Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Red Herring Politics

by Thomas Sowell - October 5th, 2010 - Real Clear Politics

In an election year, this is the time for an "October surprise"-- some sensational, and usually irrelevant, revelation to distract the voters from serious issues. This year, there are October surprises from coast to coast. There are a lot of incumbents who don't want to discuss serious issues-- especially their own track records.

This year's October surprise that is getting the biggest play in the media is the revelation that California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman once employed a housekeeper-- at $23 an hour -- who turned out to be an illegal immigrant. It is great political theater, with activist lawyer Gloria Allred putting her arm protectively around the unhappy-looking woman.

But why anyone should be unhappy at getting $23 an hour for housekeeping is by no means clear. Maybe she is unhappy because Meg Whitman fired her when she learned that her housekeeper was an illegal immigrant, despite false documents that indicated she was legal when she was hired.

What is Meg Whitman supposed to be guilty of?

Good question. Ranting about how outrageous the conduct of your opponent is even when the particulars of the attack are not clear or even based on truth is standard Alinsky strategy. Democrats are masters of this kind of lie based smear. Meg Whitman was getting a little too close to knocking off a good socialist. Therefore all the newspaper reporters and editors who are complicit in the socialist agenda gleefully spread this story as if Whitman knew the maid was illegal. The rate Whitman paid the maid and the fact that all taxes were paid and all paperwork filed should have been all the proof anyone needed to say, "where is the story?" However implying someone has done something wrong is perfectly okay within the Alinksy strategy. Actually having the facts on your side is not necessary. It is the outraged attitude and the smear that is important. Facts mean nothing.


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