Rich, though I like Sol Stern a lot, I think there’s a lot wrong with his analysis.
Of course it’s an enormous problem that Ayers has so much influence. But Stern writes: “If [Mayor Richard] Daley fils can forgive Ayers for his past violence, why should Obama’s less consequential contacts with Ayers be a political disqualification? It’s hard to disagree.” It’s not at all hard to disagree. Daley is a hack, while Obama — who claims to be a transcendent unifying figure — wants to be president. Ayers hasn’t merely engaged in “past violence”; he is saying in the here and now that he’s sorry only that he didn’t carry out more terrorist attacks — and it’s in the here and now that Obama (who aspires to be commander-in-chief during a global war against terrorists) has cultivated him.
Stern further writes:
Unfortunately, neither Obama nor his critics in the media seem to have a clue about Ayers’s current work and his widespread influence in the education schools. In his last debate with Hillary Clinton, Obama referred to Ayers as a “professor of English,” an error that the media then repeated.
Baloney! Obama is pretending to be clueless and Stern is falling for it.
As I recounted in this piece, Obama not only served for years on the Woods board with Ayers; he also appeared with him on a panel arranged by Associate Dean Michelle Obama at U-Chicago in connection with which (a) Ayers’ “social justice” work to fight against the incarceration of juvenile criminals – which had utterly nothing to do with teaching English — was elaborately described, and (b) Obama was joined with Ayers precisely because his (Obama’s) work as a state legislator to fight jail sentences for juvenile criminals dovetailed perfectly with Ayers’ conception of “social justice.”
Obama did not call Ayers an English teacher because he was confused or misinformed. He called Ayers an English teacher because he was lying. That is, he was intentionally minimizing his relationship with an anti-American revolutionary with whom Obama has been friendly, collaborative and entirely comfortable.