The Walker-Giuliani Alinsky Assault

My column for the American Spectator this week just went up at the site, and it’s about the Rudy Giuliani kerfuffle and what the Democrat media is doing with it…

Giuliani has been castigating the president in less-than-polite terms for some time now, and in fact let loose with a broadside against Obama’s poor judgment and insufficient fealty to the American people far more white-hot than his New York remarks in a Phoenix appearance the week before.

But that attack on Obama, which was uploaded to YouTube for all to see, didn’t get much play in the media. It wasn’t until the media could tie Giuliani to Walker because the latter was present at the 21 Club for what was supposed to be an off-the-record conversation that night that Giuliani became outrageous.

Since then, Walker has been subjected to a new round of “Gotcha!” questions and media attacks, this time around Giuliani’s statements. Asked about Giuliani’s comments on CNBC, Walker raised hackles by refusing to dive into the controversy. “The mayor can speak for himself,” he said. “I’m not going to comment on what the president thinks or not. He can speak for himself as well.” Then, on Saturday the Associated Press published a piece with an interview with Walker including more stiff-arm comments. “You should ask the president what he thinks about America,” he said in Washington for a weekend meeting of the National Governors Association. “I’ve never asked him so I don’t know.”

The WashingtonPost’s Dana Milbank, hardly an objective analyst, was unhinged. “What Scott Walker did ought to disqualify him as a serious presidential contender,” he scribbled, demanding that Walker distance himself from Giuliani.

Milbank’s column sounded nearly identical to a press release put out by Democrat National Committee spokeswoman Holly Shulman. “After sitting silently by when Rudy Giuliani made an outrageous comment that our President doesn’t love America, today Scott Walker has doubled down on his divisive politics saying he doesn’t know if the President loves our country, and then questioning President Obama’s religion.”

“Scott Walker had a simple test,” Shulman continued. “He could have risen above the fray, but he continues to flatly fail and instead push the same polarizing agenda and politics he has for years in Wisconsin. Today, Walker has proven himself once again to be unfit to lead.”

Thus Giuliani is now subject to Alinsky’s Rule 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. He’s been frozen and polarized, and he’s being used to discredit the Republican Party, and Walker in particular. In an otherwise cagey statement giving passive acceptance to Giuliani’s ostracism, Walker’s potential GOP rival, Sen. Marco Rubio indicted the media’s complicity in the mounting narrative. “Democrats aren’t asked to answer every time Joe Biden says something embarrassing, so I don’t know why I should answer every time a Republican does,” said Rubio. “I’ll suffice it to say that I believe the president loves America; I think his ideas are bad.”

As I said in the column, we know who the Democrats fear among the potential 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls. They fear Walker. The way Walker is being assaulted over what Giuliani said about Obama’s patriotism – and subsequently, Walker’s response of “I don’t know” upon being asked if Obama is a Christian – is a dead giveaway. He’s being hammered with “Gotcha!” questions that he refuses to answer, and his refusal to be sucked into a vortex of controversy by answering with either something that can be used to make him look like a right-wing birther/fringe candidate or, alternatively, a RINO squish is being called evidence of character flaws.

Milbank’s Washington Post piece is a perfect example. The construct is, essentially, this…

MILBANK: Hey Walker, stick your hand into this tank full of hungry piranhas.

WALKER: Nope. That would be stupid.

MILBANK: You’re a bloody coward.

Nobody should have to accept this false Hobson’s choice the media has been perfecting for several election cycles. At this point the game is obvious – we saw with the Todd Akin implosion how the media will prey upon unskilled GOP candidates looking for a Nathan Jessup moment, and it doesn’t happen to the other side.

If you read Milbank’s WaPo column, you’ll find it sounds strangely similar to a press release put out by Democrat National Committee spokeswoman Holly Shulman. “After sitting silently by when Rudy Giuliani made an outrageous comment that our President doesn’t love America, today Scott Walker has doubled down on his divisive politics saying he doesn’t know if the President loves our country, and then questioning President Obama’s religion.”

