October 15, 2008

"My Friend Bill Ayers."

A column by Wall Street Journal columnist Thomas Frank:
... I met him in the same way Mr. Obama says he did: 10 years ago, Mr. Ayers was a guy in my neighborhood in Chicago who knew something about fundraising. I knew nothing about it, I needed to learn, and a friend referred me to Bill.

Bill's got lots of friends, and that's because he is today a dedicated servant of those less fortunate than himself; because he is unfailingly generous to people who ask for his help; and because he is kind and affable and even humble....

... Mr. Ayers has been involved with countless foundation efforts and has received various awards. He volunteers for everything. He may once have been wanted by the FBI, but in the intervening years the man has become such a good citizen he ought to be an honorary Eagle Scout.
Frank reams the McCain campaign for its "vilest" attacks on a man "who cannot or will not defend himself." I think most people believe that a person who has done terrible things (and then faced up to whatever legal process the government chooses and is able to put him through) may go on to redeem himself with sincere remorse and impressive good works. But is that true of Ayers?

As far as remorse is concern, Frank concedes Ayers's failure... but it's this infuriatingly prissy concession:
Nor will I quibble with those who find Mr. Ayers wanting in contrition. His 2001 memoir is shot through with regret, but it lacks the abject style our culture prefers.
Yeah, Ayers famously regretted that he "didn't do enough." We don't think that's "abject" enough, and it's not a matter of "style." It's substance. And we're not a "culture" with a preference. In judging Ayers's regret inadequate, we're human beings with a sound conception of morality.

As for his good works, there's a problem there too, and it's what relates most directly to Obama. Some people think Ayers's present-day work in the field of education is too radical, and they sincerely want to know whether Obama is too far to the left. That's why I'm interested in Ayers and Obama. I still don't know the answer, and I don't think there is any way to know the answer other than to elect Obama President and see what he does. That's what Obama is asking us to do.

***
I realize that I've never read the whole text of the NYT article about Ayers that appeared -- in chilling coincidence -- on September 11, 2001. That morning, I sat at my dining table and read the newspaper, my habit back then. I didn't find out about the attacks until I was walking into work, after both planes had hit the towers. So it's not that I was too distracted or disgusted to read that article, that fateful day. I just didn't. Pulling it up just now to make last link, I decided to force myself through the text.
He still has tattooed on his neck the rainbow-and-lightning Weathermen logo that appeared on letters taking responsibility for bombings....

He writes that he participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building in 1971, the Pentagon in 1972. But Mr. Ayers also seems to want to have it both ways, taking responsibility for daring acts in his youth, then deflecting it.

''Is this, then, the truth?,'' he writes. ''Not exactly. Although it feels entirely honest to me.''

But why would someone want to read a memoir parts of which are admittedly not true? Mr. Ayers was asked.

''Obviously, the point is it's a reflection on memory,'' he answered. ''It's true as I remember it.''
There are many people who find this sort of talk very charming. I may have read that far, that day, and found it charming. I understand that kind of thinking: Truth is for boring, little minds. There are complex blends of truth and fiction that are more true, that "feel entirely honest." I don't believe it anymore, but I understand it.
Mr. Ayers, who in 1970 was said to have summed up the Weatherman philosophy as: ''Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at,'' is today distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. And he says he doesn't actually remember suggesting that rich people be killed or that people kill their parents, but ''it's been quoted so many times I'm beginning to think I did,'' he said. ''It was a joke about the distribution of wealth.''
Maybe he didn't say it, and anyway, it was a joke. It was the sort of thing people said back in 1970.
In his book Mr. Ayers describes the Weathermen descending into a ''whirlpool of violence.''

''Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon,'' he writes. But then comes a disclaimer: ''Even though I didn't actually bomb the Pentagon -- we bombed it, in the sense that Weathermen organized it and claimed it.'' He goes on to provide details about the manufacture of the bomb and how a woman he calls Anna placed the bomb in a restroom. No one was killed or injured, though damage was extensive.

Between 1970 and 1974 the Weathermen took responsibility for 12 bombings, Mr. Ayers writes....

So, would Mr. Ayers do it all again, he is asked? ''I don't want to discount the possibility,'' he said.
"I don't want to discount the possibility." That's what Ayers said right before terrorism became drastically unfashionable.
He also writes about the Weathermen's sexual experimentation as they tried to ''smash monogamy.'' The Weathermen were ''an army of lovers,'' he says, and describes having had different sexual partners...
Not enough attention has been paid to monogamy smashing. Does anyone care that these people had multiple sex partners? It's hard to remember how people used to think they were making political progress alone, in bed, with one other person. (Oddly, their theory would justify the present-day opposition to gay rights for "the defense of marriage.")
And if there were another Vietnam, he is asked, would he participate again in the Weathermen bombings?
Ayers responds by reciting a Seamus Heaney poem with the lines "once in a lifetime/The longed-for tidal wave/Of justice can rise up/And hope and history rhyme" and says ''I was a child of privilege and I woke up to a world on fire. And hope and history rhymed.'' In other words, yes.

178 comments:

Doyle said...

I realize that I've never read the whole text of the NYT article about Ayers that appeared -- in chilling coincidence -- on September 11, 2001.

Boooo.

Rich B said...

I see that Drudge has posted the Obama talking points for the debate tonight. These are the recommended interpretations for the press.

I think they know they are vulnerable and are trying to neutralize McCain. It's up to him to hit Obama with the unexpected, keep him off balance and start him blathering. McCain might be "erratic" enough to do that.

I know we are told that Ayers is old news, but I wonder how many people are even aware of him? It's not like you read about him in your local paper. Unless it is the NYT and then only when it is exculpatory.

Joan said...

[Some people] sincerely want to know whether Obama is too far to the left[...] I don't think there is any way to know the answer other than to elect Obama President and see what he does. That's what Obama is asking us to do.

I don't think it's hard to discern where Obama lies along the ideological spectrum; his voting record (as brief as it is) reveals him to be the most liberal member of the Senate. But you're right that his association with Ayers might say something about his attitudes towards education, but we're never going to find out what that is during the run-up to election day.

Apparently, you're OK with that, and with Obama's repeated mischaracterizations of his relationship with Ayers, and with ACORN.

SteveR said...

Without going into the whole violence thing, which I think is alarming (still) to any honest observer, the idea that "good intentions" somehow equates to "good works" is a bogus way to give someone credit.

bleeper said...

You meant "ream".

MadisonMan said...

He still has tattooed on his neck the rainbow-and-lightning Weathermen logo that appeared on letters taking responsibility for bombings

Plastics wouldn't today be whispered in Dustin Hoffman's ear. Tattoo Removal Parlors would be.

If you can invent a way to quickly and easily vaporize old ink, you are sitting on a fortune.

Darcy said...

Well, I very much enjoyed that fisking of Mr. Ayers' friend's rubbish defense of him.

Thank you.

Doyle said...

I think they know they are vulnerable and are trying to neutralize McCain.

That's right Axelrod and Plouffe must be shaking in their boots right now. Only up 10 (if not 14) nationally. Maybe only up in the single digits in Virginia. Only leading in about 350 electoral votes worth of states.

mccullough said...

Chicago didn't vote Ayers "Person of the Year" Mayor Daley picked him. Daley picked him because he wanted some cover on the education issue. The state had recently turned over total control of the city's schools to the Mayor and he wanted to act like he was doing something.

Actually, the head of the Chicago public schools at the time, Paul Vallas, did a tremendous job but Daley got rid of him a few years later because he was worried Vallas could end up mounting a strong and independent political challenge to Daley. Daley, naturally, backed Gov. Rod Blagojevich against Vallas in the 2002 Dem primary for governor.

Mayor Daley is a corrupt, cynical man who, if Obama isn't elected, will be indicted and go to prison for his corruption.

Chicago has the highest number of murders in the country. It's running huge deficits and its public schools suck. Bill Ayers' educational ideas haven't made them any better. So he's a failure.

An unrepetant bomber who is a failure at education. I'm sure, however, he's well regarded in academic circles and the Hyde Park social scene because actual competence and accomplishments don't mean anything to those folks.

