The Corner

Crime Passionel

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.

Really? 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 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.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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