Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sympathy For The Devil From Obama's Communications Guru

Lately much has been written and spoken about the Obama White House’s communications director Anita Dunn’s speech on June 5, 2009 to students at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School of Potomac, Maryland. Ms. Dunn, who has also waged a White House “war” against Fox News claiming that Fox News is not as much a news organization but "almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party."  When questioned about praising Mao to the students Ms. Dunn’s retort to CNN was,
“The Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don't get my progressive friends mad at me. The use of the phrase ‘favorite political philosophers’ was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat -- at least with a certain Fox commentator whose sense of irony may be missing.”

So that is the beginning and the end of it for Ms. Dunn, but not for the conservative and liberal media outlets and blogs. In fairness to Ms. Dunn, let’s break her actions and defense down in a systematic manner as to reference points and perspective.

Anita Dunn’s Background
As reported by Michelle Malkin Dunn is married to Obama lawyer Robert Bauer, who tried valiantly to get the DoJ to prosecute conservative critics and punish TV stations for running an ad critical of Obama’s relationship with Weather Underground Bill Ayers.” Accordingly to WorldNetDaily during the 2008 presidential campaign, Bauer as counsel for the Obama campaign wrote letters to television station managers and to the DoJ arguing that airing an anti-Obama ad pointing to the known association between Obama and Weather Underground radical Bill Ayers would violate federal election rules.

Also during the 2008 campaign, Bauer intervened on behalf of Obama to block the California-based American Leadership Project from running a television ad campaign over support from unions, including the Service Employees International Union, which funds ACORN. Again, Bauer filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that the union-funded television campaign the American Leadership Project planned to run in Indiana against Obama was illegal under federal election laws. In addition to representing Obama on eligibility cases, Bauer also is hired as legal counsel to represent the president in the criminal probe going on into the activities of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

So, at least by marriage, Ms. Dunn has a suspect past when it comes to her penchant for wishing anti-Obama information to be squashed. Also, again by marriage, her husband’s association with the SEIU/ACORN socialist leaning organizations has her aligned with their overall socialistic philosophies.

Anita Dunn’s Irony Defense
Ms. Dunn’s notion of irony when praising Mao is lost on many and meekly defended by the left. Irony has many interpretations. Most modern theories distinguish between three types of irony: verbal, dramatic and situational.
  • Verbal irony: is a disparity of expression and intention: when a speaker says one thing but means another, or when a literal meaning is contrary to its intended effect. An example of this is sarcasm.
  • Dramatic (or tragic) irony: is a disparity of expression and awareness: when words and actions possess significance that the listener or audience understands, but the speaker or character does not.
  • Situational irony: is the disparity of intention and result: when the result of an action is contrary to the desired or expected effect. Likewise, cosmic irony is disparity between human desires and the harsh realities of the outside world (or the whims of the gods). By some older definitions, situational irony and cosmic irony are not irony at all.
Let’s please stop the weak-willed nonsense "irony" spin by the left in defense of Ms. Dunn. Does the left ever, ever chastise their own? It is tiring dealing with the left's sick sense of solidarity. They are like the child who never admits they took cookies out of the jar.
Nothing in Ms. Dunn’s reference to Mao has to do with an ironic presentation for fighting “uphill battles”. Her defense using irony was a lame effort to mask her true feelings of respect and admiration for a communist dictator’s methods whose philosophies has been a reference point for Barack Obama’s overarching approach to transform America into a quasi communist/socialist state. Ms. Dunn droned on about how she admired Mao and dived into an 82 word detailed laudatory description of Mao’s personal philosophy and determination to overcome odds. There was no irony in her comments about Mao, simply admiration.

The American Spectator states that
“If Dunn's message was about the importance of perseverance and refusing to give up, she could easily have quoted a non-controversial figure such as Winston Churchill, Dale Carnegie, Franklin D. Roosevelt, or Thomas Edison, but she chose Mao, a homicidal maniac. Remember that: she chose Mao as an example of someone whose ideas she elevates and exults.” When Dunn later tried to laugh the whole matter off, a parent of a high school student present in the audience at the speech by Dunn also didn't think the supposed joke was funny. "There was no irony, no sense of humor," he said. "Mao would have preferred to silence the opposition by a bullet to the head."

Anita Dunn and the Left's Finger Pointing to Republicans Referencing Mao
Media Matters for America, a liberal media watchdog group, points out that former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich quoted Mao in a 1995 Roll Call profile. "War is politics with blood; politics is war without blood," Gingrich said, citing Mao. Karl Rove, former adviser to President G.W. Bush and a Fox News contributor, wrote in a December 2008 Wall Street Journal op-ed that President Bush "encouraged me to read a Mao biography." Also, as mentioned above, Ms. Dunn points to the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater as an inspiration for the Mao comment that she allegedly lifted “from something I read in the late 1980s”.

As to Ms. Dunn's Atwater inspiration no one to date has been able to track down the specific Atwater reference to Mao she relies on as one of her defenses. But that’s not to say Atwater didn’t at one time or another mention Mao in a passing comment. As for the Gingrich and Rove references, Gingrich was simply noting that wherever we live war and politics are pretty much the same, even in Red China under Ma . The Rove reference is nothing more than advice from President Bush to “know thine enemy”.