That's why the love Obama. He talks a good game, but hasn't done anything. And the few things he has tried to do he has failed at.

AprilApple said...

Everyone on the left gets a pass.

MadisonMan said...

And the few things he has tried to do he has failed at.

Barack Obama = George Bush. But cleaner and better spoken, of course.

I know it's not an original observation, but I like to make it now and again.

Seven Machos said...

You're the one voting for this diabolical crowd, Althouse.

I sense soul searching.

Doyle said...

Barack Obama is 100 times smarter than the Chimp.

Doyle said...

Also, Barack Obama opposed the biggest foreign policy disaster in American history instead of instigating it.

Seven Machos said...

P.S. You don't like Chicago? Try St. Louis, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Cleveland, Kansas City, or Philadelphia. Not the toney suburbs, either. The cities proper.

Urban government is all very relative. I think I'll go and get annoyed by all the tourists in my neighborhood now.

franglosaxon said...

Re: "I didn't do enough"

Enough to end the war in Vietnam, not bomb or kill people. I know context is for feeble lovers of language, but still. I feel like I didn't do enough to prevent the war in Iraq. Vietnam was a mistake, too.

Ayers had his day in court! He is a free man! In this country, that means he has the chance to move on with his life. Kinda like OJ. Except Ayers never plotted or schemed again. He became engaged in improving the education system.

So again, someone needs to explain to me how the fact that Obama worked with this widely credible figure in his community disqualifies him from office.

bleeper said...

Doyle, you heart BHO, we get that. Now go post somewhere else, or include some substance. According to the left, Bush has no intelligence. Even a leftist such as yourself must know that 100 time zero is still zero. Your love object is as stupid as your bete noire.

Seven Machos said...

Doyle -- Bush and Obama both got into Harvard based on affirmative action. Furthermore, Nixon and Carter were super-duper smart.

Does smart really equal good at governing? I know you'd like to think so. However, as we learned when the Mensa Society took over Springfield, it's not really true.

Doyle said...

Does smart really equal good at governing?

Well stupid-and-proud-of-it sure didn't work too well.

Seven Machos said...

Franglo -- Bullshit. You are not free of your crime because you have served your time or been cleared by a court. Your crimes and your sins morally and politically stain you forever. Sorry, but that's how it is. The courts and the government have no stake.

Seven Machos said...

Doyle -- How were your grades at Harvard and Yale? Andover?

Ann Althouse said...

"You're the one voting for this diabolical crowd, Althouse."

As opposed to the other diabolical crowd?

I didn't say I was certainly voting for Obama.

What am I supposed to do, abstain?

mccullough said...

W. got into Yale and Harvard because of family connections. He has a 125 I.Q.

John McCain got into the Naval Academy because of family connections. He has a 133 I.Q.

Obama got into Columbia and Harvard because he's black. We don't know his I.Q.

But Obama is so smart because he gives a good speech and people tell us he's so smart.

Never mind that Obama's fiscal policy is to spend far more than the government takes. (Obama is not talking about Keynesian deficit spending through a stimulus package, which, by the way, didn't work earlier this year because people used the money to pay down debt).

Never mind that Obama's strategy in Afghanistan is the same strategy we used in Viet Nam to no success.

Never mind that Obama's education policy is to throw even more money than W. at the problem, even though this doesn't work.

Obama is smart because people say he is smart.

john said...

Doyle said -
Barack Obama is 100 times smarter than the Chimp.


You should have some respect for the office and use his full name. You know it - it's on all your T shirts.

bleeper said...

Vote for someone who doesn't hate our country - that would be nice.

Triangle Man said...

Doyle said...

...biggest foreign policy disaster in American history...


Does anyone know who coined this oft repeated phrase? Did it appear in a column, or in a broadcast, or is it one of those elusive memes that comes out of nowhere?

save_the_rustbelt said...

"the man has become such a good citizen he ought to be an honorary Eagle Scout."

If I may speak on behalf of Eagle Scouts, absolutely no way in hell would such a thing ever happen.

Eagle Scout (1967)

cf said...

Thank you, Ann. Some mornings I wake up thinking I've landed in some nightmare place where right is wrong, up is down and lies are truth. It's good to know I've got company.

Seven Machos said...

IQ is bullshit. It is meaningless, particularly concerning government.

Affirmative action got both Obama and Bush into Harvard.

Doyle said...

or is it one of those elusive memes that comes out of nowhere?

I think it comes from spending 6 years, thousands of lives and trillions of dollars invading and occupying a country that didn't pose any threat to the United States.

Seven Machos said...

Doyle -- Don't you realize that if the war were still on anyone's mind, McCain would be winning? You are the last person on earth who continues to chirp about the horror of the war. Please turn the lights off when you leave that shrill place.

Thank you.

Doyle said...

Seven Machos actually worked in Harvard's admissions office, too, so he would know.

Doyle said...

You are the last person on earth who continues to chirp about the horror of the war.

Supporting the troops, wingnut style.

bleeper said...

Barrack _Hussein_ Obama. Iraq, not a threat. Coincidence? I think not.

As for disasters, I can think of larger ones. Start with the "War on Poverty" - trillions of dollars, thousands of lives wasted, and guess what - poor people are still swarming our cities. But they do vote democrat, repeatedly, so I guess it was, in some ways, beneficial to those who seek power.

birdie bob said...

Althouse writes:
I still don't know the answer, and I don't think there is any way to know the answer other than to elect Obama President and see what he does.
The convoluted process of "logic" you seem to be undergoing to reach the emotional conclusion you desire boggles the mind. Although a somewhat flawed analogy, it's sort of like saying, "Let's go ahead and elect the tsar and see if this Rasputin fellow is really such a bad sort."

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"As opposed to the other diabolical crowd?"

I didn't know John McCain worked on a committee with Tim McVeigh and launched his political career with a fundraiser in Terry Nichols' house. Wouldn't that be required for the comparison to stick? Both parties have unacceptable fringe elements, to be sure, but is it really fair to compare one party's fringe with people who are apparently perfectly respectable at the core of the other party? That is, is it really true to say that the GOP is a "diabolical crowd"?

Seven Machos said...

Althouse -- When in doubt, fall back on well-worn cliches: 1. Choose the lesser of two evils. 2. The devil you know is better than the one you don't.

Cedarford said...

McCain might have been able to effectively attack Obama's sleazy ties to people like Ayers, Wright, Rezko if he had started back in spring, early summer, even right after his Convention.

But he didn't, because John McCains massive ego feared the media would be "disappointed in him if he went negative.."
Now it's too late.
McCain attacking him after suddenly plunging in the polls and poised to lose every battleground state with 3 weeks to go - smacks of last-minute desperation.

Americans are watching the economy and fearing for their futures. They aren't interested in scandals or "where is little Kaylee??" except as a welcome distraction or entertainment.
*********************
Thomas Frank - ... Mr. Ayers has been involved with countless foundation efforts and has received various awards. He volunteers for everything. He may once have been wanted by the FBI, but in the intervening years the man has become such a good citizen he ought to be an honorary Eagle Scout.

As a Leftist Jew, Frank is blind to what is good citizenship. Unrepenetent terrorist? Filmed stomping on a US Flag for a 2001 Chicago Magazine Article? Pushing mandatory Leftist indoctrination in elementary school?

To Thomas Frank, that is no big deal. Not when he considers Ayers "tireless work for Hard Left good causes" as an entree into being a good citizen. Or as an elitist (Kansas stupid, NYC good!) Lefty Jew's idea of an honorary Eagle Scout.

franglosaxon said...

How do you know Obama hates America? I will take a stand and say that anyone who declaims about America hating and loving is a persnickety idiot and not to be trusted. How do you presume to measure such things?

"McCain hates America for abandoning Vietnam, for which he gave five years of his life. He repudiated America under torture. His campaign is revenge on America. It's true because I said it."

"Sarah Palin hates America. Her husband is close to secessionists and militia types in Alaska. She's a John Bircher. She wants to bring the country down from within so western states like hers can secede. It's true because I said it."

