Is the following assessment true or false? Keep in mind these are not my words:
Could Lucifer play a role in this presidential election? It may sound crazy, but one of the candidates in this race has publicly praised, even emulated, a writer-activist who himself paid tribute to Lucifer. That’s right, Lucifer, also known as the Devil, Satan, Beelzebub—you get the idea.
Do you think that admiring a Lucifer-admirer would make a difference to some voters?
If you’ve never heard of this true fact—and most Americans obviously haven’t—well, that might help to explain why John McCain is behind in the polls.
OK, you might be asking, where is this Lucifer stuff coming from? It comes from a man named Saul Alinsky, who devoted his life to left-wing agitation in Chicago. He also wrote two seminal books, “Reveille for Radicals” and “Rules for Radicals,” still regarded as key how-to manuals for left-wing activists.
But Alinsky was more than just a leftist; he was a genuine out-there crazy, someone who loved to shock and stun, just for the helluvit. And so in the first edition of “Rules for Radicals,” published in 1971, he offered this astounding dedication: “Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgement of the very first radical, from all our legends, mythology, and history … the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.”
This dedication is no secret. David Freddoso wrote about it in his book, The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate; and the inimitable Ann Coulter noted it, too, just last month.
And the connection between Alinsky and Barack Obama—and Alinsky and the left in general—is real enough. As John Fund, author of a newly revised book, Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, observes, Alinsky, who died in 1972, was a sort of godfather to all the activist groups that emerged in the 60s and 70s, the most famous (or, if you prefer, notorious) of which today is ACORN.
Fund notes that young Hillary Rodham was such a fan of Alinsky that she traveled to Chicago, four times, to interview him for an adulatory school thesis she was writing. And Obama is an on-the-record fan too: Fund quotes The Washington Post’s Peter Slevin, writing in 2007, “Obama embraced many of Alinsky’s tactics and recently said his years as an organizer gave him the best education of his life.” Slevin further noted that Obama’s and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “common connection to Alinsky is one of the striking aspects of their biographies.”
OK, so the Alinsky-Obama connection is real. But the full truth about Alinsky, and whom he admired, is so wacky, or so horrible, that even the media have been reluctant to get into the story. And so it has received relatively little play. Oh sure, if John McCain had expressed admiration for a Lucifer admirer, that would have been news, but as we all know, there’s a media double standard on such things. That media bias is lamentable, of course, but for a Republican, it’s part of the strategic landscape—one more roadblock to factor into any GOP victory strategy.
Speaking of McCain, he would seem to have the greatest interest in taking Obama down a peg—or, according to the latest calculation from RealClearPolitics, about seven points in the polls. So why hasn’t he highlighted the Alinsky-Lucifer connection? Why hasn’t the McCain-Palin ticket raised this issue, knowing full well that if the candidates say it, reporters have to cover it? Good questions. Did I mention that the Republican nominee is down seven points?
In debate and argumentation, there’s a concept called the “rule of three”—that is, if you can come up with three examples to support your argument, you’ve got a pretty good argument. And so, for example, if one were to make the argument that Obama has strange radical associations, one could bring up Bill Ayers. And check, the McCain campaign has done that. And of course, there’s Reverend Wright, who McCain has stayed away from. So no check there. And no check, of course, for Alinsky-Lucifer. So McCain is left with the “rule of one,” which isn’t much of a rule. If McCain won’t bring up Wright, I guess it’s no surprise that he’s not bringing up Alinsky-Lucifer, assuming his campaign even knows about it.
The point of the “rule of three” is to make a sustained argument, to paint a comprehensive picture, to build an overall narrative—so that nobody can say that any one “hit” is just a cheap shot. That’s what happened to McCain with Ayers; the Obamans, and their allies in the media, said that it was just a “one off,” the sort of incidental association that happens in the course of a public career. And McCain had no good comeback, no additional opposition-research arrows to pull from his quiver.
But had McCain really gone after Ayers AND Wright AND Alinsky-Lucifer, all at once, he would have had a strong argument that Obama was, and is, well out of the mainstream. And then all the information about Tony Rezko, Emil Jones, and the scandal-ridden Daley machine, would be all the more compelling to reporters and voters, because, as they would have to admit, a “pattern has emerged.”
And, for that matter, let’s talk about the great state of Illinois, where three governors in the last 40 years—Otto Kerner, Dan Walker, and George Ryan—ended up not only convicted, but imprisoned. And a fourth, incumbent Rod Blagojevich, may also end up in the clink. That’s quite a streak of corruption. And what does Obama have to say about any of that? And what did he know, and when did he know it?
If the McCain campaign had been on its game, its opposition researchers would have gone through every single day of Obama’s life since he first set foot in Chicago in 1987. Everyone he met, everything he did. And then, having amassed all that information, the McCainiacs would have made the rest of us know about it—in a sustained, organized, and unrelenting volley.
That’s how you win a presidential campaign, even amidst hard times for your party.