Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Obama Must Answer For Ayers, Then McCain Should Apologize To America

From Andrew Sullivan and his political blog, The Daily Dish at The Atlantic:

"The far right is obsessed with the question of Bill Ayers, much more obsessed than with the war in Iraq or Afghanistan or the Palin farce or the financial meltdown. Their obsession is unseemly but it is not, alas, without any basis in truth. I find Bill Ayers' refusal to disown his use of political violence in the 1960s to be repulsive. If I were forced to meet him, I would not shake his hand. Obama's fault, however, is not being a terrorist sympathizer, as Palin absurdly declares to mob cheers. Obama's fault is in being a go-along-to-get-along Hyde Park liberal. You can see why he made the decision not to wreck polite liberal society in Chicago by calling out these former thugs. But I do not admire him for it. It's a corner he cut. He deserves to be criticized for it - if not in the fascistic way Hannity does it.But the question of association raises broader questions."

Fair point by Sullivan. I too deem Obama's association with William Ayers worthy of discussion and in season - not because by hypothetical syllogism Obama approves of terrorism and violent means of protest (ie., Obama is to Ayers, Ayers is to terrorism = Obama is to terrorism), but as a reasonable question of his judgment as a public servant. It isn't guilt by association, but uncertainty by association. There would be no tenable smoke here if Ayers had peacefully protested and railed against the sixties establishment, or took it as far as non-violent civil disobedience. However, he made bombs and detonated them. That's terrorism by any definition and Obama shook the guy's hand, unwittingly in the beginning perhaps, but then with a full understanding and appreciation of Ayer's nihilistic past. Obama's surrogates must do more than mewl "smear tactics" and clumsily attempt to dismiss the connection out-of-hand (the "40 years ago and I was eight when Ayers committed these despicable acts" is almost Palinesque in its fumbling diversion).

Notwithstanding the Democratic dance here, the premediated methodology by which McCain-Palin uses the Ayers-Obama connection is the most abhorrent aspect to all this back-and-forth partisan rancor: Simply to engendered hatred/fear of Obama as a radical, a terrorist sympathizer, a dangerous appeaser of leftist criminal syndicalism and anarchy, or, hell, maybe even a "suspicious black fella" (whatever shoe fits for McCain to help undecideds make the "right" decision on November 4). This is dirty pool (or politics as a "tough business" as McCain offered on The View) and jettisons from the realm of legitimate political discourse. It's nothing more then slimy "politics as usual" in an election cycle climaxing in expected baseness.

posted by Warm Apple Pie

1 comment:

Defective Pants said...

Can we please reserve the term "Palinesque" for worthy acts. Palinesque would have been to say, "Ayers? I'm glad you mentioned taxes, because I want to talk about energy and job creation in the trade missins with Russia."