"Barack Obama hates America. A guy he worked with on education reform in Chicago was in a radical group in the sixties. Dig it. Wild."

Doyle said...

As a Leftist Jew, Frank is blind to what is good citizenship.

I don't know why everyone says Cedarford is so anti-semitic.

Recovering Liberal said...

Doyle said: "Barack Obama is 100 times smarter than the Chimp".

I have lurked on this site for the last two years. I refrained from commenting on your absurd statements because it was clear that your intent was to twit, provoke and distract people. I thought it best to simply ignore you because there is no value in responding. I have since changed my mind.

We are now on the threshold of electing another Jimmy Carter (but worse). I remember Carter because I voted for him, and soon after became a liberal in recovery. We are still undoing his damage.

Two questions about your post:

1. Do you realize that "intelligence" is measured in interval scale units (at best)? There is no ratio value to those measurements, so someone cannot be twice as smart as another.

2. Do you think it would be racist if I called BHO "the chimp"? After all, he strikes me as a well-trained empty suit.

Note that we have no objective evidence that BHO is intellectually superior to Bush, McCain, Palin or even Biden (whose early stage dementia is another issue). "The One" has not released his grades, SAT or GRE scores. Does he fear that he might be labelled an affirmative action student at Harvard Law? I guess that's better than being an affirmative action POTUS.

Doyle said...

I have lurked on this site for the last two years.

Wow. I must have really pissed you off! Excellent.

Simon said...

Ann said...
"I still don't know the answer [to whether Obama is too far to the left], and I don't think there is any way to know the answer other than to elect Obama President and see what he does. That's what Obama is asking us to do."

Which do you think is worse: not finding out the answer to that question, or putting him in office and finding out that the answer is yes?

Seven Machos said...

Frang -- The hate America thing is propaganda by people who have made their decision already for people who have not and who don't really think a lot. I'm not talking about Althouse and her ilk.

The left does this, too, of course. Think all that hope and change, just for example.

Bob said...

Doyle, an idea. Maybe, just maybe Viet Nam was a bigger disaster than Iraq. Why? One, because ate least Iraq has something strategically important. Two, because it cost 11x the number of US dead, as compared to Iraq. Plus another 2,000 in MIA. Just a thought. Since we as Americans seem willing to piss money away.

Daniel said...

I'm pretty disturbed, as a Chicagoan, and an American, by the remarks made here at Althouse by terrorist-wanna-bes and supporters, such as Allen's comment:

"However, let the Sears Tower in Chicago be blown up and thousands die, she'll vote for McCain in a nanosecond,"

and Dust Bunny's comment:

"Al-Qaida can take out Chicago with a suitcase bomb and I would cheer."

Dust Bunny confirmed that he/she wasn't kidding in a later comment, but then finally apologized. A repentant terrorist?!? What nobility.

But I read all of you righteous and pious nuts railing against Ayers and yet no one batted an eye or said anything about these comments. If these comments occurred at some liberal blog you'd all be whining and blubbering with fake outrage. But here, oh well, whatever, bomb Chicago, vote McCain, hooray, country first!

As a Chicagoan, and an American, my outrage is not fake.

Darcy said...

"Let's go ahead and elect the tsar and see if this Rasputin fellow is really such a bad sort."

For a hearty laugh enjoyed in a very quiet office - thank you!

Seven Machos said...

Daniel -- I'm a Chicagoan as well. If the John Hancock building were blown up, my home would probably be destroyed. I applaud Althouse for providing a free forum for a thoughtful group of commenters. A lot of them are wrong a lot of the time. Some, like you, are twits who continually try to make the same point on thread after thread and get roundly ignored.

Fuck you and your outrage. And remember: you are ignored because you are stupid.

Doyle said...

Maybe, just maybe Viet Nam was a bigger disaster than Iraq.

That's definitely a defensible argument, but I give the Iraq War extra credit for the dishonesty involved in launching it.

The argument that we had to defend South Vietnam to contain Russian communism was misguided, but made largely in good faith.

The argument that we had to invade Iraq because of Saddam's links to Al Qaeda and his nuclear weapons program was totally bogus and only salable because 9/11 had so terrified and enraged the American public.

But you're right that the more tangible metrics were worse in Vietnam.

AllenS said...

Once Obama becomes president, he can appoint Ayers to clear up the Social Security mess. How will he do it? Easy: "Bring the revolution home, kill your parents."

Seven Machos said...

Doyle -- The containment argument applies in Iraq. Note its location in the Middle East. Think about how having an American military and intelligence presence there might help contain terrorism.

Captain Hate said...

Is Thomas Frank some stray piece of lint that Murdoch dragged in when he took over the WSJ? Back when they used to have token lefties like Alexander Cockburn, their zany columns were at least colorfully written compared to the boring tripe that emanates from the crayons of Frank. It's not unlike reading that horrid poetry that revealed the overwhelming brilliance and artistry of Barry O.

Seven Machos said...

Allen -- A truly fitting end for the Boomers. Extra painful death if you attended Woodstock or Altamont.

Seven Machos said...

Captain -- Agreed. What's the matter with the Wall Street Journal?

Daniel said...

I see. So you have no answer for the pro-terrorist comments made here. Except "fuck you."

Well, I'm not surprised. I have come to expect this kind of high-minded approach here.

Doyle said...

Think about how having an American military and intelligence presence there might help contain terrorism.

I have, and it makes the terrorist threat worse.

Paul Zrimsek said...

When I was an Eagle Scout they taught us to detonate a pipe bomb by rubbing two sticks together. I still take out my Cop Killing merit badge and look at it once in a while.

The Drill SGT said...

RL said..."The One" has not released his grades, SAT or GRE scores. Does he fear that he might be labelled an affirmative action student at Harvard Law? I guess that's better than being an affirmative action POTUS.

Or his medical records or his legal clients, or his bundler list, or , or, the list continues.

Obama has a warped sense of the word, tranparency.

Same with the concept of Freedom of Speech.

and voting rights,

and racism,

and public financing.

In each case, he wants one standard for himself and a different one for others.

mccullough said...

Doyle,

Where was the honesty in launching and fighting Viet Nam?

Congress never authorized that war.

Why do you think Bill Ayers was against it, oher than that he was a spoiled rich kid who didn't want to get killed and also didn't want to get a job? (I'm assuming the Weather Underground doesn't count as a job but I could be wrong. Maybe they filled out the I-9s paid the payroll taxes, and issued W-2s).

You must be very young to think Iraq is worse than Viet Nam. Fuck JFK for starting that boondoggle.

Freeman Hunt said...

Harping on Obama's alleged high intelligence seems misguided. Put aside for a moment the fact that there is little to no evidence of this. If high intelligence is your main voting factor, I take it you'd vote Gingrich if he ran? There are plenty of extremely high IQ and politically hard right commenters on this very site. If one of them ran for office, could he count on your vote?

Jen Bradford said...

I love how certain people are presumed to have made arguments for war in "good faith" or on the basis of their being duped, whereas others are lying jackals who couldn't have possibly taken bad intelligence seriously. You always seem to know who's who - it's a neat trick.

Seven Machos said...

Daniel -- Perhaps you are not holy but merely dumb because you are unable to see context and depth in what people write.

Further, what did you expect? Apologies? Fuck you again. I'm glad you are offended.

Try making arguments instead of trotting out tired political correctness and charges of hypocrisy.

dualdiagnosis said...

It really bothers me that people find that whole concept of truth being elastic or relative "charming" or "enlightened". The other thing, that Ayers is too cowardly to just say yes, "yes I would do it all over again" and resorts to liberal speak to imply that "..of course I would, but I can only reveal it in this smug, coded way that all the Upper West siders understand", both of these things being accepted by Obama, and by his supporters, makes my skin crawl.

Seven Machos said...

I personally bet that Cedarford would score highest on IQ tests among posters here.

Michael_H said...

I don't think there is any way to know the answer other than to elect Obama President and see what he does. That's what Obama is asking us to do.

[...]As opposed to the other diabolical crowd?


Has rigorous analysis gone AWOL here?

Doyle said...


Where was the honesty in launching and fighting Viet Nam?


