This is interesting.

There’s a certain irony here.

The 20th century community organizer who used 21st century tools for
his people-powered White House campaign now finds himself besieged by
citizens airing their grievances at 19th century-inspired town hall
style meetings.

Barack Obama’s top legislative goal hangs in the balance and his
popularity is suffering as critics co-opt his tech-savvy organizing
methods, tag him as a boogyman and disrupt local gatherings on his
proposed health care overhaul.

Is the groundbreaking campaigner, whose White House political arm is aptly called Organizing for America, being outmaneuvered?

“That’s a fair summary of where things are at the moment,” said
Sanford Horwitt, a biographer of Saul Alinsky, the father of community
organizing.

“The other side has the anger and the intensity, and Obama’s side doesn’t,” Horwitt said.

This is a point the major media are missing. The nation has learned
from the Obama team’s masterful application of these skills. A Saul
Alinsky biographer acknowledges this shift in the cultural passions of
the times.

The White House and its allies claim the protests are
simply a fake grass-roots movement — “astroturfing” — but a USA
Today/Gallup Poll this week found that most Americans believe the
protesters’ sentiments are genuine.

Good for USA Today and Gallup to follow through on taking the
popular pulse and challenging the demeaning spin of….”astroturfing”?

Judging by the jeers and rants at Democratic lawmakers’
public forums this August, Obama appears to be facing a populist
backlash from Americans who want no part of the wholesale change he
promised as a candidate. The fierce opposition is threatening to
further erode wider public support for his sweeping transformation of
the nation’s medical system.

He taught the nation the power of community organizing and
mobilization. They are using it now to voice their concerns and
participate in this representative republic. Time for Mr. Obama to
prove he really is as interested in transparency and dialogue
and common ground as he has proclaimed since taking office.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....