The Underground Connection


A new 501(c)4 ad linking Obama to terrorist Bill Ayers is being slammed by the Obama campaign, which is using strongarm tactics to keep it off the air.



The ad may be pulled due, ironically, to McCain-Feingold restrictions on political speech. But it doesn't seem to be spreading falsehood. Everything the ad contains - Ayers' active involvement in bombing the U.S. Capitol, Ayers' affirmation of terrorism ("I don't regret setting bombs,"), Obama's quotes about Ayers, and their longtime friendship - are all part of the public record. A bit of background research yields:
  • WaPo Fact Checker Michael Dobbs basically concedes the facts, and wonders whether it will be politically relevant.
  • Michael Barone for U.S. News & World Report runs down the history, casting light on the nature of the Obama-Ayers friendship ("the first organizing meeting for Obama's state Senate campaign was held in Ayers's apartment") and the nature of Chicago politics ("[Chicago] is a city with a civic culture in which politicians...'don't want nobody nobody sent.'")
  • Obama's own website cites many articles giving their side of the story: Ayers is now an upstanding citizen, let bygones be bygones.
Barone concludes by noting,
Ayers evidently helped Obama gain insider status in Chicago civic life and politics—how much, we can't be sure unless the Richard J. Daley Library opens the CAC archive.
Incidentally, the Daley Library has agreed to release those records today. Stay tuned - reporters will have 140 boxes of records to parse, but a better picture of the nature and depth of the Obama-Ayers partnership may emerge today. Posted by Chops at August 26, 2008 10:24 AM
Comments
Comment #259572

So Ayers was connected and Obama was getting connected, next.

Six degrees of separation, and we are all terrorists.

Posted by: googlumpugus at August 26, 2008 10:42 AM
Comment #259573

“We didn’t do enough”(?)

Oh, come on Chops, we’re supposed to let bygones be bygones. People’s associations don’t really say anything about what they think…

What, really, do we know about this guy? a little more every day.

Drip…drip…drip…

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 26, 2008 10:45 AM
Comment #259575

Lee Jamison-
Obama’s connection to Ayers is thin at best. G. Gordon Liddy, convicted felon, right wing zealot, a man who advised people to shoot federal agents coming after them in the head, is McCain’s friend.

The Republicans have built up a track record of encouraging radicalism, even to the point of advocating deadly force against officers of the law. We will not stand by and be lectured by hypocrites. Nobody in the Obama campaign, and few on the left would apologize for William Ayer’s violent past, a past he, like McCain advocate Ollie North got off on a technicality for. Oliver North’s crimes, though, probably killed more people, through arms sold to Iran, and the fighting he helped fund in Central America.

The Republicans have been taken over by their fringe, and wish to have impunity for their extreme behavior. How many Republicans would rationalize the behavior of Watergate Burglar Liddy, or Iran arms dealer North on partisan grounds? How many were quick to jump to the defense of criminals in the Bush administration, including convicted felon Scooter Libby? Republicans have plenty of excuses for illegal behavior.

Nobody’s trying to excuse William Ayer’s behavior.

Don’t play this game. The Right has built up a rich history of dubious associations and friendships with unrepentant felons. They have played fast and loose with national security, and are all to willing to throw stones from withing that glass house. If you want to nail Obama on the weakest of associations, we can turn right back and lay your party’s radical predelictions so clear that people will puke at thought of voting for a Republican.

And don’t believe the Netroots Democrats aren’t itching to do it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 26, 2008 11:43 AM
Comment #259576

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The sole funder of this ad made illegal campaign donations from his daughter’s trust funds, tried to game the system. While they deadlocked on the larger issue (which was later settled, it was unanimously decided that he has abused his position as trustee. One particular act in this regard was forging signatures to get money to give to then NC senator Jesse Helms.

He’s a major campaign contributor, and in turn a suckling piglet at the teat of government pork. Not to mention a polluter and a tax cheat who tried to push through a loophole so he could claim a Capital Gains write-off.

Like I said, do you folks really want to play this game? Your real, solid connections are much worse than the tenuous associations you’re trying to slime us with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 26, 2008 12:05 PM
Comment #259577

Stephen -
I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so defensive before, especially in response to an article that doesn’t take a particularly strong view on the topic.

I, for one, am withholding judgment at least until this afternoon (or whenever the CAC records get reported).

And yeah, Simmons is scummy, but that doesn’t have bearing on the evidence.

Posted by: Chops at August 26, 2008 12:12 PM
Comment #259589

Chops-
The McCain Campaign all too hoppy to jump on the story, while they’re feeling froggy.

Democrats aren’t going to stand for it. They’re not going to let 2004 repeat itself. I pointed out Liddy’s crimes and his close association with McCain to highlight the lack of principled purpose regarding their attacks here.

“Radicalism and bloody shirts waved at thee, but not at me.”, in other words.