I would say the Soviet Union was legitimately scarier an existential threat than any that is primarily cave-based. That threat was badly misinterpreted as having a lot at stake in Vietnam, and once it got started it was obviously lied about a lot, but I still say it was closer to an honest mistake than Iraq was.

Doyle said...

I personally bet that Cedarford would score highest on IQ tests among posters here.

Maybe if the test measured Jew-hatred.

Seven Machos said...

Well, "measuring" intelligence is a lot like "measuring" Jew hatred.

MadisonMan said...

If you bet, can you do it some way other than personally?

Daniel said...

A comment like "Al-Qaida can take out Chicago with a suitcase bomb and I would cheer" is not much of an argument. But it's a sign of the desperation, that bombing Chicago is the answer to Ayers and the Chicago Way.

It's funny that some terrorist comments are seen as political correctness and others are valid arguments to you.

But this is about hypocrisy. It's quite clear.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Enough to end the war in Vietnam, not bomb or kill people.

Bombing and killing people was Ayers' idea of how to end the war in Vietnam. If he'd ever changed his mind about that, he would have at least expressed regret that the time he wasted bombing and killing people wasn't spent doing those other (unnamed) antiwar things of your imagining. Barring that, we can only assume that he wishes he'd done more of what he actually did: bombing and killing people.

mccullough said...

Doyle,

Your view about Vietnam would be a lot better if we hadn't got out of Korea the previous decade. We threw in the towel on the containment theory in Asia once, but then we decided, "Korea is one thing, but we can't let those commie sons-of-bitches take Nam."

It would be like if we pulled out of Iraq and then 10 years later said, let's go into Iran and let's stay there longer.

Cedarford said...

Seven Machos said...
Doyle -- Bush and Obama both got into Harvard based on affirmative action. Furthermore, Nixon and Carter were super-duper smart.


Actually, Bush got into Yale on affirmative action. He got into his Harvard MBA class on good recommendations - and proved himself to be a good selection choice for Harvard - yet another one of their choices that became a multimillionaire and a poweful politician...

And Carter was not super-smart. About as bright as Bush II.

Hoover, Nixon, and Clinton were the truly intellectually gifted - of the last 100 years of Oval Office residents.
Hoover's brilliance in mining engineering and logistics, later his organizational genius in reshaping the modern university - failed to translate to the skills needed to be President.

Nixon and Clinton were both brilliant politicians, with major "ethical challenges". Both were disbarred for obstruction of justice, though Clinton was protected by the media such that he was not ridden on a rail out of office.

Nixon's legacy is more consequential than Clinton's. Next to FDR, ahead of Wilson and Reagan and LBJ - Nixon had the greatest impact of any President of the 20th Century. What he did reshaping America domestically and "reordering" the international order - largely endured.

I don't think Americans want an uber-smart politician, just because they happen to be smart. (Romney and Hillary lost to dimmer bulbs).
They do want a President who is smart enough, however.
As well as lucky, strong, and having what hapless Bush I said when he was struggling after Reagan had done so much "people talk about that Vision-Thing, whatever that is..

TDR, FDR, Eisenhower, JFK, Nixon, Reagan had that "Vision-Thing". LBJ, Jimmy Carter, Ford, Bush I and Dubya - did not.

Wilson had a vision, but it was an ovvereach and he flubbed it.
Truman and Clinton had no real vision, thinking not strategically by tactically. But they were able politicians, had the fortune of others near them that had real strategic thinking, and had lots of luck..

Original George said...

Thomas Frank is the author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? and One Market Under God. The founding editor of The Baffler and a contributing editor at Harper’s, he is also The Wall Street Journal’s newest weekly columnist. (from his website)

Yo, people, Mr. Frank founded, runs, and edits a magazine called The Baffler.

The Baffler!!!

It's archived on the internet....here is a sample of its statement of purpose...

"More importantly, The Baffler was our attempt to restore a sense of outrage and urgency to the literature of the Left and simultaneously to unmask the pretensions of the lifestyle liberals. The cultural crisis of our time cannot be understood without reference to the fact that the modes of cultural dissidence that arose in the sixties are today indistinguishable from management theory. The distance between the new species of business thinkers and the rebel stars who populate our national firmament is almost zero. Our society is blessed with a great profusion of self-proclaimed subversives, few of which have any problem with the terrifying economic-cultural order into which we are blithely stepping on the eve of the millennium."

Translation: He's a bullshit artist.

Doyle said...

Bombing and killing people was Ayers' idea of how to end the war in Vietnam.

Bombing, yes, but he wasn't trying to kill people and "only" killed one.

mjsharon said...

Give it a rest Daniel. You are nothing but a self-satisfied dink. Please go elsewhere. You add nothing and you convince no one.

The Drill SGT said...

Paul Zrimsek said...
Enough to end the war in Vietnam, not bomb or kill people.


and of course they were bombing and killing people in 1982, 7 years after Saigon fell and 2 million people went into the camps.

The WU was at war with the US, its culture, and Government, not the Vietnam thing. That was just a gimmick to retain popular support. "A Cover Story"

Ayers is still at war with the US, only the means have changed.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I still don't know the answer"

Then by all means vote for him, because this is obviously such a minor concern that it is certainly nothing that should cause you to consider voting against him.

mcg said...

Enough to end the war in Vietnam, not bomb or kill people. I know context is for feeble lovers of language, but still.

And that changes things how? I'm supposed to feel better if I buy your implication that he wasn't suggesting more bombings but just other things in addition to them?

Original George said...

"What am I supposed to do, abstain?" asks Professor Althouse.

For God's Sake, Ann, Just Say "No!"

Have you forgotten all that Mr. T and Nancy taught us?

Say "No!" to the 'O'!

Say "No!" to inappropriate political touching!

Feel Free to Be You!

mccullough said...

I thought the "O" was for zero?

Captain Hate said...

but he wasn't trying to kill people and "only" killed one.

You really believe that? How close is OJ to finding Nicole and Ron's killer?

The Drill SGT said...

Doyle said...
Bombing, yes, but he wasn't trying to kill people and "only" killed one.


and the Nail bomb for the Ft Dix NCO club dance was just for the symbolism?

not to kill a bunch of 20 year olds (like me) and their dates?

Rich B said...

OG-

I was baffled by the WSJ's decision to print Thomas Frank. He seems surly, embittered and haughty. Couldn't they get somebody with a lighter touch, like Bob Herbert?

mcg said...

Bombing, yes, but he wasn't trying to kill people and "only" killed one.

Come on, Doyle, you're smarter than that, I think. First of all, the prematurely detonated bomb killed three people, not one, including Ayers' girlfriend. But about that bomb: where was it intended to go off? And why did it contain nails? And why did Ayers himself say the bomb would have done serious damage, "tearing through windows and walls and, yes, people too"?

The Drill SGT said...

"tearing through windows and walls and, yes, people too"?

And like the ones I used to tell about the 50 cal being only used on vehicles and the jellied gas out in the wire was used for illumination only :)

Paul Zrimsek said...

Come on, Doyle, you're smarter than that

Challenge for the reader: Provide a referent for "that" which would make the quoted sentence true. I've already ruled out the entire animal kingdom and most types of rock. Plagioclase feldspar looked like a contender for a while, but no.

The Drill SGT said...

Plagioclase feldspar looked like a contender for a while, but no.

e.g. Dumber than a granite block

William said...

Wealth and privilege are such fabulous things. They are like a safety net that underwrites all of life's risks. Someone like Ayers can go up on the high wire and do back flips. He and his crowd can admire his courage and daring. And if he falls, why even better. He gets the exhilarating sense of tragedy, of failing in a great endeavour, and there's none of those broken bones when you hit bottom. Instead he stands tall in the safety net and bows to the crowd's cheering of his audacity....Ayers was a pretentious little snot and will die a pretentious snot. He acted out his impulses as a young man and, in his maturity, he justifies those impulses as ideals. He can teach nothing because he has learned nothing.

dualdiagnosis said...

"only" killed one.


"only" killed one.


"charming"

Daniel said...

