Meet Ron Bloom, your friendly neighborhood manufacturing czar. This was sent to us last night, then I forgot about it, and now that it’s posted at Ace’s I’m realizing why I forgot: There’s so little context that it’s hard to tell what his ultimate point is, really. To me, it sounds like he’s building to a “but,” and in any case, when he talks about power coming from the barrel of a gun, there’s no reason to think he’s not speaking metaphorically (i.e. political success depends more on strength and aggression than reasonableness and compromise). He also founded an investment banking firm before joining the Steelworkers, so he and the chairman clearly have their share of disagreements too. Besides, the most objectionable part of what Anita Dunn did wasn’t quoting Mao or even saying that she agreed with a statement of his; it was that she called him one of her favorite philosophers. Even in a best-case scenario where she really was joking, that’s an awfully cavalier joke coming from a presidential advisor.
Needless to say, if a Republican advisor ever began a sentence with, oh, “We agree with Senator Joe McCarthy that…”, you could pretty much stop the presses right there.