11 September 2008

Attack on "community organizers" or the qualification?

Are McCain/Palin attacks & quips about Obama Presidential qualification in having been a "community organizer" or attacks on "community organizers"?

I was reading Fred Wilson's blog post titled, "Community Organization is a Conservative Notion" and led me to reply as follows:


I've always enjoyed your blog and have rarely expected to agree with you on political matters. This is partially one of those times. There are some points about conservatism that I fully agree with, and appreciate the link to the CATO piece.

Respectfully however, I think you're missing the entire purpose and weight of the attack on "community organizer", and thus are misguided into following the racial red-herring of big Govt red-herring down the wrong path.

The attacks are not on community organizers and their role in our countries service. In fact, it was this Pres that pushed the ideology and policy of the faith-based community taking larger roles in communities as a way to decentralize social service. It's not the organizers or the organizations that are attacked, it's running on being a "community organizer" as a large part of Obama's qualification for being President of the United States!

It is the Obama campaign that made the C/O role a central theme in his campaigning, until the GOP teed off on it at the convention. Personally, I think it's laughable. I think those that keep rushing to Obama's defense over the C/O role put their love of the man ahead of the basic "what's he done" litmus test. In so doing, fail to understand what is being attacked.

Fred, I was a community organizer for a non-profit once. I was the Anti-Human Trafficking coordinator for the Salvation Army's Anti-H/T program. It's difficult, inner-city grunt-work fighting the horrible injustices that befall the forgotten in our cities. It's righteous work. It's noble work. It takes a special kind to dedicate their lives to the work. But is sure as hell does not prepare one to lead the same task-force on a national level, let alone be President of the United States! This is the point of lines like the mayoral responsibility line. And Giuliani’s attacks. It’s not attacking the organization, the service, and especially the role of the groups in a smaller, less centralized conservatism, it’s an attack on whether it prepares you for the biggest job in the world!

Fred, it was hard work and I have all the respect in the world for those that do it, but it surely doesn’t qualify me to be President of the United States. The fact that I was an Air Force officer, served in Iraq, led hundreds of men, and executed hundreds of millions of dollars in budgetary responsibility, or that I was a start-up founder, failing and flailing all make me more qualified to be President than does my time as a community organizer. And over & over, that was the point I heard hammered home. And that point that I totally agree with."