Alright. I'll leave you all to your bubble. I don't know if you think I'm someone else, because I have barely ever commented here, but whatever. Fight your Ayers battle that no one else cares about, and we'll see you in President Obama's America, very soon!

Oh, and fuck you too.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Next revelation: Ken Lay never personally phoned any power plants suggesting they take a generator or two down during peak demand. I understand Lay also wished he'd done more, which I take to mean he wished he'd spent more time working with disadvantaged children.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I didn't think much of the idea of destroying Chicago when it was first brought up, but I'm beginning to think there might be something to it.

mcg said...

No, let's not play that game.

mcg said...

Dust Bunny confirmed that he/she wasn't kidding in a later comment, but then finally apologized. A repentant terrorist?!? What nobility.

No, a repentant terrorism fantasizer. That's two full clicks away from Ayers the scumbag.

AlphaLiberal said...

Way to flog a false right wing meme, Ann.

...that he "didn't do enough."

This statement can be interpreted multiple ways. right wingers assume it means didn't do enough violence. But there's no support for that interpretation.

It can also mean we as a society didn't do enough to stop that bloody war. After all, once it became an air war with more bombs dropped than during WWII, the protests died down.

It's a very reasonable interpretation.

Let's not forget CQ found the whole Ayers smear to be "pants on fire wrong".

This attack is false, but it's more than that – it's malicious. It unfairly tars not just Obama, but all the other prominent, well-respected Chicagoans who also volunteered their time to the foundation. They came from all walks of life and all political backgrounds, and there's ample evidence their mission was nothing more than improving ailing public schools in Chicago. Yet in the heat of a political campaign they have been accused of financing radicalism. That's Pants on Fire wrong.

More lies. Lies that do nothing to help the American people and just distract and divide us.

Palladian said...

"Fight your Ayers battle that no one else cares about, and we'll see you in President Obama's America, very soon!

Oh, and fuck you too."

Wow, there's that long-promised Obama-style unity we've heard so much about! It's going to be a great four years!

Palladian said...

Lies are like lube for AlpoLiberal's daily jack-off sessions at his political porn sites.

holdfast said...

I can only assume that the WSJ hired Frank to remind us how and why to despise lefties?

Having followed Cedarford's comments on various sites for most of the last decade, I can say that he clearly is a very intelligent guy - he has a wide grasp of history and current affairs and is skilled at the use of logic. He's also a vile Jew-hater, but that's another point.

I assume the WSJ ran Frank's column on Ayers to remind conservatives and independents that Libs like Frank (and BHO) think that Ayers really is a-ok - just a little misguided in his youth, but not a bad guy.

mcg said...

It unfairly tars not just Obama, but all the other prominent, well-respected Chicagoans who also volunteered their time to the foundation.

Actually, if you ask me, it fairly tars them. I think it's batshit crazy that Ayers has been given a shred of respectibility in Chicago society.

And of course, we're not just talking about that one board, either. We're talking multiple and varied associations. And frankly I think Obama's claims that he's kept Ayers at arms' length are horseshit too.

holdfast said...

Oh, and all of Ayers "good works" are really just advancing his same-old commie agenda, except by legal means. Just because what he is doing now is legal in no way makes it laudable - it's still vile, and should be opposed through political channels. Americans have a lot of freedoms, including the freedom to be anti-American shitheads, which is exactly what Ayers is. His wife strikes me as a complete psycho, but maybe that's just her early thoughts on the Mansons.

Ayers was never cleared of his crimes - he could not be prosecuted because the evidence against him was obtained by unconstitutional means. Preserving the integrity of the bill of rights was more important than prosecuting him - but that doesn't make him any less of a terrorist, it just means he could not be prosecuted. He was never acquitted on the merits - and he had a rick daddy there to take care of him. I guess it is easy to be a radical when you have a trust fund to fall back on. Does Joe Six Pack have that?

And of course, BHO CHOOSES to associate with these people.

Terry said...

For some odd reason, Frank forgot to mention that his friend and Obama's associate is accused of instigating a rape of a woman (Donna Run) in 1965: "...I was getting ready to leave Ayers told me I couldn’t go until I slept with his roommate and his brother... At first I thought Ayers was joking. I got up; and went to the door. He moved quickly to block me at the doorway. He locked the door and put the chain on it. I went to the couch and sat down and told him that I had no intention of having sex with his roommate and his brother or him. He said that I had no choice but to do as he said if I wanted to get out of there. He claimed that I wouldn’t sleep with his married roommate because he was black -- that I was a bigot.".

Of course Ayers would state that the only reason she didn't want to be raped was because she was a 'racist'. Even back then he had the tactic down pat...

And why isn't Frank trumpeting the fact that Ayers proudly refers to himself as a 'little-c' communist?

Along those lines, Frank also neglects to mention that his friend believes "that education is the motor-force of revolution", and stated so in a speech in November 2006 while sharing the stage with Hugo Chavez, where Ayers also stated, "I look forward to seeing how he and all of you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education...".

I'm sure an Obama truth squad will bring these items to Frank's attention very, very soon.

Original George said...

At the supportbillayers.org website, more than 3,200 academics have signed a petition on his behalf.

Professor, these folks from your university signed on his behalf:

514 Ken Zeichner University of Wisconsin-Mad
534 Taina R. Collazo-Quiles University of Wisconsin-Madison
535 Brian W. Lagotte University of Wisconsin-Ma
542 Ross Colin The University of Wisconsin-Madison
543 A-Ou Liang
544 Andrew Clement University of Wisconsin-Madison
546 Vonzell Agosto University of Wisconsin-M
Evelin Rodriguez University of Wisconsin-Madis
2430 Beth Graue University of Wisconsin Madison
Todd Lilly University of Wisconsin-Madison
2846 Catherine Compton-Lilly
3014 Julie Mead

I wonder if all the people who supposedly signed actually did.

(The numbers indicate the order in which they signed, I think.)

Pogo said...

None of this shit matters at all. Short of being caught with a live boy or a dead girl, a good majority of US citizens doesn't seem to give a flying fuck about Ayers, Wright, cocaine, liberal voting records, little c communism, spreading the wealth around, etc.

They were warned, repeatedly. They desperately want Obama not to turn out the way his past behavior and associates indicates he might.

No one on the left cares. Few in the middle care. And since I am, by definition racist, I am Xing myself out of society, just so I can be cool like Ayer's wife thought Manson was for killing a pregnant woman.

Anyway, since I am guilty of being a racist fascist, I may as well become a racist fascist. Why not?

Alcibiades said...

Oh, so he calls it monogamy smashing - I guess that made it acceptable to all the cool people.

Here's one first hand account of how Ayers smashed the mongamy of his young girl friend at the time against her will and to her lasting detriment.

This is the kind of thing the feminists used to react to, but of course now all it acceptable in order to get Obama elected.

Conveniently for him, he doesn't remember this episode either.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I marvel at the sheltered lives they must lead at CQ. "A foundation giving money to radicals? Inconceivable!"

mccullough said...

If Bill Ayers is such a respected guy then Obama should announce at the debate tonight that he is inviting Ayers over to his house for dinner Saturday night.

Kirby Olson said...

Orgies are the sign of matriarchy, according to myth scholar JJ Bachofen. And matriarchy is always already tyrannical (bad) because it doesn't recognize the transcendence of the law.

Patriarchy is good for everyone, especially the weak, since it allows for the rule of law and order, even for the weak.

The sixties were a great attempt to install a matriarchal tyranny in which the men had long hair.

It was rotten (bad).

Methadras said...

mccullough said...

Obama is smart because people say he is smart.


Politics is perception. Perception is television. Television is reality.

Terry said...

I'm with Pogo. People have been warned. Ignorance is no excuse for what will inevitably happen if/when Obama is elected.

Obama is not what so many in the vast middle hope he is.

But Obama is what many on the far left hope he is.

All these relationships with Wright, Ayers, Acorn, Rezko, etc., mean something.

former law student said...

Great. The WSJ columnist who makes knowing Bill Ayers seem like a reasonable person is the one liberal they keep around the joint.

Don't any conservative profs know Ayers?

