Ed Driscoll

There Goes The Neighborhood

Back in early April, President Obama threatened bank CEOs with the portentous line, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.” Of course, the actual number of angry townspeople wielding pitchforks were pretty small.  Universal could easily round-up more extras from Central Casting to flesh out its horror films of the 1930s than those who actually rode the busses to the homes of the AIG execs:

Apparently the Working Families Party (a/k/a/ Socialists) just couldn’t scare up enough vigilantes to take part on the bus tour today. Geez, even Al Sharpton can gather up a larger rent-a-mob.

Rather than call this motley band of human debris what they are, the Associated Press calls them “working families” and “activists,” although by my definition those who work for AIG also qualify as working families since they have jobs and seemingly most of these protesters don’t.

Funny, though, after the Democrats whipped up such hysteria this week all they could get to turn out was 40 lonely protesters and they were outnumbered by the media.

A busload of activists representing working- and middle-class families paid visits Saturday to the lavish homes of American International Group executives to protest the tens of millions of dollars in bonuses awarded by the struggling insurance company after it received a massive federal bailout.

About 40 protesters — outnumbered by reporters and photographers from as far away as Germany — sought to urge AIG executives who received a portion of the $165 million in bonuses to do more to help families.

“We think $165 million could be used in a more appropriate way to keep people in their homes, create more jobs and health care,” said Emeline Bravo-Blackport, a gardener.Well, there may have been jobs created, but the Democrats are taking all that money, Emeline, or haven’t you heard? Oh well, there go those jobs.

But then, as Saul Alinsky wrote in Rules For Radicals, “The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. ”

Turnabout is fair play:

Upping The Ante: N.H. Tea Party Coalition plans protests at N.H. homes of U.S. legislators. Well, when ACORN sent busloads — er, well, about half a busload — of protesters to AIG executives’ homes, it was evidence of genuine grassroots anger. And got sympathetic national coverage, with media outnumbering the protesters. Somehow I doubt that’ll be the story here.

And with this, as Founding Bloggers adds, the Tea Party movement and the right are once again taking a page from the Book of Saul*:

This is just one of the imperative evolutionary steps the Tea Party must take.

Let’s just hope they make enough noise to truly piss off the neighbors. That’s the main reason to do it.

UPDATE: What did Saul Alinsky have to say about this protest tactic? From Rules For Radicals [emphasis added in black]:

In its early history the organized black ghetto in the Woodlawn neighborhood in Chicago engaged in conflict with the slum landlords. It never picketed the local slum tenements or the landlord’s office. It selected its blackest blacks and bussed them out to the lily-white suburb of the slum landlords residence. Their picket signs, which said, “Did you know that Jones, your neighbor, is a slum land-lord?” were completely irrelevant; the point was that the pickets knew Jones would be inundated with phone calls from his neighbors.

JONES: Before you say a word let me tell you that those signs are a bunch of lies!
NEIGHBOR: Look, Jones, I don’t give a damn what you do for a living. All we know is that you get those goddam n****rs out of here or you get out!

Jones came and signed.
The pressure that gave us our positive power was the negative of racism in a white society.

p.144 Rules For Radicals

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it — then ride the magic bus:

[youtube GfVZcPEVqmE]

* AKA, the Satanic Verses, based on its ridiculous original dedication page. What, Sirhan Sirhan was taken? Oh, right.