T Nation

Barack and the Bomber

An issue that’s been floating around lately is Obama’s connection to former Weatherman bomber and domestic terrorist extraordinaire Bill Ayers. Now, the connection itself is rather tenuous IMHO (see: http://www.volokh.com/archives/archive_2008_04_13-2008_04_19.shtml#1208495556 ), but Obama’s responses have been particularly revealing - again, more evidence that he tends toward radical liberal positions. He’s essentially equated being anti-abortion with being an unrepentant domestic terrorist in his response to this.

(ADDENDUM: More here:

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2008/04/obama-balances.html )

Byron York lays out some similar thinking for The Hill:

http://thehill.com/byron-york/barack-and-the-bomber-2008-04-17.html

[i] Barack and the bomber
By Byron York
Posted: 04/17/08 05:51 PM [ET]

If we’re judged by those with whom we associate, here’s a question:

Would you rather be associated with a '60s radical who plotted to bomb the Pentagon and to this day believes, as he said a few years ago, “I don�??t regret setting bombs; I feel we didn’t do enough,” or would you rather be associated with - slight pause, please - Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)?

That was the rather bizarre scenario raised by Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) at Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Obama about Obama’s relationship with William Ayers, the unrepentant former member of the Weather Underground.

“An early organizing meeting for your state Senate campaign was held at his house, and your campaign has said you are friendly,” Stephanopoulos said to Obama. “Can you explain that relationship for the voters, and explain to Democrats why it won’t be a problem?”

At first Obama downplayed his connection with Ayers. “This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received an official endorsement from,” Obama said. “He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis.”

Then Obama downplayed the question’s relevance. “The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn�??t make much sense.”

And then, the Coburn Card.

“The fact is that I’m also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate,” Obama said, "who during his campaign once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions.

“Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn’s statements? Because I certainly don’t agree with those, either.”

Where to start?

Well, Coburn is ardently anti-abortion. So much so that he once said, during his 2004 Senate campaign, “I favor the death penalty for abortionists and other people who take life.”

It’s a far-out position. But note a couple of things. Coburn also said in the campaign that he realizes abortion is not, you know, against the law. And he does not support the death penalty for people who haven’t broken the law and who haven’t received due process if they have.

“I understand what the law is,” Coburn said during the 2004 campaign. “My hope would be that we would get back to a time when we recognize the value of life, and I think we’re not.”

Now, that’s still an out-there position. Coburn’s dream is not going to happen.

But wouldn’t Coburn be more comparable to Ayers if he, Coburn, had bombed abortion clinics in the past - and then said that he not only did not regret bombing the clinics but wished that he had done more? And then, after bombing abortion clinics and refusing to express regret, he held a political event in his home for Barack Obama, which Obama attended?

And if all that had happened, would Obama say it wasn’t a problem because Coburn had bombed those clinics a long time ago, when Obama was just 8 years old?

Do you believe that would endear Obama to voters in the Democratic primaries?

As it was, Obama used his Senate colleague Coburn to suggest that the issue was not one of violence, and radicalism, and lawbreaking, but rather a simple disagreement: Sen. Coburn and I disagree on some things, and yet we’re still friendly. Bill Ayers and I disagree on some things, and yet we’re still friendly. So what’s the problem?

That’s not quite good enough.

Obama needs to tell us more about his relationship with Ayers. It’s important because voters might well wonder whether that relationship, coupled with Obama’s longtime relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is the beginning of a pattern, a pattern in which Obama seems quite comfortable with people who really, really, really don’t like the United States of America.

It’s a reasonable question, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) was right to suggest that Republicans will raise it in the general election campaign if Obama is the Democratic candidate.

They will - and they should.

Why not clear it up now?[/i]

I think it will be fairly simple for Barack to disclaim Ayers, as noted above. The real problem is the picture this is painting, when taken in the aggregate with his other little slips and associations.

As York points out, combined with the Wright stuff and the condescension to middle America, this is starting to paint a very different picture than the campaign slogans.

Yeah, we get it. Obama is racist, unpatriotic, and a terrorist-sympathizing snob.

What did I win?

[quote]lixy wrote:
Yeah, we get it. Obama is racist, unpatriotic, and a terrorist-sympathizing snob.