Or [Obama's] medical records

Speaking of which: If you believe McCain released his medical records, then you'd have to believe Kerry released his military records: McCain allowed a select few reporters only three hours to peruse some 1200 pages of his medical records before snatching them back. But like Obama, he has made a summary of his health history available.

(Although Kerry had the Navy release his records only to the Boston Globe, he did not put a time limit on their study.)

Doyle said...

This is the kind of thing the feminists used to react to, but of course now all it acceptable in order to get Obama elected.

I think for people, feminists included, to react to something they have to know what the hell you're talking about.

The only people that are capable of writing 400 page biographies of Bill Ayers these days are hardened wingnuts. As some people have even noted here: no one cAyers.

Freeman Hunt said...

Nearly all of Obama's moderate support appears to be based purely on magical thinking. There is this collective delusion that perhaps in office Obama will suddenly swing from the hard left to the moderate center. Nevermind that there is no evidence that Obama has ever even entertained non-socialist notions. Nevermind that he's more likely to swing even farther left once he gains power and no longer has any reason to appear more moderate. He's pretty and people like his speeches and won't it be fun to finally vote for a black guy...

Oligonicella said...

Truth is for boring, little minds. There are complex blends of truth and fiction that are more true, that "feel entirely honest." I don't believe it anymore, but I understand it.

I've never understood that sloppy thinking and as one of the initial and durable long-hairs in KC at that time, I can tell you we thought those douches were no more than murders looking for justification.

Truth is truth. Only the perception thereof may be wrong. What that above quote states is no more than rationalization for actions predicated on known falsehoods. In other words, fooling yourself into believing you are right instead of basing it on truth.

Doyle said...

He's pretty and people like his speeches and won't it be fun to finally vote for a black guy...

Freeman Hunt is pretty but what an asshole.

mcg said...

As some people have even noted here: no one cAyers.

Is that the story you're going with now? Getting your facts wrong above wasn't working out too well?

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman Hunt is ... an asshole.

Coming from you, that is the most gracious of compliments. Thank you, Doyle.

MadisonMan said...

he is inviting Ayers over to his house for dinner Saturday night.

I wonder when either candidate last ate dinner in their own home.

And I lament that some of the commentariat think that the US is so frail that 4 years of a Presidency is going to cause some kind of tipping point to disaster. I think the USA is far stronger than any Presidential administration.

freeman hunt, one could say that any claim that Obama is more likely to do anything is based on Magical thinking -- if you consider predicting the future, politically, to be magical. I guess I do.

The political realities of an Obama administration are unknown. Except for one important thing: NO MONEY. Absent knowledge of those realities, any prediction is worth little.

Doyle said...

There is this collective delusion that perhaps in office Obama will suddenly swing from the hard left to the moderate center.

What evidence do you have that Obama's "hard left" policy proposals (and to any remotely intellectually honest person they are not hard left) aren't what people want?

Your whole mass delusion theory is just totally fabricated, as well as your Ferraro-inspired assertion that he's winning because he's black.

Obama is the moderate center.

mcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

freeman hunt, one could say that any claim that Obama is more likely to do anything is based on Magical thinking -- if you consider predicting the future, politically, to be magical. I guess I do.

I think it quite a bit more logical to base these predications on his record and on his own policy statements and explanations. The Magical thinking comes in when these are ignored and baseless fantasies of his political moderation are substituted instead.

mcg said...

Howard Stern finds out what some Obama voters want...

mcg said...

'course I'm a racist for posting that.

Doyle said...

Freeman -

What would a Bush-supporting nutjob like yourself know about moderation?

former law student said...

Nevermind that there is no evidence that Obama has ever even entertained non-socialist notions

I am surprised that even a level-headed person like Freeman is raising the Socialist boogeyman wrt Obama. There was one left wing candidate for President this year -- Kucinich. According to Americans for Democratic Action, comparing voting records there were a dozen Senators more liberal than Obama. From all the evidence, Obama will be a center-left candidate. (If the biggest thing that McCain can fault him for is requesting $3 million to cover 1/3 the cost of a new Skyshow projector for the Planetarium, Obama can hardly be socialist.)

Freeman Hunt said...

Your whole mass delusion theory is just totally fabricated

Bull. Look at what Buckley wrote. Look at what Ann has written. Look at what other non-liberal Obama supporters are writing. None have expressed support of Obama's far left economic policies (They may support such, but they haven't said so.), but all have expressed some measure of confidence that Obama will change in office. On what basis does one believe Obama will transform?

Doyle said...

but all have expressed some measure of confidence that Obama will change in office.

Has any conservative Obama voter/leaner suggested that he's not serious about raising taxes on the rich? Implementing a national health insurance program? Withdrawing from Iraq?

Which of these supposedly "far left" policies do these "delusional" Obama voters not really believe he's going to follow through on? Examples, please.

Pogo said...

"that the US is so frail that 4 years of a Presidency is going to cause some kind of tipping point to disaster"

It's socialism on the installment plan.

And if you deny Obama is a socialist, you don't know wht the word means.

madawaskan said...

I think it quite a bit more logical to base these predications on his record .

There's a method to the maddening habit of voting-

Present

Call it modern interpretive voting....

Everybody gets to see what they want to see.

I have a theory if you like "modern" art you're more likely to be voting for Obama.

MadisonMan said...

mcg, I also thought that was hilarious, but I couldn't help but think: can people be that stupid? Hello? Obama is pro-life? Wants to stay in Iraq? Where have these people been living!?

It's also further proof that when people start asking poll-like questions, hearing stops.

mcg said...

Buckley: But having a first-class temperament and a first-class intellect, President Obama will (I pray, secularly) surely understand that traditional left-politics aren’t going to get us out of this pit we’ve dug for ourselves. If he raises taxes and throws up tariff walls and opens the coffers of the DNC to bribe-money from the special interest groups against whom he has (somewhat disingenuously) railed during the campaign trail, then he will almost certainly reap a whirlwind that will make Katrina look like a balmy summer zephyr.

madawaskan said...

Also probably the reason no one can find any of his writing previous to his political career.

mnotaro said...

Are we seriously drawing a correlation to the type of art you like to your political choice. I, for one, would like to stick to voting based on the issues and don't want to see Obama and his lefty illuminati friends in the White House any time soon!

Doyle said...

So because Chris Buckley, in explaining his decision to vote for Obama can imagine a scenario in which Obama raises taxes more than he would personally prefer, then there's some sort of mass delusion going on?

Obama's a liberal. Everyone knows he's a liberal. They're going to vote for him over John McCain anyway because this country isn't as infested with wingnuts as it seemed in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

mccullough said...

I wouldn't call Obama's policies far left (the ones he has told us about) but he has the hard-core believer's view that what he believes is more important than the facts.

Obama wants to raise taxes, which is fine if we weren't in a recession but is demonstrably the wrong thing to do during a recession.

Obama wants to raise spending far in excess of the amount of revenue his advisors predict his tax hikes would achieve.

So Obama is W. when it comes to bankrupting the country to achieve "his vision."

I don't care whether you agree with his "vision" or not any more than I care if you believe in W.'s "vision."

We can't afford their visions.

madawaskan said...

No I was just trying to illustrate my point and to flush out the modernists...

A twofer so to speak.

Pogo said...

Agreed.
Obama is a liberal. Really more of a lefty. Everyone knows he's a left-liberal.

There are fewer fiscal conservatives in the US than needed to keep a socialist out of office.

It is a tipping point.
Yous see Nirvana (or maybe little change), I see the start down a serious decline just having been given a serious shove.

Pogo said...

And history has favored my view of socialism, not yours.

Repeatedly.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mcg said...

So because Chris Buckley, in explaining his decision to vote for Obama can imagine a scenario in which Obama raises taxes more than he would personally prefer, then there's some sort of mass delusion going on?

Doyle, please. Chris Buckley said "raise taxes", period. It's not "more than he would prefer", it is "more than zero." And honestly, that's the right threshold, given the state of the economy.

But no I'm not going from Chris Buckley is deluded to mass delusion. I'm sticking with Chris Buckley is deluded.

Doyle said...

