for Bush, and the implication was: Kavanaugh has always been associated with illegitimate presidents.
Rule 8: ‘Keep the pressure on.’
This is one of the easier rules to follow, because specifics aren’t necessary. Attorneys who litigate before the Supreme Court know to expect random barrages of questions, and the Democrats kept up the pressure by interrupting Kavanaugh dozens of times, not including the interruptions from protesters. The interruptions failed in knocking Kavanaugh off his game; same for the objections to the hearings, coordinated by Democrats.
Rule 9: ‘The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.’
If I had to pick one rule Democrats sold the hardest, it’s this one. The “threats” Kavanaugh supposedly poses sound a lot like the threats posed by Robert Bork, nominated by President Reagan in 1982. Said Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy: “…Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution…”
Of course, had Bork been confirmed, none of those things would have occurred. But that wasn’t important. It was the “What if?” threat of those things. In Kavanaugh’s case, workers will have zero rights, felons will own machine guns, and women will be forced into back-alley abortions and die.
Rule 10: ‘The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.’
If Kavanaugh is confirmed, Democrats will have lost the battle, but they will consider the larger war still winnable—especially considering that he’s expected to be confirmed a month before the midterm elections. It was quite apparent which Democrats were thinking about running for president in 2020 (Harris and Booker) and which weren’t (Partrick Leahy of Vermont). Those positioning themselves for a potential White House run will incorporate their self-aggrandizing “resistance” to Kavanaugh into their campaigns.
Rule 11: ‘If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.’
In the case of Kavanaugh, this is a slight overlap of Rule 1. Trump has gotten 60 federal judges confirmed, is reforming the Supreme Court to how the Founders envisioned it, and has 100 pending federal judicial appointments.
These realities are red meat selling points to Democrat voters: “Look at the havoc Trump has wreaked — we must prevent him from further destruction!” Just how deep it will break into the counterside remains to be seen, but desperation is all Democrats have left (although projected demographics, if not engaged, don’t bode well for America First).
Rule 12: ‘The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.’
To have a chance of winning long-term political battles, there must be self-immolation and sacrificial lambs within the Democratic Party ranks. Adaptation is key. This is already underway, as evidenced by the rise of “democratic socialist” primary winners nationwide.
In America, Leninism has always been implemented in creeping doses, until one day, it’s mainstream and normalized. The constructive alternative will continue to be that overt, out-in-the-open socialism is necessary to prevent future Brett Kavanaughs.
Rule 13: ‘Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.’
In Clintonian fashion, Democrats will persist. Remember: Kavanaugh can’t prove he’s not racist, or that he won’t vote to send abortion rights back to the states, where they belonged in the first place. The Democrats will continue to color Kavanaugh identically to how we describe justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor: as an untrustworthy judge who legislates from the bench.
My prediction: Kavanaugh will receive 54 votes to confirm, with Collins and Murkowski unlikely to defect.