Framing the Dialogue

Rule 13

One of the most quoted “rules” in Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals book is Rule 13.  This rule is under the tactics section of the book and that is a better way to think of this.  In this tactic, you are taught to select a specific target, a person.  Government bodies (i.e. Congress, etc.) or buildings (i.e. Washington, city hall, etc.) allow blame to be shifted too easily. 

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

The part Mr. Alinsky failed to include in the rule is “destroy it.”  As I was thinking about examples of the use of this rule the most successful case was during the Clinton Administration.  I know that is going back a few years, but unfortunately for the target, the rule was very successfully used.

Pick the target.

The story begins in the White House travel office.  The folks who work in the Travel Office make travel arrangements for the White House Press Corps and the media outlets are charged for the travel costs. 

Freeze it.

Shortly after Bill Clinton took office, seven employees of the Travel Office were fired including the director, Billy Dale, who had served in this office since the Kennedy administration (that is seven presidents plus a short time under Clinton – I know that sounds like a Monica Lewinsky joke). 

Personalize it.

The Clinton’s (Hilary was also implicated in the scandal) accused the staff of corruption and embezzlement.  The FBI and the justice department investigated the employees.  It actually turned out that the White House got background material on Mr. Dale from the FBI before it took action against him.  Is it really legal to look at FBI files of common folks; what happens if they turn up missing (Filegate)?

Polarize it.

Mr. Dale and his six associates were charged with various crimes.  I do not remember whether they were shown on TV handcuffed and led from their homes.  That would be a nice touch, but I do not think the entire main stream news media was quite completely eating out of the Democrats hands then. 

So why would the Clinton’s do this?  The theory that is supported by some facts is that the Clinton’s wanted to give the job to friends, which they did.  Rather than try to justify firing a man who had served seven other presidents, it was easier to use Rule 13 and destroy him…allegedly.  As a note, all of the seven accused in the corruption scandal were found NOT GULTY.

Anlther example of the Clinton’s use of Rule 13 was with Linda Tripp during the Lewinsky scandal.  Ms. Tripp had the misfortune of being the confidant of Ms. Lewinsky, taped some of their phone conversations, and released them.  She was not “picked” in true Alinsky fashion, but her treatment fit all of the other parts of the rule. 

If you fast-forward to last year as Barack Hussein Obama was campaigning for president, he came across Joe Wurzelbacher (AKA Joe the Plumber) during a walk through Joe’s neighborhood.  Joe had the nerve to ask a question about small businesses and Obama, without the support of TOTUS, made the famous “spread the wealth around” comment.  Rather than back off the comment, the Obama team with the help of supporters began a campaign to destroy Joe the Plumber.  I do not remember seeing any evidence of collusion, it just seemed like the left knew what to do. 

The good news is that this rule does not always work anymore.  In this case Mr. Wurzelbacher stood his ground and the new media (talk radio, Fox News, Internet, etc.) has some strength and can get out the real story.  Rather than Joe ending up like Linda Tripp or Billy Dale, he is actually in demand as a speaker.  That is the American way!

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

In a story that is still unfolding, President Obama fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin.  While it is true that the Inspector General serves at the pleasure of the president, rules require at least a 30-day notice and that the firing be reported to Congress.  Unfortunately, President Obama did not follow that statute even though he voted for it while a Senator.  The case is more complicated because IG Walpin was investigating a friend of President Obama.

The Administration claimed that it fired Walpin because he was confused at meetings alleging incompetence.  Unfortunately, Mr. Walpin is not going away and has filed a lawsuit over his firing.  In addition to Mr. Walpin standing his ground, others have come forward to support him and dispute the White House’s claims. 

This is starting to look like the Clinton scandals on steroids.

I think one of the funniest uses of Rule 13 is when the left try to use it against El Rushbo.  As demonstrated, the rule does not work so well when you stand your ground and fight back.  It also helps that Rush Limbaugh has tens of millions of listeners each week.  It does not seem like a month goes by without some attempt from the left, the mainstream media, or even the White House (Yes I know that they are all the same thing) going after Rush. 

It is great fun watching Mr. Limbaugh toy with the left.  He will actually make a comment then explain how the left will use his statement to try to stir things up.  Often within a day or so, the mainstream media will be reporting about the comment out of the context with which it was stated.  It is obvious that they either do not listen to his show, yet are “given” excerpts to report…often getting it wrong.  It is actually quite sad that “reporters” really do not investigate before reporting.  We all need to start referring to them as their actions deserve – News Readers.

Let’s not forget Sarah Palin.  She is not backing down and hopefully will come out of Alaska wearing fightin’ lipstick. 

As we continue to shed light on the tactics of the radicals, they will become less effective.  Also as I stated in my review of Rules For Radicals, we can use the tactics too!

3 CommentsLeave one

  1. Rule 13 Reversed - Framing the Dialogue says:

    […] happened on the way to change in Washington, some conservatives have noticed that Saul Alinsky’s Rule 13 can be used against the liberals.  In Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals – Rule 13 […]

Leave a comment

Use basic HTML (<a href="">, <strong>, <blockquote>)