Friday, October 16, 2009


You probably know about the kerfuffle du jour in Wingnuttia: Earlier in the week, acting White House communications direciror Anita Dunn attacked Fox News, and now Glenn Beck has aired videotape of a speech Dunn gave in June in which, as part of a follow-your-own-vision pep talk, she told anecdotes about Mao and Mother Teresa, whom she called "two of my favorite political philosophers." (Clip, partial transcript, and right-wing rant here.) Wingers are calling Dunn a big secret commie, while Dunn says she was just making a dry joke.

(Funny thing: no one on the right seems to be accusing her of being of a secret Catholic ascetic and would-be living saint.)

So, I'm looking at Dunn's Wikipedia page and I see that she's "been the top adviser to Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ), including serving as the chief strategist for his presidential campaign." That would be this Bill Bradley:

Senator William W. Bradley, 65, is a Managing Director of Allen & Company LLC.... He was a Senior Advisor and Vice Chairman of the International Council of JP Morgan & Co., Inc. from 1997-1999....

(By the way, that's "secretive New York bank Allen & Co.," according to the venture-capital reporters at My point is, this is who Bill Bradley is. He ain't exactly Michael Moore. And he's not a stupid guy. If Dunn were a big fat red, don't you think he would have noticed when she was in his employ?

I also see from Wikipedia that Dunn was a senior adviser to Senators Evan "Blue Dog" Bayh and Tom "Health-Care Industry Shill" Daschle. Think they might have noticed if Dunn favored a violent overthrow of the capitalist system?

And now she works for the administration of Barack Obama --who cut deals with Big Medicine, who didn't seize the failed banks and boot their top executives out on their asses, who allowed the stimulus to be weakened, who's done little or nothing so far to strengthen regulation of the financial industry, whose mortgage relief program is a joke ... Working for this guy is Dunn's sneaky plan for revolutionary communist change?

For that matter, being this guy is Barack Obama's sneaky plan for revolutionary communist change?

Mark Silva, writing at the Chicago Tribune's Swamp blog, says,

We suspect that Dunn, a veteran of Democratic campaigns, will survive the latest Becking of the White House on FOX....

He's right -- but she'll survive for the wrong reason. She'll survive because she's an insider, and the insiders will circle the wagons to protect her. (When The Washington Post calls you "a D.C.-certified grownup" who has "gravitas," you know you're in the clique and will be protected.)

That's not why she should survive. She should survive because the Beckite attack on her is preposterous. It's not just McCarthyism, it's moronic McCarthyism. Only in Beck's Cloud-Cuckoo-Land can the plain facts of what Dunn's current and former employers have actually done somehow not disprove an accusation of Marxist sympathies.

Then again, in Beck's world (as Salon's Alexander Zaitchik made clear last month), you can be an uber-capitalist and a radical anti-capitalist simultaneously, like the evil international bankers of early-20th-century propaganda. It might not be a problem if there were one nut on the air who actually believed this logical impossibility -- but now we have the entire base of a political party believing it. Talk about your extraordinary delusions and the madness of crowds.

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