Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 11, 2010

COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS.... Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, best known as the right-wing, "family values" Republican who got caught hiring prostitutes, made a surprise appearance yesterday at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. He received a standing ovation.

Vitter used the opportunity to try out some of his new material.

...Saturday morning, Vitter strolled out to introduce former Sen. Rick Santorum -- and to push back a bit against President Obama. "If that's the choice in 2012, I'll take a TV personality over a community organizer any day," he said.

Good lord, they're still talking about community organizers -- 18 months after the last presidential election.

Taken at face value, Vitter's observation is painfully dumb, even for him. Obama worked for three years a community organizer -- working with churches to create opportunities in economically depressed areas -- more than two decades ago. He went on to become a lawyer, a professor, a state senator, and a U.S. senator, before seeking the presidency. A few too many on the right make it sound as if Obama went from being a community organizer to a national campaign. This overlooks nearly all of the man's adult life

In contrast, former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin -- apparently the intended beneficiary of Vitter's comment -- is a television personality right now. If/when she runs for the Republican nomination, Palin will try to go directly from TV personality to the White House.

In other worse, the choice for voters in 2012 wouldn't be a TV personality vs. a community organizer; it would be a TV personality vs. a successful sitting president.

But putting these details aside, the snide, condescending denigration of community organizers among right-wing leaders got tiresome quite a while ago. Working with communities in a bottom-up model may seem worthless to the modern Republican Party, but community organizers deserve respect. Martin Luther King was a community organizer. Susan B. Anthony was a community organizer. Cesar Chavez was a community organizer.

Community organizers made the 40-hour workweek possible. They served as the foundation for women's suffrage and the civil rights movement. Community organizers tend to be all the more necessary when American families are crushed by the bankrupt governing philosophy of clowns like David Vitter.

If Republicans want to ignore this often-thankless work, fine. But let's not pretend that community organizers deserve this kind of right-wing derision.

Steve Benen 8:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (63)

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Yes, and - like Obama - Martin Luther King, Susan B. Anthony, and Cesar Chavez all worked hard to destroy America.

Posted by: Davran on April 11, 2010 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Considering that Palin is the one who popularized the attack, we need to make the analogy more apt. If she's the nominee in 2012 the choice will be between a community organizer and a small town local-news sportscaster.

Posted by: NHCt on April 11, 2010 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

Again, the constraints of logic need not apply to modern conservatives.

Remember the woman at a town hall meeting last summer with a right wing member of congress (I don't recall who? Coburn? Was it a plains state?)describe her awful situation with life-threatening illness and then through tears ask how she was supposed to pay for it? His answer was community, not the government, should rally around every single sick person who lacks the millions of dollars it takes to battle major diseases.

On a greater scale, isn't organizing a community the central function of government. Citizens convening to establish rules that facilitate a functioning society? Republicans haven't believed in that for years.

Posted by: Hank on April 11, 2010 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Steve, I believe you've provided examples of the things the current GOP doesn't like about community organizers. They can't admit that they hate Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King, and the results of their labors--but Cesar Chavez? Even before the current craziness, they were happy to say they regarded him as a dangerous radical.

The Republican leaders of my youth would not have railed against the forty-hour work week, but the current vocal GOP leadership? If it became an issue, they'd denounce it as interference with the freedom of contract.

Posted by: Lis on April 11, 2010 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

Community organizing is often a nonpartisan activity, conducted in socially conservative rural and small town communities as well as more liberal urban communities. This stance taken by Vitter et al. may actually be politically self-defeating to some extent, especially in the poor and working class communities that are socially/religiously conservative, and where Republicans are usually dominant.

However, I'm sure this nonsense plays well with the gated-community crowd.

Posted by: Sharl on April 11, 2010 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

"Community organizer" is probably code for something else.

Posted by: mcc on April 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Community organizers made the 40-hour workweek possible...

But TV personalities made it possible to make a million dollars by guessing a price or answering trivia questions. Pass the tea, please.

Posted by: Danp on April 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

"Community organizers" work to organize those people and make it possible for those people to take money away from real Americans.

Martin Luther King was a community organizer. Susan B. Anthony was a community organizer. Cesar Chavez was a community organizer.