No one is quite sure what Media Matters is trying to accomplish by drudging up every Google reference and instance they can muster where a Republican may have mentioned Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Genghis Khan or, Freddy Krueger, for that matter, in a sentence referencing their political strategies and tactics. But neither Media Matters nor any other liberal leaning group has yet to cite any Republican who publicly stated to a group that they admired Mao or any other dictator, totalitarian or fascist historical figure. But this is exactly what Ms. Dunn did in her speech to a group of Catholic high school students. That is the shame of Ms. Dunn and this White House administration which defends her actions.

Mao’s Strategy
Mao Zedong accepted in spirit the Three People's Principles of Sun Yat-sen, particularly the third, the principle of social and economic equality. For the most part, Mao accepted the general outline of Sun's socialist principle which involved nationalizing all land and equally distributing it to landowners and peasants alike. Mao's most important departure from mainstream communist thought was his belief in the peasantry and a peasant uprising. At the foundation of Marxist thought is the belief that the final class struggle will be between laborers and capitalists.

Mao’s Legacy
According to The Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press), which is considered by scholars as one of the best sources on communist atrocities, policies implemented under Mao Zedong, including the civil war, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and persecution in Tibet, among other policies, led to death of an estimated 65 million people. Mao also outlawed religion and sent at least 2.5 million people to “re-education camps,” called “laogai,” which were similar to the slave-labor camps in the Gulag of the Soviet Union. An estimated 1,000 laogai reportedly are still in operation today.

The book also recounts that from 1930 through 1949, the Communists killed about 4 million people, mostly “rich” peasants and the bourgeoisie. Further, the book reports, Mao had executed 1 million “counter revolutionaries” by 1951. The “democratic terror” led to about 700,000 suicides, while 2.5 million were sent to re-education (labor) camps, and a campaign against “hidden counter-revolutionaries” launched in 1955 led to 770,000 deaths.

The state policies that caused widespread famine, along with the labor camps and direct killing of political opponents, among other Communist actions, led to the death of approximately 65 million people in China, according to The Black Book of Communism. That number exceeds the estimate of people directly killed for political or racial reasons by the Nazis, as well as the estimated number of people killed by the Soviet Communists under Lenin and Stalin.

Experts Opinions on Ms. Dunns Mao Tribute
CNSNews reports that while Dunn now says she was using “irony” when she called Mao one of her favorite political philosophers, William Ratliff, an expert on China with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University thinks the remarks she made in May 2009 to the students were “pathetic.” Ratliff said he found Dunn’s comments astonishing regardless of her larger point, and wondered whether Dunn is aware of the Great Leap Forward or the Cultural Revolution, or if Dunn was trying to look at Mao’s positive accomplishments. “He did unify the country. He did implement some policies in the very early years that were constructive,” Ratliff told
“But his policies, basically, were terribly, terribly destructive and I think that just makes it impossible for any serious person in the Western world, and I think an awful lot of serious people in China, to regard him as one of the great political philosophers. It’s outrageous and pathetic that a person, anyone in this country frankly, would still believe that,” said Ratliff.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, commented on Dunn's remarks.
“Imagine what would happen if a White House communications director cited Adolf Hitler as one of her favorite political philosophers. Not only would it be an above-the-fold, front-page story in every major newspaper in the country, but there would also be outraged howls in the editorial pages." Mao killed more people than Hitler – they were two of the three worst mass murderers in the 20th century (the third being Joseph Stalin),” wrote Spakovsky. “However, the revelation of Dunn’s comments will probably be greeted by the mainstream media with a big collective yawn.”
Peter Wehner of Commentary states
“…this video that Glenn Beck played on his program of Anita Dunn, communications director for the White House, explaining earlier this year why Mao Zedong is one of her two favorite political philosophers, is a public service. The praise for Mao isn’t a throwaway line by Miss Dunn; she actually explains why he is one of the two people (along with Mother Teresa!) she turns to most when it comes to “fighting your own war.”

Arthur Waldron, in his October 2005 essay in Commentary, describes the architect of China’s Cultural Revolution this way:
“Mao was the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century. Much of the killing was direct, as in the torture and purges at Yan’an. After the Communist seizure of power in 1949, the practice became countrywide. Mao set his numerical targets openly, and stressed the ‘revolutionary’ importance of killing.” It is said of Mao — who was responsible for the death of some 70 million Chinese — that he derived a “sadistic pleasure” from seeing people put to death in horrible ways.

Ms. Dunn’s bold and articulate praise for Mao Zedong is emblematic of the mindset of the Obama administration. The strategy and tactics of Mao are the tactics that Obama’s mentor Saul Alinsky fused into his strategies in his attempt to convert the U.S. into a socialist state. As Ms. Dunn points out in her speech to the group of high school students Mao accomplished his goal and the end justified the means, which was also codified in the Obama bible, Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” where Alinsky wrote “...obviously nothing has any value as a means unless that to which it is a means has value on its own account." Rules for Ms. Dunn and the Obamabots to live by. Convert America into a socialist state by any means necessary. Is it not yet crystal clear the Obama vision and agenda for HIS America?

Given Ms. Dunn's speech was to high schoolers, I’m sure Ms. Dunn and the Obama White House also agree with one of their favorite philosophers when he said. “Ideological education is the key link to be grasped in uniting the whole Party for great political struggles. Unless this is done, the Party cannot accomplish any of its political tasks.”Chairman Mao

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