Metropolitik: Who is Saul Alinsky, and who cares?

The damning poster

Happy Super Tuesday, commuters! While voters in 10 states participate in pushing the eventual Republican presidential candidate to increasingly disastrous rightward extremes, we’re going to take this day to discuss a haunting legacy of another sort entirely.

We speak of late conservative media prankster Andrew Breitbart, who shook the political landscape with his “Big” Web exposes (bringing down, among other résumé highlights, Rep. Anthony Weiner in the infamously eponymous Twitter scandal) and then shocked the world with his sudden death last week. Breitbart had been planning more Big things before he died, and the website he founded, Breitbart.com, relaunched late Sunday with a new design, is proudly carrying his torch.

So it is that Breitbart’s editors have printed his final column, “The Vetting, Part I: Barack’s Love Song to Alinsky,” which they describe as “a story that should swing the first hammer against the glass wall the mainstream media has built around Barack Obama.” The site explains:

“Andrew wanted to do what the mainstream media would not. First and foremost: Andrew pledged to vet President Barack H. Obama.” Well, it’s about time!

Breitbart’s swan song focuses on Obama’s alleged connections with communist activists in ’90s-era Chicago; specifically his association with a play, “The Love Song of Saul Alinsky,” after one 1998 performance of which the then-senator participated in a panel discussion. The stated aim here is to shine some light on Obama’s “true political will,” which he claims “the American public remains largely ignorant of.” As such, he provides a detailed — and ostensibly terrifying — list of the other speakers on the panel that night, a group of communist individuals. In this way, he hopes to tarnish the Obama legacy as one of unabashed psychotic leftism.

Were that it was! But if Obama’s a communist, he must be pulling a long con. If anything, he’s proven himself to be frustratingly moderate, taking for instance a very conservative path toward health care reform — righties supported similar proposals before the president embraced them as a means of reaching concensus — and angering lefties in the process. Was it all an elaborate ruse for re-
election? If so, why not just enact his communist policies in term one? What long-term goal could disguising himself as a severely centrist executive possibly serve Obama’s supposed Marxist overlords?

Of course there is none, and no reasonable evidence to suggest that the president is some sort of secret radical. (Again, we wish.)

Then there’s this: Mitt Romney’s father, a former Republican governor, apparently liked Alinsky enough to work with him politically. How long until Breitbart’s media empire tackles the secret motivations of Big Romney?

Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik


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