We can’t afford to be mild here. We can’t afford to be proportional, because that’s not the game the GOP is playing. We have to aggressively cut this kind of behavior off at the knees, because as much as some might want to spin our concerns as confirmation, the truth is, we want to stamp this kind of attack dead before it gets two steps from where it was born. We’re not going to sit around and let Obama become defined by this borderline illegal laundering of McCain’s seedier and less substantive attacks, the way Kerry was waylaid by the SwiftBoat fiasco.

If McCain wants to attack us, he’s going to have to do it himself, and take the political heat for it. We’re not going to let the GOP fight proxy battles through third parties and get away with it this time.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 26, 2008 1:18 PM
Comment #259590

This William Ayers guy, has he been setting off bombs and such in the past quarter century or is this all about his youth, the ‘60’s , the MIC and illegal wars in SE Asia?
Has he continued to use violence to bully people into seeing things his way or has he learned from his mistakes of the past?
Has he worked towards progress and helped others during the past quarter century ?

What ever happened to the right wing in this country that they cannot hold their own on issues and must rely on this kind of negativity to win elections?

And most of all whatever happened to “To Err Is Human To Forgive Is Divine” and “Hate the Sin but Love the Sinner” ? Seems the righties have decided that ” To err is human to blame it on someone else is devine” and “Hate the sin Hate the Sinners friends” is their claim to fame.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 26, 2008 1:25 PM
Comment #259591

Ayers, a terrorist? Perhaps.

Cheney/Bush, a terrorist? The Iraqis likely think so, especially the ones who have lost loved ones, or who are themselves suffering wounds and disabilities as a result of the honorless invasion.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 1:26 PM
Comment #259592

Stephen,

If what the ad says is true, does it matter who paid for it? After all, what you’re saying is that if Obama is the best man for the job it does not matter whose offices he used to gain influence.

Republicans taken over by WHAT fringe? The hard-core middle of the road? Iran Contra helped pay for a campaign that was crucial to defeating Soviet ambitions to destabilize Central America. That was right wing. Today’s Republican party has no such leadership. Indeed, to judge from the books dribbling out of former White House staffers current leadership seems to view economic conservatism as a positive evil. Indeed, the only substantive difference between GWB and Jimmy Carter has been that Bush really does believe in democratic government while Carter likes to say he does, but he doesn’t want to spend anything to back it up. Hence my reluctance to say glowing things about the GOP.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 26, 2008 1:28 PM
Comment #259593

Ayers, a terrorist?

More likely McPain would have been considered a terrorist by the people he bombed and strafed…that is before he landed in prison for it. Please remember the Viet Nam idiocy was perpetrated on a lie too. McPain, me and a few million others were actually terrorists. We were just playing ‘dress-up’ terrorism.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 1:36 PM
Comment #259596

chops, jamison, huntwork, sicilian eagle, I have to say, you guys are hanging by the thinnest thread. Do any of you have the slightest ability to contrast and compare the two candidates with regard to their views on the issues? Pull your intellects together, either individually or collectively and tell us why, what the republican party and its leader, John McCain, are proposing for the the country is good and and why the ideas put forward by the Dems and Obama are bad.
As it stands now, this conversation going on above this post is just about the most empty, vapid collections of words I’ve yet seen. Please, do better. I know you can do better (actually, I’m not sure about that; just call it audacious hope on my part!)

Posted by: charles ross at August 26, 2008 1:58 PM
Comment #259597

SD,

As much as I don’t care about McCain, isn’t Obama the one running on his superior Judgement? If you are arguing that he is no different than other Republicans in their judgment of who to work with and make political friends with to gain power, then I am all with you on that one. But that seems counter to what Obama, and you, have been saying in the past…

Is he association with Ayers a lapse in his superior Judgement or is he just a normal politician? Seems a fair question to me.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 2:06 PM
Comment #259598

Charles Ross and Marysdude,

You posts are both tied to a concern over the relevance of what is at a leader’s core. The war Marysdude finds so atrocious was expanded by a man whose first election to public office was secured by an election box full of ballots voted by people, both living and dead, who voted in alphabetical order, and signed their paperwork in the same handwriting. Had a more honorable soul won that first election back in 1948 much of the 20th century might have unfolded very differently.

It matters what is at the heart of a leader.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 26, 2008 2:09 PM
Comment #259608

Yeah, yeah, and GW Bush is a KGB mole by virtue of his looking into the sole of Vladimir Putin and liking what he saw there.

McCain was brainwashed by the Viet Cong, and is a Communist mole conditioned to ascend to the presidency and once there, work to hand America over to the Communists by virtue of his mental conditioning as a POW in the hands of the Ho’s Communists.

We can play these games endlessly, and no doubt many will. But, the plain truth of it all is, you have two loyal Americans vying for the office of President with differing views on what is to be done - and the real traitors of democracy are those who would try to derail a public decision based on facts and record for fear of their home team losing the game.

