GOP Attacks

The Republican party has launched a coordinated attack on community organizers.  Just this week:

-Former Governor George Pataki said: “[Barack Obama] was a community organizer. What in God’s name is a community organizer? I don’t even know if that’s a job.”

-Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said: “On the other hand, you have a resume from a gifted man with an Ivy League education. He worked as a community organizer. What? [Laughter]…I said, OK, OK, maybe this is the first problem on the resume.”

Governor Sarah Palin said: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.”

Are more Republican leaders attacking community organizers?  Leave a comment here to alert us to more attacks from GOP leaders.


60 responses to “GOP Attacks

  1. You would think politicians wouldn’t want to alienate their constituents, but that’s the sad state of politics today. Keep fighting back.

  2. Bless this site and good people behind it. Get the word out! Keep it up! You matter to this country!

  3. “Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.” – Obama Campaign

    VERY good response.

  4. I thank that it is sad that a Governor and a Mayor of any State or City would not know what a community organizer does. What did they do to serve the community from the bottom up. Serving your community and people who can not stand up for themselves all the time is the most important part of serving your country. For the people by the people! Right?

  5. I’ve always thought that those who minimized the importance and effectiveness of Community Organizers really didn’t get it. This is the most organized and effective campaign in our nations history. This country is a huge community and a good president is a good community organizer. If Barack Obama runs this country in the same way that he has run this campaign, we will all be doing very well. Keep up the good work Community Organizers.

  6. I guess the elite individuals don’t see the need forcommunity organizers …… They are so out of touch it is scary!

  7. Bashing Community organizers is like bashing everyone from church, and neighborhood community centers our childern and even God himself. Repugs just don’t ge it. I f it wasn’t for the community organziers they would be having this election

  8. You know… I grew up in a pretty well-to-do (some would call wealthy) community on Long Island, NY that didn’t have much need for organizers.

    However, I now live in what is described as working-middle class neighborhood in central FL (the I4 Corridor as the media calls it). In my community we have many community organizers (most of them volunteers by the way), who do amazing work that falls below the radar of county government. Whether it is a community watch, offering to drive elderly neighbors to the doctor, deliver food to the homebound, or organizing community events such as a recent one about preventing crime.

    My governor has never been to my community… I’m not even sure my congressman knows we exist… we sit on the border of 2 counties and some services come from one and some from the other so essentially, its always the “other county’s” problem.

    I applaud anyone who is out there working hard to better their communities, better the lives of the people in their communities, and don’t even want credit for what they do.

    The difference between a community organizer and a politician is that a politician sees service as a way to power. A community organizer sees the power of service.

    Just my thoughts.

  9. Hope from Kentucky

    I guess the Republicans don’t realize they just insulted millions of people who donate their time, energy and money to helping those in need. And anyone who has ever joined an organization such as the Red Cross, their local food pantry or a neighborhood watch group are part of community organizing. America should be up in arms about this disrespect to people who aren’t even paid for the help they give others. But I guess the Republicans don’t think a job is valuable unless you’re being paid the big bucks! This is low even for Republicans!

  10. Palin doesn’t “know what a VP does”, what makes you think she can understand the work community organizers do?

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008

  11. They want smaller government and to promote peronal responsibility, then they go and do this? Dis all the hard working patriotic American’s out there making a difference in our communities? Barack is right. They just don’t get it.

  12. The republicans are saying the government won’t get involved and the wonderful people who are helping you are morons. So basically, you’re on your own and screw you…


  13. there are a lot of people who don’t think of themselves as community organizers, but volunteers in general. Reading to the elderly, working with the disabled, walking a dog at an animal shelter.

    I can’t believe how many people the republicans insulted last night!

    It made me sick to watch… I will be watching Barack Obama on O’Reilley tonight – hope he sets him straight!!

  14. Tell the Republicans that Jesus was the best known Community Organizer while Pontius Pilate was a Governor. The Republican have taken their side, which side would you rather be on–it’s up to you. We need to fight back.

  15. I think you guys are missing the real reason for this type of attack on Community Organizing.
    It’s not about Barack Obama.

    It is to diminish the importance and or impact that they can and do have on the establishment.

    By rediculing or belittling that importance it minimizes others interest in participating.

    Also to make communities feel and think they can not make a difference.

    They don’t want you to make a difference. They don’t want you to organize. They don’t want you to have a voice or for it to be heard. Becuause if by some miracle you are succesfull then they no longer controll the outcome of your lifes.

