Monday, October 6, 2008




by Mark Steyn


Monday, October 06, 2008

From the statement of educators in support of Bill Ayers:

"All citizens, but particularly teachers and scholars, are called upon to challenge orthodoxy, dogma, and mindless complacency, to be skeptical of authoritative claims, to interrogate and trouble the given and the taken-for-granted. Without critical dialogue and dissent we would likely be burning witches and enslaving our fellow human beings to this day..."

"The current characterizations of Professor Ayers—-“unrepentant terrorist,” “lunatic leftist”—-are unrecognizable to those who know or work with him. It’s true that Professor Ayers participated passionately in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s, as did hundreds of thousands of Americans."


Hundreds of thousands of Americans

plotted to kill soldiers and their dates by blowing them up at a dance?

No wonder Barack's ahead in the polls.

The point is not that President-designate Obama is a "close friend" of the unrepentant Ayers, or that he was only eight when his patron was building bombs to kill the women of New Jersey. As Joe Biden would no doubt point out on his entertaining "This Day In History" segment, McCain was only six when Czogolsz killed President McKinley. But I doubt he'd let the guy host a fundraiser for him.

But, in the world in which Obama moves, it would seem absurd and provincial to object to partying with an "unrepentant terrorist". The Senator advanced and prospered in a milieu in which men like Ayers are not just accepted but admired for their "passionate participation", and function as power-brokers and path-smoothers. This is a great country, and most of us (as Peter Kirsanow notes below) make it without having to kiss up to America-haters like Ayers and Wright.

But not Obama.

Who is this man on course to be 44th president?

Apparently, it's not just impolite but racist to ask.

As notorious white supremacist Thomas Sowell [Ed. Tomas Sowell is a black man)

puts it:

"But the country does not deserve to be put in the hands of a glib and cocky know-it-all, who has accomplished absolutely nothing beyond the advancement of his own career with rhetoric, and who has for years allied himself with a succession of people who have openly expressed their hatred of America."

Can the industrial-strength Doris Day fuzzy filter the media are filming him through be penetrated? Time is running out, McCain seems disinclined to do it, and (as Rich says) his lack of an economic message will make the point moot.

As Mark Levin notes below, Obama presents himself as mainstream. I suspect that almost every Cornerite could make each of the following statements:
  • My career was not launched with the assistance of an unrepentant terrorist.
  • My pastor has never said "God damn America."
  • I don't think our troops are "just air-raiding villages and killing civilians."
  • My spouse doesn't think America is a "downright mean country."
  • I've never sat on a board with an unrepentant terrorist.
  • I've never directed millions of dollars to radical organizations.
  • I've never opposed requiring medical care for babies who are born alive.
  • I bought my home without assistance from a convicted felon.
  • I've never taken my kids to a church whose pastor thinks AIDS was created by the government.
If Obama's mainstream, most Americans are extremists.




With all this talk of gloves being taken off and Bill Ayers and all that,

I decided to ask an expert what kind of ad he would make to attack Barack Obama,

if he were given that assignment today.

Alex Castellanos is the widely-acknowledged master of the genre,

but he's not taking part in this presidential campaign. This is the ad he said he'd make:

"When this country and this economy are so near the precipice, do we really want to be driving a car with two accelerators and no brake? A Democratic Congress and a Democratic president like Barack Obama? A complete, unrestricted blank check for inexperienced radical leadership in Washington?"

In short, let voters suffer buyer's remorse now, before the purchase.

BY Jonah Goldberg


Mark (Ed. Steyn) - I love that statement from the noble scholars in defense of Ayers.

Indeed one of my favorite things about the Ayers controversy is that it "heightens the contradictions" of the America left, as the Marxists might say. If I may say so, I was one of the first columnists to write about Ayers (back in Feburary), and my chief interest in Ayers was what he represents:

"What fascinates me is how light the baggage is when one travels from violent radicalism to liberalism. Chicago activist Sam Ackerman told Politico’s reporter that Ayers “is one of my heroes in life.” Cass Sunstein, a first-rank liberal intellectual, said, “I feel very uncomfortable with their past, but neither of them is thought of as horrible types now — so far as most of us know, they are legitimate members of the community.”

It seems to me the liberal left needs to decide, was Ayers a horrible figure to be ashamed of, or a hero? If you don't like this choice, why?

