Who's Afraid of Saul Alinsky?

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Newt Gingrich has defined his campaign as a "choice between American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky". Gingrich casts himself as upholding the beliefs and values of the "founding fathers" under assault by President Obama, an agent of the radical left that wants to turn the U.S. into a "European style socialist state". It's relatively easy to point out the factual and historical absurdity of this statement, particularly coming from someone who considers himself a great historian, what's more interesting to me is to examine why the use of the name of this obscure Chicago organizer strikes such a responsive cord among the conservative Republican base. Few have heard of Alinsky or know much about his life and legacy, yet he works as a boogeyman for conservatives in much the same way Bill Ayers played that role in 2008.

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At www.jackandjillpolitics.com

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