There have been a plethora of great thinkers in the history of Western civilization. Plato. Voltaire. Adam Smith. John Locke. Benjamin Franklin. Thomas Jefferson. Emerson. Kant. Great Eastern thinkers have included Confucius, Buddha and Laozi. The list is endless.
The point is, there are more influential and inspiring writers, thinkers and leaders in human history than you can fit into one newspaper article. Books have been written about them. And, of course, there's the list of the "Harvard Classics" -- the essential volumes of Western literature and thought that Harvard President Charles W. Eliot conceived as a nearly complete liberal education on a "five-foot shelf."
Given all this, you have to wonder how it is that White House Communications Director Anita Dunn says "two of my favorite political philosophers" are Mother Teresa -- and Mao Zedong (formerly Tse-tung).
Dunn now claims her remarkable statement made to a high school audience was in jest. We've seen the video, and we don't buy that.
Regardless, for the White House communications director to be extolling the virtues of Mao, either humorously or not, shows a tremendous lack of judgment and calls into question the foundation of her thinking.
Again, there are plenty of non-murderers in history she could have cited for the kids.
We don't know if Dunn is truly sympathetic to Mao's political philosophies. In a vacuum, you'd be tempted to give her the benefit of the doubt. Yet, against the backdrop of other Obama associates' radicalism -- Van Jones, William Ayers, Mark Lloyd (the new FCC "chief diversity officer" who wants an end to private media ownership and calls Hugo Chavez's dictatorship in Venezuela "an incredible revolution, a democratic revolution") you have to wonder.
According to the book Mao: The Unknown Story -- which, not surprisingly, is banned in China -- Mao Zedong was responsible for as many as 70 million deaths in peacetime China, was bent on world domination and had an intimate relationship with that other paragon of political virtue, mass murderer Josef Stalin.
It's amazing one can utter Mao's name in the same sentence with Mother Teresa to begin with, and doubly amazing that you can do it without being struck by lightning.
In another remarkable statement, Dunn has said the Obama campaign, in an effort to control what the media reported last year, offered the press a number of in-house videos "because it was a way for us to get our message out without having to actually talk to reporters."
If Sarah Palin or John McCain had said that, the left-wing media would go ballistic. So far, few have even noticed Dunn's utterings, even those that are about them being manipulated by the Obama campaign.
But if the left-wing media finds it a bore that a Mao-loving Obama official would talk about controlling the media's reporting, at least Beijing would be proud.