In his Chicago days, President Obama spent a great deal of time working with Marxist, Saul Alinsky-disciples Bill Ayers and Gerald Kellman. It should come as no surprise then, that he employs many of the tactics found in Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in his handling of the BP oil spill.
Here are a few examples:
“Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.”
President Obama has spent little time focusing on the specifics of what caused the disaster. Such specifics include the ineptitude of the government inspectors. And he never acknowledged that his administration gave the faulty rig a safety award. Instead, the President has misdirected attention by talking about such things as “green reform.”
“Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”
On the occasion of Michael Bromich’s appointment as head of the Mineral Management Service, President Obama said, “For a decade or more, the cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency (Mineral Management Service) was allowed to go unchecked. That allowed drilling permits to be issued in exchange not for safety plans, but assurances of safety from oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore.”
“Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself.”
“We will keep a boot on the throat of BP,” said Robert Gibbs during a press conference in May.
“Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”
This rule of Alinsky’s was paraphrased by the President’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” The President has used the oil spill crisis as an excuse to spew green rhetoric and promote his cap-and-trade bill.
“Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.”
Alinsky’s most useful tactic involves creating a good versus evil scenario. It is not about fixing the problem, it is about blaming someone—in this case BP and their Chief Executive officer Tony Hayward. On June 12, President Obama told British Prime Minister Cameron that BP would have to put $20 billion into an account to pay for “environmental and economic damages” caused from their spill. Less than a week later, Texas Rep. Joe Barton, of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, blasted President Obama for forcing a private business to be the victim of a “$20 billion shakedown.” Barton went on to say, “There is no question that BP is liable for the damages, but we have a due process system.” Barton raises a good point but “due process” certainly would not have stopped Saul Alinsky and it will probably not stop President Obama.
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