The Other McCain

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David Axelrod’s Red Roots: Obama Adviser’s Communist Ties Exposed

Posted on | March 4, 2012 | 37 Comments

The cover story of the March print edition of The American Spectator is not yet online and, if you are not yet a subscriber to the magazine, I urge you to rush out to the nearest Barnes & Noble or wherever else you can buy a copy, because it’s definitely worth the $5.95 newstand price.

Presidential historian Paul Kengor has dug up some fascinating facts about the background of David Axelrod, showing President Obama’s top political strategist to have deep ties to the American Communist Party (CPUSA) and other leftist individuals and organizations.

For example, Axelrod’s mother, Myril Bennett Axelrod, worked for the left-wing New York newspaper, PM. Although it lasted less than a decade (1940-48), PM became notorious because of its penetration by Stalinists and others who promoted the Communist Party line on issues both foreign and domestic. Kengor points out that PM‘s famed Washington correspondent, I.F. Stone, was subsequently identified as a Soviet agent both in the so-called “Venona” documents and also by a former top KGB official, Oleg Kalugin.

It is unclear where Axelrod’s mother fit in the orbit of Communists, Soviet sympathizers and other “progressives” who worked at PM, Kengor says, because despite “scouring reel upon reel of microfiche” copies of the newspaper, he was “unable to find a single article with Myril’s byline.” Nevertheless, her association with the paper locates her politics on the far-left fringe of the American politic spectrum in the 1940s, which would seem important to understanding her son’s later activities.

While a student at the University of Chicago in the early 1970s, David Axelrod began working as a political reporter for the Hyde Park Herald, which Kengor says brought Axelrod to the attention of Don Rose and David Canter. Both of these men were associated with the Communist Party and other far-left organizations.

Kengor explains that David Canter’s father, Harry Canter, was “an instructor at the Abraham Lincoln School, an infamous Chicago-based [CPUSA] front that instructed pupils in the teachings of Marx and Lenin.” David Canter followed in his Communist father’s footsteps, so that a 1970 congressional investigation report, “Guide to Subversive Organizations and Publications,” lists David Canter 25 times. His Chicago-based publishing company was believed to be partly subsidized by Soviet funds and in the 1960s, Kengor writes, “David Canter and Don Rose joined forces to start a [Chicago-area] community newspaper called Hyde Park-Kenwood Voices.”

This Canter-Rose publication “was on the far left,” Kengor writes. Hyde Park-Kenwood Voices editorialized for the abolition of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), whose investigations had exposed the pro-Soviet subversive activities of both David Canter and his father Harry. At a time when U.S. troops were fighting communism in Vietnam, Hyde Park-Kenwood Voices also published “pro-Hanoi screeds by [Students for a Democratic Society] members based in Chicago,” Kengor writes.

Don Rose was associated with SDS (the left-wing campus organization from which Bill Ayers’s terrorist splinter group Weather Underground spun off in 1969) and was also a member of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, commonly known by the slang term “the Mobe.”

Rose and Canter played a critical role as “mentors” to young David Alexrod, Kengor explains, citing numerous sources including David Canter’s son Marc Canter for the fact that it was a letter of recommendation from Don Rose that helped Axelrod land a job as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. By 1987, all three of these men — Don Rose, David Canter and David Axelrod, who had left journalism to become a paid political adviser — were part of the campaign to re-elect Harold Washington as Chicago’s mayor.

Kengor’s American Spectator article is important because Axelrod’s background — like Obama’s associations with such left-wing figures as Frank Marshall Davis and Bill Ayers — shows how ideas, policies and rhetoric originating in Marxist-Leninist doctrine and anti-American propaganda have been “mainstreamed” into Democratic Party politics.

Critics of Kengor’s investigative report will likely raise the charge of “McCarthyism,” expecting us to miss the irony of that accusation because, of course, revelations from the Venona papers and other sources have largely vindicated Sen. Joseph McCarthy: There were Soviet agents in the U.S. government, and the American Communist Party was at all times an instrument of Soviet subversion.

What strikes me, in Kengor’s extensive account of Axelrod’s background (the article is more than 5,000 words long), is the remarkable degree to which Americans seem to have lost their horror of Communism in the post-Cold War era. There was a time when anyone with such clear connections to the world of Marxist subversion would have been regarded as an untouchable in mainstream American politics. But if a far-left agitator like Obama could be elected president, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that no one is alarmed by the far-left background of his chief political strategist.


