Let’s imagine that you are a low status organization. People hate you. Some people love you, but there is a large portion of the population that hates your guts. The people that love you aren’t going to be put off by anything you do, and the people that hate you aren’t going to change their minds.
Let’s further imagine that you are getting money from a high status group. They have near universal good press. Sure, a couple people don’t like their style, but overall, they are very well regarded. This group cuts your funding off for some reason or other. How do you handle it?
This isn’t idle speculation. This is Planned Parenthood vs. Susan G. Komen.
Let me be up front about my prejudices. I don’t like either group. I wouldn’t wish either side to die in a fire or anything, but I don’t like either one. Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill. They pretend that they offer other services, but their largest and most profitable industry is abortions. I don’t think that having an abortion is a good idea when the primary reason is for the convenience of the adults involved. Save the mother’s life, sure. But just ‘cause you don’t wanna? Have the baby you selfish asshole. As for Susan G. Komen, I think that they are just another industry sucking donations and turning a particular kind of cancer into a cause simply because it strikes people who have internal plumbing instead of external plumbing. It’s one thing to try to fight breast cancer. It’s quite another to turn it into a project for the Sisterhood. I don’t have a dog in this fight.
Let’s backtrack to the beginning. Susan G. Komen told Planned Parenthood that they weren’t getting any more grants. The last I heard, this decision was made in December. Somehow it took until now for Planned Parenthood to strike back. Why do you suppose that was? The answer is that it takes time to develop a media strategy.
Komen cut off PP for two basic reasons. #1, because they were under investigation for diverting money to abortions. #2, and probably most importantly, because Planned Parenthood doesn’t do breast screenings. They just refer women to people who do. One would expect that in a large, single issue organization, people would have varying views on other issues. There’s got to be pro and anti-abortion people involved in breast cancer “awareness” groups. There was no need for Komen to take any position at all on abortion. There was no benefit and every negative in sticking their nose into that hornet’s nest. But this is where their high status worked against them. Planned Parenthood doesn’t care what their detractors say. Komen does.
In a cynical display worthy of Machiavelli, Planned Parenthood made the entire flap about abortion. Instead of accepting the loss of .068% of the Planned Parenthood budget, they decided to coordinate a strategy to make it seem as if Susan G. Komen For the Cure was cutting off the funds for “political” reasons. I think that was the reason for the delay. They needed to coordinate this attack. They needed to find a person to scapegoat as well.
You see, short of machine gunning schoolchildren, Planned Parenthood can’t make itself look any worse. Their partisans will love them and their detractors will hate them. Your mom has probably told you that you should never wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get muddy and the pig will like it. That’s great advice, but it ignores the very real possibility that the pig will attack you.
The rest is history. Komen was blindsided. They stood there looking stupid when an attack came out of left field from an organization that has no problems lying about what really happened. The anti-abortion types predictably cheered Komen’s “decision” to cut off funding to the abortion mill. The pro-abortion types screamed bloody murder about Komen’s “decision” to cut off funding for women’s health. Then they all sent out competing press releases fighting with each other. It was a giant proxy war with Komen standing in the middle wondering what the hell had just happened. Finally, inevitably, Komen caved to public pressure. They just wanted it all to stop. They “restored” funding, though they hadn’t taken away the previous grants, and called for everyone to take a deep breath and calm down while the instigator of it all, Planned Parenthood is now standing on a pile of new donations, laughing all the way to the bank. Komen will regret it. Once you pay the Dane-Geld…
There’s a message in there, buried. The message is, learn the leftist tactics. Know how they will attack you. Learn to defend yourself against them. Use them against the left. If you will lose one argument, force the public debate to be about another argument.
This is where we on the pro-gun side lose. We try to make the argument all about the facts. We don’t apply Alinsky tactics to our enemies. Planned Parenthood used #3, “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
We need to do the same.
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