Friday, March 2, 2007

Hillary versus Obama: the Alinsky Divide

Kudos to Bill Dedman and MSNBC for breaking the hot news about a 38-year-old academic paper. For years, there has been much speculation about the thesis Hillary Clinton wrote about community organizer Saul Alinsky when she was a senior at Wellesley College in 1969. Hillary haters on the right have considered it the Da Vinci code of her radicalism. Sympathetic biographers, perhaps worried it was a bit too revealing, barely mentioned the paper. No one read it--because no one could read it. The Clintons had Wellesley create a special rule sealing any theses written by a president or a first lady. This rule, of course, only applied to one thesis. But when the Clintons vacated 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the paper was unsealed. Yet no one apparently noticed until Dedman.

His report basically breaks in Clinton's favor. Her paper--which she titled, "'There is Only the Fight...': An Analysis of the Alinsky Model"--was no recipe for revolution. It also was no full-throated celebration of Alinsky's radicalism. In the paper--a nuanced piece of work--Clinton critically evaluated Alinsky's model of organizing, agreeing with certain aspects of it, taking issue with others.

This is not much of a surprise--though it still may be a disappointed to the rightwingers who have long promoted a Hillary-the-Socialist false narrative. But what's most intriguing about the thesis is how it foretold Clinton's penchant for conventional politics and her desire to be part of the establishment. The paper--retroactively--illustrates a divide that has long been present within the Democratic Party, between (to be crass about it) those who want to work within the system and those who want to apply pressure upon the system. Oddly enough, nearly three decades after Hillary Clinton chose a side, this ideological-cultural intra-party tension has become personified by the face-between her and Barack Obama.

In her thesis, Clinton noted that Alinsky had offered her a job in his new training institute for organizers. She wrote, "His offer of a place in the new institute was tempting, but after spending a year trying to make sense out of his inconsistency, I need three years of legal rigor." She went on to Yale law school, where she would meet another fellow looking to rise within the system: Bill Clinton. In her 2003 book, Living History, she wrote of Alinsky, "we had a fundamental disagreement. He believed you could change the system only from the outside. I didn't."

Dedman points out that her attitude was different from that of another idealist looking for change upon graduating college. After Barack Obama left Columbia University, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago in Alinsky style. He even contribute to book called After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois. Following his stint as an organizer, Obama went to Harvard law school and then entered state politics in Illinois.

One might argue that Clinton and Obama ended up in the same place--the U.S. Senate--after one eschewed the Alinsky path and one embraced it. But the difference in how they spent their early years does represent that divide that has long existed within a Democratic Party that tries to be a home both to street-level activists and big-donor corporate lawyers. One question for 2008 is how this divide will affect the clash between Hillary the Inevitable and Barack the Inspiring. Our pasts are never as far behind us as we think.

Posted by David Corn at March 2, 2007 11:36 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

"Our pasts are never as far behind us as we think."

You mean like Barack's mentor being Joe Lieberman?

If the DNC has nothing better to offer than this theater of the absurd, I fear for the future.

Thanks for all of your work!


capt said...

They Should Have Hissed Barack Obama


Meanwhile, at the other end of the country in Connecticut, Senator Joe Lieberman faced a decidedly cool audience at a big Democratic dinner at the end of March and got bailed out by brother senator Barack Obama from Illinois, who told the crowd to haul out their checkbooks and make sure Lieberman gets returned for another term.

What kind of a signal is this? Here is Obama, endlessly hailed as the brightest rising star in the Democratic firmament, delivering (at a closely watched political dinner, with Lieberman's primary opponent, Ned Lamont, sitting in the crowd) a ringing endorsement of his "mentor," Lieberman, Bush's closest Democratic ally on the Iraq War, one of the architects of welfare "reform" and overall pretty much a symbol of everything that's been wrong with the Democratic Party for the past twenty years. What a slimy fellow Obama is, as befits a man symbolizing everything that will continue to be wrong with the Democratic Party for the next twenty years. Every time I look up he's doing something disgusting, like distancing himself from his fellow senator Dick Durbin for denouncing the torture center at Guantánamo or cheerleading the nuke-Iran crowd.


*****end of clip*****

It is never too late to hiss.


capt said...

