Video: John McCain Quotes Chairman Mao
As Glenn Beck does his best impression of Joseph McCarthy and tries to get White House Communications Director Anita Dunn hounded out of office for quoting Mao Zedong in a speech at St. Andrews Episcopal School, all I can say is, “Uh oh.”
(Hat tip: Dave Weigel.)
UPDATE at 10/16/09 12:13:05 pm:
Oh noes! Newt Gingrich is a commie too!
While Gingrich, who made his reputation by attacking the ethics of fellow Members, did call the House a “personable place” where colleagues use “friendship to minimize friction,” the overall theme of his remarks was downright martial.
Schools do a bad job of teaching students about Congress, said the former college history professor, because they emphasize lessons about how things get done, rather than how Members fight. The two houses of Congress, said Gingrich, are “arenas for conflict” where “we sublimate civil war to bring people together.”
Gingrich even quoted a political leader not previously known to be one of his influences. “War is politics with blood; politics is war without blood,” said the Speaker, citing the late Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung. [Roll Call, 5/29/95 (accessed via Nexis)]
UPDATE at 10/16/09 1:01:27 pm:
Anita Dunn responds:
In an e-mail message, Ms. Dunn said, “My source for the Mao quote was actually the late Lee Atwater, either in an article or bio I read after the 1988 election. Now that I’ve revealed this I hope I don’t get Keith Olbermann angry with me. Let it be noted that I also quoted Mother Teresa, but no one is accusing me of being a saint!”
The speech she gave was a high school commencement address. Ms. Dunn says that the line about Mao and Mother Teresa was intended to be ironic – neither are political philosophers – and that she used it simply to illustrate a larger point about the importance of challenging the conventional wisdom.
In case you’ve forgotten who Lee Atwater was:
Harvey LeRoy “Lee” Atwater (February 27, 1951 – March 29, 1991) was an American political consultant and strategist to the Republican party. He was an advisor of U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and Chairman of the Republican National Committee.