No one knows that better than the nervous Obama and his fellow dissemblers.
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Because it is now impossible to ignore a story that they were never troubled by, Big Media has adopted the fallback position of referring to Ayers as a “former” radical or an “alleged” terrorist. The Associated Press even turns the odometer back to call Ayers a “60s” radical, as though his career ended before the Beatles broke up. “Former” and “alleged” are weasel-word adjectives for a man who called himself “guilty as sin” and has never repudiated the radicalism of his youth. Far from going the way of bell-bottom pants and mutton chop sideburns, that radicalism simply earned academic credentials while morphing from “Kill the pigs” into “Leave the gun. Take the cannolli.”
All of this has received less attention than it deserves, partly because Hillary Clinton let Obama wax indignantly about an Ayers question early this year, and partly because John McCain whiffed his own chance to ask Obama about Ayers on live TV. McCain could have raised questions about Ayers in the context of people like Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko, but he remains reluctant to look at the crowded asphalt under Obama’s bus, or glance overseas at the likes of Obama supporters like Kenyan Communist Raila Odinga, and so he left that line of inquiry to his running mate.
WHEN AYERS WAS ELECTED this past March to a leadership role in the nation’s largest organization of education school professors and researchers, Sol Stern was one of the few journalists who sprinted for the bell tower to warn the rest of us about the Hyde Park drifter coming to paint the curriculum red. “Ayers is widely regarded as a member in good standing of the city’s civic establishment, not an unrepentant domestic terrorist,” Stern wrote. “But Obama and his critics are arguing about the wrong moral question. The more pressing issue is not the damage done by the Weather Underground 40 years ago, but the far greater harm inflicted on the nation’s schoolchildren by the political and educational movement in which Ayers plays a leading role today.”
Stern had a point. Ayers would be the “distraction from real issues” that Obama supporters make him out to be if he were an aberration in the senator’s life, but he’s just another angry mentor in a long string of associates whose political views range from Old Left to New Left. Even Obama’s chief blogger is an avowed socialist. And the impetus for worrying about this striking lack of diversity, for those who have forgotten, is that socialism depends on coercion.
It may seem unfair to pick on Obama for his willingness to hobnob with disreputable characters, knowing that his more fervid supporters misread even naked opportunism as attention to messianic duty, but the candidate does no better if you look exclusively at his policy prescriptions. Forget finger-pointing over war strategy and tax plans: we’ve already seen Obama say in two debates that he’s going to go “line by line” through the federal budget, “ending programs that don’t work and making those that do work more efficient.” It’s “stroke of the pen; law of the land,” as performed by an honors graduate of the “Magick School of Problem Solving” who really seems to have it in for the country he calls “Pockeestan.”
In short, neither personal nor political lenses do Obama’s vaunted judgment any favors. Barnum and Bailey built a big-top empire on fewer delusions, and that is why the last word on whether any relationship between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers should be considered a legitimate subject for discussion properly belongs to John M. Murtagh, one of the people whom Bill Ayers tried to kill.
Writes Murtagh: “Nobody should hold the junior senator from Illinois responsible for his friends’ and supporters’ violent terrorist acts. But it is fair to hold him responsible for a startling lack of judgment in his choice of mentors, associates, and friends, and for showing a callous disregard for the lives they damaged and the hatred they have demonstrated for this country.”
You think Murtagh is wrong?
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.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?