    So people get mad, be outraged, do something because I gaurentee that the term COMMUNITY ORGANIZER will no longer go un-noticed.

    I actually am glad they spewed this nonsense.

    Obama stresses his community organizing experience and it goes in one ear and out the other of most americans. A lot of people never participated in such events and have no idea of its importance in empowering the little guy.

    Now they will know and the more they understand the meaning the more the will realize how WRONG McCAIN, PALIN and The REPUBLICANS are for this country at this time.

  16. It’s a greatest insult to the people who care about their fellow country men who spend their precious time and materials to help others.

    POLITICS at it’s lowest…

  17. Martha Davidson Vancouver B.C. Canada

    I wish we had community organizers in Canada, what wonder service you do for the PEOPLE of your country. Now the Republicans are calling the Obama “uppity”…. I am truly stunned. It is more than thee fact they “just don’t get it” they are absolutely demeaning, and are carelessly pleased in doing so. As I watched the faces on the convention floor last night, it struck me, so this is the scary America, the one that is reviled throughout the world. What a difference from the DNC. I’m afraid you have two countries in one.

    By Mike Soraghan
    Posted: 09/04/08 03:07 PM [ET]
    Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term “uppity” to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday.

    Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.

    “Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity,” Westmoreland said.

    Asked to clarify that he used the word “uppity,” Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”

    Other Democrats have charged that the Republican campaign to paint the Illinois senator as an “elitist” is racially charged, and accused them of using code words for “uppity” without using the word itself.

  18. That was a really disgusting show of contempt for American citizens. My community organized to build a hockey rink. You know… For kids… and their families… Including their moms.. Hockey moms.

    That woman is a condescending, smug, arrogant bully.

  19. organizer in my community

    My favorite line so far:
    “Please remember, Jesus was a Community Organizer and Pontius Pilate was a Governor.”

  20. Remind the GOP of this:

    “I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good. I will go to the people and the programs that are the brighter points of light, and I will ask every member of my government to become involved. The old ideas are new again because they are not old, they are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.”

    —George H. W. Bush, 1988

  21. My husband was a community organizer in Cedar Rapids, IA when we met. He later went to law school and worked as an assistant attorney general in MN. I greatly respect the work he and his team did for our community in Cedar Rapids. We have proof how OUT OF TOUCH this Republican party is. I was outraged at the crazy sarcastic attacks and all of the BOOING. Why would you boo community organizers?? They even mocked civil liberties!! God help us all.

  22. Falling in line with this election’s Republican party strategy, Sarah Palin chose her minutes in the spotlight at Wednesday night’s RNC to slam her political rivals rather than elaborate on how the GOP plans to address the issues that are upper-mind to most Americans — the economy, our dependence on the oil sold to us by our sworn enemies, and the war in Iraq. Particularly galling were Palin’s satiric remarks about Barack Obama’s community service on the south side of Chicago.
    Let me tell you, “Bloody Sarah” — from someone who has volunteered hours of his time to teach reading and writing to disadvantaged adults, and who really is an average American and not the extreme-Right political machine’s fabrication of one — any citizen who selflessly works hard to improve the well-being of himself and his neighbors through community service is doing far more for the good of his or her country than you are with your hateful, hypocritical, and divisive rhetoric that serves only to distance us all from the truth we so need to hear.
    Go back to Alaska — if they’ll have you — and beg her citizens for forgiveness. Leave the governing of America to real Americans.

  23. I honor and respect each and every one of you folks who are “Community Organizers”. I honor and respect you as much as the men and women defending our great nation. No amount of “Thanks” can express our gratitude for your services. Keep up the great work. Obama-Biden ‘08

  24. I work in a county library system where we support meetings for local organizers, housing communities, animal rescue services, assisted living organizations, special ed assistants, etc etc. Even on such a local and less centralized level, I’ve seen the work and and dedication of communities make differences. I thought it was the job of out government to help support these causes. Thank you, jhh112, for that quote. People really do need some reminders, and a lessen in humility.

  25. The Republican party has really sunk to a new low. As a man who foolishly voted for Bush the first time, I have watched these people run our country into the ground. The work of community organizers is the only thing keeping us together as a nation. Bless you all, and know that Obama is lucky to have once been one of your number.

  26. REAL community organizers are republicans – we have day jobs. We work in the community ourselves, MAKING new jobs, helping people find jobs, supporting our families, keeping organized, being on PTO’s and working with real organizations like Salvation Army, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, and our local churches.

