Wednesday, February 27, 2008


[I have to post this now, before Hillary gets knocked out of the race.]

Press me, I’ll admit I’m a communist. Or a socialist. Or a democratic socialist. I’m definitely a Marxist, or something pointing stiffly in that direction.

It’s pathetic that in the USA communism is taboo. Most European countries have (mostly small) Communist Parties, I think. No big deal.

So, in my mind, it’s kind of neat that Hillary Clinton, for a summer internship while at Yale Law, chose a self-described communist law firm.

I spent five weeks of the summer of 1969 house-and-dog sitting in the Oakland Hills, up and around a winding road from College Avenue in Berkeley. Two summers later that house would be visited by Hillary Clinton.

The house belonged to Mal Burnstein and his wife. Mal had represented me and nine co-defendants in a successful seven week trial of one group of SF State 1968 Student Strike mass arrestees. Acquittals all around. I mentioned this in a previous post.

Mal was way too good for the venue. The judge had to call a quick recess at the end of Mal’s day-and-a-half summation because three of the jurors were sobbing.

The Commie law firm where Hillary interned in the summer of 1971 was Treuhaft, Walker, & Burnstein. BTW: Bob Treuhaft’s wife was Jessica Mitford, who called herself “Mrs Treuhaft” on the phone. I don’t know about my attorney, Mal Burnstein, but according to many sources, Treuhaft and Walker were CPUSA.

And, according to this New York Sun article, TW&B’s clients included the Oakland Black Panthers, who, at the time, were being gunned down by Cointelpro, and charged with killing cops.

I bring this up to contradict Hillary’s claim that she, as opposed to Barrack, is “fully vetted.” She's been investigated, but not all the mud has been thrown, yet.

From the Sun story:

One partner at the firm, Doris Walker, was a Communist Party member at the time. Another partner, Robert Treuhaft, had left the party in 1958, several years after being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and labeled as one of America's most "dangerously subversive" lawyers.

In her book, Hillary refers to Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein simply as "a small Oakland law firm," at least according to the Sun article.

Based on her internship with TW&B, the hot-button terms that can fairly be associated with Hillary in political ads against her include: Communist, Black Panthers, Cop killer, Huey Newton, Violent radicals.

As in:

Hillary interned in 1971 with a Berkeley based Communist law firm that helped Black Panther Huey Newton beat cop killing charges, and defended other violent radicals and dissenters.

Everything in that statement is true except for “Berkeley-based.” The law firm was located in neighboring Oakland, which doesn’t pack quite the same zing as “Berkeley.”

The implied charge is that Mrs Clinton is secretly still a communist, waiting to seize power before displaying her true colors. Most observers, I guess, would call this charge ridiculous.

For me, it would be a reason to vote FOR her.

But there probably are some undead voters somewhere who'd want to arise from their Barcaloungers one more time to vote against “all that hippy crap.”

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Jerry Jarvis said...

Hillary isn't very socialist when it comes to health care.

sfwillie said...

You and I agree. But many with the franchise consider her plan "socialized medicine."

I don't think Hillary has an idiology. She traded that, plus her soul, for a career.

malb said...

You must be the sob that let my dog die.


sfwillie said...

Mal-- My recollection is that I was there when you and your wife returned, and Tosca seemed normal and certainly alive. Your wife drove me down the hill, so I could take public transit back to San Francisco.

Did Tosca die shortly thereafter? Was cause of death attributable to me?

I feel terrible ablut this.

malb said...

If our dog you minded was Tosca, then no, Tosca was fine. Whomever stayed at our house in the summer of 68 neglected our then dog, who died while we were gone. I thought you had the year wrong; instead, I have the dog-sitter wrong. Sorry.