What's with Those 'Socialist Summer Camps' Anyway? Here's the Truth
You all recall the following quote from Alvy Singer, Woody Allen’s character in Annie Hall:
You, you, you're like New York, Jewish, left-wing, liberal, intellectual, Central Park West, Brandeis University, the socialist summer camps and the, the father with the Ben Shahn drawings, right, and the really, y'know, strike-oriented kind of, Red Diaper, stop me before I make a complete imbecile of myself.
Allen’s co-writer Marshall Brickman once quipped that these camps were places in which you scored points if your father was going to jail for violating the Smith Act.
Woody’s character was talking to his girlfriend, whom he easily identified as a bona fide Red Diaper baby, and who went to “socialist summer camps.” So what were these camps all about, anyway?
The issue has gone viral since The Daily Caller ran a story yesterday about President Obama’s nominee for head of The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Erica Groshen, who evidently sent her own children to Camp Kinderland sometime in the 1990s.
Sometimes some on the American Right like to make a fool of themselves, and this is one of those times. Her husband made the mistake in May 2011 of giving the gigantic sum of $20 to the Working People’s Party, an electoral spinoff of ACORN and company. But as for Ms. Groshen, as another story reveals, she has the backing of Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute who has stated for the record: “[Groshen is] a very, very good economist and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her,” and adding “no-one could be more Republican than I am.”
She also said that no BLS commissioner could by herself skew the agency’s research or products. The BLS is “a vast bureaucracy with one person at the helm. … It’s just very difficult to change that vast group of technocrats,” she said.
If Ms. Groshen is good enough for Furchtgott-Roth, she’s good enough for me. Sure, Ms. Groshen is undoubtedly a leftist of some sort, but whom do you expect Obama would appoint to the BLS post, Mel Leffler? Any president is entitled to appoint someone he wants, and she has the solid credentials for what is essentially a bureaucratic management position.
But because Americans for Limited Government wants her investigated because she sent her own kids to Commie camp, the camp’s prettifiers have gone all out making jokes about how nutty the right is to think anything but camping went on there.