Saul Alinsky, the Left and the Berniebots

NOTE: This was written before Sanders’ upset in Michigan. Update at the end.

Some wise words from Saul Alinsky in 1971, a so-called “hero” of the left.

Effective organization is thwarted by the desire for instant and dramatic change, or as I have phrased it elsewhere the demand for revelation rather than revolution. It’s the kind of thing we see in play writing; the first act introduces the characters and the plot, in the second act the plot and characters are developed as the play strives to hold the audience’s attention. in the final act good and evil have their dramatic confrontation and resolution. The present generation wants to go right into the third act, skipping the first two, in which case there is no play, nothing but confrontation for confrontation’s sake – a flare-up and back to darkness. To build a powerful organization takes time. (my emphasis) It is tedious, but that’s the way the game is played – if you want to play and not just yell, “Kill the umpire.”

Alinsky was a successful community organizer in Chicago back in the day. He wrote books about organizing, his popular book was Rules for Radicals . in 1971. He wrote it as a follow up of his 1946 Reveille for Radicals

The Right slammed Obama for his “Alinskyness,” but he followed his rules and became the first black president. The left would do well to follow Alinksy’s rules.

The left has criticized Obama as a sellout but he made it to President more than likely by that playbook. Now the left has a new hero, Bernie Sanders and they have totally ignored Alinsky’s advice.

In, 2016 34 seats are up in the Senate, 10 for Dems and 24 for republicans. I don’t know what the House numbers are. SO, Are the Berniebots working on the ground to find and run candidates or support Democrats to regain a democratic majority? Are they working in the states where those 24 Republicans are up for re-election?

No. They think by electing Bernie, the revolution will come. They are seeking revelation rather than revolution.

Let’s say Sanders does win the Presidency. Then what? As Congress is currently configured, he’d get nothing done. He’d be a well-intentioned political eunuch.

The fact that Sanders is doing so well in his fight against Clinton I think points to a seismic shift in the Democratic Party. The old guard is on their way out, but many will remain for some time. Unless the Bernie ground troops work on the ground and organize and run candidates of their own. That will take time.

Another thing that Alinsky did was not base his strategy or class or race. He looked to the various disenfranchised groups who really didn’t like each other in Chicago and worked to show them how much they had in common. He used whatever worked. Imagine, a Jewish atheist managed to get the local Catholic churches to help him in his movement.

Sanders, a Jewish atheist,  may think he’s doing that but he’s not. He is stuck in the old lefty morass of the 1960s which alienated rather than bring together disparate groups. He’s working his base rather than reach out. If he somehow wins the nod, he has to reach beyond that base and I don’t think he has the ability to do that.

Oh, and then you have the Berniebots. What a bunch of disphits. I’m a  fan of the site fivethirtyeight which uses statistics and math to figure out the race. It is a very objective place.

So I’m over at 538 and in the live comments Sanders supporters are being insufferable and many are calling them out about. it. The discussion, for the most part is rational and intelligent…except for the Berniebots.



And then there’s this Einstein


There was another that I didn’t get a screen of which said, “I like Bernie Sanders 99% more than I like his supporters.”

UPDATE: The Michigan upset was a great for Sanders. But Clinton’s win in Mississippi negated that win. What it did was keep him in the race. He’s got some friendly states coming up but he needs a delegate catch up.  It’s also not necessarily a portent of things to some. Michigan has an open primary which mean that anyone can vote on any line. So, there is an unknown as to what happened and who voted for who.