And two out of the three you cite are more of those people, while the other worked to destroy the American family by overturning God's plan of men being the head of the household.

It's all dog whistles.

Posted by: SteveT on April 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

It stands to reason the right wing loons should hold community organizers in contempt.

In wingnut utopia, people of lower social standing do exactly as they're told. They do not speak out. They do not cause trouble. They pay their tithings without question.

That, and community sounds suspiciously like communism to them. This, in itself, is probably too much for the likes of Palin and Vitter.

Posted by: JoeW on April 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Years ago, Lee Atwater lamented the fact that you could not openly denigrate blacks, but had to resort to code words and dog whistles.

Nothing has changed. Community organizer, ACORN, anger that "others" are going to get free health care, voter ID laws - these are all code-talk for those undeserving minorities taking hard earned money from white guys.

Posted by: worcestergirl on April 11, 2010 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

It doesn't matter what they say about Obama, as long as they say it with a tone of contempt.

Doesn't Steve Benen ever take a day off?

Posted by: hells littlest angel on April 11, 2010 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Now if Obama had been a B-movie actor.....

Posted by: 2Manchu on April 11, 2010 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

mcc is correct. "Community organizer" is a code for something else -- race. In 2008 it could be used to belittle and denigrate Obama's executive experience. But today it's being used as a not so subtle reminder that the great divide between the GOP and Democrats is race (cue the outraged howls from projecting right wingers who will now accuse me of race-baiting).

But after the "high-tech lynching" of the "community organization" ACORN that was orchestrated by the right on falsified evidence, calling the President a community organizer is clearly an attempt to energize whatever dark and malevolent demons reside within the psyche of the GOP's largely white Christian and Southern base.

Posted by: Ted Frier on April 11, 2010 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

We know that many of the right-wing nutjobs have a problem with polysyllabic words. Maybe they hear "community" and think "communism" or, more likely, "commie."

Posted by: navamske on April 11, 2010 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, Portland, OR is still behind the curve. Yes, Union Avenue became Martin Luther King Blvd and 39th St is now Caesar Chavez Blvd and Portland Blvd is Rosa Parks Blvd, but, still no Susan B Anthony Blvd. Perhaps, we will get there some day.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 11, 2010 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Well, you've hit the nail right on the head, Steve: working with communities in a bottom-up model is not something the Republican leadership or most of its Congressional delegation respect. Yes, community organizers deserve respect, of course they do, but the Republican Party stands for something else entirely. A different basis for power, and different beneficiaries. That's why they went after ACORN and succeeded in its assassination: ACORN helped the poor and disenfranchised.

Posted by: Algernon on April 11, 2010 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Off thread, Steve, but, I had wished you would have posted a comment about the tragic air crash involving the Polish leadership as I wanted to know exlibra's views.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 11, 2010 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

All of a piece of continued Right-wing denigration of anything that rational people would admire as successful or otherwise indicative of merit with respect to an individual.

Thus the snide professor comments, and Bush's I've got Ph.D.'s answering to me and general angst against book-learnin' folk. The new buzzword is community organizer.

This is simply their version of what they see as 'latte-sipping East coast elites' who 'look down on Real Americans' when what is really happening is rational, informed people are increasingly finding it harder and harder to excuse members of society who not only get it wrong, but seem to revel in getting it wrong--treating being obtuse and irrational as some kind of badge of honor.

As the Rude Pundit put it so eloquently recently:

"(Their speeches) contain words that the slavering teabaggers in the room could understand. It's the conservative version of pointing and grunting.

And then Palin followed up the fearmongering by saying it's not fearmongering, "Now and let me remind you, Sean, too, when we talk like this, when we talk like this, you know that lame stream media, they will get weed out about this. Their heads will spin and they will tell people that we are fear mongers, that we are exaggerating the State of the Union. And yet this is reality." Or, in other words, "Grunt. Lame stream media. Grunt."

Posted by: terraformer on April 11, 2010 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

Look, Obama made a mistake -- a very rare one for him -- of responding to the news media's attempt to personalize everything and of expressing some pique. He shouldn't have and I'm sure he (and his advisors) knew so immediately. The second answer he gave -- "I'm listening to the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the JCS etc." should have been his answer to the first question. He never should have even mentioned Palin let alone put her down (however mild it might have been in comparison with how she's talked about him).

