Priorities USA, Bill Burton, Saul Alinsky and defending the indefensible

August 9, 2012

First, watch the Bill Burton, Priorities USA Action ad in the video clip to the left and then ask yourself if that is not the epitome of Alinsky’s “pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it”.

Second, let those thoughts you/re having sink in. Yes, that is President Obama’s main PAC implying that Mitt Romney is responsible for a woman’s death from cancer seven years AFTER Romney left Bain Capital.

Third, let it also sink in that not only will the White House not disavow the ad, Obama and camp are actually claiming there’s no coordination between them and Priorities USA Action. We are supposed to believe the White House even though Obama deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter held a press conference call on May 14th, 2012 whereby the “star” of the Priorities ad, Joe Soptic tells his story in detail.

Fourth, Politico is reporting that not only did Soptic tell his story on the conference call, the Obama campaign used him in one of their own ads. An ad that seems to show Mr. Soptic even wearing the same shirt he wears in the Priorities USA ad.

Fifth, the ad is so misleading, so inaccurate, so false, (it gets four Pinocchios from the Washington Post) that even Wolfe Blitzer over at CNN took Burton to task for it. About a minute into the clip below, Blitzer gets so frustrated with Burton’s continued defense of the ad, he states quite bluntly:

….”so even though so many fact checkers says its inaccurate, its not responsible, it’s misleading, you’re still going to go ahead and play it…”

Sixth, it is well worth remembering that less than a month ago, the same Stephanie Cutter who denies knowing anything about Soptic is also the one who refused to apologize for the false “Mitt Romney is a felon” narrative.

Seventh, while I warned last month that Obama and his camp were following to a letter the Alinsky “rules for radicals”, it seems now they’re not just satisfied with following the rules, they’re willing to make up more as long as it helps them hold onto power.

Keith Koffler, publisher of puts it best:

“……….What’s spooky is the depths to which these people will go to maintain power. It suggests a lust for power and a willingness to do anything to preserve it that should frighten Americans……..”

Spooky indeed Keith, spooky indeed.

Publisher’s Note:

Bill Burton is no stranger to producing misleading ads. You can view the very first Priorities USA Action propaganda piece, along with Corner corrections below:

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14 Responses to Priorities USA, Bill Burton, Saul Alinsky and defending the indefensible

  1. A Nonny Moose on August 9, 2012 at 11:51 am

    “…and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.”

    The tactics are Alinsky, no doubt, but the concept was a few decades ahead of that, I’m afraid.

    It’s not about leading the country. They’ve had four years to do that and have done nothing but campaign, so it’s fairly obvious that they’ve never cared about actual leadership. Instead, it’s entirely about winning. The thrill of victory, electoral-wise, the ability to say “I won, you lost”. The job that comes with that victory? Pshaw. Too much real work. Too much having to deal with people you hate, like those filthy Semites in Israel (so let’s just not go there for four years). It’s just decent pay, lots of good golf, a chance to see yourself on TV, the pomp and circumstance of being president. That’s what this is about.

    I used to say this was Carter’s second term. I’m not so sure now. Even Carter, ill prepared and incompetent as he was, at least tried to lead. He sucked at it something fierce, and was the worst president in the last 100 years (until now) because of it, but he tried. Not this administration, however. According to them, you don’t get elected president to actually serve the country. You do so in order to get people to kiss your butt, to pander to you for your favor, to bask in the glory of being “The Most Powerful Man In The World”. It’s simply a game to them, as though they were still in the Chicago neighborhood rather than sitting atop the entire country. Turn the real work over to the other idiots who helped you get where you are. What happens to the country as a result of them giving so much power to their fellow radicals who ran Congress (and still run the senate) is of no concern to them. It’s almost as though they actually feel contempt for the nation for being stupid enough to put them into positions of power in the first place. How else can you explain their willingness to be this blatant with their lies? It’s as thought they want us to see through them, to understand they are incompetent hacks willing to tell the most blatant and ridiculous falsehoods that no one in their right minds should ever even begin to believe, lies that should make even the most partisan-blinder-wearing Democrat stand up and say “oh come on now”, lies so easily rebutted by simple facts if one stops swooning at how dreamy the president is for even a moment, and then they can laugh at us when they get reelected, sharing little giggles, incredulously asking one another “can you believe these rubes and idiots fell for that crap again? We can do anything and they’ll support us, so long as we promise them some funds from the treasury!”. And people like the mouthbreathing king and his sycophantic minions over yonder just lick it up, planting kisses all over the presidential posterior in the hope that he’ll turn his shining countenance upon them just one glorious time, one hand on their forehead, blessing them, and the other holding a check of taxpayer’s money.