Wash. Post reported "think tank's" charge against Gore, omitted its anti-environmental background

In a March 1 Washington Post article, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR) was referred to as "a Nashville-based think tank that advocates 'limited government through policy solutions,' according to its Web site." But the TCPR's agenda apparently goes beyond limiting the size of government. Like other recent reports on the TCPR's attacks on former Vice President Al Gore's purported home energy use, the Post article did not note that TCPR has reportedly joined the "Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change," which claims to have "been established as a response to the many biased and alarmist claims about human-induced climate change, which are being used to justify calls for urgent action by governments."

Furthermore, the Post and other media have not reported on the backgrounds of TCPR's "Staff & Scholars," several of whom have supported anti-environmental causes or received support from anti-environmental groups:

According to his biography, TCPR president Jason "Drew" Johnson previously served as an "Institute for Humane Studies Koch Fellow." The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) describes itself as an "organization that assists undergraduate and graduate students worldwide with an interest in individual liberty." On the issue of climate change, the IHS acknowledges the scientific consensus "that the earth has warmed about a degree Fahrenheit over the past century, and that humans have caused some of that warming." But the organization has also called into question the motives of environmentalists, writing that "the environmental movement sometimes looks less like a band of scrappy rebels, and more like corporate America with its own special interests to tend to."

The IHS is funded by right-wing foundations such as the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Koch Family Foundations (consisting of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation).


capt said...

From a Moveon email:

Fox News convinced the Democratic Party to let Fox host a nationally-televised Democratic presidential primary debate this summer in Nevada!

But Fox isn't even a legitimate news channel! It's a right-wing mouthpiece like Rush Limbaugh-dedicated to smearing Democrats. (Recently, Fox falsely claimed Sen. Barack Obama attended a terrorist school!)

There's a growing backlash of people demanding that Democrats drop Fox. Can you help out by signing this petition to the Democratic Party of Nevada? It's really easy-just click this link:



"Fox News" is an oxymoron.


O'Reilly said...

Could we spend more money on the miltary? Our military budget is OBSCENE. I believe we're up to about $624 Billion per year not including the Iraq war supplementals.

The threats to our security do not come in the form of traditional warfare yet we spend an ungodly sum of money on traditional weapons programs such as missile defense and new nuclear weapons. Why do we even think that developing a new nuclear weapon is necessary... or even in our own best interest when it sets exactly the wrong precedent given our non-proliferation goals?

Our military expenditures make Americans (and the rest of the world) less safe, less wealthy and leave us in possession of fewer resources to address the needs of the common good at home and abroad.

Our leaders Bush and Cheney, have pursued a reckless and massively murderous pre-emptive war policy, which is in direct opposition of our American values and which was authorized by Congress based on fraudulent information provided by these same leaders pursuing war powers authorization from Congress in order to execute the plan defined by the Project for a New American Century.

Presenting fraudulent evidence to Congress is a criminal offense. The damages are enormous including 3,146 dead americans, 30,000 seriously wounded veterans, and over 600,000 dead Iraqi civilians. I call on Congress to perform its duty and investigate and impeach the most egregious criminal activity of this administration immediatly.

capt said...

"Our military budget is OBSCENE."

No doubt. We don't have anything for the trillion dollar military to do except go to war. Defense is not that costly.


Gerald said...

Greatest Expectations

capt said...

7:27 am: Devin Green signing off, 03/01/2007 -- Good morning and good luck

As today is my last day setting the homepage for The Santa Fe New Mexican I thought I would bid you all farewell. I resigned two weeks ago to better pursue my personal interests. It is to my great amusement however that this day coincides with an astonishing story to share in this blog. There is an uproar rising across the Internet over what is being called yet another blatant, 9/11 smoking gun.

Early this week an independent researcher, reviewing video archives of the BBC's 9/11 coverage, divulged the discovery of an earth shaking incongruence. BBC reporters announced the collapse of the 47 story Salomon Brothers Building 23 minutes BEFORE the actual sudden collapse. This building, also known as WTC 7, is clearly visible, standing tall, as a reporter gestures to the live view through the window behind her.

Despite the fact the Google censored the initial internet premier of this archived video, removing it from their video service, many more "mirrors" of the video were then set up across the net. Watch the video here.

Some may find this simply bewildering or a coincidental mistake. For 9/11 researchers it is a further revealing piece of evidence confirming internal premeditation to demolish the WTC. In response to demands for an explanation the BBC released a statement denying confirmation and foreknowledge. I recommend everyone wanting a good laugh to read their response.The BBC claim that they lost the tapes of their 9/11 coverage due to a, and I quote, "cock-up, not conspiracy." They just happened to lose their coverage of the most critical and historic event in the 21st century?