What drivel and nonsense. Ignore it. It won’t go away as miniscule minds opposed to democracy will persist. But, they need not be encouraged for their paltry and unAmerican efforts.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 26, 2008 4:36 PM
Comment #259629

BHO’s supporters have little to brag about in the conduct of any of his previous elections. When Alice Palmer decided to run for the Congressional seat now occupied by Jesse Jackson Jr, BHO decided to run for her Illinois state senate seat. When Palmer lost to Jackson, she went back to running for reelection to the state senate. BHO challenged her ballot petition signatures, and got her thrown out. That was his beginning. Every election he ever ran in involved sandbagging his opponents. It didn’t work against Bobby Rush, evidently his constituents like their relic of the past. We’ll be hearing plenty of that this year.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 26, 2008 8:37 PM
Comment #259635

What’s remarkable is that the Obama campaign is attempting to use legal maneuvers to stifle criticism of Barack Obama—measures which would undoubtedly raise cries of “intimidation” and “censorship” if done by Republicans.

The Democrats’ game of trying to find something similar to link McCain to just isn’t going to wash—they can try all they want, but that dog just isn’t going to hunt. There’s simply nothing in McCain’s association to compare with someone who was ACTIVELY involved in terrorist activities and is still vocally proud of it.

Compare shameful statements by G. Gordon Liddy to the actual actions of Ayers if you want—but only your fellow denizens of Daily Kos or the Democratic underground are going to accept such a far-fetched comparison.. And I dare any Democrat or Democratic organization with a public voice to publicly claim that McCain, a stalwart warrior of the cold war, was “brainwashed” while being tortured in the service of his country. You can make such claims, but they’re absurd and nobody but yourself will buy into them.

This is a story that a lot of Americans haven’t heard yet, and it will be interesting to see what happens when they do. I wonder if the Democrat’s “convention bounce,” which seems so far to be one of losing points to John McCain, continues.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 26, 2008 8:53 PM
Comment #259641

L.O. -

Ever done something dumb? I mean really, really dumb? Sure. So have I, so has Obama, so has McCain (and if you believe he was some kind of boy scout when he made ports of call overseas, I’ve got a bridge over troubled swampland to sell you).

What is more important is whether one overcomes one’s mistakes, learns from them and does not repeat them. Obama learned and did not repeat.

Bear that in mind, please.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 26, 2008 9:30 PM
Comment #259643

Glenn, what did Obama “learn” from his association from Ayers that he did not “repeat?” If you have something to say about McCain’s behavior at ports of call, then let’s hear it—otherwise that’s just a dirty and underhanded smear.

Nobody is saying that Obama and Ayers went out and bombed government buildings together.

The problem here is that we have somebody with a record of achievement in governing that is surpassed by hundreds if not thousands of others. And whose primary claim to the presidency is his superior “judgment.”

With McCain, we can look at literally decades of public positions, bills, and statements—for good or ill—and draw conclusions (good or ill) based on those actions.

With Obama, we have almost nothing more than the feel-good presence of a non-white face on the public stage, an inspirational speaker, and this idea about his “judgment”, whatever that means.

In the absence of anything else, we have to talk about his judgment—that’s what he ASKED us to judge him on. That is, until somebody actually does so. At which point he sues.

And where does that leave us? With an empty suit whose known associations are with an America-hating pastor (who Obama can no more disavow than… wait, Obama disavowed him), a slum-lord who he was involved in questionable real estate deals with, and a known unrepetant terrorist. Who then takes legal action to suppress information that doesn’t fit into his own public relations efforts.

Judgment indeed!

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 26, 2008 9:50 PM
Comment #259652

>In the absence of anything else, we have to talk about his judgment-that’s what he ASKED us to judge him on. That is, until somebody actually does so.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 26, 2008 09:50 PM

LO,

Well, for one thing he was pretty vocal against this illegal and stupid fiasco in Iraq. I’ll accept that kind of judgement over that of Cheney/Bush/McPain…

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 11:42 PM
Comment #259660

Lee Jamison-
If what’s true? I believe Obama did have a fundraiser as a candidate for State Senate at Ayer’s home. But who’s idea was it? Did Obama make more than a casual acquaintance? What influence was there, if any?

Those are the questions I ask, and if I can’t answer those question from a standpoint of knowledge, I don’t go much further.

As for “what fringe?”
There was a time when Republicans would join Democrats in protecting the environment, when they would balance the budget with both spending and tax cuts, when their foreign policy wasn’t run by irresponsible military adventurists, and when Fundamentalists didn’t own half the party, where civil rights was a proud Republican legacy and not a prime Republican target.

I remember from experience the Republican party as it once was, a party where you could believe in the value and authenticity of science and still be a Republican.

Iran Contra didn’t do crap to improve things. It just gave people that more reason to hate us. More to the point, it rewarded hostage takers and the Iranian terrorist sponsoring government, even while the strident leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini was in power. You can rationalize it as you like, but what it amounted to was being one of two bad actors in that region, rather than the good guys building up goodwill for America.

Finally, let me give you the difference between Carter and Bush: Carter paid for his government spending.

