“Jesus Was A Community Organizer, Pontious Pilate Was A Governor.”

I wish I could claim credit for what is so far my favorite campaign slogan, but it comes from this Daily Kos post. I’d like to get it on an internet button and have everyone involved in community organization display it.

In the meantime, however, I recommend this excellent piece by Joe Klien on what Barak Obama actually did as a community organizer. Then tell me again how those elitist Democrats can’t possibly understand your pain in the way that the crowd of Republican delegates and lobbyist who think that being a “community organizer” is funny.

Stay tuned . . . .


  1. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” Which is the germ of what is embodied in the seperation of church and state principles today belies any sense of the idea that Christ was a community organizer. He was a pacifist and Rabbi. Barbabas was the community organizer of his day.

    Be careful as the allegorical reference borders on comparing Obama to the Son of God. That would turn many off.

    By the way Jimmy Hoffa was a community organizer too. However I don’t think he would be an ‘approved’ role model from the Obama campaign.

  2. John,

    You’re right that it would be a little tacky to compare Obama to Jesus. Lord knows I found it tacky when the Christianists kept implying that George W. Bush was the “anointed one” back in the early days of his presidency. But I don’t think it’s much of a risk here. Harold is only pointing out the difference between being “of the people” and “in charge of the people”.

    The Republicans have chosen to mock the idea of community organizing, of people getting together *in spite of* the powers that be.

    “Jesus was a community organizer” is a very effective bumper sticker slogan. I think it’s great. People can nit-pick “but Obama isn’t Jesus!” all they want. It doesn’t matter. The point sticks.

    Before he became corrupt, Jimmy Hoffa did good community organizing work. Alas, he was human and became a rotten crumb. My grandfather was a Jimmy Hoffa loyalist long after it became apparent to virtually everybody that Hoffa was a criminal and had sold out his brothers. But to Pop, Hoffa was the guy who stood up to the Pinkerton goons (the Blackwater goons of their day) and got his head busted along with the rest of the guys. And at the end of the day, the Teamsters were formed, and won many important benefits, which allowed my poor immigrant grandfather to move into the middle class.

  3. “Jesus was a community organizer” is a very effective bumper sticker slogan. I think it’s great. People can nit-pick “but Obama isn’t Jesus!” all they want. It doesn’t matter. The point sticks.”

    We had the discussion before of course. But slogans need to draw people in, not turn people off. The implied Jesus comparison will do that.

    At this point in the election the two camps have their bases solidified. The one who draws from the independents wins. Offending even a small portion of that pool will not help either side.

    If I remember you went to the Dem convention. How was it?

  4. hmmmmm. . .

    I don’t suppose there is any empirical way to test your hypothesis. My feeling is that people who are not all uptight about Jesus will find nothing offensive at all in the slogan, and that among undecideds, the people who are not all uptight about Jesus greatly outnumber those who are. But, heck, I may be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    I actually think that reminding people who kinda like Jesus that self-professed “Christian” Palin is smug and condescending towards community organizers will make her gratuitous cheap shot stand out. I just don’t get it when you say that this slogan makes an implied comparison of Obama to Jesus. Isn’t that what Christians are supposed to do? To “imitate Christ”? I thought that was the whole idea? Another way to interpret the bumper sticker is thus, “What does Sara Palin have against Christian people who try to imitate Christ?”

    But this is like arguing over Ginger and Maryann. C’est un affair de gout.

    If you have any actual data to support your hypothesis,however, I would be curious to see it.

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