That said, none of this is terribly important.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on April 11, 2010 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Working with communities in a bottom-up model may seem worthless to the modern Republican Party

Did you actually mean to use the code word "grassroot"? Isn't this exactly how they describe their current rallys and teabagger groups? Community organizer is just another stereotype code word pointing to minorities. It's become quite obvious these thugs do not like being the minority in government right now. Cry me a freakin river.

Posted by: flyonthewall on April 11, 2010 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK
In other worse, the choice for voters in 2012 wouldn't be a TV personality vs. a community organizer; it would be a TV personality vs. a successful sitting president.

No, the choice will a successful sitting president versus a hack who couldn't manage to complete a full term as a governor of a sparse state.
Posted by: Bernard Gilroy on April 11, 2010 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a question I've been thinking about for a while: Is there any Democratic party equivalent to these Republican/Conservative forums (CPAC, etc.) that generate so much media attention? It seems like conservatives gather every few months and are able to grab the spotlight with their incessant recitation of the same tired attacks and I can't think of an equivalent Democratic party event that generates an equal level of attention in the media.

Posted by: Eric on April 11, 2010 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

@flyonthewall, "grassroots" has been popular with the right ever since Rush Limbaugh co-opted the grassroots strategy of the environmental movement to help kill the Clinton health bill. He helped make it possible for his listeners to sign on to form letters to flood newspaper LTE boards, their Reps and swamp Congress with calls, all, in an attempt to make it appear to be a "grass roots" movement. In those days, I would read the same letter signed by different persons in several different papers. Dick Armey has been using the same tactics for the Tea Baggers.

Posted by: berttheclock on April 11, 2010 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

This fall's Republican campaign slogan - Vote Republican, we're the snarky ones! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 11, 2010 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

The "community organizer" label is simply a dog whistle to the racists out there. Community organizers, especially black ones, are out there RIGHT NOW organizing BLACK PEOPLE.

And you know where THAT leads.

Posted by: Okie on April 11, 2010 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

from joe rospars' twitter feed:

last time palin mocked community organizing, we raised $10+m in 24 hrs from folks who believe in service @michaelscherer http://j.mp/ddXbgc

GOP lunacy drives democratic fundraising; made-up Dem misdeeds drive republican fundraising. this is all very little d democratic in a way, but it's actually a causal relationship, which can easily be inferred and even demonstrated were the obama campaign and others to show people the connection. so for all the talk about democratizing the fundraising process, which does seem like an accomplishment, it's at the expense of sanity.

Posted by: beyondo on April 11, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

President Barack Obama:

1) On January 11, 2007 President Bush signed Lugar-Obama nuclear proliferation and threat reduction initiative into law.

2) On April 8, 2010 President Obama and President Medvedev signed the START Treaty in Prague.

3) On April 12, 2010 President Obama has planned a summit in Washington, D.C. hosting 47 countries to jointly address nuclear proliferation.

Sarah Palin: Half-term Alaska Governor, private citizen, former vp candidate, tv celebrity, Grand Old Teabagger Party mouthpiece:

1) April 2010 - At the Southern Republican Leadership Conference mocks President Obama's experience on nuclear issues.

Posted by: Ladyhawke on April 11, 2010 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

This fall's Republican campaign slogan - Vote Republican, we're the snarky ones! -Kevo

Do you think somehow we could get the Republican "activists" to call themselves snorkelers?

Posted by: SteveT on April 11, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: JoeW on April 11, 2010 at 8:54 AM

That, and community sounds suspiciously like communism to them.

The Hunstville, AL, Times had a hilarious correction a couple of months ago. Seems they referred to their "community columnist" in print as the Communist columnist.

It was a typo in good faith... I think.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on April 11, 2010 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

I really really hate conservatives, but I have to smile when Ron Paul speaks to them, I get the feeling they are not quite sure what to make of him!

Posted by: JS on April 11, 2010 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

THEY'RE still talking about community organizers. The Democrats should have been talking about prostitutes and diapers nonstop until Vitter was done and buried.

SArah Palin is traveling down two tracks at the same time. to the rabid right wing she's a goddess. To the rest of the country she's a joke, a punchline. If the Republicans see her as their salvation in 2012 they'll experience the worst, most humiliating defeat in US Presidential history.