Rhinehold-
What is there to fear about Obama, regarding his association with Ayers? Nobody can answer that question, just raise it and run away like a bunch of punks leaving a bag of flaming dog crap on the doorstep. I mean, did several years of captivity turn John McCain into the Manchurian Candidate? It did not. People can invent BS Stories that for some will have appeal, without them being true. Ignorance is a powerful aid to the imagination, and the Republicans constantly avail themselves of it when bashing Obama.

I’m familiar with this game. I’m taking a fire extinguisher to this BS before it does some real damage. It deserves nothing less.

As for your 1948 example, machine politics was not an unknown quantity in that day and age among the Republicans or the Democrats. It’s disingenous to act like Republicans were not elected by similar means.

LO-
McCain actively consorts with a man he knows to be a convicted felon, a man many Republicans worship as a hero for his partisan illegalities. Same thing with Libby and North. You guys embrace these people. Hardly anybody embraces or lionizes Ayers in my party, or other criminals. If bare acquaintance with Ayers is bad judgment, what is long term friendship with Watergate Felon Liddy for McCain?

As for Obama and Wright? Wright was more sophisticated than that. He had some decent ideas. People that complex can show different sides of themselves to people. There are plenty of videos to show Wright in relative normalcy. G. Gordon Liddy’s displays of crazy are front and center on a constant basis, and McCain hardly separates himself from the guy at all.

You can talk about an empty suit, but McCain is worse than that: he’s a false flag Republican, hiding fringe politics behind a moderate reputation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2008 12:44 AM
Comment #259668

Stephen this may come as a shock to you but Obama worked with the guy. He exchanged numerous communications with him and sat on a board with him.

Now, why does it not surprise me that you have no clue about that….and that you will have some reason why it doesn’t matter anyway! Laugh.

Obama made his career tying in with radicalized left wing hate mongers. That’s the background of Obama. That explains why his wife was never proud of America. That explains why Obama thinks Christians are bitter and clinging and ignorant for not following his “progressive” agenda. That explains why Obama spend 20 years at the feet of a racist and had no problems with it..even praising the man over and over again.

So please, lets not get all foggy on the terrorist. It’s just more of the same, Obama’s radicalized far left roots that he now wants to hide.

Posted by: Stephen L at August 27, 2008 1:28 AM
Comment #259675
What is there to fear about Obama, regarding his association with Ayers?

That depends on the association, but if you are running for office and want to appear as a non-radical, why would you start your senate campaign in the home of someone like this? It calls into question his judgement. There are a lot of issues that it could bring up, especially if he continues to show this lack of judgement while president. If he appears to be too friendly to Pakistan and infuriates India? If he says or does something to anger Israel while visiting Hamas? What will others make of things that may be innocent but display bad judgement. Are we supposed to ignore it? I don’t know if it is anything to be concerned about yet, that is something that people are supposed to be able to consider for themselves. But if Obama would have his way, no one would… Which is even more troubling, to me.

Nobody can answer that question, just raise it and run away like a bunch of punks leaving a bag of flaming dog crap on the doorstep.

No, I think I just did answer it. Perhaps we can discuss the merits further, but you might want to try not telling people what is or isn’t or should be or shouldn’t be important to them in determining how to choose their candidate.

I mean, did several years of captivity turn John McCain into the Manchurian Candidate?

You seriously want to compare the two? Ok. You say it obviously didn’t, did McCain choose to be captured while he was running for office? That might call into question his judgement, wouldn’t it? And McCain has done some things that call his Judgement into question. But Obama is the one saying that his Judgement is superior than that of his opponents. That sort of puts his judgement up for others to decide upon. Or are we supposed to just take HIS word for it?

People can invent BS Stories that for some will have appeal, without them being true. Ignorance is a powerful aid to the imagination, and the Republicans constantly avail themselves of it when bashing Obama.

But I haven’t heard anything that wasn’t true yet here, Stephen. How close did Obama work with Ayers on the board they served on together and why did he choose to start his Senate campaign in Ayers’ home? Was it something he was told was a good idea by his handlers or did he think he owed him something? Or was it just the closest location to the people he invited? Let people discover the questions, if there is anything there then it is there, if not it’s not. But trying to block the investigation of those things seems to hint at trying to block those for a reason.

Look, there are morons out there who say that Obama wasn’t born in the US, is a ‘closet muslim’, etc. Those have actually been investigated and are bogus. If there is nothing here, allowing people to look into it should be no big deal. Those who are going to believe it without the investigation are going to believe it no matter what, better to let them find out the truth, right? So attempting to block those attempts tells someone like me, who is skeptical, that something is going on here and I would like to know what. It may be nothing, it may not, but I thought we were talking about a ‘new open government’? How are we going to believe we have that if there is this type of blocking of information gathering at this stage in the game?

I’m familiar with this game. I’m taking a fire extinguisher to this BS before it does some real damage. It deserves nothing less.

