Maybe there really is something to Obama’s background as a community organizer after all.
For some reason, I picked Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals off the shelf a little while ago. I got the book years ago, when I thought I might write a piece on the unfortunate influence of Alinsky and community organizing on the American left, but abandoned the project because I couldn’t bear to read Alinsky’s prose. But as it happens, I opened to this passage, titled “Compromise,” on p. 59:
[T]o the organizer, compromise is a key and beautiful word. It is always present in the pragmatics of operation. It is making the deal, getting that vital breather, usually the victory. If you start with nothing, demand 100 per cent, then compromise for 30 per cent, you’re 30 per cent ahead….
I don’t want to enable the liberal trope of “too willing to compromise” about Obama—he’s about 40% conservative, which that critique overlooks. But add on 30% from the compromise, and he’s at 70%.