Posted by: Saint Zak on April 11, 2010 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

Vitter actually used a "community organizer" during his sexcapades. They are called pimps who organize communities of prostitutes.

Posted by: flyonthewall on April 11, 2010 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Just out of curiosity, what are Vitter's accomplishments?


Aside from the horrible image of Vitter in Pampers, I haven't heard of any.

Posted by: Former Dan on April 11, 2010 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK
"Community organizer" is probably code for something else.

Not probably -- definitely. Vitter is saying he'd rather have a dimwitted TV personality in office than That Man since Palin at least has the right skin color.

I'm surprised he hasn't called Obama "Canadian" yet.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 11, 2010 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

It agree with the general sense in the comments above of what the contempt towards community organizers is about. It is crystal clear to me that Obama's election has sharpened the racial (actually cultural) divisions in the country, not the other way around. For the first time in 200+ years it is a real possiblity that white christianity may cease to be the dominant culture. That's what's really driving the fear and contempt.

Posted by: DelCapslock on April 11, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

@DelCapslock-That and according to census figures, more non-white babies were born last year than white ones for the first time in history. The census prediction is that sometime in the future, whites will be a minority simply through, for lack of a better word, cross breeding of races. Obama is an example of the inevitable.

Posted by: flyonthewall on April 11, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Not to mention that the 40-hour workweek, women's sufferage, and civil rights--which Steve notes were accomplished by community organizers--are all things that today's GOP hates.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on April 11, 2010 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

David Vitter is the perfect example of the kind of unreconstructed Southern traitor Jon Meacham refers to in his op-ed in the earlier post.

All this snide commenting about being a "community organizer" is a dog whistle to the unreconstructed white supremacists these assholes depend on to stay in office. It's all just part and parcel of their racism.

Posted by: TCinLA on April 11, 2010 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know why so many people (myself included) feel the need to explain or rationalize why the GOP acts as it does; it's almost like apologizing to the nice people you visited because your child peaked the misbehaviour/tantrum meter while in their presence.

Perhaps it's simplest to bear in mind that that's who Barack Obama really is to many of those people. He's not a great statesman, masterful orator, perhaps the best-educated American president in a generation. He's not a genuine bipartisan who's trying hard to break down the barriers that prevent Republicans from making any meaningful contribution to governance, or a visionary who has America's best interests at heart and competitiveness on his conscience. He's a slick-talking coloured man who fooled millions of Americans into giving him the country's highest office, where he intends to implement a socialist agenda.

Their baffled rage because you can't see that (unless you're plainly a bleeding-heart liberal, in which case you share the blame for bringing him to power) is something to see. It's like everybody who couldn't make it past Grade 8 suddenly decided to speak up all at once and self-identify. I don't mean just immature, I mean immature and stupid. Oh, sure; there's a small core of venal but otherwise bright individuals who manipulate the fury for their own purposes, but the great majority is just too dumb to question it, too dumb to know they're dumb or be curious about why they're so angry.

They're far from a majority, not even really a statistically important voting bloc, but their over-the-top violent tendencies seem to get more extreme every day they get away with expressing them.

Posted by: Mark on April 11, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

I agree that most of the issue is race, but it's also-- IMO, on a deeper level-- how the right sees the value of community, specifically as a benign (in their minds, anyway) oppressor. People who embrace hierarchy and clear delineations of status desire communities that enforce the status quo, not change it, and 'community organizers' in this context are engaging in rebellion & destabilization, not development.

That doesn't negate any of the race comments, BTW; it's just that IME race is as often as not only a component of what right-wingers fear most, which is essentially a muddled understanding of status.

Posted by: latts on April 11, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Is there any Democratic party equivalent to these Republican/Conservative forums (CPAC, etc.) that generate so much media attention?

I'm not sure this is the right question. I would also (at least) ask if there is anything approaching equivalent media interest in Democratic forums or genuine grassroots events on the left of right-of-center -- some of them orders of magnitude greater in size than CPAC's draw?

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on April 11, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Even on the face of it, Vitter's argument is dumb.

