The Left is now in a full-out attack on Scott Walker. The homepage today has good pieces by Jonah, Kevin, and Charles on the latest brouhaha, Walker’s supposed opposition to evolution, linked to his supposedly mysterious dropping out of college. This is just the next step in a growing campaign. I wrote a few weeks ago on how the progressives would try to defeat Walker, by fear-mongering that he was a “divider” and a threat to minority groups.
But what we see now is the “full Alinsky.” The Left is throwing just about everything in the book at Walker early on, trying to Romneyize him: define him and put him so far back on the defensive that he can never recover. With support from the MSM, which is now thrashing about trying to figure out why he left college, the progressive Left is perfectly following Alinky’s Rule for Radicals No. 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” This is exactly what is happening today.
Walker has been picked because the Left senses in him a real electoral threat, thanks to his competence, common sense, and electoral prowess. They’re freezing him by smearing his character and intellect, detracting from any message that he might have that could move forward the debate on public policy. They’re personalizing it by painting him as sinister, reactionary, a dunce, whatever works that week, but keeps national attention on his personality failings. And they’re polarizing him by darkly insinuating that he doesn’t think like the rest of us, and is thus a danger to things we hold dear, like evolution or public-sector unions.
The bad news is that if Walker’s people don’t fight back twice as hard early on, they may be playing defense the entire game. It’s hard since they can’t fire back at a political opponent as they could in a campaign. That is the truly insidious part of the progressive media’s strategy. Whom do you go after, the Washington Post or Slate? But, Walker’s camp can respond in general by employing Alinsky’s Rule No. 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Ridicule back those who fear someone without a college degree, or someone who takes on bloodsucking unions. Don’t let up.
The good news is, the progressive Left may be Alinskying Walker too early. The risk that Walker will be defined by his enemies is high, but so is the chance that the progressive message will get dulled over the next nearly two years by its sheer repetition, its patent bad faith, and its desperation. But if Scott Walker is serious about running for the presidency, he won’t take being Alinskied lying down.