His methods are working; he’s kicking liberal ass, and it’s time to emulate him rather than engaging in pathetic moral posturing.
He’s done it again: This morning, National Public Radio announced the resignation of President and CEO Vivian Schiller, after an NPR fundraiser “was videotaped slamming conservatives and questioning whether NPR needs federal funding during a lunch with men posing as members of a Muslim organization (they were working with political activist James O’Keefe on a ‘sting.’)”
NPR was organizationally inept, and they deserved this. There was no reason for the fundraiser, Ron Schiller (no relation to Ms.Schiller) to make the comments he made, and an intelligent person, even when prodded, knows how to use basic discretion and avoid attempts by entrappors to steer the conversation in a particular direction. So now, at a time when Republicans are threatening to defund NPR and PBS, partly because of alleged political bias in those public entities, James O’Keefe’s guerilla video adds credibility to the belief that the Republicans are right.
Mainstream liberal groups like MoveOn are clamoring to convince us not to “take O’Keefe seriously,” but it’s hard to trivialize an operation that threatens to kill National Public Radio. Jed Lewison at Daily Kos says O”Keefe has “lost his groove”–at the very moment O’Keefe seems not only to have found his groove, but taken away NPR’s. The cry across the liberal blogosphere is that these are “illegal” “dirty tricks.” More about that in a moment, but methinks the libs doth protest too much.
O’Keefe’s “successes” have been mixed, and he’s always come out dirtier than his targets–but that’s what suicide bombings are all about. In fact, this may be the first genuine instance where O’Keefe didn’t need to manipulate or lie about the situation in order to score a victory. Although O’Keefe’s “sting” against ACORN contributed to the organizations downfall, even O’Keefe’s allies were reluctant to give him credit for the operation, because the videos were “severely edited” and didn’t really prove anything. Similarly, O’Keefe’s attack-by-proxy on Planned Parenthood with anti-choice teenybopper Lila Rose lacked the impact the pro-life activists had hoped it would have, because “Planned Parenthood officials, who instantly realized they were probably being punked, nonetheless went to federal authorities on the off-chance that Rose’s actors weren’t part of another O’Keefe style hoax.” His attempt to “punk” CNN failed (which, frankly, I have mixed feelings about; CNN sucks rocks). And, of course, his attempt to prank Senator Mary Landrieu got him criminal probation.
But O’Keefe and his allies did hurt ACORN, and they did undermine Planned Parenthood. War is not always about total elimination. Sometimes weakening, distracting, and in this case threatening the funding of your opponent is worth the effort.
And since when has the left been so soft-hearted about breaking minor laws in the service of exposing the enemy? we need to stop pretending that dirty tricks are unacceptable.
What Tim DeChristopher did in Utah was laudable. “DeChristopher made false bids of close to $1.8 million for more than a dozen properties in Utah during a Dec. 19, 2008, Bureau of Land Management auction, in an effort to block development near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and bring attention to the global climate crisis.” The problem? He’s been railroaded by an essentially corporate-conservative legal system, and he screwed up by getting caught.
Just as we’ve out-protested the tea partiers in Wisconsin and are on the brink of doing so elsewhere, we need to out-trick the tricksters. We need activists willing to wire themselves, strap on hidden cameras, and lie their way into board rooms, Fox News facilities, local and national GOP meetings, and conservative churches. It’s time to stop whining and admit that we’ve been outdone. Good lawyers, soldiers, and athletes respect the tactics of their adversaries and, in some cases, appropriate and improve upon those tactics.
We await those who are willing to step up. If all you want to do is cry about how unfair the other side is, I’m sure there’s room for you at Daily Kos.