Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bashing Obama's Work As Community Organizer Is Weird Strategy

Sarah Palin did it again in her convention speech tonight - - mocking, as other Republicans are doing, Barack Obama's work as a community organizer.

Obama worked on Chicago's south side among laid-off steel workers.

For all the talk about small town American values, and I understand the appeal of the phrase, 87% of Americans live in cities, making the US the most urbanized city in the world, says the World Bank.

Which means a large number of people have come into contact with community organizers and know what they do, because by and large, community organizers live and work in cities.

The Rove playbook calls for attacking and disrespecting a candidate's strength. With 2004 nominee John Kerry, it was his war record and three purple hearts.

With Obama, it has been his Ivy League education (dissing his scholarship, and scholarships), his poise (mislabeled as arrogant and elitist) and his work with the poor and the unemployed, when, as the editor of the Harvard Law Review, Obama could have had his ticket punched at the highest-paying law firm in America.

We'll see how long the strategy of mocking Obama's work and resume continues.

It may play well inside a partisan convention hall - - where some large percentage of delegates may never had had contact with a community organizer - - but on the streets, and in cities where most Americans live, maybe not so well.


Anonymous said...

Look, I used to be involved in urban politics (had to get out, it was like banging my head against the wall), and I've encountered many "community organizers." Milwaukee is a perfect example of how these "community organizers" manipulate the population and local politicians...

In most cases, they are rabble-rousers sucking at the teet of some benefactor who is looking to manipulate the local neighborhoods (think Tammany Hall).

In other cases, they are seeking more and more money (grants, fed dollars), ignore root problems, because the money becomes akin to drugs - they are the dealers and their patrons become dependent on their pusher... It is one of the most sad cycles I've ever seen.

James Rowen said...

Publius: You need a cynicism adjustment.

Anonymous said...

I wish it was just my own cynicism, but the reality is that most of America (probably 270 electoral votes worth) aren't familiar with "community organizers".

Most people use the little old lady down the street to organize their community and have no need for a professional.

James Rowen said...

I have known many community organizers. They have been honest, decent, dedicated people.

I supposed for every self-interested organizer there was a counterpart somewhere else.

So what?

Anonymous said...

Wait...Isnt Sarah Palin's husband a member of the steelworkers union? The same steelworkers Obama was volunteering to help? I guess thats what happens when you read a speech written by someone else before you were a twinkle in the McCain campaign's eye.