But we already know Obama's going to raise taxes on the rich, so Buckley's just doing his best to sound like a principled conservative, right?

mcg said...

Douglas Kmiec is another deluded wingnut. His contortions to reconcile Obama's views and his own specifically on abortion are truly astounding.

mcg said...

But we already know Obama's going to raise taxes on the rich,

Well, he's waffled on it before...

Doyle said...

Well I reiterate that Freeman's theory that people still hate liberals they just don't think Obama's one is about as stupid as most of the stuff she writes.

SMGalbraith said...

It seems to me that for all of the talk of the keen and quick intellect of Obama that there is little evidence, for me, of any intellectual curiousity outside of the liberal/left worldview. He has grown up and matured in a leftist environment and has shown no evidence (voting "present" doesn't count) of every challenging its core beliefs. Or even ancillary ones.

Great, it's wonderful to have a President with a sharp mind. But how has he used that instrument?

It would've been nice had our press looked into this. But, frankly, their performance this campaign has been scandalous.

The fact that an Obama Presidency will include a liberal Congress and a liberal press and a liberal academia and a liberal culture should be worrisome to anyone not on the left.

Perhaps Obama will grow into the office. But I don't see where the pressure for him to grow will come from.

The Drill SGT said...

And I lament that some of the commentariat think that the US is so frail that 4 years of a Presidency is going to cause some kind of tipping point to disaster. I think the USA is far stronger than any Presidential administration.

freeman hunt, one could say that any claim that Obama is more likely to do anything is based on Magical thinking -- if you consider predicting the future, politically, to be magical. I guess I do.

The political realities of an Obama administration are unknown. Except for one important thing: NO MONEY. Absent knowledge of those realities, any prediction is worth little.


MM, here are my concerns:

1. Obama is going to abandon our allies around the world. Itdoesn't need money to abandon them, hence your point doesn't apply. Israel, Iraq, Taiwan, Columbia to name a few.

2. Card Check for the Unions
3. Housing and loan counseling scam for ACORN, again no bing cost
4. Anti-trade, protectionist populism will worsen the recession
5. No drilling, no nukes, tax gimmicks for ethanol wind and solar. not good.
5. His economic policies can be boiled down to one word. redistribution. He will tax and ta the top 5%who already pay 50% of all income taxes and give to the other 95%. This will lengthen the recession and hurt our worldwide competive position. In the long run, as Aristotle said 2500 years ago, Democracy can't survive if the majority uses the laws to steal from the rich.

To win popular support, demagogues propose unjust treatment for the notables and thus force them to band together, by making them give up their property for redivision, or by having them expend their resources on public service, or by slandering them to force confiscations of their property.

Michael_H said...

What do Obama and Osama have in common?

Both have a friend who bombed the Pentagon.

And this year, just seven years after terrorists conducted the most devastating attack on our soil in American history, an American political party offers as its presidential nominee a man whose link to an unpunished and unrepentant terrorist has gone unexplained, except for the most shallow reference to him as a neighbor.

That nominee has met with and may have received campaign funds from the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. Both are dedicated to the murder of Jews, the destruction of Israel, and the destruction of America.

Affiliates of that candidate are damaging the voting process for the sole purpose of the illegal procuring votes for the candidate.

And the candidates operatives and useful idiots in the media answer all any any questions by charging the questioner with racism because the candidate is half black.

In seven years time, the terrorists, the socialists, the redistributionists, the haters of liberty and freedom, the believers in one unitary opinion, appear ready to prevail placing their candidate in the White House.

That one party and its adherents should forward such a candidate is abhorrent. And that the majority of voters fall for it is despicable.

Doyle said...

Anti-trade, protectionist

Obama's not anti-trade or protectionist.

Doyle said...

In seven years time, the terrorists, the socialists, the redistributionists, the haters of liberty and freedom, the believers in one unitary opinion, appear ready to prevail placing their candidate in the White House.

USA! USA! USA!

Revenant said...

According to Americans for Democratic Action, comparing voting records there were a dozen Senators more liberal than Obama.

Americans for Democratic Action gave Obama a 95% rating for 2006. There were ten, not "a dozen", senators to the left of him that year -- but no matter how many Senators were to his left, being 95% in agreement with the hard left does not place him in the center left. For 2007, his ADA rating was only 75% -- but that's because he skipped a lot of votes entirely. For the votes he actually deigned to show up for he was 100% in agreement with the ADA.

In summary, any illusion of moderation on Obama's part is caused entirely by his habit of refusing to commit to any political position at all. When he actually commits to a position it is, virtually without exception, a solidly left-wing one.

Revenant said...

I lament that some of the commentariat think that the US is so frail that 4 years of a Presidency is going to cause some kind of tipping point to disaster.

For pity's sake, Madison, it was a whopping TWO years into the Bush administration when the Left started screaming that he had single-handedly destroyed everything that was good about America. We've been listening to that chorus for five years now.

The big concern with Obama is that he and the Democratic Congress will saddle the country with a fresh wave of entitlements and tax increases that we'll never get rid of. That can easily be done in four years -- or four months, really.

Jen Bradford said...

Which of these supposedly "far left" policies do these "delusional" Obama voters not really believe he's going to follow through on? Examples, please.

Plenty of people assume that he won't pull troops out of Iraq ahead of whatever schedule the commanding officers consider rational. I'm not so sure. When he talks about how HE sets the agenda, and the officers find ways to carry it out, I just hang my head. I know lots of moderates who cringe when he talks about the war, because he sounds as if he stopped paying attention years ago. But they wanna believe...

JAL said...

The whirlwind Obama would supposedly reap is going to be from a Democrat controlled congress headed by Pelosi and Reid who are going to make hay while the sun shines, plus the high pressure moving in from the KOS crowd to do everything ever uttered against the free market, capitalism and critics who are, by virtue of their criticism, all racists. Even Hillary and Bill.

Think of Obama's thin skin and attempts to engage the DOJ in silencing free speech, lawyerly intimidation of radio stations, utilization of elected officials to his Obama truth squad against free speech, the "Fairness Doctrine," the passage of "Card Check" to eliminate the secret ballot in unionization, taxing small businesses, killing entrepreneurship....

Obama's economic plan, in spite of John Stoddard's contentment with his advisors, will slow our economy down.

But hey -- who gives a damn about the US. It's the globe we want to love us and sing songs with.

Besides, we all know that rich people should be hated by every right thinking person. Too bad that's who provided jobs for my father, and my husband and his father, and his brother ....

Remember, according to Obama at Saddleback... the US is mean and that's why he wants to be president. So he plans to eliminate meanness and give the plumbers money to someone else on the playground.

You know, if he thinks you have more than you should, he will take it and give it to others because.....

because they are not you.

And the Democrat controlled Congress will be sucking the life out of the American Dream and buying votes with earmarks and favors.

Michael_H said...

On what basis does one believe Obama will transform?

On the basis of how other liberal candidates for the presidency have acted following inauguration, it's entirely correct to believe that Obama will govern far more to the left than he campaigned.

"Yes Mrs. Pelosi, where do I sign?"

Michael_H said...

I lament that some of the commentariat think that the US is so frail that 4 years of a Presidency is going to cause some kind of tipping point to disaster.

Madison, were you an adult during the Jimmy Carter four year presidential disaster? Did you suffer 'malaise'? Did you have a 15% interest rate on your mortgage? Did you enjoy the 13% rate of inflation eroding your income? Wasn't waiting in line for hours to get gasoline fun? And weren't you a proud American when you saw Iran trotting out the Americans held hostage for 500 days?

mcg said...

Obama's not anti-trade or protectionist.

You may be right. If Austan Goolsbee is to be believed, he was just lying about being protectionist.

garage mahal said...

I bet the unitary executives types and people that thought giving all the super duper preznit powers to Dubya have a rather large lump in their throat about now. I can hear it now:

"Rule of Law!" "The Constitution!" "Checks and Balances!"

SMGalbraith said...

On what basis does one believe Obama will transform?

From where will the push come to moderate his views?

Congress? The press? Academia?

JAL said...

former law student --

Nice try, but the ADA only rates 20 bills.