And since I'm quoting myself here's a page from my book on the Weather Underground

passionate civil rights and anti-war movement:

"Many of us forget that the Weather Underground bombing cam-
paign was not a matter of a few isolated incidents. From September
1969 to May 1970, Rudd and his co-revolutionaries on the white rad-
ical left committed about 250 attacks, or almost one terrorist bomb-
ing a day (government estimates put that number up to 600 percent
higher). During the summer of 1970, there were twenty bombings a
week in California. The bombings were the backbeat to the sym-
phony of violence, much of it rhetorical, that set the score for the
New Left in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Rudd captured the tone
perfectly: “It’s a wonderful feeling to hit a pig. It must be a really
wonderful feeling to kill a pig or blow up a building.” “The real di-
vision is not between people who support bombings and people who
don’t,” explained a secret member of a “bombing collective,” but
“between people who will do them and people who are too hung up
on their own privileges and security to take those risks.”

"Bourgeois self-loathing lay at the very heart of the New Left’s ha-
tred of liberalism, its love affair with violence, and its willingness to
take a sledgehammer to Western civilization. “We’re against every-
thing that’s ‘good and decent’ in honky America,” declared one
rebel. “We will burn and loot and destroy. We are the incubation of
your mother’s worst nightmare.” The Weathermen became the storm
troopers of the New Left, horrifying even those who agreed with
their cause. Convinced that all whites were born tainted with the
original sin of “skin privilege,” the fighting brigade of the New Left
internalized racialist thinking as hatred of their own whiteness. “All
white babies are pigs,” declared one Weatherman. On one occasion
the feminist poet Robin Morgan was breast-feeding her son at the of-
fices of the radical journal Rat. A Weatherwoman saw this and told
her, “You have no right to have that pig male baby.” “How can you
say that?” Morgan asked. “What should I do?” “Put it in the
garbage,” the Weatherwoman answered."

"Bernadine Dohrn [Ayers' wife], an acid-loving University of Chicago law stu-
dent turned revolutionary, reflected the widespread New Left fasci-
nation with the serial-killing hippie Übermensch Charles Manson.
“Dig It! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same
room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach!
Wild!” In appreciation, her Weather Underground cell made a three-
fingered “fork” gesture its official salute."

Yep, nothing but a lot of singing "We Shall Overcome" and peaceful civil disobedience here!


BY Yuval Levin


Very soon after she was picked to be McCain’s running mate,
Sarah Palin was attacked by Obama campaign spokesmen and a Democratic member of Congress for once being seen wearing a Pat Buchanan button. She had an answer and the campaign offered it.
Yet now we are asked to believe that it’s somehow inappropriate to inquire why Barack Obama’s political career began in the home of an admitted and unrepentant domestic terrorist of the radical left?

“Who is Barack Obama?”
is not an irrelevant question given the job Obama is seeking, and it’s a question he has sought mightily to avoid answering. The veil of secrecy he has thrown over his past (journalists have been denied access to his state legislative office records, documents about state earmarks he distributed in Illinois, a list of his legal clients, his state bar application, billing records related to Tony Rezko, medical records, academic records — all of which are the sort of documents candidates routinely make public) forces the question all the more.

The Obama campaign’s response to the question appears to be to raise John McCain’s connection to the Keating Five scandal. It is by no means out of bounds to raise the issue. McCain received campaign funds from Keating, his wife’s company had been involved in investment ventures with him, and he once met with federal regulators about Keating’s bank — though the Senate Ethics Committee found that unlike three other senators involved in the scandal, “Senator McCain’s actions were not improper.” The committee said only that he had exercised bad judgment by being involved with Keating at all and not seeing what others were doing. In fact, Bob Bennett, who was the Democratic lawyer selected by the committee to investigate the Keating Five, says in his book that he recommended that McCain’s name be dropped from the investigation because there was no evidence against him but, for political reasons (the other Senators were all Democrats), McCain’s name was left on the list.

McCain’s response to that scandal should certainly be compared with Obama’s Ayers explanations. McCain has spoken and written about every detail of the Keating mess, has expressed open contrition for allowing himself to be drawn into it even tangentially, and devoted years of his career to combating corruption as a result. He even badly overreacted and pushed for vastly excessive regulation of campaign financing. He has said (in a book in which he details his and others’ actions in the matter) that merely the appearance of impropriety involved makes his involvement with Keating “the worst mistake of my life.”

Had Obama done and said something similar regarding the sort of radicalism Ayers represents, he would now have an answer to offer. Instead, he has worked with Ayers, supported his causes, and denied any significance to the links between them. That, too, makes this a legitimate question about a man who would be president.

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