Jay Carney & the 3 Hilary Rosens

In the midst of last week's furor over Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen's verbal attacks on Ann Romney, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney dragged out an old but increasingly familiar deflection technique: mistaken identity. In response to questions about Rosen's alleged 35 visits to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Carney protested that he knows 3 different women with that name, so he can't say for sure whether the one in the current spotlight actually visited that many times, if at all.   

An obvious attempt to distance the president from Rosen, this is more than pathetically weak -- it borders on black comedy. Perhaps Carney is channeling Chevy Chase as Fletch in an updated version of the Dr. Rosen-Rosen routine; maybe he thinks he's the host of a re-born To Tell the Truth segment (Will the real Hilary Rosen please stand up!) It could be that he's hoping to replace Michael Keaton as the star of the long-awaited follow-up to the 1996 comedy, Multiplicity, and he'll be able to blame Rosen's unwise comments on the fact that she's a copy of a copy of a copy.

The question has to be asked once again: how stupid does he think we are? We know he's trying to downplay the significance of this woman's frequent visits to the WH, but are we actually expected to believe that there are two other women with the same exact name who are meeting with the President and his advisors? Sure, there are 35 visits on the guest log, but if you divide those among 3 Hilary Rosens, it's really only 11.667 visits per Rosen!

Carney is not, of course, the first in this administration to fall back on the old mistaken identity gag. When the records of White House visitors since Obama took office were released in October of 2009, some familiar names appeared on the list: William Ayers, Michael Moore, Jeremiah Wright and Malik Shabbaz. But no, claimed officials, those people did visit the WH, but they're not the guys you're thinking of. These are totally different individuals who just happen to have the same name as the famous folks. Well, OK, if you say so. This is barely believable in the case of Moore and Ayers; not so much for Shabazz. The team over at HotAir.com did accept this explanation, and pointed out that if Bill Ayers wanted to talk to the President, he could always call him and avoid ending up with his name on the log book. A fair point, and quite possible. But there seems to be a pattern here; one that entails the public being asked to buy into absurdly thin excuses for shady behavior on the part of liberals.

Using multiple identities as a smokescreen is not a tactic exclusive to the Obama administration; another example can be found in the testimony of Annie Lee Moss during the McCarthy hearings of 1954. A former cafeteria worker who had been promoted to code clerk at the Pentagon, Moss had access to classified data, and was subsequently exposed by an undercover FBI operative as being a member of the Communist Party, hence McCarthy's interest. During questioning from the Senate subcommittee concerning whether or not she was, indeed, a member, attended Party meetings and had subscribed to the Daily Worker at one time, she exhibited bewilderment and claimed there were...you guessed it.....3 Annie Lee Mosses  in the DC area, the implication being that it was one of the other two who they had mistaken her for.

The Democratic senators on the panel practically fell over themselves apologizing to Moss for the mix-up and the whole scene was used to discredit the purported bully of the story, McCarthy himself. Of course, there were 2 other Annie Mosses, but no other Annie Lee Moss in DC, had anyone bothered to check at the time. She was, indeed, a member of the Communist Party and obviously knew it. She knew, or was coached to understand, that the mistaken identity ploy will work as long as the polite give way to the audacious. The Left will continue to use this tactic until they are successfully challenged, and ultimately, embarrassed by a national press that finally starts doing its job.