That’s the attitude Nixon defenders had in the 70s… Good for you!

As for your 1948 example

It wasn’t mine.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 2:32 AM
Comment #259676

Well the facts are this, Bill Ayers has no criminal record. Bill Ayers was in his mid 50’s and a distinguished professor at a state university when he served on the Woods Fund board with Obama and several other people. Ayers had a political function at his house while in his 50’s to introduce Obama to the neighborhood while he was running for office. They served on education panels together during the same time frame. Thats it right? Oh wait and they live in the same neighborhood in Chicago.

To hear you guys state it Obama is a radical leftist because he knows Bill Ayers who use to be a leader of the Weather Underground 30 years ago prior to working with Obama.

So if John McCain has had roughly the same amount of time spent with GWB, which over the years I’m sure is just as realistic, then John McCain is the worst president we have had in this country. He is a drug addict who steals from charities to get the drugs he needs just because he has spent some time with his wife.

Wow this is fun, lets see Timothy McVeigh was a registered Republican and a member of the NRA so anyone that is a republican and an NRA member is a domestic terrorist. Wow this guilt by association stuff is fun it sure beats talking about the state of the economy doesnt it.

Wow just wait till we get going on Keating and McCain and how much time they spent together. Lets see How many felonies 4, So John McCain is a fraud as well as a bad businessman and convicted Felon. Go Figure.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2008 2:38 AM
Comment #259678

j2t2,

Good Straw Man argument, now let’s try it again without any mention of McCain, ok?

Ayers is what he is, trying to make him out to be something else doesn’t serve your cause. Nor did he ‘throw a party for him to introduce him to the neighborhood’, it was the announcement of Obama’s campaign to run for the Senate. Those are not done without thought and planning, why did Obama think it a good idea to hold it there? Was he neive or was it bad judgement? Did one of the people backing Obama for Senate set it up and insist on it?

Let’s actually look into it and find out if there is really nothing there before blowing it off. IF that’s ok with you?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 3:29 AM
Comment #259682

StephenL-
I am not ignorant of the association, just dubious of the depths you portray them with. I bring up the example of the Manchurian candidate with McCain to demonstrate just how absurd this notion of guilt by association is.

Obama made his career tying in with radicalized left wing hate mongers.

No, he made his career negotiating between civil liberties groups and police groups to tape interrogations. He made his career teaching at a tier one law school, where he expressed doubts about affirmative action.

If you look at his actual record based on its actual content, you’ll find a centrist. But you’re not going to do that, because that’s inconvenient to the line of rhetoric you wish to use.

That explains why his wife was never proud of America. That explains why Obama thinks Christians are bitter and clinging and ignorant for not following his “progressive” agenda.

During my lifetime, there’s been a lot of cynicism about what America has been capable of as a country from all sides, right, left and center. We’ve told ourselves that people can’t react strongly to a positive message, that they couldn’t get past race. That any call to arms for the American people in general would be met with mere indifference. We’ve been told that the moneymen alone are in control, and that the special interests and lobbyists are the only ones who can succeed. Yet during Obama’s election, she saw the strength of America’s character, and what had been pride in its potential became something greater, just like it did in many other Americans who did not think people could buck these interests and these declines in American participation.

The wonder is not that McCain is still strong. He’s had eight years to sell himself, position himself as a Maverick statesman. Obama is the one whose progress should astonish you. A Black man openly expressing liberal sentiments, leading an army of newly minted volunteers, virtually taking over a party that had been the Clinton’s and their donors for well over a decade. That he’s leading a politician many people know much better should be shocking.

That explains why Obama spend 20 years at the feet of a racist and had no problems with it..even praising the man over and over again.

Yeah, you seem to be explaining a lot of things. Rev. Wright is more the three seconds worth of footage on a loop. He was, up to this election, a well regarded minister who rarely lapsed into the kind of politically incorrect rhetoric that he did on those occasions. But for you, perception is what matters, and you want Barack Obama, the guy who gave one of the most complex and nuanced addresses on race relations in America to be a racist. So, you must exaggerate every flaw, and treat Obama as a mindless extension, rather than a man who was already a grown adult with his own personal perspective on race already.

On your terrorist comment, Ollie North paid off hostage takers, encouraging them to kidnap more people for ransom, and gave arms to Iran, a terrorist state, and yet, you people make a hero out of him, and listen to his pleas on behalf of McCain. So lets not get foggy. Let’s speak of convenient rhetoric. Let’s speak of a long-term friendship with a man who is praised in your community for being a third rate burglar, who just happened to break into the other party’s headquarters.

Rhinehold-
Show me where Obama’s positions were adulterated by Ayer’s more problematic sentiments. We can draw closer links between McCain and a man who sympathized with blowing federal agents’ brains out than we can draw between Obama and Ayers.

McCain has closer links to people who lobbied on behalf of the world’s most brutal dictators. One runs his campaign.

