Dirty tricks, then and now

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Cal Thomas Cal Thomas is syn­di­cated by Tri­bune Me­dia Services.

Stu­dents of the Water­gate era (or those old enough to have lived through it) will re­call the “dirty tricks” played by Richard Nixon’s hench­men, most notably Don­ald Se­gretti.

Se­gretti, who was hired by Nixon’s deputy as­sis­tant, Dwight Chapin, was tasked with smear­ing Democrats, in­clud­ing se­na­tor and 1972 pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Ed­mund Muskie of Maine. Among sev­eral “tricks,” Se­gretti com­posed a fake let­ter on Muskie’s let­ter­head falsely al­leg­ing that Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jack­son, D-Wash., had fathered a child with a 17-year-old girl.

In 1974, Se­gretti pleaded guilty to three mis­de­meanor counts of dis­tribut­ing il­le­gal, even forged, cam­paign lit­er­a­ture and served four months of a six-month prison sen­tence.

I men­tion this sor­did his­tory be­cause some Democrats are play­ing sim­i­lar “dirty tricks” on Don­ald Trump.

Videog­ra­pher James O’Keefe and his Project Ver­i­tas and Na­tional Re­view colum­nist Stan­ley Kurtz have ex­posed Demo­cratic dirty tricks in this pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

O’Keefe’s videos pur­port to show Demo­cratic ac­tivists, al­legedly hired by the party, de­scrib­ing tac­tics they use to de­ceive the pub­lic. The most no­table comes in a clip in which Scott Fo­val, na­tional direc­tor at Amer­i­cans United for Change, tells of hir­ing peo­ple to demon­strate and even start fights at Don­ald Trump ral­lies. The ob­jec­tive was to en­cour­age the me­dia to treat the dis­tur­bances as spon­ta­neous re­sponses to Trump’s rally rhetoric, which some left­ies called “hate speech.” Pre­dictably, the me­dia, es­pe­cially CNN, which gave the dis­tur­bances non­stop and repet­i­tive cov­er­age, bought this nar­ra­tive and will­ingly spread it with­out in­ves­ti­gat­ing the back­ground of the dis­rup­tors. That’s prob­a­bly be­cause the re­sul­tant free-for-alls fit the left-lean­ing me­dia’s nar­ra­tive about Trump.

The equally pre­dictable re­sponse from the left was that the videos must have been edited. Demo­cratic op­er­a­tives and Hil­lary Clin­ton deny any knowl­edge of such tac­tics. Do you re­ally ex­pect them to ad­mit it?

In an Oct. 20 col­umn for Na­tional Re­view, Kurtz re­minds us that these tac­tics are straight from the mind of the late “Rules for Rad­i­cals” author and com­mu­nity or­ga­nizer, Saul Alin­sky, a Clin­ton pen pal.

An­other of O’Keefe’s videos is of Robert Creamer, an Alin­skyite from Chicago, an ex­pe­ri­enced com­mu­nity or­ga­nizer and a man who, ac­cord­ing to Bre­it­bart News, vis­ited the White House 340 times and on 42 of those oc­ca­sions met with Pres­i­dent Obama. Creamer ad­mits to be­ing the brains be­hind hir­ing and pay­ing for Trump dis­rup­tors. He also was sen­tenced to five months in prison for bank fraud and a tax vi­o­la­tion.

While in prison, Kurtz writes, Creamer au­thored a book ti­tled “Stand Up Straight! How Pro­gres­sives Can Win.” In it, he in­structs his fel­low left­ies how to han­dle con­ser­va­tives: “In gen­eral our strate­gic goal with peo­ple who have be­come con­ser­va­tive ac­tivists is not to con­vert them — that isn’t go­ing to hap­pen. It is to de­mor­al­ize them — to ‘de­ac­ti­vate’ them. We need to de­flate their en­thu­si­asm, to make them lose their ar­dor and above all their self-con­fi­dence . ... [A] way to de­mor­al­ize con­ser­va­tive ac­tivists is to sur­round them with the echo cham­ber of our po­si­tions and as­sump­tions. We need to make them feel that they are not main­stream, to make them feel iso­lated . ... We must iso­late them ide­o­log­i­cally ... [and] use the pro­gres­sive echo cham­ber . ... By de­feat­ing them and iso­lat­ing them ide­o­log­i­cally, we de­mor­al­ize con­ser­va­tive ac­tivists di­rectly. Then they be­gin to quar­rel among them­selves or blame each other for de­feat in iso­la­tion, and that de­mor­al­izes them fur­ther.”

Creamer is not alone. Ge­orge Soros has long funded var­i­ous groups who en­gage in sim­i­lar tac­tics of dis­in­for­ma­tion, even vi­o­lent be­hav­ior. Nei­ther the main­stream me­dia, nor Repub­li­cans, have suf­fi­ciently ex­posed these dirty tricks and their in­tent to swing elec­tions to­ward the Demo­cratic can­di­date. Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties — from the com­pro­mised FBI to higher ups in the Jus­tice De­part­ment — won’t do any­thing about it ei­ther, mostly be­cause they back Clin­ton’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­dacy.

And some­where, Richard Nixon is shak­ing his head.

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