Irish Diary: Of 'First Amendment Areas' and Jay Carney's Commie Posters

Vsia vlast’ Sovetam! Vsia vlast’ Sovetam!

On the other hand, not everything is a plot against the Republic.

There's been a lot of nonsense written on the Right about the Soviet posters in White House press secretary Jay Carney's kitchen. Here's some now, first from Reason -- "Jay Carney, Communist Propaganda Connoisseur:"

White House press secretary and occasional beard grower Jay Carney likes political art. Particularly, he likes Soviet military propaganda.

This fact was accidentally revealed in, of all places, the latest issue of Washingtonian MOM magazine. The journal did a profile on Carney's wife, Claire Shipman. There's a lot of fun facts about Carney's preferred brand of $275 sneakers (Hugo Boss) and how the family's Portuguese water dog is related to Obama's (cousins!)... Can you spot the strangest thing about this totally candid picture? Hint: It's not that each member of the Carney clan eats a pyramid's worth of food for breakfast.

Rather, it's the World War II-era Soviet poster pointing over Shipman's shoulder, which asks if you've enlisted in the Red Army yet (because you're going to get drafted anyway), and the other one beyond the sink, which asks if you've gotten a factory job to fill in for your husband (who has probably been shot on the front lines).

And this, from the American Thinker:

The sad fact is that progressives in much of the developed world have a soft spot in their hearts for communism. Yeah, it murdered a hundred million people or more, but you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. And those who were murdered were not very fashionable, for the most part.

The Washingtonian photo is a tell. There is a sickness, a willful blindness toward the crimes of communism because it is so close to the progressive ideology that animates the American Ruling Class. Shipman and Carney are the perfect exemplars of that class. Smart, fit, busy, anxious to make their own lives perfect, and convinced that the price other people pay for their progressive dreams is not worth mentioning or even noticing.

Oh, please. By this standard, I'm a Commie symp myself, since I also have Soviet-era posters adorning the walls of my home; I picked them up in Moscow and Leningrad during my various working trips to the late Soviet Union. Which is where I met my old Time colleague, Jay Carney, who was working in our Moscow bureau while I big-footed in on various occasions for both Time and Time International. I have a splendid poster from 1985 celebrating the top men in the Politburo, with a birthmark-airbrushed Mikhail Gorbachev leading the pack, as well as a suitably martial Soviet military triptych, just awaiting a frame big enough and more wall space. Not to mention various artifacts from the German Democratic Republic, including the piece de resistance, a chunk of the Berlin Wall that I sledgehammered out myself and brought back to the States as a souvenir of the triumph of the West. Know thy enemy, I always say:

Bulgakov's Devil, come to life Bulgakov's Devil, come to life

Sometimes a poster is only a poster. Sometimes it's a warning shot. And sometimes it's a real pleasure.