The BBC's general policy on media management states:

The following components to be retained:-· Two broadcast standard copies of all transmitted/published TV, Radio and BBCi output – one to be stored on a separate site as a master· One browse-quality version for research purposes, to protect the broadcast material· All supporting metadata to enable research and re-use· A selection of original (i.e. unedited) material for re-use/re-versioning purposes· Hardware/software/equipment to enable replay/transfer of the media


*****end of clip*****

"Check the sources for yourself and confirm."

Sounds reasonable to me.


Gerald said...

"We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them for security -- and indeed continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use."

Gerald said...

Bush is ready to cancel the '08 elections

Gerald said...


A World War, Bush is convinced (via Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Perl and Company), will give Bushites the power and longevity of FDR. Then they can rename our nation something like; The Corporate States of Bushism. Because, let's face it, corporations have gotten this Alfred E, Newman Look-Alike President, to use the US Military for the Private wars of Profiteering, ProCorporate, Privateering, Pirates.

His first step after these wars or war, will be to complete the Martial Law he has initiated by eliminating Habeas Corpus in 9 of the 10 points of the Bill of Rights, through the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and then in true Hitlerian fashion, follow that up with chucking the Constitution and creating a new Constitutional Convention based on his trio of inspirational books; Hitler's Mein Kampf, Orwell's 1984, and a degenerated version of both Judeo/Christian Testaments.

However, that is not the end of the Bushite hypocrisy and blasphemy, there is also a chance that some "Christian" archeologist's will "discover" a new version of the bible which cites Bush as Messiah, (ala, Josiah) and Jesus' as an armed revolutionary Messiah, disarmed by frightened early church hierarchies to appeal to Constantine, thus justifying his and his "minister pals) using Jesus as then poster-Macho-man, for war. This "True Biblical" document may be "unearthed" in either Israel, or Iraq or some other conquered Mid-eastern nation.

The next step will be the initiation of a Theocratic National Constitution, overseen by a New World Order, Inquisition.

Gerald said...

These MAXIMS Are Dead

Gerald said...

The Last Days of the American Republic

Gerald said...

Our democracy and way of life are now threatened because of our single-minded pursuit of empire with a well-entrenched militarism driving it that's become so powerful and pervasive it's now an uncontrollable state within the state. History is clear on this teaching we can choose as could all empires before us. We can keep ours and lose our democracy, but we can't have both. Rome made the wrong choice and perished. Britain chose more wisely and survived. We must now choose, and so far the signs are ominous. Our current behavior under all administrations post-WW II requires resources and commitments abroad that in the end, Johnson believes, "will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and....produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent." We're perilously close already because a hyper-reactionary statist administration hijacked the government and is driving the nation to tyranny and ruin.

The evidence post-9/11 shows it:

-- A nation facing no outside threats permanently at war.

-- Secret torture-prisons around the world with no accountability to which anyone, anywhere for any reason can be sent never to return or receive justice.

-- The most secretive, intrusive and repressive government in our history and a president who's a congenital, serial liar.

-- Social decay at home.

-- An unprecedented wealth disparity and extent of corporate power. Former US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis warned years ago: "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

-- A de facto one party state with two wings and a president claiming "unitary executive" powers ignoring the rule of law and doing as he pleases in the name of national security on his say alone.

-- The absence of checks and balances and separation of powers with no restraint on a reckless "boy-emperor" Executive on a "messianic mission."

-- A secret intelligence establishment with near-limitless funding operating without oversight.

-- A dominant corporate-controlled media serving as a national thought-control police and collective quasi-state ministry of information and propaganda glorifying imperial wars to "spread democracy" without letting on they're for conquest, domination and repression.

-- An omnipotent military-industrial complex Dwight Eisenhower couldn't have imagined when he warned us nor could George Washington, to no avail. In his Farewell Address in September, 1796, Washington said: "Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." He meant large standing armies leading to an imperial presidency. They destroy our system of checks and balances and separation of powers and in the end our freedom.

-- A weak, servile Congress acceding to a dominant president under a system of authoritarian rule keeping a restive population in line it fears one day no longer will tolerate being denied essential services so the nation's wealth can go for imperial wars and handouts to the rich.

-- A cesspool of corruption stemming from incestuous ties between government and business mocking any notions of government of, for or by the people.

Gerald said...