“Scott Walker had a simple test,” Shulman continued. “He could have risen above the fray, but he continues to flatly fail and instead push the same polarizing agenda and politics he has for years in Wisconsin. Today, Walker has proven himself once again to be unfit to lead.”

Accept our narrative or be demonized.

What’s unfortunate is the compulsion some supposedly conservative pundits have for playing this same game and standing alongside the DNC flacks to attack the Scott Walkers of the world. Matt Lewis, supposedly a conservative but all-too-common a critic of conservative public figures, took to the Daily Beast to trash Walker for not answering the question about Obama’s Christianity exactly how Lewis would have wanted…

Yeah, that didn’t happen. On Saturday, Dan Balz and Robert Costa of the Washington Post asked Walker if President Obama was a Christian. Now, I have no idea why this question was relevant, but that’s not the point. Good candidates know how to effectively answer or parry stupid or irrelevant inquiries. Instead, Walker made this a story with this answer: “I don’t know,” he told the Post. “I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that … I’ve never asked him that. You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?”

In case you were wondering, the correct answer was not “I don’t know.” The correct answer would have been, “Yes the president is a Christian. His policies are bad.” (Question: Why is it so damned difficult for someone to say that Obama is a Christian who loves America—and he also happens to have been a really bad president? Why not grant him this small concession? He’s never going to be on the ballot again, so why are Republicans still fighting the last war?) A slightly less perfect answer (but still acceptable) might have been, “This is silly. Why are you asking me about someone else’s religion when we’ve got a huge national debt, Iran going nuclear, and ISIS running rampant in the Middle East?” He gave just about the worst possible answer one could imagine.

Lewis’ column is crap.

Actually, it does matter if Obama is a Christian, because he professes to be one. If he is not a Christian then he’s a liar, and it is not a good sign for America to be led by a liar.

Further, for Scott Walker to say he doesn’t know whether Obama is a Christian is entirely appropriate. First, it’s the truth. Walker doesn’t know Obama, and doesn’t have evidence for an intelligent opinion on the subject. Second, Walker is in no position to vouch for Obama’s Christianity because he knows Obama has lied about other things both in his biography and in his political posturing (gay marriage being a perfect example) and Walker is under no obligation to take a liar at his word.

The media’s attempts to belittle and shout down those who ask fundamental questions about Obama’s fitness for the office he holds are very much a factor in Obama’s electoral success, and a large segment of the American population are troubled by the president’s seeming cultural and perhaps religious disconnect from the majority of the country. Scott Walker is under no obligation to help the Washington Post or any other Democrat media organization sweep those questions under the rug.

Walker’s template for pushing back against stupid questions like whether he accepts evolution as the sole theory of our existence or what he thinks of Giuliani’s opinion of Obama’s patriotism, or whether he thinks Obama is a Christian, is a good one. The majority of the Republican electorate questions Obama’s patriotism and the majority of American Christians question whether Obama is one of them. After all, the man who supposedly brought Obama to Christianity was Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose sermons don’t sound much like the fare on offer from a majority of Christian priests and pastors – and it doesn’t make you a particular patriot to sit through “God Damn America” for 20 years.

Walker doesn’t have to play dhimmi for the Democrat narrative and take oaths to Obama’s patriotism and Christianity. His agenda has nothing to do with the answers to those questions, and he doesn’t have to subvert his agenda in order to collaborate with that of the Democrat media. Neither does he have to put himself out there as a figure to be polarized Alinsky-style for making overloaded statements. Giuliani could be considered guilty of that, but Giuliani isn’t running for office and moreover isn’t a Walker surrogate at this time. In the speech he gave at the Walker event in New York he specifically stated he would watch Walker to see if he was worthy of support – but did not offer that support. Therefore, Walker is under no obligation to stand with Giuliani’s criticisms of the president; as he said, those criticisms stand on their own and can be evaluated by the public as is.

And the media is furious at Walker, because he’s becoming the GOP frontrunner and they see it as their job to be furious at him, and also because he’s refusing to immolate himself either  in front of the conservative electorate or the liberal journosphere.

Polls show the country hates the media, and deservedly so. It’s in Walker’s interest to continue provoking their animus, and to give it right back to them.

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