    Welcome to the fall of Rome.

    • Geoff Caldwell on August 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Sadly, your comment is well said. Too well said. This is one of those times where the truth really does hurt, oh how it hurts.

      I honestly cannot fathom the workings of a mind that would still support such a blatant and obvious corrupt machine as the Obama administration.

      Anson forwarded the old “crotch salute” pic he got in an email from one of his Navy vets and you should see the vitriol Wheeler threw back. True, the pick is not what it says it is, but it doesn’t take away from who Obama truly is and what he’s doing to this country. But to the Wheeler’s and dwainbwains of the planet, Dear Leader is still the only way to go.

      Go straight over the financial cliff that is.

      • A Nonny Moose on August 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        But… but… but… going over the financial cliff would be fair, because the eeeevil rich would lose the most! It would be a progressive cliff dive, so that’s perfectly acceptable. Or, as De Tocqueville said, “Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” That applies to financial slavery created by a complete economic collapse under the failed Keynesian policies this administration puts forth as a “fix” as well, apparently. So long as we all suffer the same horrible fate, it’s all well and good.

        Almost frightening how there’s such a cult of personality around this one guy who pretends to be president.

  2. anson burlingame on August 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

    To all,

    I am in the midst of a “fight” you cannot believe, from both sides now.

    A totally inaccurate email entitled “The Crotch Salute” was sent to me along with about 25 or 30 other former shipmates showing Obama with hands held at his crotch while everyone else on that platform was saluting, civilian and military during a ceremony honoring dead veterans, supposedly.

    The picture was reflective of Obama’s words long ago of refusing to wear an American Flag lapel pin. How dare him not “honor dead veterans” was the implication. It came from a group of outraged veterans, men that I served with long ago and I “jumped” on and supported the outrage. I sent the email to three people locally.

    Well the picture was taken in early 2009 and was, according to Snopes taken while the music being played was “Hail to the Chief”. When people salute to render honors the man or office being honored traditionally does NOT salute (himself!!!) So the facts behind the picture were misleading at best.

    But then go read the sucrillous words attached. Talk about “Alinsky” like words but in this case directed against the President.

    Wheeler did what I should have done, he fact checked the picture on Snopes and then called me on it initially privately. Fine. I then checked it myself, admitted my mistake, apologized privately to all concerned and then told my “shipmates” en masse not to send me that kind of crap again. A group of veterans should be better than that in my view regardless of past (30 years ago) rank, position, etc.

    I have now been called lots of names by my former shipmates for calling out the bogus email. As well Wheeler, almost gleefully went public in his blog over the matter. So pick your side and take you shots at me, pissed off “ex chiefs” for being chastized or a progressive publicly accusing me of ……

    I was WRONG to have forwarded the “alinsky like” email written by a bunch of “veterans” (not lefties). It was a hateful and flat out inaccurate email and I should have “checked my sources”.

    But even that ridiculous email does not even come close to the clip above as well. Now tell me both sides are not stooping to such levels of crap. Sure we can argue which side is “worse” but I say a pox on both of them. Wrong is wrong and I choose not to debate the degree of “wrongess’ in this terrible but getting worse, fast campaign.

    As bad as the Presidential campaign is and getting worse, I suspect it will not hold a candle to what we will see, read and hear during the now explosive Senate race in Missouri as well. God almight!!

    It makes me want to just stop writing and go hide somewhere. But I won’t do that either as too much is at stake to let a bunch of red necks shut me up or a sanctimonious asshole with his head so far up that asshole that the sun won’t ever shine in his eyes for the next 3 months at least!!

    This whole “experience” convinces me that “Alinsky” rules on both sides from time to time. Geoff and his research above is dead on correct in showing how the left is acting. Now let me introduce you to some guys from the right that are just as bad!!!

    The only “mitigating” condition in this event (the Crotch Salute) is that it “only” came from a bunch of red necks gleefully taking shots at MY and YOUR President, wronglym and NOT a major party Super Pac. But if Karl Rove ever came up with a “crotch salute” attack I would launch at his ass with both barrels as well. And my guess such will happen from some right wing Super Pac during the next 3 months as well. Sickening from both sides is my view and I hate rolling in that mud.