    And we do this FOR FREE.

    And we do this WITHOUT thinking of it as a resume point.

    Obama scammed a bunch of money out of people while claiming to be a “community organizer.”

    Does that make him qualified to be president? It sure as hell makes me think he shouldn’t be given the job!

  27. I was appaled at the horrific attacks on community organizers. Their work is vital to this country. How dare anyone, and especially the republicans denegrate such a nobel profession. I just hope and pray that the democrats win this election really big and give the nasty republicans a big kick ! There is no excuse for this kind of ignorance.

  28. What are they scared of? Grassroots?

    Well, guess what community organizers are good at — VOTING!

  29. Sorry, Mike, I had a few typo’s…

    what does it make you…his brother?
    Since, you brough it up, how much have you scammed? Thief…you yes you.
    The guilty always spew rebuke.
    Anyway, we know where you’re from. You are RED…as I initially said, it’s better when you cook it-you are in fact on the wrong blog. Do you know what civility means, if so live it…then you won’t be so nervous.


  30. “We’re the Rodney Dangerfields,” said Richard Green, the director of Brooklyn, N.Y., Crown Heights Youth Collective. “Crime goes down, drug use goes down, and we never get credit for our work. After all, community organizers don’t do real work, they don’t have any real expenses, and they’re not real people.”

    Green, however, remembers getting a public pat on the back for his work from Giuliani.

    In his book “Leadership,” Giuliani praised Green for working with City Hall and Jewish community organizers for keeping the 1994 Brooklyn West Indian-American Day Parade, which ran through a racially torn Crown Heights neighborhood.

    “They forged a compromise on the route and the schedule, then we spent the summer meeting with representatives from both sides and selling the compromise to both communities,” Giuliani wrote of the community organizers. “It all culminated in a party at Gracie Mansion at which everyone involved attended to prepare for the parade.”

  31. I was totally appalled by the way the mocked the valiant and self-less efforts of community organizers. I think that experience may be the one that prepared Obama the most to serve the needs of the people. He actually “gets it”!

  32. I am planning an informational pickett in front of McCain’s office in North East Philly were he stopped right before going to the convention. He has to take this section of Philly to take PA. I will contact the local papers and send them a photo of me in front of his office demanding an apology and hand out my story of saving banking services by tranforming a redling saving and loan into a community credit union in 1980.

  33. From Barcelona, all my solidarity with comunity organizers!

  34. Pingback: Matt Ortega » Community Organizers Fight Back

  35. The Republican party is desparate and need every attack to persade voters their way. But this attack hits way below the belt. I’m a community organizer and it’s hard enough doing all you can to help those in need and to be stab by the Republicans as be nothing more that a helper is insulting. This party is detached from reality, it’s time we give them a dose of reality. Vote for change you could believe in….not just the word….McBush days are over!!!!!

  36. I do not think there was any insult; it was the level of experience that was referred too. The reaction I am seeing now is exactly what we have to stop if we are to expect any type of government to work for us. I would refer you to the book of Newt Gingrich “Real Change” which praises and encourages involvement at all levels, and particularly at the community level , to demand of our elected officials transparency and effectiveness. This is regardless of left or right.

    NB Lobbyists have been working equally with the left and the right with total disregard about political sides, human rights list …and it is a fact.

  37. To denigrate a man that could have had THE job of his choosing, but instead, went to serve a community in need, is beyond repulsive.

    That smug lady with her closet full of Skeletons will not succeed. The days of Hate and Divisiveness are coming to an end.

    The republicans act like they are for the people but unless you are deaf, dumb and blind it is all too apparent who’s side they are really on.

    Mcpain and Painin…Pain you can Believe In!!!!

  38. Pingback: Friday Links Roundup «

  39. Thanks, Monique. Your comment made me re-think my initial reaction. I had felt like the speeches were snide and oblivious to how community organizers make the world (including the world of politics) go ’round. I still hold to that opinion…but I’ve stopped demonizing them.
    I agree with you…I no longer think of it as a direct attack at community organizers. It was an attack at the level of experience that it lends to a presidential nominee.
    But, it still hurts their message. They have now become the “CEO” party…versus the “Empowerment” party.

  40. Thank God for having you develope this site,about time that we do respond to this negative retoric about community organizing,what an idiot she is maybe she does not know the meaning of this word,or maybe she has been hit to many times on the head playing hokey mom. yes is an insult to all this great and dedicated individuals,cleaning the horrible financial mess this in wich we are today thanks to the Bush and comp. yes they the republican will need more than a hokey mom to clean this great mess we are in,and yes I was a community organizer in the hispanish harlem in the late 60’s and proud of it.

