Monday, September 21, 2009

The Alinsky Factor, Part Four of Four

Overall grades at the bottom...

RULE 10: "If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive." Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management's wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)

SEIU: Zombie UHW made a feeble attempt at this in the SF IHSS petition drive, but as usual they horrendously overstated the actual impact of their "evidence" and protracted it out to the entire group at hand. Much like their premature claim of absolute majority at Fresno, this fell on largely deaf ears. They are now trying the same thing with their most recent "NUHW is falling apart" meme, and that has been absolutely blown up by Randy Shaw over at BeyondChron. Grade: D

NUHW: The Red Tide would get a better grade for this had they pushed the SEIU violence and vandalism meme more down in Fresno than they did. SEIU's actions with people down in Fresno who did not agree with them was (in my opinion) criminal, and this should have been pounded upon on a daily basis in the local media - especially after Thug Regan opened his pie hole and started talking about how SEIU would administer the "major league ass-whipping" to NUHW. Still and all, SEIU really can't help their thuggishness, and it is to be hoped that NUHW will continue to press that meme in the elections to come. Grade: C

RULE 11: "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)
SEIU: There's only so many times you can say, "NUHW sucks" and get away with it, especially when your people get steamrolled in the contract negotiation rooms, as was seen at Alameda, at Hawkins, and now most recently at KaiPerm. Grade: F

NUHW: Without a doubt, this has been where NUHW and its organization has shone at its brightest. NUHW has been able to step in and assist the IHSS consortiums in both Sacramento and San Francisco with their funding, and has been able to explicitly state exactly what and how they would do things differently than Zombie UHW has done so far with Alameda and with Kaiser. Grade: A

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

SEIU: The Great Big Lie has been, so far, decently effective for people who do not pay attention to such things. Once people are educated as to what actually went on in the years prior to the trusteeship, that effectiveness decreases rapidly. Fortunately for SEIU and Zombie UHW, their unwillingness to be transparent in union activities has succeeded in keeping people out of the loop and uneducated. Grade: B

NUHW: Considering the people involved with SEIU, including Thug Regan, Our Glorious Maximum Leader, Esquirol Medina, Ogren the Ogre, Freeman My Man, Annelle Grajeda, Diane Barton, and all the other various hangers-on and assorted dolts that surround the Zombie UHW power base, it's practically impossible to not have a target to freeze and polarize. If anything, SEIU presents too much of a target-rich environment. Grade: B

SEIU: D, C, B, B, D, D, D, C, C, D, F, B -- > C- overall
NUHW: C-, B, D, D, B, A, D, C, B, C, A, B -- > C+ overall

The grades above are, of course, entirely subjective, however I have tried to be as objective in my assessment (especially of NUHW) as possible. As the "radical" in the equation, it would have been hoped that NUHW would have scored better on some of the rules, especially those regarding pressing the attack and regarding pushing the negative through to the positive.

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