Saturday, January 21, 2012

Newt, Newt, Why Are You Persecuting Saul?

Ira Stoll on Professor Gingrich's seeming ignorance:
Mr. Gingrich mentioned Alinsky's name at least twice, again echoing a theme raised here in an October 18, 2011 post on Obama and Alinsky. But the way Mr. Gingrich set it up, as a juxtaposition between American exceptionalism as represented by the Declaration of Independence and the Founding Fathers and the "radicalism of Saul Alinsky," makes me wonder if Mr. Gingrich has actually read Alinsky. In fact Alinsky, like Mr. Gingrich, wrapped his own cause in the Declaration of Independence and the Founding Fathers. In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky writes:"To us the Declaration of Independence is a glorious document and an affirmation of human rights." In the same book, Alinsky calls Samuel Adams an "organizational genius." Alinsky's Reveille for Radicals begins with a quote from Thomas Paine and contains this passage: "Where are America's radicals? They were with Patrick Henry in the Virginia Hall of Burgesses; they were with Sam Adams in Boston; they were with that peer of all American radicals, Tom Paine, from the distribution of Common Sense through those dark days of the American Revolution...The American radicals were in the colonies grimly forcing the addition of the Bill of Rights to our Constitution. They stood at the side of Tom Jefferson..."

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