Ed Driscoll

'At the Intersection of Jake Tapper and Alinsky Rule 4'

“The fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”


The Book of Saul.

ABC’s Jake Tapper eats Jay Carney’s lunch via this rule:

As Allahpundit responds, “Nice catch by JT:”

 I’d forgotten about this incident from Campaign ’08, when McCain apologized for Bill Cunningham’s reference to “Barack Hussein Obama” in his intro at one of Maverick’s rallies. By comparison, not only is Hoffa not sorry for what he said, the best Carney can do by way of repudiation on Obama’s behalf is to say that no one speaks for The One (except him). Will that standard also apply to the Republican nominee next year? Of course not, but don’t expect any reporter there to challenge Carney on it later when the Democrats’ smear campaign against him/her gets going — except Tapper himself, of course. In fact, the new head of the DNC, who was one of the most adamant proponents of the “new tone” after the Tucson shooting, spent an entire segment on Fox News this morning deflecting questions about Hoffa rather than denouncing him. How soon things change.

At the Tatler, Bryan Preston adds:

If there was ever any doubt that the post-Tucson posturing about “civility” was nothing more than an effort to use the victims to silence conservatives, let the clip above remove that doubt forever. Jay Carney has actually done the nation a service in exposing just how cynical all that business was, by not offering any opinion at all on Hoffa’s comment, though it is clearly more dependent on the credible threat of violence to carry its full meaning. Hoffa’s meaning is political, don’t get me wrong, but coming from a Big Labor boss, it was intended to intimidate as well as motivate.


Or as Allahpundit concludes his post (which is well worth reading in its entirety, “How’s that post-Tucson rhetorical standard working out for you now, liberal friends? Is that bed you made for yourselves comfortable?”

Which brings us to the Rhetorican, whose headline we’re quoting above:

Alinsky Rule 4 is the bane of many a Leftie, given all the double standards that seem to permeate their rhetoric.  Of course, Alinsky always used very uncivil language himself, such as “enemy” and “kill”.  No doubt he meant all of that figuratively, too, just like Hoffa.

As I’ve pointed out before, the incongruity about Lefties lecturing anyone on civility is self-evident: how can they do so when they don’t know anything about civility themselves?

On the other hand, “Hey, give Hoffa credit. It isn’t easy to stop this president from talking,” James Taranto writes, adding that for the president, it’s worse than Detroit.

Related: The End of Civility?

Join the conversation as a VIP Member