One of the points of my 60s chapter is that liberals are allowed to sympathize with 60s radicals. They aren’t expected to apologize for their youthful flirtation with definitively fascistic groups like the Weathermen and the Black Panthers. I discuss all of this at some length with regard to Hillary Clinton and others. Here’s an interesting story about Obama’s ties with one of the Weathermen — who teaches at a state university, of course. The relationship far from deep. But imagine if a Republican had paid similar respects to a rightwing militiaman. From the article:
In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, they’re better known nationally as two of the most notorious — and unrepentant — figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement.
Now, as Obama runs for president, what two guests recall as an unremarkable gathering on the road to a minor elected office stands as a symbol of how swiftly he has risen from a man in the Hyde Park left to one closing in fast on the Democratic nomination for president….
….Neither Ayers nor the Obama campaign would describe the relationship between the two men. Dr. Young described Obama and Ayers as “friends,” but there’s no evidence their relationship is more than the casual friendship of two men who occupy overlapping Chicago political circles and who served together on the board of a Chicago foundation.
John Podhoretz has similar thoughts and more on Ayers.