    • A Nonny Moose on August 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

      The real “crotch salute” occurred before he was president, on 9/16/07. While the one being circulated about Ft. Hood is wrong (e.g. Hail To The Chief) and that should be pointed out until such incorrect information is squashed, obviously. The 9/16/07 example (where he’s pictured with Bill Richardson and Hillary, both of whom have their hands over their hearts) is not. No matter. You’re correct that we want to believe the worst about political opponents. The difference, as you pointed out, is between private citizens wrongly throwing that stuff out there versus a campaign knowingly lying through its teeth in ads. Some my attempt to claim there’s no difference. I disagree.

  3. anson burlingame on August 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm


    If I choose to write and engage publicly, I should have enough sense to “get my facts straight”. I didn’t in this case and was wrong to do what I did.

    However I do not make a “business” out of doing that crap. I TRY to keep my politics to whatever “logic” or reasoning that I can apply and let the ball fall whereve it falls, left or right in doing so. That is my purpose, not always achieved.

    There are things that I really do not like coming from the right on policy matters, pro-life positions trying to force me through law to accept that position and lack of hand-gun control are two big examples. You and I have debated at least the gun control position over time and we won’t change our minds either way for sure. Fine with me.

    But you nor I challenge the morality, patriotism or culture of each other as well in such debate. I see no reason why progressives and conservatives cannot apply such “rules” or pricinples of debate to just about any subject without ridicule at least against the person opposing you.

    It is one thing to express the view that a political position is “stupid” or lacking logic or careful thought. It is a whole different matter to accuse the person expressing the view as stupid or dumb (illogical).

    One thing that really impressed me during the GOP primaries is the way Romney handled himself in MANY debates where he was the target of just about everyone on the stage with him. He rarely “batted an eye” in such challenges and used logic and careful explanations for why he reached the decisions for which he was being criticized.

    That is professionalism and leadership in my view and no one else in the GOP field could hold a candle to such “stature” or deameanor, in my view.

    Twice I have heard, live, Obama speak, both times here in Joplin. I give and gave him credit for a “good job” in both instances. He was “Romney-like” in both speeches.

    But, simply because he is the President, I have heard him speak otherwise as well, two SOTU speeches in particular that come to mind. The first was his challenge to SCOTUS, completely out of place in my view and the second was the “your insurance will NOT CHANGE” (if you don’t want it do) pronoucment. Terrible mistakes on both counts and never a word of apology or even dimunition of his accusations or statements of “fact”.

    Do I believe that Dems are “better” at being “nice” than the GOP? No way. Do I believe the GOP always has their “act together” in their rhetoric? No way either.

    And whether it comes from a “pip squeak nobody” like me and the “crotch salute thing”, a Super Pac, a national committee statement or from the candidates themselves, well wrong is wrong.

    Way to fix all that is simple but will not happen. Force candidates to ONLY defend what THEY say or propose to do and leave the other guy out of it entirely. Imagine a “rule” that only POSITIVE ads could be run. Hell no one in America would show up to vote they would be so bored!!!


    • A Nonny Moose on August 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Wrong is wrong, but a mistake is not a lie. If someone is knowingly putting out false information, that’s a lot different than someone resposting what they’ve been told or sent in email. Yes, that person does have an obligation to at least make a perfunctory check of authenticity ( is a great place to start), but to me there is still a distinction to be made between a common Joe reposting information versus a campaign creating ads it knows full well are pure unadulterated bullshit. There is an excuse for your “crotch salute” post (and good on you for admitting it is incorrect, too). There is absolutely no workable or viable excuse for the Obama campaign (or as they’re blaming it, for a SuperPAC) to make an entire ad out of something so easily proven false.

      It’s August 10th today, and so far we’ve “learned” that Mitt Romney is a tax dodging, wife killing, Central American Death Squad supporting maniac. Not a one of those things is true, but that won’t stop an administration (or their supporters) who have no scruples, or who care far more about winning an election than actually doing the job they were elected to do from continuing to make their Goebbelsesque claims. Sad part is, half of their supporters (and likely all the idiots local ones) probably believe it’s perfectly acceptable to lie like that, because Mitt’s a Republican, and Republicans deserve it for daring to believe differently than the sainted Democrats.