You say it calls to question judgment. How? Without specifics it’s an absolutely worthless measure! We associate daily with people who could have any kind of skeletons in their closet. How can we realistically be expected to vet even the most casual of associations? And if our preacher gives middle of the road, even conservative sermons for years, why are we held to have bad judgment the day they come out with something more controversial?

But you see, fairness, balance, and realism are not at at the heart of this appeal the unknown, this appeal to fear. This is meant not to illuminate who Obama is, based on facts, but rather cloud his character, based on insinuations. If you want to be somebody’s dupe, go ahead. You will be no better than those who seriously bought the rumors spread that John McCain was a Manchurian Candidate. Or fathered a black child out of wedlock. It’s the same damn people, and I think McCain’s association with them speaks volumes to his character.

When all that’s been thrown out is unproven claims of influence, of judgment, not answers as to actual behavior, people have a right to consider it BS.

As for Nixon defenders? The irony here is that the whole reason we’re having this yanked is the illegality of the ad. It is an outside ad, coordinated with McCain’s campaign, and that is illegal. We can’t put the genie back in the bottle on Ayers. That I can tell you right now. This is not an effort at censor ship. We’re allowing the records to be fully distributed.

No, what we’re doing here, ironically enough, is taking to task the illegal behavior of another Republican campaign, much like the illegal behavior committed by John McCain’s good friend, G. Gordon Liddy. You have things completely backwards: it is the Republicans who are still willing to break the law to win, and it is the Democrats who are opposing that lawbreaking.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2008 7:29 AM
Comment #259695

Let me clarify: it is a matter of reporting that McCain is employing the people who engineered the smear campaign against him for Bush to do his dirty work as well.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2008 10:03 AM
Comment #259696

For five and a half years, McPain associated with known communists. I’m pretty sure that makes him a communist.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 27, 2008 10:04 AM
Comment #259697

An object lesson in care as to who endorses you and what you endorse in return.

And you thought gasoline was a problem for him in literal terms.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2008 10:12 AM
Comment #259699

Rhinehold from Wikipedia

“Ayers is currently a Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education. His interests include teaching for social justice, urban educational reform, narrative and interpretive research, children in trouble with the law, and related issues.[24]

He began his career in primary education while an undergraduate, teaching at the Children’s Community School (CCS), a project founded by a group of students and based on the Summerhill method of education.[25] After leaving the underground, he earned an M.Ed from Bank Street College in Early Childhood Education (1984), an M.Ed from Teachers College, Columbia University in Early Childhood Education (1987) and an Ed.D from Columbia University in Curriculum and Instruction (1987).[24]”

“Ayers was tapped by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to help found the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school reform program.[26] Since 1999 he has served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, an anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation established in 1941. Ayers’ contacts with the 2008 Democratic Nominee for President of the United States, Barack Obama became controversial in the 2008 United States presidential election. The two served together on the Woods Fund Board from 1999 until Obama left in 2002. Ayers had other contacts with Obama as a resident of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, including hosting a candidate reception attended by Obama early in Obama’s first Illinois state Senate campaign in 1995, appearing on education panels together, and donating $200 to Obama’s campaign in April 2001.[27] [28]”

“Obama was introduced to Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn in 1995 at a “meet-and-greet” political meeting then State Senator Alice Palmer held for Obama at the Ayers home in the Hyde Park section of Chicago, where the Ayers and the Obamas lived.[7] State Senator Alice Palmer introduced Obama as her chosen successor at the meeting of her past supporters at Ayers’ house.”
Much of the controversy about Ayers during the decade since the year 2000 stems from an interview he gave to the New York Times on the occasion of the memoir’s publication.[17] The reporter quoted him as saying “I don’t regret setting bombs” and “I feel we didn’t do enough”, and, when asked if he would “do it all again” as saying “I don’t want to discount the possibility.”[10] Ayers has not denied the quotes, but he protested the interviewer’s characterizations in a Letter to the Editor published September 15, 2001: “This is not a question of being misunderstood or ‘taken out of context’, but of deliberate distortion.”[18] In the ensuing years, Ayers has repeatedly avowed that when he said he had “no regrets” and that “we didn’t do enough” he was speaking only in reference to his efforts to stop the United States from waging the Vietnam War, efforts which he has described as “… inadequate [as] the war dragged on for a decade.”[19] Ayers has maintained that the two statements were not intended to imply a wish they had set more bombs.[19][20] “

Rhinehold its guilt by association not strawman here. To hear you and the righties say it they were lifelong buddies that practiced bomb making together. If you point the finger at others why should you not be held to the same standard? As we are discussing the presidential candidates should John McCains guilt by association be a on the table afterall his campaign has decided its in their interest to discuss this?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2008 10:18 AM
Comment #259704

Marysdude -

You have no idea how much the childish name-calling (“McPain”) helps to demonstrate the maturity and sophistication of your arguments.

Posted by: Chops at August 27, 2008 10:25 AM
Comment #259712
Rhinehold its guilt by association not strawman here.

No, it’s a strawman argument because I am not playing a ‘guilt by association’ game.

