Let me just add two points to Hans’s post.
1. While Dunn’s anabashed affection for the most execrable mass-murderer in history is shocking, the Maoists in Obama’s attic are not a new story — just a story obstinately ignored by the mainstream media. Before the election, I wrote a column (“Another Communist in Obama’s Orb”) about Obama pal Mike Klonsky. Here’s a sampling:
Here’s what you need to know. Klonsky is an unabashed communist whose current mission is to spread Marxist ideology in the American classroom. Obama funded him to the tune of nearly $2 million. Obama, moreover, gave Klonsky a broad platform to broadcast his ideas: a “social justice” blog on the official Obama campaign website…. Klonsky’s communist pedigree could not be clearer. His father, Robert Klonsky, was an American communist who was convicted in the mid-Fifties for advocating the forcible overthrow of the United States government — a violation of the Smith Act, anti-communist legislation ultimately gutted by the Supreme Court. In the Sixties, Klonsky the younger teamed with Ayers, Dohrn, and other young radicals to form the Students for a Democratic Society. It was out of the SDS that Ayers and Dohrn helped found the Weatherman terrorist group.
Klonsky took a different path, albeit one that led inexorably to a new partnership with Ayers, which Obama mightily helped underwrite. Upon splitting off from the SDS, Klonsky formed a Maoist organization, first known as the “October League,” which ultimately became the “Communist Party (Marxist Leninist).” Klonsky was CP(ML)’s chairman. He was so highly thought of by Mao’s regime that he was among the first Americans invited to visit Communist China. When he was feted there in 1977, a year after Mao’s death, the communist leadership hailed Klonsky’s party as “reflecting the aspirations of the proletariat and working people.” Klonsky was a regular guest of the Chicoms until 1981, when the relationship soured over the post-Mao leadership’s free-market reforms. (Yes, Klonsky is apparently more committed to communism than China’s own Communist Party.) So what was a Leftist radical without platform to do? Why, what else? He became an American college professor specializing in education. After getting his doctorate, Klonsky eventually made his way to Chicago and hooked up with his old SDS comrade (and self-professed “small ‘c’ communist”) Bill Ayers. Together, they co-founded the Small Schools Workshop in 1991. The goal — as Ayers has repeatedly made clear, most prominently in a 2006 speech before Hugo Chavez at an education forum in Caracas — is to bring the same Leftist revolution that has always galvanized them into the classroom.
2. At his blog, Roger Kimball offers trenchant thoughts on Dunn and Mao:
N.B.: Anita Dunn is not just an Obama hanger-on. She is part of his inner circle, one of his top aides, along with David Axelrod, Rahm Emmanuel, and Robert Gibbs. What does it mean that someone in that position proffers one of the greatest monsters the world has ever seen for emulation?
Anita Dunn calls Mao a “political philosopher.” In fact, as a real philosopher, the late, great Leszek Kolakowski, understood, Mao’s real achievement was as “one of the greatest, if not the very greatest, manipulator of large masses of human beings in the twentieth century.” His violent peasant revolution mouthed Marxist slogans, but at its core was less Marxist than a particularly rebarbative form of anarchic and anti-intellectual tyranny. “The obfuscation of Western admirers of Chinese Communism,” Kolakowski observes toward the end of his magnum opus, Main Currents of Marxism, “is scarcely believable.” I wish he were still here for Anita Dunn.
In the 1960s and 1970s, many American universities, along with some other Western redoubts of privilege and irresponsibility, harbored a few deluded characters who declared themselves Maoists and were found of toting around his pathetic compendium of absurdity, “The Little Red Book.” These creatures were the sorriest detritus of our own cultural revolution. Some destroyed themselves. Others grew up, in whole or part, and were absorbed by a rich and forgiving society into the tissues of American life. Only now is it clear that some of the most radical and benighted have subsisted long enough in the outer corridors of power to find themselves suddenly translated into its inner sanctum, the White House and other top agencies of the Untied States government. It is an eventuality that would be risible were it not repulsive and, indeed frightening.
So, we have a self-professed admirer of Mao Tse-Tung in a top job at the White House. Where does it end? Where?