  4. anson burlingame on August 11, 2012 at 8:34 am

    “A mistake is not a lie” is a good observation, Nonny. However if the mistake is not acknowledged as such, but rather the statement stands as said with no correction, does that unacknowledged mistake thence become a lie?

    I know that sounds convoluted but the seeds of some truth might be there. I refer of course the “your HC insurance will not change” remark during the SOTU address by Obama.

    My supposition is that was the intent of ACA as it was still being developed, legislatively. But of course the end result was far from that goal. However the President nor any other Dem as far as I know went back and say “opps” we were wrong or could not, despite our best efforts achieve that goal.

    Same applies to the “nothing wrong with our strategy” remark in 2009/10 related to Afghanistan. All the Obama administration did, essentially, was increase troop strength in that region in an attempt to force combat to a rapid and successful conclusion. Such actions were NOT strategic in nature, they were simply force structure adjustments, more troops doing the same things as before.

    But the “surge” in Iraq lead by Petraus was in fact a fundamental strategic change. We got the troops out of “bunkers” and put them “on the streets”. Result was a drastic reduction in the violence on those streets and a form of “stability” that began to reign. Just imagine what might have happened in Iraq immediately after the statue came down had we implemented that strategy, one of occupation and law enforcement in 2003 rather than waiting 3 years. But for 3 years we focused on teaching Iraquis to ride bicycyles!!!! The strategic mistake made by the Bush administration was attempting to “turnover” BEFORE there was anyone to “hand it to”. Recall “take, hold, build and turnover” were the strategic steps to take. But “hold” went south on us. All we “held” were bunkers while the streets went wild.

    but not once did I hear anyone in authority say “hold” as immplemented was a mistake and we should have and now will “occupy” instead. The Obama administration failed to understand that mistake and compounded it, again, in Afghanistan, or so it seems to me.

    But we are not talking about that today. Instead Dems are trying to turn over mountains of paper to show that Romney made mistakes on his tax returns!!! And of course there is the strong implication that he lied or cheated on those returns over the last 10 years as well!!!


    • Geoff Caldwell on August 11, 2012 at 9:05 am

      Innuendo on the tax returns but absolutely no facts to back up the claim other than Harry Reid’s now infamous “anonymous” source quoted on none other than the Senate floor. Amazing how all of a sudden McCarthy is the new hero to the left.

      Now move on to the cancer ad and the “lie” gets taken to a new high while the campaign sinks to a new low.

      I couldn’t agree more Anson with the Iraq analysis but on Afghanistan I do feel that Obama screwed the pooch on that one. I wrote my “Obama grants Taliban a Happy Thanksgiving” column on how it was politics, not strategy that guided him.

      In just 3 1/2 years Obama wasted one entire summer fighting season by refusing to give the commanders in the field what they requested, then he defeated the mission of what he did send by prematurely announcing draw down dates that killed this summer fighting season. Bush made a terrible, terrible mistake keeping Rumsfeld and Brunner on as long as he did, but that decision was not based on politics.

    • A Nonny Moose on August 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      The difference as I see it, Anson, between a mistake and a lie is one of intent. If one truly believes that one is telling the truth, you cannot be “lying” by definition. If later one finds out one was wrong, that’s still a mistake. If one finds that one was wrong, well sure, one should do what you did, and say “whoops, you know what, I was mislead, and that’s just not the case”. Still doesn’t mean you lied, because you believed what you said to be true. But at least you pointed out that there may be more to what you posted than originally thought. You were mistaken, and cared enough to correct the perception when you found out the truth. (That alone disqualifies you from being a charter member of the “Joplin Left Wing Liars Club” [aka, the EC Blog])

      When a partisan ass throws together a completely untrue ad and knows the content is untrue, that’s a liar in action. It doesn’t matter how much they want you to believe it. That’s not part of the equation at all. They know it’s untrue, and they are passing it off as the God’s honest (Sorry, no “God”, but insert deity here) honest truth. That’s the problem. It’s a lie, through and through, and no parsing, no semantics, nothing can change that fact. The Democrats and their SuperPACs in this case are absolute, no excuses, no denying it liars (also known as “standard operating procedure” for our local lefty blogger), and there is absolutely no way to defend what they have done, other than to hide behind the ridiculous “well, Mitt’s Republican so it’s okay that we lied about him” bullshit. And trust me, they will over yonder, because that’s all mouthbreathing former postal workers have to go on.