To hear you and the righties say it they were lifelong buddies that practiced bomb making together.

I don’t know about the ‘righties’, but I have never suggested nor entertained any such thing. I have explained perfectly well what the concern is and why it is important. You may disagee with that, but don’t try to assert that I am suggesting anything other than what I am for your own political straw man fallacy.

If you point the finger at others why should you not be held to the same standard?

This makes entirely no sense, to be honest. Am I running for president on the notion that my judgement is superior than the other candidates running?

As we are discussing the presidential candidates should John McCains guilt by association be a on the table afterall his campaign has decided its in their interest to discuss this?

I don’t care if you discuss that at all with anyone supporting McCain or talking about McCain at the time. But if I am disucssing something about Obama, why do you find it necessary to try to deflect the conversation? Is it that you are admitting that your candidate is bad, but just not as bad as your chosen opponent? Can you really not defend or support him just based on his own history, views and judgement?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 11:09 AM
Comment #259716
You say it calls to question judgment. How? Without specifics it’s an absolutely worthless measure!

I did give specifics and you ignored them. I think that pretty much says all there is to say about that.

McCain has closer links to people who lobbied on behalf of the world’s most brutal dictators. One runs his campaign.

Huzzah, I won’t vote for McCain! Of course, I was never intending to. I also won’t be voting for Obama. If that was your intention, just to get me to not vote for McCain, you’re wasting your time. If you are trying to tell me that I should be voting for Obama because he sucks less than McCain, well, that’s a pretty sad endorsement of your chosen candidate, isn’t it?

When all that’s been thrown out is unproven claims of influence, of judgment, not answers as to actual behavior, people have a right to consider it BS.

So, when a person runs on their Judgement, is it BS to call into question that Judgement?

Sounds perfectly Democratic to me, the same kind of mindset that brought us the mess that they called a primary as well.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 11:20 AM
Comment #259721

>Marysdude -You have no idea how much the childish name-calling (“McPain”) helps to demonstrate the maturity and sophistication of your arguments.

Posted by: Chops at August 27, 2008 10:25 AM

Chops,

I see the entire argument and posit infantile, so adding a little doesn’t hurt. This subject wasn’t brought up so that it could be discussed and arguments presented…it was put up to ridicule the process of ideas and debate.

Besides that, I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em…

Posted by: Marysdude at August 27, 2008 12:27 PM
Comment #259724

Rhinehold-
Specifics for me means something different. You mean specific facts. But those are fairly abstracted, and they tell us only general things.

Should your claims be taken seriously for free, given the weight of credibility without earning it?

I’m the product of a college education, which include introductions to the issues and practices of journalism, plus basic logic. I enjoyed these particular classes, and remembered much of their content.

Okay, somebody associates Obama with Ayers. Questions abound: what was the quality of their relationship? The right immediately jumps to the conclusion that they were partners in crime, thick as thieves. But what supports that claim? Until it is supported, this implication deserves no credibility. If they did not meet often, if another person had a closer relationship with the Ayers and they arranged it, if Obama didn’t know Ayers beyond his current work… All these things affect the story.

As a fiction writer, too, I’m aware of how recursive this can all get, implication folding within implication. The only thing that puts a brake on speculations of this kind is real evidence. The bucket of cold water needs to be dumped on this kind of recursive navel-gazing, lest people completely lose track of reality.

So, when confronted by this narrative of how Obama is a scary radical given his start by a terrorist, we have to move past the obviously, intentionally provocative surface, to find the meat of the story underneath. Then I go and I demonstrate that nobody should be so content with the Republicans. They have their share of people who have done illegal things in the name of their politics, and McCain openly associates with them and accepts their endorsement. Then comes the question of the lobbyists, who associate with the most brutal of dictators and war lords…

And a casual acquaintance with a has-been sixties radical qualifies as scary?

It seems to me that some balance is in order. Unless somebody can illuminate just what went on, why should we believe that Obama somehow caught the radical left disease from Ayers? Plenty of people must have met the guy and did foundation work with him without coming down with a serious case of post office bombing mumps. Why should we consider Obama any different from them?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2008 12:49 PM
Comment #259729

The organization that produced the ad may have expropriated copyrighted material.

Efforts to stop the Ayers ad have not come only from the Obama campaign. A film company in Berkeley, Calif., that made an Oscar-nominated documentary in 2004 on the Weather Underground group has issued a cease-and-desist letter to the American Issues Project, saying that it illegally appropriated copyright images from the film for the ad. Brook Dooley, an attorney for the Free History Project, said shots of Ayers speaking into a camera in an interview and the aftermath of a Weather Underground bombing were copyrighted. The group has informed about 150 stations in Ohio and Michigan of its objection, but Dooley said no decisions have been made about legal action.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2008 1:21 PM
Comment #259732
Should your claims be taken seriously for free, given the weight of credibility without earning it?

My claims? My claims are my opinions and saying that they are as valid as yours. I suppose that I would say yes, then, they should be.

