Sunday, February 15, 2009

Alinsky: "Never go outside the expertise of your people."

Al Giordano takes on John Judis, who writes:
"I think the main reason that Obama is having trouble is that there is not a popular left movement that is agitating for him to go well beyond where he would even ideally like to go.
Giordano, after quoting Judis (above) chides him and the "high brow Gospels According to Paul Krugman"... "(and the NY Timesman's frat boy cheerleader squad in some corners of the blog world)" for knocking the Stimulus Bill and Obama and as well as union members and blogospheric activists for1) failing to make "the Stimulus Bill bigger" and 2) refusing to be "adversarial to the popular president." Giordano argues that this misunderstands the current state of affairs and says that comparisons to Huey Long and FDR are off base:
At present, Barack Obama is far more popular among union members than the leaders of those unions. He is more popular among members than the organization is.
The only popular movement that has been constructed in the United States in decades is, in fact, the one that the Obama campaign built over the last two years with its emphasis on training and deploying real organizers. They went out there among the rank and file with the credo of "respect, empower, include," and the results are here today in front of everyone's noses. (And, let's be honest about this point, too. For the various tantrums of teeth-gnashing from some declaring that Organizing for America - the 2009 manifestation of the Obama organization - has somehow fallen short: what other entity on the left in the US has displayed, this year, the convocational power to organize 3,500 house meetings in a matter of a few weeks?)
In short, Giordano says there is no effective left-wing army of organizers to actually take on Obama from "the outside." He compares Judis to "house intellectuals who "have no 'popular movement' to move, because they haven't rolled up their sleeves to organize one on the local level."

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