What are the skills and duties of TV personalities? Appearance and the ability to read scripts. It's really a solo job - the people around a TV personality are there to support the work of the personality. And at the end of the day, the only product to show for it is the footage.

What are the skills and duties of community organizers? Bringing groups of people together for a cause. Raising awareness of an issue, building coalitions and working toward a policy goal. Whether you're talking about Barack Obama's early work experience or about the Tea Party organizers the right admires so much, this is a job that's far far more relevant to an elected government official.

So Vitter would rather have an empty talking head than someone who knows how to enable policy change?

Posted by: g on April 11, 2010 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK
Good lord, they're still talking about community organizers -- 18 months after the last presidential election.
You just watch -- when Palin runs, we're also going to hear that she still has "more executive experience" than the president. Posted by: Glenn Beck's Chalkboard on April 11, 2010 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

What do Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez have in common? They worked for the good of people who are not white males. Need anyone say more?

Posted by: T-Rex on April 11, 2010 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Palin won't be the nominee, and any attempt to frame her as such will be a deliberate distraction. She's gotten a free pass on a lot of monumentally stupid and destructive opinions and comments, but that doesn't mean they've been forgotten by either the Democratic or the Republican strategists. The latter are well aware that there's a virtual forest of cudgels lying around out there, waiting to be used against her - including her embrace of the crazy teabaggers.

Palin staked out her position long ago, and penuriously-paid public service - regardless the degree of personal power - isn't it. Accumulation of wealth is what she's all about, and the fame and influence that come with being allowed to blather without ever being held to account for what you say is just a nice bonus.

Posted by: Mrka on April 11, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton had a roguish, good ol'boy charm that lead many to excuse his sexual transgressions. But Vitter seems like one of the most unattractive personalities in politics, lacking charm, warmth, or charisma. Not a good 'ol boy, just an asshole.
How can Southerners relate to this man?

Posted by: bob h on April 11, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

i was in NOLA the spring after katrina, and the "community organizers", especially ACORN and grassroots church groups, were doing the work the government couldn't be bothered with

Posted by: benjoya on April 11, 2010 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

@Eric, I live in an area where the Tea Party is incredibly popular. Over the past year, I've participated in all kinds of activities designed to showcase support for health care reform, and on the whole, we only get press coverage if Tea Party protesters are out. The Tea Party gets press regardless of what they do. I'm sure the same thing applies nationally -- can you imagine that the national press would have given much attention to a conference attended by 500 or so progressives??

Posted by: SciMom on April 11, 2010 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Vitter got a standing ovation???? Whatever for? This is ostensibly a family-values crowd that were undoubtedly hugely offended by Clinton's behavior, and now they are cheering a guy whose main claim to fame if cavorting with prostitutes while wearing diapers?

If there's another explanation besides them steadfastly supporting anyone who opposes the nation's first black president, I'll be happy to listen to it.

Posted by: N.Wells on April 11, 2010 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

While Obama was doing his community organizing, Palin was in college -- several of them, actually -- studying media & communication. Do you think her professors actively taught misrepresentation, or is that her original research?

Posted by: PS on April 11, 2010 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised he hasn't called Obama "Canadian" yet.
Posted by: Mnemosyne on April 11, 2010 at 10:05 AM

They will, as soon as the figure out the diff between Canada and Kenya. Until they do, he'll just be a Kenyan Muslim communist organiser.

Bert the clock, @9:09
Short answer is I'm not mourning, at least not for the Duckie. Long answer will have to wait till I'm used to this d...d new 'puter and keyboard.

Posted by: exlibra on April 11, 2010 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, and he's from Chicago, too, and we all know what that means.

Posted by: d m nolan on April 11, 2010 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

That people listen to this adulterer-fetishist, who cheated on his family values wife while wearing family values adult diapers and Dog knows what else is a testament to America's hillbilly heritage! It's okay if Senator Vitter did it because JeZues changed his diaper and forgave his "see-yins". If you're one of the thralling mass that can give what this guy says any value at all then you are a complete failure as an idealogue. You might as well put the tea bag down and shoot yourself in the head with your AR-15 because you're an abject failure that not even Je-Zues could forgive.

Sure, I lumped teabaggery in there with Vitter but teabagging is after all a fetish, right?

