Obama’s problem associations with Wright, Rezko, and Ayers have really got the creative juices flowing on the left as they twist themselves into rhetorical and intellectual pretzels trying to downplay or dismiss, their candidate’s monumentally poor judgement in hanging around with these folks for much of his adult life.
Some may read this apologia for Obama’s associations from Reed Hundt at TPM Cafe and shake their heads in wonderment at the cluelessness of the author. Others may marvel at the sheer brazenness of Hundt’s dismissive comments about Ayers and Wright, admiring the guts it took to reveal oneself as an idiot.
Still others may laugh at the appellation “Swiftboating” as a descriptive for people who tell the truth about what Wright and Ayers have sermonized and accomplished in the past that makes them such problematic friends. Even the candidate has accepted as true what these hateful FOO’s (Friends of Obama) have said and done thus making the charge “Swiftboating” Obama pretty silly – as if the candidate would “Swiftboat” himself.
But as an anthropological exhibit showing an utter lack of honesty and integrity by the left in commenting about people that ordinary Americans find despicable, Hundt nails it:
It ought to be beneath senator McCain to have his side label Obama as a terrible person because he has failed to shun a fellow who did wrong 40 years or is not a patriot because he neglected to wear a flag on lapel, or declined to disavow a Korean War vet and pastor because he spoke too harshly one Sunday. McCain went to Vietnam to re-open peaceful relations, so he knows the place of forgiveness. He is a man of military honor and knows how to respect a friend and a foe. Hence, it ought to be beneath McCain to tolerate attacks against Obama that closely resemble the despicable charges bush launched against McCain in South Carolina in 2000. It should be the case that mccain doesn’t just pretend to stop these attacks, but actually does so. Aside from his laissez-faire positions on iraq and the economy, McCain’s primary disqualification for the oval office is that he knows these vile, crazy attacks are wrong for America but he won’t stop them.
Hundt has walked the bases loaded and set the ball on a tee for me to hit. Far be it for me to not oblige him.
“...he has failed to shun a fellow who did wrong 40 years…”
Yes, some may think trying to blow up the Pentagon is “wrong” although many more people might also believe that carrying out that act of barbarism and to this day not regretting it (indeed, wishing to have tried to commit more mayhem) puts such an individual beyond the pale of ordinary society. Most would agree that we should consign unapologetic miscreants like Ayers to the outer darkness where only criminals and radical wackos (and liberal universities) will have dealings with him.
Instead, Hundt believes we are “swiftboating” Obama by pointing out in the Age of Terror that our President being on a first name basis with an unrepentant terrorist is probably a bad example to set and causes most Americans with half a brain to wonder “What is that guy doing with William Ayers?”
For in truth, Ayers has not only not repented his criminal acts, he still holds views of America that are so outside the mainstream – hateful and laughably adolescent views they are – that carrying on a long term friendship with this lout calls into question not only Obama’s judgement but his sanity as well. Indeed, his campaign said after the ABC debate that Ayers and his wife, fellow former terrorist Bernadine Dohrn were “respectable fixtures of the mainstream in Chicago.”
Ayers most recent pronouncements (and Dohrns) are contained on some audio tapes dug up by a small radio station in Chicago and blasted over the internet on Wednesday by Powerline and Hugh Hewitt. The tapes show that Ayers and Dorhn are in the mainstream of Chicago politics only if Josef Stalin is mayor and Pol Pot is Cook County Commissioner.
This would come as a surprise to Mayor Daley who also has had kind words to say about Ayers/Dorhn – no doubt because he doesn’t wish to anger the liberals in Hyde Park and because he has a sneaking admiration for the former terrorist’s chutzpah. Daley is also a crook who gets away with his crimes which at least gives him something in common with Ayers. There is no excuse for Obama.
Hundt knows all of this and yet chooses to dismiss Obama’s association with Ayers in a way that suggests we shouldn’t be beastly to the candidate for hanging around with an ex-shoplifter. Pardon my gas but that fart ain’t stinkin’.
“...or declined to disavow a Korean War vet and pastor because he spoke too harshly one Sunday…”
First, I would ask my readers with an IQ above 60 to stop screaming at your monitor. Mr. Hundt can’t hear you and you are disturbing the dog who thankfully, can’t read what this monumentally dishonest and royally idiotic liberal has written about Jeremiah Wright. Otherwise, your beloved pooch might jump up on your desk and urinate on the screen -which is better than Hundt’s ridiculous notion of Wright’s rantings deserve.
Yes, everyone knows that Reverend Wright did quite a bit more than “speak harshly” about America, about whites, about Jews, and just about anyone else who this misanthropic nincompoop railed against in his sermons. If Hundt believes Wright saying “Not God Bless America but God Damn America” to be only “speaking harshly,” I would hate to see how he would categorize some of Bin Laden’s diatribes. Perhaps Osama is “just letting off steam” or maybe he’s “remonstrating” against the US.
