The Campaign Spot

The Inevitable ‘This Isn’t the Bill Ayers I Thought I Knew’ Excuse

A reader asks why Obama’s association with Ayers ought to be disqualifying for a potential commander-in-chief:

I never understood how “their working relationship” was such a problem?  Would you quit your job because someone working with you was a monster?  Yes, they had coffee.  But do you honestly believe that Obama now thinks that bombing things he finds objectionable is okay?  By that logic Palin, by hanging out with Ted Stevens, should be carefully watched because one day she might start sending federal money to friends.
Yes he’s a terrorist.  And an idiot for resorting to (and still defending) violence.  But you don’t condone every past action a friend has taken just by hanging out with them.  I know, I know, you don’t hang out with terrorists.  But BO’s a crazy liberal.  If he knew about Ayer’s past (these events did occur when he was 8), then he could’ve considered him rehabilitated (like a convict).  He did awful things, but now he’s attoning through his job as a professor and his work on the board of the anti-poverty group.

Could you shake hands with William Ayers?
Keep in mind, from where I sit, the only difference between Ayers and Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph is that the latter two are more skilled at bomb-building, and Ayers got off on prosecutorial misconduct. Their methods and capacity for self-justification are the same.
Could you shake hands with McVeigh or Rudolph? (Yes, I know McVeigh was executed years ago.) If they were released from prison, could you go work for them? Would you want to count them as allies? Go to their house as they threw a party for you? Would you accept a donation from them?
(I guess a lot of this comes down to “forgiveness”, and I guess you could say ‘yes,’ I hold grudges against bomb-builders. I’ve been accused of suffering from Irish Alzheimer’s, where you forget everything but a grudge.)
Do I think Obama thinks that bombing things he finds objectionable is okay? I think he buys into this mentality that “it was the 60s, man, everybody was crazy” and thinks that because it happened a long time ago, it’s not a big deal, not worth worrying about. I think that McVeigh and Rudolph are rightfully widely perceived as monsters; but that for some reason, the Weathermen and other domestic terrorists of the left are seen as “misguided” or “went a little too far.”
The other thing is, from interviews, etc., it’s very clear Ayers is adamantly and vocally unrepentant. His wife, Bernadine Dohrn, too, who also hosted the fundraiser is vocally unrepentant. Throw in Wright and Pfleger, and we see that Obama has had quite a few long-term relationships with people who bristle with loathing for America.
Obama’s insouciance in dealing with a man who was part of a group that tried to kill the children of state supreme court judges reveals a glaring moral blind spot. It is fairly obvious that Obama would never associate with a former right-wing domestic terrorist, no matter how much he was told that this person was reformed. But violence from the left is, apparently, not only not worth objecting to, it’s not even worth discussing.

It’s rather revealing that NOW the Obama camp is coming out with the “oh, I had no idea he was a radical and built bombs” excuse, a mere half-year after Hillary brought up the association… Rather strange that the “this isn’t the Bill Ayers I thought I knew” excuse comes up long after the first defenses came out.


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