Saturday, October 17, 2009

Anita Dunn Fires Back with a Limp Gun

I’m considering asking the Baron to make a headline image for an emerging political category which I’ve labeled, “if that don’t just beat all?!?”. I need something for those special political stories that defy belief but turn out to be true, like the one I posted the other day.

Now comes CNN with this report:

Obama aide fires back at Beck over Mao remarks

“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,” Dunn told CNN.

As for Beck’s criticism: “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.”

Dunn, taped in a speech in what appears to be a church, said the leader’s philosophies were a guidepost for her own strategy on politics. She also praised the philosophy used by religious icon Mother Teresa.

“The third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers: Mao Tse-tung and Mother Theresa -- not often coupled with each other, but the two people I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point which is ‘you’re going to make choices; you’re going to challenge; you’re going to say why not; you’re going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before.”

For our European readers, and those who weren’t paying attention back then or were too young, Lee Atwater was a southerner, a Texan Republican strategist who played politics like, say, the Clintons. No holds barred, nothing off-limits. And because he used the Democrats’ rulebook, they hated him. Deeply and fiercely that hatred still burns, even all these years after his untimely death from a brain tumor.

Don’t believe it when you hear “elephants never forget”. Democrat donkeys never, ever forget a skillful opponent and they never forgive him for being clever at their expense. Even after death they continue to badmouth Lee Atwater simply because he came from the deep dark swamps of the perfervid Republican Party.

Dunn has no class whatsoever. First she makes that tacky speech saying Mao is one of her favorite political philosophers and then she blames a dead Republican when she’s caught on video spouting this putrid Leftie mish-mash.

That, too, seems to be part edition Democrat playbook: blame it on the other side. That’s what Obama has been doing non-stop, using each problem as an excuse to Bash Bush. It saves him having to do anything beyond speechifying.

What will they do with the latest news?
- - - - - - - - -
I’ll give you three guesses on this one:

The federal budget deficit soared to a record $1.4 trillion in the fiscal year that ended in September, a chasm of red ink unequaled in the postwar era that threatens to complicate the most ambitious goals of the Obama administration, including plans for fresh spending to create jobs and spur economic recovery.


At about 10 percent of the overall economy, the gap between federal spending and tax collections is the largest on record since the end of World War II, and bigger in nominal terms than the past four years of deficits combined. Next year is unlikely to be much better, budget analysts say. And Obama’s current policies would drive the budget gap into the trillion-dollar range for much of the next decade [my emphasis -D].

As they unveiled the final 2009 figure, administration officials argued that expensive emergency programs -- such as the $700 billion bank bailout requested by the Bush administration and the $787 billion economic stimulus package Obama signed during his first days in office -- were essential to halting a frightening economic slide earlier this year. The deficit ultimately was lower than expected because those programs worked, they said.

But they tacitly acknowledged that the administration has yet to chart a clear path through the fiscal thicket.

Notice that the news came out on the weekend. This is a habitual feint the administration uses for bad news.

“This year’s deficit is lower than we had projected earlier this year, in part because we are managing to repair the financial system at a lower cost to taxpayers,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a statement. “But future deficits are too high, and the president is committed to working with Congress to bring them down to a sustainable level as the economy recovers.”

White House budget director Peter Orszag added: “The president recognizes that we need to put the nation back on a fiscally sustainable path.” As Obama draws up his second budget blueprint, due to be delivered to Congress in February, Orszag said, “we are considering proposals to put our country back on firm fiscal footing.”

Orszag has already instructed federal agencies to identify spending cuts for next year’s budget, but the report comes as lawmakers contemplate proposals that would drive spending even higher.

SPENDING CUTS?? There will be much rending of garments and gnashing of teeth in the outer darkness past Capitol Hill.

WaPo continues:

Congress is enmeshed in a deeply partisan battle over Obama’s plan to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, which would add billions of dollars to the federal budget, if not future deficits.

Sure is “deeply partisan”. That’s because our President never learned to play well with others. And he makes stuff up. For example, back during the campaign he just grabbed some numbers out of thin air for his stimulus plan. From the 2008 memory hole, this clip from CNN:

During his campaign he spoke of a “$25 billion” plan to create jobs but also of a “$50 billion emergency stimulus.” From the [archives of CNN]:

Advocates a $50 billion emergency economic stimulus plan. The money would go toward 1 million jobs for rebuilding infrastructure and schools, and helping local governments avoid budget cuts, the campaign says.