Wright, of course, is a bigoted, America hating, anti-Semitic, nut case who believes AIDS was invented by the government to kill black people. And questioning Obama’s knowledge of his “Spiritual Advisor’s” outrageously hateful and despicable views is extremely relevant in that the candidate has denied being aware either in public or private that his pastor held to these positions.
If found otherwise, Obama is a bald faced liar. And it would appear just looking at what Tom Blumer has been able to come up with that either Obama looked the American people in the eye during his speech in Philadelphia and lied through his teeth or he was asleep during Wright’s sermons and never read any of the Trinity Church bulletins or purchased any tapes of his unbalanced pastor’s talks.
Blumer, by the way, makes a compelling case that Obama was wide awake during the services, went so far as to take notes of Wright’s sermons in the space provided by the church bulletin, and purchased at least one tape of Wright’s talks.
When Hundt makes his stupidly dishonest point that Wright preached his hate mongering only “one Sunday” he is either ignorant or is clumsily trying to excuse Obama’s incredible lack of judgement in continuing his association with a man the vast majority of Americans would have shunned like the plague after only one of his outbursts.
Instead, the candidate spent 20 years absorbing a worldview so at odds with the reality that is America that one can legitimately question Obama’s gut feelings about this country. This may anger the left but most of the rest of us see questioning Obama’s beliefs about America as a logical and reasonable outgrowth of the importance the candidate himself places on his relationship with Wright.
And this brings us to the essence of why Ayers, Wright, Rezko, Auchi, and other FOO’s are legitimate campaign issues; Obama’s claim that despite his lack of experience, it is his superior “judgement” that should recommend him to the American people. Obama conveniently tags questions about his associations as “distractions.” But are they?
With that, Obama identified the new public enemy: the “distractions” foisted upon a pliable electorate by the malevolent forces of the status quo, i.e., those who might wish to see someone else become president next January. “It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions and the silliness and the tit for tat that consumes our politics” and “trivializes the profound issues” that face our country, he warned sternly. These must be resisted.
Why? Because Obama understands that the real threat to his candidacy is less Hillary Clinton and John McCain than his own character and cultural attitudes. He came out of nowhere with his autobiography already written, then saw it embellished daily by the hagiographic coverage and kid-gloves questioning of a supine press. (Which is why those “Saturday Night Live” parodies were so devastatingly effective.)
Then came the three amigos: Tony Rezko, the indicted fixer; Jeremiah Wright, the racist reverend; William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. And then Obama’s own anthropological observation that “bitter” working-class whites cling to guns and religion because they misapprehend their real class interests.
In the now-famous Pennsylvania debate, Obama had extreme difficulty answering questions about these associations and attitudes. The difficulty is understandable. Some of the contradictions are inexplicable. How does one explain campaigning throughout 2007 on a platform of transcending racial divisions, while in that same year contributing $26,000 to a church whose pastor incites race hatred?
You explain it either one of two way; towering hypocrisy or a disconnect from the way things are percieved outside of his own narrow, elitist social circles. I lean toward the latter but don’t dismiss the former. And this gets to the issue of Obama’s “judgement” that Ed Morrissey handles quite nicely:
Remember that one of the campaign slogans for Obama was “Judgment to Lead”. I often use the picture of Obama with that slogan on the lectern just to emphasize that Obama himself opened the debate over his judgment. Now that people want to start asking about the judgment he claims as his superior quality for the election, he wants to label it a “distraction”, but without it he has nothing else to offer except three undistinguished years as a backbencher in the Senate.
With no track record of legislative accomplishments and no evidence of any real engagement in change, judgment would have eventually become a focal issue for Obama anyway, even if he hadn’t brought it up himself. That means his judgment in launching his political career at the home of an unrepentant terrorist like William Ayers becomes relevant and germane, especially since the political connections between the two continued after Ayers announced that he wished he’d gone further in his political violence. Even in 2007, Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn talk about overthrowing the “corporate government” of the United States, to replace it with something more akin to Red China.
What is Obama’s judgment on Ayers and Dohrn? They’re “respectable figures of the mainstream in Chicago.”
The left will continue to downplay, dismiss, or just plain lie about Obama’s associations and why they are important. But as revelations continue to bubble up from the murky depths of American radicalism about these two characters and others, questions about Obama’s judgement, his core beliefs, his honesty and integrity, and how he feels about the rest of us will continue to be raised.
I would say to Mr. Hundt that this is not “Swiftboating” – not by any means. If by using that term you imply that Obama is being falsely accused you are greatly mistaken. Accusations based on audio and video evidence that slaps ordinary Americans in the face with their virulent hatred and radical chic doctrines do more to undermine your candidate than anything Hillary Clinton, John McCain, or the right wing “noise machine” could ever do.