In late January Bill O'Relly decided to get to the bottom of the Saul Alinsky-Barack Obama relationship on Fox News.
That relationship exploded this week—well, not the relationship itself, such as it ever was, but the right's fixation on it. In recent days I've written about little else. There was this post Monday on Andrew Breitbart, Alinsky, and Obama (and me). And on Tuesday I added Mitt Romney and his father George into the mix.
Who is this guy Alinsky? O'Reilly wanted to know on the O'Reilly Factor.
Sidekick Monica Crowley spoke up. "Saul alinsky wrote Rules for Radicals in 1971 and dedicated it to Lucifer."
O'Reilly: "The devil!"
Crowley: "I’m not making it up—Lucifer."
O'Reilly: "Not Lucifer Schwartz!"
Crowley: "Lucifer. This was the godfather of the leftist movement."
A little later, O'Reilly played devil's advocate. "What's wrong with poor people mobilizing and having a voice?" he wondered. Crowley explained: "Well, remember, this is the very essence of socialism. The tactics of Saul Alinsky and Barack Obama are geared toward wealth redistribution. It's all in the service of that goal."
House moderate Alan Colmes put in that Alinsky wasn't ideological. He was a tactician. O'Reilly wasn't buying.
"He didn't believe in private property. You can say he wasn't a communist or a socialist, but when you say 'I don't believe in private property, I put human rights above property rights,' you are!"
I don't often watch Fox News so I'm catching up. I've just learned that on the right it's held that anyone who puts human rights above property rights is a communist/socialist. Who, then, is someone who puts property rights above human rights? A true American?
I listen to the right with fascination because they don't listen to themselves. They don't read well either. Rules for Radicals is dedicated to Alinsky's wife, Irene. A page or two later Alinsky offers quotes from Rabbi Hillel and Thomas Paine, and adds this wry comment of his own:
"Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical; from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins—or which is which), 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."
Has anyone else noted that the person who requires an endless supply of red meat seems to have trouble comprehending the person sustained by a sense of humor? Maybe they're two separate species.