Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer recently reached out to the Valley Interfaith Project in the Phoenix area to support her expansion of the state’s Medicaid program, an effort losing support in the Legislature. Mrs. Brewer, once opposed to the Affordable Care Act and anything associated with Obamacare, has been touring her state pushing the Medicaid expansion down our health care gullets, ignoring two important facts — the expansion in 2000 was a fiscal disaster and cost Arizona twice that of other states, and with the federal deficit approaching $17 trillion, the funding probably won’t exist.
The governor’s latest obstacle — the mandated funding of Planned Parenthood and its involvement in therapeutic abortion — has been met with conservative opposition. Mrs. Brewer has attempted to amend the expansion bill to defund Planned Parenthood, but the U.S. Supreme Court has declared it unlawful to do so. This has left her with no other alternative but to reach out to those who are experts in such a crisis.
The Valley Interfaith Project, in a recent op-ed in the Arizona Republic, described itself as a nonpartisan, broad-based organization of congregations, schools and other entities, and claimed to advocate “for a way to bring affordable health care to those not blessed with health insurance.” Earlier this month, 800 of the project’s leaders met with the governor, as well as the mayor of Phoenix and key legislators to discuss this vital issue. Consequently, members of the project applaud Mrs. Brewer’s efforts and strongly support the Medicaid funding. Who exactly are these people?
The forerunner of the Valley Interfaith Project is none other than the Industrial Areas Foundation, an organization founded in 1940 by Saul Alinsky, the great community organizer. This is a sizable network of groups that have infiltrated at least 20 other states besides Arizona and at least three other countries. The main focus of its members is identifying sources of power and then affecting social change.
The local affiliates, like the Valley Interfaith Project, are not above showing its progressive side when it comes to politically charged issues. On the project’s website, an article featured by Rabbi Joel Mosbacher supports a covenant for voluntary limits on selling certain types of weapons and large-capacity magazines, the sale of guns only through federally licensed dealers, and mandatory safety classes for buyers. Another article by the Rev. Trey Hammond and Tina Garcia of Albuquerque, N.M., mentions that legitimate charter schools provide a useful function in public education when they are well-managed and serve a “particular need.”
I can’t help but wonder if the spawn of Alinsky will show up on the lawn of the Arizona Capitol, as they did during the attempted recall of Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and shout obscenities at the legislators. Perhaps to assist the governor in pushing the Medicaid expansion through, there will be a threat of more colorful demonstrations. The ones involving bodily functions were especially attractive to Alinsky, resulting in media attention as well as political results. When all else failed, his union leaders would step in and make an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton were both followers of the Alinsky school of community organizing, and Mrs. Clinton wrote a senior thesis about Alinsky at Wellesley College. Mr. Obama demonstrated his expertise in Alinsky’s radical ideas during his 2008 presidential campaign.
One tactic Alinsky recommended was to do or say whatever was necessary to win the battle, then do as you please after the war was over. One of the best examples is Mr. Obama’s claim in 2008 that he would not go along with a mandate to charge people who didn’t have health care. This was a “genuine difference” between him and Mrs. Clinton. The switch Americans have to live with now is pure Alinsky.
Mrs. Brewer has already done the switch. She was against Obamacare, and now she is ready to drink the Kool-Aid. Her problem is persuading the Arizona legislators to partake as well. As Alinsky wrote, “In war, the end justifies almost any means.” For the governor, this means consorting with progressive, Alinsky-bred community organizers whose legacy is colored with urban riots, racial diversity and union thugs.
The woman who once stood fast on the famous SB 1070 immigration bill is now groveling before a group sympathetic to the illegal-immigrant situation. During Mrs. Brewer’s fight to protect our Arizona border, Chuck Norris remarked how she probably ate scorpions for breakfast. The governor’s recent actions indicate we could soon see her on the White House lawn sharing a beer with organizer-in-chief Barack Obama.
Dr. Constance Uribe is a general surgeon and author of “The Health Care Provider’s Guide to Facing the Malpractice Deposition” (CRC Press, 1999).