Forward Thinking

The Revenge of Saul Alinsky

By Gal Beckerman

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I have to share Dana Milbank’s sentiment in his open love letter to Newt Gingrich this week. It would be a real shame to lose Newt (and he thinks the liberal east coast media elite hates him! Au contraire!). Mostly I would be saddened by the thought that the ghost of Saul Alinsky would then have to go back to his usual haunts on the south side of Chicago and abandon the national stage.

For those who visit this blog, you know that I had my own hunch as to why the incessant bringing up of Alinsky without context or explanation might not be so good for Newt with the Jews (though it seems to have made no difference to the one Jewish family who really mattered to him). But I was glad to read yesterday that David Brooks of The New York Times at least concurred on the question of that particular reference falling more than a little flat.

David Brooks: Newt Gingrich never should have messed with Saul Alinsky. All across Florida old geezers were hearing Gingrich rage against Alinsky and they were thinking, “Alinsky, Alinsky, I think that’s the guy I play bingo with in Boca. Seems like a perfectly nice fella. If Gingrich hates him, I think I’ll vote for Mitt.”

That’s my first takeaway from the Florida primary. Don’t mess with Saul Alinsky. I’d lay off Gus Hall too, just to be safe.


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