      So yes, there is a difference between a mistake and a lie. You were mistaken, and corrected it (albeit only on date on time, not on the fact the president “sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t” salute). They have lied (and their cheerleaders, with their lips brown and their breath smelling a lot like Obama’s lunch from yesterday, are loving it), and will continue to lie, and look you right in the eye and say “yeah, we’re lying, so what?”. There’s your difference.

  5. Geoff Caldwell on August 11, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Excellent comment section guys, THANK YOU for adding to the discussion. I’m out of town and won’t have a post up immediately but now that Romney has picked Ryan any thoughts?

    I like Ryan, respect Ryan as a true Jack Kemp conservative, but the first thing that came to mind last night when I hear it was him was the flurry of lies and hyperbole that will come from Obama and his PACS.

    We already know how low they will go against Romney but Ryan I’m afraid will be even lower.

    The only hope for the country is that there are till 50 percent plus one that will see through the distortion and demagoguery and send Obama and his Chicago thugs back to Chicago and Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the far left into political purgatory for years to come.

    To paraphrase the movie:
    Hang on boys, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

  6. A Nonny Moose on August 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    I’ll post more on the Ryan pick later (on your an Anson’s blogs, since mine would be about beer if I ever even started one), but suffice to say any pick that sends that other blog into either A) gleeful, arrogant tittering, or B) fits of apoplexy is okay by me. I was a Rubio guy, but I’m fine with this pick.

  7. anson burlingame on August 12, 2012 at 8:57 am

    To both,

    I posted a very short blog on Sat. after the Ryan pick. I let Ryan speak for himself by posting a column that he had written before the announcement and provided no editorial comment of my own.

    The column was a very clear articulation of the differences between the two sides, radical differences in policy statements and overall intent. For example we will now hear forever it seems about Ryan’s attempt to destroy Medicare (as we know it) with a new approach.

    But what we will not hear from the left is THEIR plan to change Medicare so that it does not destroy itself through unaffordability, month by month and year by year over time. The left proposed NOTHING but status quo for Medicare, at best, and yet piles on more and more COST through ACA, alone.

    One can take that same critique to energy, defense spending and how it is directly associated with defense strategy (you MUST change the strategy if you hope to change the spending), etc.

    On a grand scale, and thus why this election is so important, a fundamental strategic change is needed for our federal government to be able to weather the current economic storms raging all over the world. “Strategic change” is NOT simply something for the military to consider.

    A military “strategy” of being the world’s only superpower, able to “squash” anti-American intent anywhere in the world is impossible. We must be able to strategically pick and choose where and when we defend our values. Libya anyone????

    Politically we have a very good “strategic plan” for governing American, the Constitution. Yet we have overreached that plan by mega steps over the last 50 plus years or more and look where we are today.

    Change it, the “strategic plan” or Constitution if you will, or live by it and fight the political fight accordingly. THERE is the fundamental difference, without calling either side hateful names or assigning hateful motives to either side, today.

    And Americans are being forced to choose, one or the other. There is less and less wiggle room in between the two sides now and economic laws, “simple” economic laws, are the driving force behind such a dilemma, in my view.

    As well, and more and more Americans are becoming sensitive to this, there could well be TWO “cliffs” over which we might tumble. No we won’t go over both of them, it could come down to one, spend our way over a “cliff”, or the other, revolt our way over a different “cliff”.

    I am almost certain of the type of cliff we will go over if the left prevails. We are seeing it happening right before our eyes in Europe today with splintering and disunity becoming more and more likely.

    Well, let the “radical” Tea Party prevail and then watch a real OWS revolt, one being led by “mail men” take place before our eyes.

    This election is an attempt to avoid either cliff, in my view. Good luck, America.


    • Geoff Caldwell on August 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

      I’m on my way over to your blog shortly Anson. Your point here about the Constitution being our “strategic” plan and our over reach of the past few decades is spot on.

      I just finished the first post of many to come on the Ryan pick. Rather than focus on Ryan himself, I start with what I believe is at stake and how this election will most certainly be “like no other”:

      And don’t worry Nonny, I have every intention of sending the dwainbwains into either A) gleeful, arrogant tittering, or B) fits of apoplexy as every time they enter into a state of A or B it means the truth is getting out.

      See you all around the corner and thanks again for a great discussion. THIS is what the Globe pages were supposed to be about.


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