37 Responses to “David Axelrod’s Red Roots: Obama Adviser’s Communist Ties Exposed”

  1. Mortimer Snerd
    March 4th, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

    “But if a far-left agitator like Obama could be elected president, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that no one is alarmed by the far-left background of his chief political strategist.”

    Bingo.  Sadly, most people just don’t care.

  2. WarEagle
    March 4th, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

     And Axelrod’s  favorite Beatles song is undoubtedly “Back in the USSR.”

  3. Janet C
    March 4th, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

    What M. Snerd said.

  4. David Axelrod’s Communist Past Comes to Light | The Lonely Conservative
    March 4th, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    […] Axelrod’s Communist Past Comes to LightMarch 4, 2012 By Lonely Conservative No comments yetStacy McCain has a preview of a Paul Kengor article in this month’s print edition of the American Spectator documenting […]

  5. AnonymousDrivel
    March 4th, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

    I’m glad another volume of specifics are coming out, but didn’t we already know this to be essentially true? Obama was the fast-tracked idol of The New Party. It was only really hidden by our beloved MFM, but the activists weren’t all that private about it.

    For all of the water around us, and we’re practically drowning in it, will enough Americans drink? Forget the MFM for a moment, too. If we, as a nation and without the blinders the MFM keeps trying to affix, cannot see the Communism inherent in the system, then America is done.

  6. Sven
    March 4th, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    I’ll take a look at the article when it comes out, but this summary makes it sound like pretty thin gruel. 

    So Axelrod’s mother worked for (but never wrote anything for) a newspaper that was “penetrated by Stalinists.” Was she the bookkeeper? The receptionist? What is the connection between her unspecified relationship to this defunct newspaper and her son’s influence on current U.S. policy? 

    You know, it’s easy to paint Svetlana Aliluyeva as a Communist, too: her father was the original Stalinist. All you have to do is ignore Svetlana’s actual life and politics, which is what it sounds like this article does.

  7. Mike G.
    March 4th, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    I’ve written about this before and it isn’t just a recent phenomenon. Communist/Socialist subversion of our government has been going on since Woodrow Wilson’s time in the White House.

  8. Adjoran
    March 4th, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    When you point out what a bunch of communists this crowd is, they holler, “McCarthyism!”

    As a historical footnote, McCarthy’s suspicions were quite correct.  His famous “list” of commies in the federal government was invented, but the real number was far greater than even McCarthy imagined.

    There may not be a career employee in the State Department even today whose first loyalty is to the United States of America.  Not all are communists, of course, most give allegiance to an amorphous goal of internationalism (if you dig deep enough, you will discover it is rooted in Marxism anyway).

  9. Javert
    March 4th, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

    I’m shocked! Shocked!

  10. Mortimer Snerd
    March 4th, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    Then you haven’t been paying attention :>)

  11. Bob Belvedere
    March 4th, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

    Stacy, a suggestion: List Stanley Kurtz’s book Radical-in-Chief which besides documenting Obama’s deep connection to Marxists, on Page 187, shows Axelrod’s connection with notorious Socialist [and felon] Robert Creamer.

  12. AnonymousDrivel
    March 4th, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    I’ll take a brief respite from my Ann Coulter bashing to remind folks she wrote a book on this.

    Yes, the Communists were and are not phantoms. They just keep changing the vocabulary – but not their beliefs – to maintain another Big Lie.

  13. stevie314159
    March 4th, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

    Dow 13,000!  God, I love this brand of communism.


  14. Mortimer Snerd
    March 4th, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    I wonder how many Americans under 40 have any idea who Senator McCarthy was?  Not many, I suspect, and those who do probably vaguely identify him as an evil man who persecuted innocents, as they were indoctrinated to do by the liberal media and academe.

  15. Mortimer Snerd
    March 4th, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

    Right, Stevie.  Pay no attention to the fact that we’re drowning in trillions of dollars of debt and morally bankrupt.


  16. Bill
    March 4th, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

    Kengor is a little late to the party. Jerome Corsi documented all this about four years ago  in his book Obama Nation….