Would create a $25 billion “Jobs and Growth Fund” to invest in infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, and to save jobs.

Heh. That was before Nancy Pelosi smacked him with the dead fish of reality: the House stimulus plan with a $787bn price tag.

Peggy Noonan has a good editorial explaining Obama’s mis-steps so far:

I’m not sure the White House can tell the difference between campaign mode and governing mode, but it is the difference between “us versus them” and “us.” People sense the president does too much of the former, and this is reflected not only in words but decisions, such as the pursuit of a health-care agenda that was inevitably divisive. It has lost the public’s enthusiastic backing, if it ever had it, but is gaining on Capitol Hill. People don’t want whatever it is they’re about to get, and they’re about to get it. In that atmosphere everything grates, but most especially us-versus-them-ism.

Obama & Co. are deeply out of tune with the American electorate. They are singing a song that very few like and almost no one but the most dedicated sycophants are willing to hum along, much less sing the lyrics.

Ms. Noonan continues with her lucid explanation:

The biggest thing supporters of a health care overhaul do not understand about those who oppose their efforts, and who oppose the Baucus bill, which has triumphantly passed the Senate Finance Committee even though no one knows exactly what is or will end up in it, is the issue of context.

The Democratic Party and the White House repeatedly suggest that if you are not for the bill or an overhaul, you don’t care about your fellow human beings and you love and support the insurance companies. Actually, no one loves the insurance companies, including the insurance companies.


People who oppose a health-care overhaul are not in love with insurance companies. They’re not even in love with the status quo. Everyone knows the jerry-built system of the past half-century has weak points. They just don’t think the current plan will shore them up. They think the plan would create new weak points and widen old ones. They think this because they have brains.

The she hits the problem dead center - talk about a good aim! Anita Dunn should take lessons:

…a big part of opposition to the health-care plan is a sense of historical context. People actually have a sense of the history they’re living in and the history their country has recently lived through. They understand the moment we’re in.

In the days of the New Deal, in the 1930s, government growth was virgin territory. It was like pushing west through a continent that seemed new and empty. There was plenty of room to move. The federal government was still small and relatively lean, the income tax was still new. America pushed on, creating what it created: federal programs, departments and initiatives, Social Security. In the mid-1960s, with the Great Society, more or less the same thing. Government hadn’t claimed new territory in a generation, and it pushed on-creating Medicare, Medicaid, new domestic programs of all kinds, the expansion of welfare and the safety net.

Now the national terrain is thick with federal programs, and with state, county, city and town entities and programs, from coast to coast. It’s not virgin territory anymore, it’s crowded. We are a nation fully settled by government. We are well into the age of the welfare state, the age of government. We know its weight, heft and demands, know its costs both in terms of money and autonomy, even as we know it has made many of our lives more secure, and helped many to feel encouragement.

But we know the price now. This is the historical context. The White House often seems disappointed that the big center, the voters in the middle of the spectrum, aren’t all that excited about following them on their bold new journey. But it’s a world America has been to. It isn’t new to us. And we don’t have too many illusions about it.

Yeah. Like she says. We ain’t virgins no more. The imperial Federal Government has treated the American electorate as though we’re drug-addled prostitutes who can be bought off with more of their federal heroin: “hey, give ’em this new program. That’ll shut ’em up for a while”. But that dog don’t hunt no more. In fact, that dog is dead. It’s as dead as Lee Atwater, whom Ms. Done-to-a-turn exhumed so she could don his shroud and blame her revolting admiration for Mao on him.

Irony, indeed. What a coward that woman is. A coward with no class.

Hat tip: The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid


Félicie said...

"“The third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers: Mao Tse-tung and Mother Theresa -- not often coupled with each other, but the two people I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point which is ... [etc...]""

I listened to the tape (so that I heard her speech in context), I now have the quote in front of me. Listen, there is no irony in the way the phrase "my favorite political philosophers." It is used in a straightforward way. I know a whole lot about irony and how it is used for rhetirical purposes. If there was any irony intended, as she indicates, it was entirely in her head. The use of this phrase in this sentense is non-ironic. She couples him with Mother Theresa. She says she turns to his message all the time. I also saw her delivery on tape. Uh-uh. Nope. No irony. Her use of humor was confined to a "wink" to her audience when she said that these peopel are not aften coupled. It was a code for "look how audacious I am for not being afraid to set Mao up as a role model," but it did not imply any irony at all. She thinks we are all redneck dummies.

