Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Friends We Keep, But Try to Hide

Barack Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, one of the founders of the domestic 60s terrorist group the Weathermen, is potentially the most damaging of his campaign.

In 1995, Obama chaired an educational organization with which Ayer's was intimately involved, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Obama's Illinois Senate campaign was first organized in Ayer's home, with the terrorist's co-conspirator wife present. [See here.]

Bad enough that Obama the Zero is floating the excuse that Ayer's actions were carried out when he was "8 years old" — ignoring that he was certainly older than that in 1995. (Obama is 46.) Worse that, while he musters enough outrage to condemn Ayer's youthful folly, he does not ask that Ayers be removed from the University of Chicago faculty. Admittedly pointless from a practical perspective, since the administration undoubtedly knows of Ayers' past, but morally relevant. But now, this Harvard Law grad and former Senior Lecturer on constitutional law at U of C wants to ignore the First Amendment.

Politico reports that, prompted by an AIP pro-McCain ad focused on this relationship, Obama is attempting to use the power of government to suppress the story. Apart from asking the DOJ to investigate possible violations of Federal election rules, his campaign has sent letters to TV stations, slyly intimating possible FCC guideline violations.

It's too early to tell whether the story — the facts of which have been widely known since the beginning of the Senator's campaign — will get traction. It's difficult to tell what will make the major news outlets feature it. Given their obvious desire to see Obama win the election, they will only do so if their readers begin to buzz.

But predicting what the majority of Americans will care about at any given moment is difficult, if not impossible. Obama already got a pass on spending 20 years listening in church to an avowed racist and socialist preacher. He's very likely to get a pass on this, too.

His apologists are already out in force arguing that it doesn't matter because Obama was a child when Ayers designed bombs for his wife and friends to toss into an Army dance. Or, that it doesn't matter because Ayers and crew only wanted to destroy property, not kill people. Or, in the biggest non-sequitur yet, that John McCain is just as bad because he (a) was involved in the Keating Five scandal (he was cleared of wrongdoing), or (b) supported Bush, a "war criminal."

But these creatures are clearly on the extreme Left fringe of sanity, and don't represent the majority of Democrats who, I still believe, have some ethical principles intact. Whether those centrist cousins who vote Democratic will exhibit outrage, we just won't know until we see it.

I'm not holding my breath.

UPDATE: For those interested in seeing the ad that has prompted Obama's campaign to initiate legal maneuvers to suppress it: American Issues Project ad

It isn't very good, but I can't see anything about it that could qualify as defamatory and AIP seems to be on pretty good legal ground in funding it's creation. Apart from that, campaign laws of the type that would restrict AIP from expressing its views should be abolished anyway.

1 comment:

VH said...

It is very obvious that Obama hung out with Ayer because Ayer has the cache of a left wing radical; Obama wants and likes to associate himself with that sort of political philosophy. Rev. Wright met these same needs from the spiritual side: Radical.