  17. Mike G.
    March 4th, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

     Kengor and Corsi are just continuing documentation done back in the early 1960’s by a fellow by the name of John A. Stormer.

    The only thing that’s changed are the names of the Marxists in government service.

  18. SDN
    March 4th, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

    By the time QE3 works its’ way through the system, we’ll see Dow 130,000. Hope you’ve bought a wheelbarrow.

  19. Pathfinder's wife
    March 4th, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

    Yep, he’s a commie — the whole lot of them are pretty darn pinko.

    But I’m waiting for the day somebody finally blows the lid off the way these people’s party people used their little real estate scams to get rich off the backs of the very poor.  Some of the housing projects, and the conditions therein, that were “organized” in Chicago make for an interesting study…straight out of a production set of Les Miserables one could say…except these folks got voted in by their victims (or at least a goodly portion of them; some didn’t fall for the bait though).

  20. DefendAmerica
    March 4th, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

    Even five years ago…we wouldn’t have stood for this.

    Maybe it’s the after-effects of the Invasion..

  21. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 5th, 2012 @ 3:40 am

    From Breitbart with love…

    I also linked to the Other McCain (fifth time today and the week is young!)

  22. Dooraghero
    March 5th, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    Got that right!  You’ll need a wheelbarrow of cash just to buy a loaf of bread.  Can you say “Weimar Republic?”

  23. Bob Belvedere
    March 5th, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    …Of The Body Snatchers

  24. Bob Belvedere
    March 5th, 2012 @ 8:13 am

    Let us not forget that Andrew Breitbart had promised some tapes that Larry O’Connor says will be released.

  25. Bob Belvedere
    March 5th, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    Andrew Breitbart’s last article has been published, entitled:
    The Vetting, Part I: Barack’s Love Song To Alinsky.

  26. ThePaganTemple
    March 5th, 2012 @ 9:27 am

     You don’t know much about the government, Obama, or for that matter the stock market, do you? Do you actually read this blog or does somebody have to read it to you?

  27. theBuckWheat
    March 5th, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    Socialism and its ugly twin sister Communal-ism are the belief that we can live at the expense of others.  Christians should easily see how this structurally must violate the Commandments that forbid coveting and theft.  That we all will be better off is a shameless lie, and thus violates yet another Commandment.   The truth is that rational humans who appreciate the rights of others cannot participate, and must be forced to do so by the barrel of a gun, a fact famously noted by Mao.

  28. Andrew
    March 5th, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

    No one cares. 

    If Obama loses it will because the economy sucks, not because some wingnuts found out he has Kevin Bacon-esque ties to commies.

  29. Andrew
    March 5th, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    I see nowhere in the Bible where it says taxes are equivalent to theft. 

    A democratically elected government levying a fee on its citizens is not the same thing as a band of armed robbers breaking into people’s houses and taking their shit. If taxes are theft, then are all arrests kidnappings?

  30. Obama’s Adviser, David Axelrod and His Ties to Communism « Scotty Starnes's Blog
    March 5th, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    […] TheOtherMcCain: Presidential historian Paul Kengor has dug up some fascinating facts about the background of David […]

  31. Monday Roundup 3/5/12 Obama is the Problem, Not Contraception Edition
    March 5th, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    […] David Axelrod’s Red Roots: Obama Adviser’s Communist Ties Exposed […]

  32. radargeek
    March 5th, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    Its called legalized robbery. Of course, YOUR government uses the fees they levy against their people in a responsible manner and are not drunk with power, corrupted, wasteful, and unicorns are found in Georgia…

  33. Bob Mack
    March 5th, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

    In government, as in nature, birds of similar species flock together.  Which is why you see so many red feathers protruding from the Obama aviary.

  34. poptoy1949
    March 6th, 2012 @ 6:06 am

    Is anyone out there really surprise by this news ?  This has to be circulated so that people can begin to see why things are bad in this country.  The o-Administration is trying to bring this country to it’s knees.

  35. Pat
    March 7th, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

    Not surprising in that BHO’s mother was at the University ofHawaii when one of then textbooks was Mao’s “Little Red Book”

  36. IdahoConservativeRedneck
    March 8th, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

    Most go to public schools, therefore, they are NOT educated they are indoctrinated

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    March 9th, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

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