James Higham said...

That woman is pathetic but don't forget the type of people who voted Obama in - she'll have support.

Zenster said...

Am I the only one who noticed a consistent subtext of breaking the law? In all of Ms. Dunn's exhortations to "make choices", "to challenge", "to say, why not?", "to do things that have never been done before", NOWHERE does she mention staying within the legal limits of the law.

She says, "these are your choices, they are no one else's", but again, nowhere does she recognize the established rule of law or the existence of right and wrong. In fact the following verbatim transcript seems to indicate just the opposite:

"You don't have to accept the definition of how to do things. You don't have to follow other people's choices and paths. It is about your choices and your paths. You [per Mao Tse Tung] fight your own war. You lay out your own paths. You figure out what's right for you. You don't let external definitions define how good you are internally. You fight your war, you let them fight theirs. [emphasis added]

Once again, she gives permission for these young students to set their own parameters instead of directing their attention to valid constraints as posed by the Social Contract or Rule of Law. Much as with current Liberal academic doctrine, she seeks to let these students grade themselves instead of accepting any objective yardstick.

All of this smacks of the usual Liberal hogwash of:

"There is no good or evil, just shades of gray".

This particularly seems to be the case in light of how, as Félicie noted, this woman's reference to and admiration of Mao Tse Tung was clearly not any attempt at irony, nor any sort of rhetorical device or humorous aside.

Ms. Dunn clearly green-lighted her entire audience in terms of unconditionally accepting all aspects of Mao's abiding philosophy. She makes no exceptions nor does she discredit the Great Chinese Butcher™ in any way shape or form.

Her denial of this is a flat-out LIE.

Not that this entire administration isn't founded on one enormous lie.

In Hoc Signo Vinces† said...

Zenster has hit the nail on the head.

These political code speak words of "challenge" and "choice" are so reminiscent of Thatcher's premiership and is the same code speak adopted by the U.K. Labour Party. Watch out for the big one "responsibility" this is the favourite semantics twist of the new totalitarian.

Anonymous said...


This OT but you will like it.

Apropos Nobel Peace Prize

Dymphna said...


Thank you for being so thorough and so straightforward. You fried her bacon...


Okay, I'll bite. When you say,

These political code speak words of "challenge" and "choice" are so reminiscent of Thatcher's premiership..

I have to admit I'm unfamiliar with the Brit view of Ms. Thatcher. She was admired in the US, but obviously not so in the UK. What was the objection to her?

In Hoc Signo Vinces† said...


First it must be noted that Margret Thatcher's policies where not only adopted by the Labour Party but were also accellerated and amplified by both Blair and Brown.

The deregulation of the financial system had its genesis in the Thatcher era as did the MPs' expenses scandal, concealment of mass unemployment, defence budget irregularities and social breakdown the list goes on.

Thatcher concealed her neoliberalism behind traditional British and conservative values or if you want to be kind a conservatism void of any moral hazard.

Maybe we should ask would a politician of any substance really need their image micro-managed.

ellamontgomery said...

Oh, and hats off by the way to Peggy Noonan's dazzling article that sets the right tone and light about the fears of the middle class Americans who are ardently trying to stop this insanity of record breaking deficit programs the administration is railroading onto us into oblivion. On MSNBC, she had me thinking she had lost touched with the average middle class mindset, her comments at Stephanophelous' round table were so neutral and favorable like Chardonnay, I thought for sure she was not listening to us, but this article proved me wrong. Keep it up Peggy, we need your gift of words right now to speak for us, the middle class Americans.

Dymphna said...


I'll have to look into this further. Thanks for the lead. I just don't have the context.



I agree. She was a big Obama fan and now has buyer's remorse. I think she just didn't like McCain. A lot of people didn't. Obama won via a "not-McCain" vote.

I think McC would've made fewer mistakes. This driving us into penury via socialist utopian visions is clearly deluded thinking.

I hope to post on the utter lack of economic thinking in this administration.