No one knows that better than the nervous Obama and his fellow dissemblers.
Like many of his Big Media colleagues, Scott Conroy of CBS News thinks Governor Palin’s recent criticism of Senator Obama for associating with terrorist-turned-education-professor-and-curriculum-guru Bill Ayers signals Republican willingness to “make the election a referendum on Obama’s character, rather than the issues facing the country.”
Get a load of the “rather than,” which cloaks refusal to admit that the character of a major party nominee for the presidency might actually be one of the issues facing the country,
Conroy goes on to write that “Palin has increasingly focused her remarks on tearing down Obama.” Like the CNN panelist who stopped analyzing the second presidential debate to fret that “what Sarah Palin is doing is so dangerous,” Conroy seems to think it would be better to build up the junior Senator from Illinois than to criticize his judgment.
Why affirmation of all things Obama is a task that belongs even to his opponents, or how silencing argument squares with the First Amendment, no Palin critic will say.
WITH EARLY VOTING already under way in many states, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod now tiptoes up to questions about Ayers by recycling the defense that his boss first used to distance himself from Rev. Jeremiah Wright. What Axelrod told the New York Post can be paraphrased as “Bill Ayers the unrepentant terrorist is not the Bill Ayers whom Obama (barely) knows.”
To hear Axelrod tell it, Obama was ignorant of Ayers’ past when he launched a state senate campaign at a fundraising party in the home that Ayers shares with his wife, fellow Weather Underground terrorist Bernadine Dohrn. After all, the defense goes, Ayers and Dohrn were well into their second careers by 1995, and the bombings that sprang from their zealous opposition to the Vietnam War happened when Obama was only eight years old.
As a chronology of tactical adjustments by members of the Weather Underground and a nod to the blame-shifting impulse of violent hippies, that is correct as far as it goes. But it is also more like a scene from Forrest Gump than the Obama campaign probably intends.
The “too young to know” line tries to absolve Barack Obama of surprising ignorance while soft-pedaling the explosive rage of the man who helped launch his political career. In both respects, it fails in the same way that “the war and that lying son of a bitch Johnson” cannot justify sucker-punching a girlfriend.
Ayers and Dohrn are professors in a neighborhood where the local coffee shop almost doubles as a faculty lounge for the University of Chicago. Their jobs, in other words, are unremarkable. But they are celebrities of sorts because they bombed whatever they could back in the day.
Nearly forty years after the crimes for which he and his associates became notorious, “Ayers sees his education work as carrying on his radicalism in a new guise,” writes Stanley Kurtz.
That Obama knew none of this as a rising politician fails even the smell test at Democrat-friendly CNN. Long past his eighth birthday, Obama publicly endorsed Ayers’ book on juvenile justice. The two men worked together against a 1998 juvenile crime bill that neither liked. And Ayers’ memoir of life on the run has striking tonal similarities to Obama’s Dreams From My Father.
EVEN IF WE ACCEPT the argument from ignorance, we know that Barack Obama had heard about Ayers’ past by 2001, as a campaign spokesman recently admitted to Mark Halperin of Time magazine. That year, Ayers was photographed stomping on an American flag, He also reminisced about his bomber days in a profile that the New York Times had the misfortune to publish on September 11. People have parted company with each other for lesser reasons, but nothing Ayers did or said caused Obama to resign from the board of the comically progressive foundation on which they both served at the time.
Moreover, as Stanley Kurtz points out, when a New York Times reporter writes that Obama has never expressed sympathy for Ayers’ radicalism, “he’s flat wrong,” In fact, Obama helped bankroll that radicalism via grants to school projects and community organizing groups that teach what Ayers calls his “small-c communist” philosophy.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?