Today the Middle East commands center stage with the Pentagon building major military installations in Iraq similar to the permanent kind in Germany and Japan. Iraq is key to US imperial plans because of its vast and easily accessible oil reserves but for a covert reason as well. Johnson believes it's part of our "empire building" - to shift major Saudi bases to the country making it a "permanent Pentagon outpost" to control the area's "arc of instability" and region's oil reserves that comprise 60% or more of the world's proven total.

Add together all Muslim nations everywhere and their combined known oil reserves are between two-thirds to three-quarters of total world supply. If we control it all, it gives Washington enormous veto power over all nations wanting accessing to the vital juice economies run on. And if we keep demonizing Muslims as enemies and people believe it, it's easy justifying our state-sponsored terror wars on them for all the wrong reasons we say are the right ones.

Headquarters for what's planned in the Middle East are now on four or more permanent Iraq "super-bases" with possible others to come. Many billions of dollars went into them, and they're anchor fixtures in the country along with 100 or more others ranging from mega to micro showing the extent of our digging in for the long haul in a country and region we're not planning to leave in a hurry.

It also shows in the kind of embassy we're building inside the four square mile Green Zone in central Baghdad. Critics call it "Fortress Baghdad" because it's to be the largest US embassy in the world by far, encircled by 15-foot thick concrete walls and rings of concertina wire along with protective surface-to-air missiles. Large numbers of private-sector bodyguards and US military guard its vast facilities, there's modern infrastructure comparable to any large US city with all the comforts and luxuries of home, Saddam's private swimming pool is for GIs and others to frolic in, hometown comfort food abounds, and staff and officials are planned to number around 1000. It's larger than Vatican City, six times the size of the UN New York compound, and has become a hated symbol of imperial occupation, death and destruction it caused, and the oppressive dominance Iraqis are committed to end.

Gerald said...

Nazi America, the evil empire, will control all of the Middle East oil. We are not interested to spreading democracy. We are interested in oil, murders, and torture of God's children.

Nazi America is TOTALLY EVIL!!!!!!!!!!

Gerald said...

Slowly, Americans will become psychos like their imperial rulers!!!!!

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: March 2

Gerald said...

Will Nazi America turn away from her evil, vile, and wicked ways and return to the God of love, mercy, and justice?

Gerald said...

Nazi America to start a war with Iran

Micki said...

Democrats send out first round of subpoenas

A House Judiciary subcommittee approved today the first in what is expected to be an avalanche of subpoenas to Bush administration officials. They will likely explore corruption and mismanagement allegations on everything from pre-war Iraq intelligence to the mishandling of the response to Hurricane Katrina.

The first round of subpoenas concern the recent controversial firings by the Bush administration of seven U.S. attorneys, some of whom were pursuing public corruption cases against Republican members of Congress.

I suppose some people will think this is a waste of time.

Gerald said...

You can read it or listen to it: The Coming War with Iran

Gerald said...

What kind of bullshit is this

Gerald said...

Micki, I do not believe that investigating corruption and mismanagement are a waste of time.

Scroll up and read my post, "What kind of bullshit is this," and you will read what I fear. The Dems are Nazi clones!!!!!

Gerald said...

I do not mind funding for injured soldiers and other victims of the war but I fear that these add-ons are a smoke screen to increase the funding for war, one that is becoming an endless war.


Gerald said...

I listened to Karen Kwiatkowski and her interview with TruthDig.

I loved it when she referred to Bush as the WAR PIMP!!!!!

After listening to Karen, one of my foxes and part of my perfect date, we will kill millions of Iranians. There will be no army invasion because the navy and the air force want to be part of the glory of war. The air force will nuclear bomb Iran and the navy will send nuclear missiles from the warships.

Nazi America has four permanent bases in Iraq and our soldiers will remain in Iraq forever.

Nazi American foreign policy along with their bed partners Nazi England and Nazi Israel is to disrupt the Middle East and keep the region in chaos. Nazi America is truly an evil empire. Nazi America is wallowing in the abyss of a natural hell and awaiting to eventually wallow in the abyss of an eternal and supernatural hell.

Gerald said...

Each day, I am more convinced that Nazi America is the most evil empire that world history has ever produced.

Please listen to Karen Kwiatkowski's "Coming War with Iran."

I terribly saddened that Nazi America will kill more of God's children and who are really our brothers and sisters in God.

Gerald said...

Peace Train

capt said...

New Thread

Gerald said...

How Great Thou Art

Gerald said...

On Eagle's Wings