What did I win?[/quote]

Nothing - you can’t vote.

Anyway, I’d more characterize it this way: Obama is a condescending, radical liberal with a messiah complex and daddy issues.

Of course, it should be noted that Hillary’s Weathermen problem is more acute than Barack’s.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ODMzZWNhM2QxMjg4OGViNjhhNzU2Y2I4ZDMyMTQzYjU=

If Hillary is going to claim all that experience from when she was first lady, she gets to claim all of those pardons as well - Marc Rich too…

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

he’ll get past Hillary (thankfully, i think)

and then when forced to choice between him and McCain, i’ll pick McCain, simply because i think less government is better.

i think if you want socialism, you should move to Europe, they have tons of it there. (and i’m not being condescending). let us have our small government here. governmental diversity is a good thing. thats my philosophy anyway.

[quote]stokedporcupine wrote:
he’ll get past Hillary (thankfully, i think)

and then when forced to choice between him and McCain, i’ll pick McCain, simply because i think less government is better.

i think if you want socialism, you should move to Europe, they have tons of it there. (and i’m not being condescending). let us have our small government here. governmental diversity is a good thing. thats my philosophy anyway.

[/quote]

We have small government here?

mike

[quote]Mikeyali wrote:
stokedporcupine wrote:
he’ll get past Hillary (thankfully, i think)

and then when forced to choice between him and McCain, i’ll pick McCain, simply because i think less government is better.

i think if you want socialism, you should move to Europe, they have tons of it there. (and i’m not being condescending). let us have our small government here. governmental diversity is a good thing. thats my philosophy anyway.

We have small government here?

mike[/quote]

Yeah, that was news to me too.

[quote]stokedporcupine wrote:
he’ll get past Hillary (thankfully, i think)

and then when forced to choice between him and McCain, i’ll pick McCain, simply because i think less government is better.

i think if you want socialism, you should move to Europe, they have tons of it there. (and i’m not being condescending). let us have our small government here. governmental diversity is a good thing. thats my philosophy anyway.

[/quote]

We are only talking another 100 years in Iraq at the price of $5000 a second; He would probably be more of a free market gut unless it was time to bail out some big Corp.

[quote]pittbulll wrote:

We are only talking another 100 years in Iraq at the price of $5000 a second; He would probably be more of a free market gut unless it was time to bail out some big Corp.[/quote]

Ahem bullcrap ahem.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/cleveland_clinkers.html

  1. McCain wasn’t referring to keeping up an active military campaign in Iraq for 100 years, but rather a presence like we have in Germany, Japan or Korea after open hostilities have been quenched.

Thus, given 1), 2) The expense wouldn’t be nearly as high (assuming arguendo your figure is correct) after the open hostility period is over.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
pittbulll wrote:

We are only talking another 100 years in Iraq at the price of $5000 a second; He would probably be more of a free market gut unless it was time to bail out some big Corp.

Ahem bullcrap ahem.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/cleveland_clinkers.html

  1. McCain wasn’t referring to keeping up an active military campaign in Iraq for 100 years, but rather a presence like we have in Germany, Japan or Korea after open hostilities have been quenched.

Thus, given 1), 2) The expense wouldn’t be nearly as high (assuming arguendo your figure is correct) after the open hostility period is over.[/quote]

Have you heard the conspiracy theory that oil would be at $400 dollars a barrel in a couple of years and that is why we are in Iraq?

[quote]pittbulll wrote:

Have you heard the conspiracy theory that oil would be at $400 dollars a barrel in a couple of years and that is why we are in Iraq?

[/quote]

No - does that mean you’re going to tell me about it? Because I just love conspiracy theories… they’re always so probable and intelligent. /sarcasm

An excellent point:

http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTM5YTRiNDhjODczODJlZDQ2OWE3OGMyZjgxYjUyYWI=

[i]Bill Ayers, on April 13, 2008: ‘Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.’

A couple of recent comments from Bill Ayers’ blog ( http://billayers.wordpress.com/ ). Yes, he has a blog. And he’s still talking “violent revolution.”