Posted by: Trollop on April 11, 2010 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

I on the other hand am an abject failure at spelling zeus.

Posted by: Troll-Op on April 11, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

You did really well with "half-term governor," Steve, but may I suggest another, equally accurate, possibility:

Louisiana whoremonger Sen. David Vitter.

Posted by: buddy66 on April 11, 2010 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

i don't know why anyone is surprised what's left of the gop continues to obsess about "community organizing," while they obsess over "teleprompters" every other second....it's a combo of not having legit criticisms and/or dog-whistling

and @ trollop...maybe we should encourage dan savage to redefine "diaper wearing for sexual thrills" as "doing the vitter"...dan worked wonders for the word "santorum"

Posted by: dj spellchecka on April 11, 2010 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Buddy66, I think technically a "whoremonger" would be one who provided whores, not one who used them, and I don't think it's yet been shown that Vitter was more than a customer.

On the other hand, that might be a selling point for your moniker for him, in that it would require those refuting it to repeatedly acknowledge that he WAS a customer, "but not actually a pimp."

I'm not really surprised Vitter got applause from a party that cheers on the moral black-hole that is Newt Gingrich. Can anyone imagine John Edwards or Elliot Spitzer getting such applause at a Democratic rally these days?

Posted by: biggerbox on April 11, 2010 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

But I thought the "thousands points of light" approach to solving the nation's problems was what Republicans wanted?

The modern GOP is less a political party than it is a xenophobic tribe. It is identity politics elevated into a fetish. A serial solicitor of prostitutes is greeted with cheers by the "family values" party; the party of small government engages an orgy of deficit spending while spying on and detaining without trial it's own citizens, denouncing it's critics as traitors, then argues that the census represents an unconstitutional threat to our freedom!

Now, the party that championed local, community-based, non-governmental approaches to solving problems threatening American communities has nothing but scorn for those who actually, you know, used their talents to organize local, community based, non-governmental approaches to solving the problems threatening American communities.

The only thing that matters is whether you are one of them or not. If you are then all sins are not only forgiven, but are forgiven in advance; if not, then nothing you ever say or do will ever be anything buy treason and perversion.

Posted by: Chesire11 on April 11, 2010 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

"I'll take a TV personality over a community organizer any day,.."

But aren't politicians community organizers? Particularly, at elections time?
They organize their campaign staff on a "community" level. They organize their donors who constitute a "community of supporter. They organize their voters. They keep a "community" of empolyees and volunteers "organized" in local offices while they are in office.

The big difference is politicians are organizing various "communities" for their own personal benefit rather than for the "communities" benifit.

Posted by: Marnie on April 11, 2010 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of TV personalities, did anyone else catch Hannity's love-in with Palin and Bachmann the other evening from MN? At one point Hannity -- once again -- yanked out the phrase "unrepentant terrorist William Ayers", I believe in reference to him being one of "Obama's buddies."

It's like they were all frozen in time somewhere around the 3rd or 4th grade and are destined to remain little school yard recess bullies for the rest of their lives. Clearly they show no signs of growing beyond it.

Posted by: here4tehbeer on April 12, 2010 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

What is so galling to me about the "community organizer" pseudo-smear is the fact that every Tea Party leader, every prolife activist pastor and everyone who sets up local screenings of "Fahrenhype 9/11" (or whatever that was called) is engaging in "community organization." The Right is chock-full of Community Organizers.

Posted by: wallamaarif on April 12, 2010 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

Which part of "community organizer" upsets conservatives so?

"Community"? Because they're a top-down kind of bunch and communities shouldn't be going about their business with their own ideas?


"Organizer"? A haphazard, chaotic environment with poor communication being their preference.


Maybe both? Meaning they ideally hope to produce a chaotic, top-down structure based at the highest level possible.

A system where you don't know who got paid for what, you can't locate emails and other correspondence and documentation when you need it and all power is centralized.

Oh, waitaminute! Now it makes sense! They want Bush and Cheney back!

A community organizer is the opposite of a unified presidency. Eureka!

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on April 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Using community organizer as a smear is not the best way to show that we are a mature society that appreciate those that help others. Especially when those said people could very easily have become very high priced lawyers.

Posted by: MySpecialInterest on September 14, 2010 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK



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