  41. It is a sad and disgracefull day in America when the work of people who bring about positive and effective changes are demeaned and belittled. Makes me wonder how will we fair if the republicans go into office again, guess the poor, their communities, and their organisers will be long forgotten, as we are now, God help us all. As a mental health graduate student who looks forward to getting heavily involved in my community, i feel so demotivated by the republicans view of community organising.

  42. I’m providing an opinion on this site as an outsider – a Canadian living in Montreal. I just pray to God America does not make a mistake and elect the wrong person this year.

    From the outside this is how I see it……

    First they call him an elitist, then they ridicule him, they laugh at him and they boo him because he was a community organzer. And then we call these leaders? (Like I said I’m just an outsider observing from a distance. What do I know? ). They go on national tv and ask the American people in front of a cheering audience – what does a community organizer know about PEOPLE’S needs and demands? The audience laughs. Who on earth asks such a question? Either you are dumb or they are dumb. Surely such a thing as a community organizer. I know because I have worked as one. And the community organizer is usually the first line of defense (or offense. whichever way you wanna put it) when it comes to the needs and the people. He or she is the unknown soldier, the troop fighting the war on hunger, poverty, violence, racism, child abuse, ageism, discrimination, drugs, crime….and the list goes on. And the audience laughs with such ignorance or boos with such ignorance. They might as well laugh at the soldier fighting the war against terror.

    But once again I’m just an outsider. All I can do is pray for sound judgement from the American people. And tonight I propose a toast to the unsung hero.

    The Community Organizer all over North America and the world.

  43. We should start seperating feedback from different states and highlight responses from Michigan, Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania. That will get some attention!!

  44. In 1961 JFK created the Peace Corps and inspired a youthful generation to devote themselves to self-sacrificing service to the impoverished and powerless. In 2008 the Republican Party insults the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps and inspires a youthful generation to turn them out of office.

  45. Community Organizer was described on another blog as a Republican codeword for ACTIVIST. Just another scare tactic.

    Guess Sarah didn’t realize that a PTA mom is a community organizer.

  46. I think we need to organize a one day march and pressure the GOP to apologize.

  47. Lissa Fm Zephyrhills, FL

    The GOP attack of community organizers and their work, including Obama’s experience as a community org. proves without a doubt how OUT OF TOUCH REPUBLICANS ARE WITH MIDDLE AND LOW INCOME AMERICANS. They are touting REFORM AND CHANGE, but how can they do so if they don’t understand or experience the plight of those of us in the middle or bottom tier of society.
    In context, McCain, the son and grandson of Admirals does not know how us in the bottom live- I know the military well; and Admirals and their families live privileged lifestyles- maids, cooks, nannies, children go to the best schools, etc… No wonder McCain has to bring up his days as a POW-to show that he understands the plight of Americans in the lower tier of society?

  48. Good job, keep it up!.
    Nobody in this country should ever mock the great work you do for us the people that do not have anybody to defend us.

    Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Palin with their comments are a disgrace for this Nation.

  49. Lucy as in I Love, but no relation...darn it.

    What would Rudi Guiliani have done in NYC without Community Organizers on 9/11?

  50. What community organizers do is make government work for you, which is McCain’s favorite line on the stump…that he will make government work for us…please tell me how he plans to do that if his vp pick mocks the very people and organizations it will take to do that?
    Sarcasm and mockery of all that is good about America…the Republicans…they’re such a buzz kill.

  51. I feel that they should apologize to the everyday person who volunteers to help others. I don’t care if they say it is a reaction to what was said about her mayorship. It was disgusting, low down and insulting to people like my uncle who set up afterschool programs for latch key kids, headstart and countless other programs. You would never know the amount of people that were touched by community organizers.




  52. And to be fair to all parties concerned: There are also REPUBLICAN COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS IN THE UNITED STATES!!

    Why does Palin, Pataki & Guliani hate America?