But here's a thought -- if Obama wins (because he just might not, you know---) we will have a president who wants illegal immigrants to have health care coverage, but not American babies born after a failed abortion attempt.

(Just to spin some of you up.)

Original George said...

I saw Jimmy up close back when he was President.

He looked like an albino raisin.

Puny, too. Like Miz Lilian didn't have enough milk when he was born.

The Drill SGT said...

Doyle said...
Anti-trade, protectionist

Obama's not anti-trade or protectionist.


let's see;

- against NAFTA
- agsinst Columbia Free trade treaty
- For buy America 2
- For Card Check
- For tax penalties for firms that hae overseas oerations
- for windfall profits taxes on big companies even if the profits are low

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SMGalbraith said...

I bet the unitary executives types and people that thought giving all the super duper preznit powers to Dubya have a rather large lump in their throat about now. I can hear it now:

And those issuing the warnings about a monarchy will file those away for at least four years.

Gore and oxen and all that.

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"[MM said 'I lament that some of the commentariat think that the US is so frail that 4 years of a Presidency is going to cause some kind of tipping point to disaster.'] The big concern with Obama is that he and the Democratic Congress will saddle the country with a fresh wave of entitlements and tax increases that we'll never get rid of. That can easily be done in four years -- or four months, really."

It can be done in four seconds. The next Congress can convene any time after noon next January 3d. By tradition, they usually convene and then go into recess, but nothing requires them to do so, and thus nothing prevents them from ramming through a vast omnibus bill that will do incalculable, irreversible harm to this country, a bill that Pelosi can sign and hand to Obama the moment he's taken the oath of office. How long does it take to sign his name?

They aren't going to do it this way, of course, but they are going to do it, and as I've said in the last week or so, what conservatives need to be working out now is a strategy of massive resistance. Every procedural and legal barrier that can be thrown in the way of the administration must be. The democrats have spent the last eight years showing total disregard for the basic norms of civility. They declared war on us; we haven't had to fight back, yet, but that is apparently about to change. To paraphrase Aragorn, whether we would have war or not, it is upon us.

Michael_H said...

Alcibiades - Thanks for the link to that article on Front Page.

Ayers is a worthless sociopathic piece of shit.

knowitall said...

Is it good for illuminati lefties to befriend an accused and named terrorist? Even if he said what he said years ago, the social extremes he went to were beyond those of either a liberal or conservative view. The Ivy-Leaguers should have figured that out, right?

Freeman Hunt said...

Well I reiterate that Freeman's theory that people still hate liberals they just don't think Obama's one is about as stupid as most of the stuff she writes.

So you mean to say it's brilliant? :) So many compliments from you in this thread. You flattter me, Doyle, you flatter me.

By the way, that's not actually what I argued, but I see no point in going over that with you.

Darcy said...

It's the globe we want to love us and sing songs with.

Weeeeeee dooooooo wannnnt thaaat!

Simon said...

garage mahal said...
"I bet the unitary executives types and people that thought giving all the super duper preznit powers to Dubya have a rather large lump in their throat about now."

I think we've talked about this before, but again, you're conflating two separate issues. As I explained in more detail here, the unitary executive is purely a theory of the intrabranch power of the Presidency. It is a necessary consequence of the Article II vesting clause, and that is as true if Obama is the President as it would be if John McCain, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Dick Cheney or Newt Gingrich were the President. If Barack Obama wants to dismiss his US Attorneys because they don't share his law enforcement priorities, I for one will back him to the hilt. If Barack Obama wants to give direct orders to his solicitor general to take or change positions in a case (cf. The President's Brief), ditto.

What you're referring to is not the unitary executive. What you're referring to is a conception of the interbranch power of the Presidency as against the other branches of government, a concept I've referred to sometimes as the 'robust executive' theory. It posits that the President has a lot of inherent powers that enables him or her to do virtually anything. Although many of those who believe in the one believe in the other, they are not the same theory. I for one think that the unitary executive doctrine is absolutely correct, and that it follows necessarily and ineluctably from Article II, but I do not buy into the robust executive theory, as I intimated here.

Freeman Hunt said...

So apropos from neo-neocon:

Obama the Soft Socialist

Seven Machos said...

Right now, I want to proclaim my blog crush on Freeman Hunt.

Donn said...

Welcome to the Machine (dedicated to Rick Wright): A View About the Next Four Years.....

A DKos commenter from a Michael Barone column:

I support Obama, but I disagree on some major issues. One is that we need to use major authoritarian measures against wingnuts and theocrats to save this country. That in particular includes deprogramming institutions and a Gitmo like camp to deal with the worst wingnuts. These people should be removed from general society and need to be shut up.

I have believed this for years, but the behavior of the wingnuts at the McCain and Palin rallies further underscores the need to take harsh action against these people. Lincoln and FDR had to bend the Constitution at times, and I hope Obama has the guts to do so too to deal with these third rate creatures.

Crimso said...

"And I lament that some of the commentariat think that the US is so frail that 4 years of a Presidency is going to cause some kind of tipping point to disaster."

It's happened before in this country. The Dems saw Lincoln as an intolerable threat. I think they were wrong (and I'm a native Southerner), but keep in mind that Obama isn't remotely in the class of Lincoln. Lincoln, for all of his faults and questionable tactics (see the 1864 incident where he had his Cabinet members sign a piece of paper without first reading it), was still basically an honorable man. I hope Obama is, but I strongly doubt it.

Recovering Liberal said...

I am beginning to see this blog as a therapy group with some participants (a significant number) trying to cohese for rational discussion, some (thankfully) providing humor or charming observations to deflect emotional intensity, and others sticking their thumbs in their ears, waggling their fingers and yelling "Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah".

I wonder if my characterizations match some of yours. (I did not mention names because the adolescents on this post just become more irritating when provoked).

Cheers (Oops! That's someone else's line. Hmmm...)

Best regards,

Recovering Liberal (using the 12-step model)

OldManRick said...

Bush got into Yale on affirmative action

Let's be more precise with our terms.

Bush got into Yale to some extent on Legacy not certainly not based on Affirmative Action. Bush was not a member of an "under represented" group. Legacy is a mechanism where sons and daughters of graduates get preference over new comers to a university. The extent of the bump has diminished over the years. When I went to college, a year after Bush, some schools (Dartmouth) were still "enrolling at birth" - the ultimate Legacy bump. (I knew a "enrolled at birth" Dartmouth student.) Others - Harvard and Yale - were phasing it out.

The Legacy bump still exists. Although, it seems to be a way to break ties. Many colleges application ask if you have graduate parents. My daughter could have gotten a Legacy bump applying to MIT, but instead, she got into Stanford without any bump. Before she was accepted, she knew about the Legacy bump and resented it for skewing the competition.

Affirmative action gives a bump based on race, if and only if, your racial group is "under represented". It seems to give much more of a bump now than any Legacy bump since it ties to reach enrollment quotas by "under represented" group. There are no enrollment quotas for sons/daughter of graduates that I have heard of.

madawaskan said...
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Meade said...

Althouse said: "As for his good works, there's a problem there too, and it's what relates most directly to Obama. Some people think Ayers's present-day work in the field of education is too radical, and they sincerely want to know whether Obama is too far to the left. That's why I'm interested in Ayers and Obama. I still don't know the answer, and I don't think there is any way to know the answer other than to elect Obama President and see what he does. That's what Obama is asking us to do."

In 4 years, Obama will still be 4 years younger than the age of the average U.S. President. Four years will give him time to complete a full term as Senator. That should give us a fairly clear picture of how far left he really is and if it doesn't, then he truly is just an empty suit.

What exactly is the hurry to elect Barack Obama when John McCain is a known quantity and is neither too far left nor right? Is it because Obama self-identifies as "black?" If his racial identity was "white," would you vote to elect someone so unknown?

Revenant said...

The Legacy bump still exists.

It still existed when Obama, son of a Harvard alumnus, got into Harvard. How he got in remains a mystery; none of the relevant documentation has been unsealed yet. The media are too busy looking into Joe the Plumber's work history to worry about the next President of the United States. :)