On April 13 ( http://billayers.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/end-the-war/ ) of this year:

[quote]In the spirit of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. we have to dare to see the world as it really is, and then to choose justice over tribe or nation or petty self-interest. We need to organize and mobilize against illegal wars of conquest and domination, send a sharp warning right now as the powerful mobilize to bomb Iran under the banner of the same exhausted lies and rationalizations, and press the demand for peace in concrete terms:

1. Withdraw all mercenary forces immediately.

2. Set a date-certain-within three months-for all U.S. troops to leave Iraq and Afghanistan.

3. Dismantle all U.S. military bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

4. Renounce all claims to the natural resources of Iraq.

5. Call for the creation of an independent international commission to assess and monitor the amount of reparations the U.S. owes to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is only a start, and it is still a choice�??solidarity with all people, or endless war and death. As King reminded us, those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.[/quote]

April 6 ( http://billayers.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/episodic-notoriety-fact-and-fantasy/ ) of this year:

(Ayers is apparently clairvoyant in his ability to determine that someone is sweating from a typed e-mail message or voice mail message.)

It is terrible and horrifying to receive violent threats. Still, we’re in a strange world when a man who planted bombs complains about receiving threatening e-mails. An e-mail that says, “you deserve to be shot,” is terrifying. Probably almost as terrifying as a bomb going off in one’s workplace.

Ayers has a unique perspective on why a bomb in a public bathroom is not terrorism.

Obama can insist that Ayers today is just “a professor of English” (actually Education, as Michael Barone notes http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTFlYWNiN2I1MTQ1OWM2ZTNmNWM4M2U5NmZkMTVmYTg= ), but he’s a man who still today believes that his acts, including the planting of bombs in public places, does not constitute terrorism.

Can ordinary Americans relate to attending his parties, serving on a board with him, accepting a donation from him, probably shaking hands, smiling, having an ordinary conversation with him?

Would it pain Barack Obama to come out and say, “Bill Ayers committed horrible acts, aimed at injuring and killing men who wear this country’s uniform and those who love them*, and while the legal system has no further beef with him, I do”?

  • Remember, Ayers went on the run when a bomb that was to be used at an officer’s dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey went off in the bombmakers’ apartment. So not only was the aim to kill and maim soldiers, but to do so at the moment they’re dancing with their wives, girlfriends, and sweethearts. [/i]

And a good article here:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-oped0420chapmanapr20,1,2975893.column

and another here: http://reason.com/news/show/126088.html

However, I’ll note again I think Hillary needs to explain Bill’s pardons of the Weathermen and also denounce their activities and aims.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Yeah, we get it. Obama is racist, unpatriotic, and a terrorist-sympathizing snob.

What did I win?[/quote]

You left out that he was also a 6 year old terrorist!

[quote]Lorisco wrote:
lixy wrote:
Yeah, we get it. Obama is racist, unpatriotic, and a terrorist-sympathizing snob.

What did I win?

You left out that he was also a 6 year old terrorist!

[/quote]

Which all pales to the terrible fact that he does not wear a flag pin.

Rumor has it that he does not shout “God bless America” when sleeping with his wife, nor does he sing the national anthem under the shower.

Not even a spontaneous erection when hearing the pledge of allegiance.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
pittbulll wrote:

Have you heard the conspiracy theory that oil would be at $400 dollars a barrel in a couple of years and that is why we are in Iraq?

No - does that mean you’re going to tell me about it? Because I just love conspiracy theories… they’re always so probable and intelligent. /sarcasm[/quote]

No, I did not plan on telling you the theory

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/04/AR2006110401025.html

[quote]pittbulll wrote:

No, I did not plan on telling you the theory

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/04/AR2006110401025.html

[/quote]

That’s not a conspiracy theory - it’s a potential worst-case scenario.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
pittbulll wrote:

No, I did not plan on telling you the theory

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/04/AR2006110401025.html

That’s not a conspiracy theory - it’s a potential worst-case scenario.[/quote]

I have got to agree with the Professor, if a Democrat would have said that it would have been a conspiracy theory. But since it came from George it is the worst case scenario. In all honesty I hope it does not come to pass. But you must realize you have blinders on when it comes to any point other than the one you endorse