Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"You Knew That Going In"

Ta-Nehisi Coates explains the first rule of how to fight when you think they're all out to get you:
My thing on this for ACORN and all sorts of lefties who cry foul over right-wing tactics is simple. If you really believe that you're facing a vile enemy armed with an array of dirty tricks, the correct action is not to be institutionally sloppy and then decry the deep evil of your opponents. You knew that going in. The correct response is to run your ship that much tighter.
Hey, Tea Party types, and conservatives in general: the same goes for you.   No, you're not all the kind of people who would throw slurs at John Lewis...so stop allowing signs and posters at your events that make you look like a group that would be fine with that.  Stop using language that stops oh so carefully short of inciting people to violence.  Run a tighter ship.

This advice is unlikely to be heeded on the left or the right. 


  1. Can ships like these even be run tightly?

  2. Seconding Neil (can a determined auditor screw anybody), and adding that things like fraudulent videos, and a press which supports the use of fraudulent videos, are hard to beat.

    One thing that we should learn to do is to retaliate like m*ther-f*ckers.

  3. I'm not quite sure how this statement, reported by ThinkProgress as having been said this past Sunday by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), stops short of incitement to violence:

    "Let’s beat that other side to a pulp! Let’s take them out. Let’s chase them down. There’s going to be a reckoning!"

    Let's take them out. Not very ambiguous to me.


  4. If I understand things correctly, ACORN had bigger management problems than the fraudulent video. They were doing very good work in a hostile environment, and the point is that plenty of people really were out to get them.

    Maybe Neil is right and a decentralized organization like ACORN can't be run tightly, or maybe they weren't paranoid enough.


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