  53. From what I recall,

  54. To the small handful of dissenters who agree w/McCain, Palin, Giuliani, Pataki et al’s ignorant comments & have the nerve to say that Obama is a crook & cheated helpless people out of their money, why don’t you go fly a kite and post on Rush Limbaugh’s or Ann Coulter’s blog! These degenerates make no secret that community organizing is a waste of time just like the RNC jackasses who berated it, especially Giuliani & Pataki, who both have plenty of room to talk. These former NY leaders must have a short memory because last time I checked they assisted community organizers during & after 9/11. I am a proud volunteer in Ohio, a key battleground state that gave the 2004 election to Bush/Cheney; former public library volunteer & Assistant Scoutmaster w/my local Boy Scout troop who helps assist community organizers w/the Scouting for Food drive. I’m also an Eagle Scout. I volunteer w/my church, and these GOP politicians not only offended community organizers but those who volunteer to make a difference, which is a good thing, and I don’t care what McCain, Palin, Giuliani et al think, but it’s time we the people, the voters, who want to volunteer and help people all come together and stand up to these buzzards. We not only have to vote but make a tough sell to undecided voters & Clinton supporters who are thinking about choosing McCain. We need to stress to them the definition & importance of community organizing. The Obama campaign needs our help & Palin’s been gloating about her remarks & reiterating them everywhere she & McCain have been campaigning, which is so disgusting. Quoting the late WWE superstar/manager Classy Freddie Blassy, “There comes a time when you have to stand and fight for what you believe in.” People, we have got to come together & stand united as one. We can make a difference & the GOP knows this. We can be the heroes of a new generation.

  55. I’ve been a community organizer since 1969, in various capacities, and was shocked by the comments made by people who don’t seem to have any knowledge of this term. Where have they been? The positive outcome is that more people might now engage in this noteworthy work — assisting in whatever they feel compelled to do, regardless of politics: Helping to change laws, opening all kinds of doors for the disenfranchised, advising people of their rights, starting post-release centers, organizing for affordable housing, building community gardens . . . spreading the wealth of talent everyone has and, at the same time, watching new community leaders emerge thanks to your efforts. My gratitude to everyone who is out there assisting in a community!

  56. community organizers help people get out of the bad situations that their government either through direct action or neglect let them fall into.

    keep your heads up. the great Billy Upski was right, ‘bomb the suberbs’!

  57. When people like Rude Rudy, Pataki or the cheerleader Sarah Palin mock community organizing, they turn their back to what really made america. Wasnt it community organizing work of the founding fathers? Wasn’t their community organizing work that lead to the Constitution?? I dont think lobbyist or PACs (undemocratic forces as described by Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speach) existed back then…that is why the US was much greater then than now…Next time we hear a republican talking about democracy or community work we should know they are only lying (as usual)

  58. Perhaps the ugliest event of this campaign is Rudy G’s mocking with those cuts to the audience of white people laughing like hyena’s.
    It was just shocking for these politicians coming on like this. I know when Obama wins the role of a Community Organizer will gain fame and many will flock to becoming an Comm Org.

    Please do not let them get to you. I know what you do and so do most people who believe in grass root community action.

  59. Grassroots community organizers do what politicians don’t – make a difference!

  60. Funny I almost considered supporting Giuliani for President, but now I see why he didn’t go too far when he campaigned. He transformed from maverick to flip-flop and to me, he’s nothing more than a coward, both he and his NY crony Pataki, another supposed GOP maverick. When Guiliani dropped out of the GOP presidential race, I opted for Ron Paul, who is not a McCain or Palin supporter, and freely admits it. He even said that the Palin remark bashing community organizing was over the top, as did Chuck Hagel, a GOP US Senator from Nebraska who opposes the Iraq war and once considered touting Obama (and doesn’t plan to endorse McCain). There is no way McCain should’ve gotten this far, and if he wins, things are really gonna be as bad as they are now, if not worse. He’s a Bush/Cheney clone and he knows it. He’s gonna cut programs including community organizing, and we cannot let that happen. If McCain, Palin, Giuliani or any of the GOP surrogates set foot in my hometown, I’m gonna be there and I’ll make it no secret that their remarks on community organizing just suck. As I said before, I’m not a community organizer but I am a proud volunteer and I’m gonna let it be known what I really think of their campaign. I know Obama is struggling because of Palin’s pseudo rockstar/supermodel status, but I hope he pulls a rabbit out of his hat in the end. He needs the help of every community organizer and volunteer in every state. I know he’s endorsed by most American unions, who refuse to back McCain or his so-called pro-union running mate. My fellow volunteers, I’m tired of this attack on what we do as volunteers and we gotta do something about it. We need to carry Obama to victory. If we don’t, prepare to face disaster, another 4 yrs of the same old thing.

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