I’m the product of a college education, which include introductions to the issues and practices of journalism, plus basic logic.

I guess I’m outclassed here, I only got past the 5th grade…

But it is obvious to someone even with my low ‘breeding’ that you keep arguing straw men and not what I say. I would have thought you would know what that is by now, Stephen…

I have never once stated that Obama was a radical because he knew Ayers. In fact, I have been very very clear about what my concern is. If he knew who Ayers was and continued to interact with him to the point of using his house as the start of his Senate campaign, all while he was running for office, then it tells me that his Judgement is supsect. Now, did he know? It seems like it. Did he just not think it would be an issue or seen as a potential problem? Or did he find something about the man he liked that transcended who he was or was about then to what he is now? Did he just not think that what Ayers did then was a big deal?

Those are some of the questions I have. And some of them are backed by those supporting Ayres in order to support Obama. That he was never convicted (even though he admits to what he did) and that he is an oustanding member of his community. Those are the things I take into consideration when determining if this is something that should be use for or against him.

But for you continue down the matra path of saying that I am trying to use guilt by association tactics and paint Obama as a radical terrorist because of Ayers is patently absurd and insulting, especially since I have stated the exact opposite several times just to have it ignored and your staw man rebuilt to attack.

I know you are on a crusade here, Stephen, but it does not excuse such tactics IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 1:41 PM
Comment #259735

Rhinehold,

I like that Stephen is not in the least interested in the truth of the information in the ad. He attacks it for its funding. He attacks it for whether the material in the ad was copyrighted (a point to be dealt with in courts and, perhaps, paid for by the producers later). He even tries to attack it on the results of criminal trials which do not speak in any way to Ayers’ statements made to the media.

But does he address whether Ayers thinks more people should have been blown up and/or killed?
No.

That little bit of information is inconvenient. In fact Ayers thinks “more” should have happened. THAT is at the heart of this discussion and why we should care who Obama associates with.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 27, 2008 2:10 PM
Comment #259736

“But does he address whether Ayers thinks more people should have been blown up and/or killed?
No.”

Lee it is addressed in comment 259699.

The comment was sensationalized and didn’t accurately relfect what he meant by those comments.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2008 2:20 PM
Comment #259739

>But does he address whether Ayers thinks more people should have been blown up and/or killed?
No.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 27, 2008 02:10 PM

Unless ‘O’ knew of current plans for a bombing and ignored that information, plotted as a conspirator, or encouraged Ayers in some way, I still find this entire thread so juvanile as to not warrent more comment. Ayers had answered to any and all charges, had addressed the modern issues to the best of his abilities. That some junking head reporter leaped at the chance to malign someone over it, just does not bare weight or light. Let’s leave it in the dank basement where it belongs.

I, myself blew up a few. I was in my twenties, and the ones I blew up were Viet Cong. If you asked me today if I’d do the sme thing again, I might say, maybe, but I’d do a more thorough job of it. Why would that matter to Obama? Why would it matter to you? I expect Obama took this all in with a grain of salt. His aquaintance had opened his mouth and inserted his foot…well Ayers, better luck next time.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 27, 2008 2:31 PM
Comment #259742

j2t2,

I don’t think you adequately capture what is going on here. That he says now that he didn’t mean what he said then the way he said it has little meaning, IMO, on much. Nor does what he said then, actually. Bill Ayers seems to me to suffer from some delusions about what he thinks or thinks he thinks, etc.

I would suggest everyone read the original NY Times article themselves, written just BEFORE 9/11 and posted just after.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F02E1DE1438F932A2575AC0A9679C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

Then look at see if you agree that he wasn’t saying that more people should have been killed. You can also see his quote where he stated:

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.’

There you go. It was all a joke. Planting and detonating a bomb at the Pentagon that, thankfully, didn’t kill anyone. Or having your girlfriend killed while making more. Taking responsibility for over 12 bombs and then saying you weren’t a terrorist…

I have news for Mr Ayers who, to this day, doesn’t think he did anything wrong. He was a terrorist. And by not accepting that he did anything wrong then, it makes it hard to think he wouldn’t do the same again. Other than the fact that watching your friends die to a bomb probably did sour you on the whole thing I suspect….

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 2:45 PM
Comment #259747

“Ayers is what he is, trying to make him out to be something else doesn’t serve your cause.”

Exactly but the problem is this deceptive add portrays him as he was 35 + years ago. He is a distinguished professor, he was an extremist and radical. He is a husband and father as well as a social activist. He was a radical leader of an anti war group that committed criminal acts 30 years ago. He is politically active, in a nonviolent way, he was politically active in a violent way 30 years ago.

From Rhinehold “That depends on the association, but if you are running for office and want to appear as a non-radical, why would you start your senate campaign in the home of someone like this?”

yet he says “No, it’s a strawman argument because I am not playing a ‘guilt by association’ game.”

That sounds like guilt by association to me Rhinehold.

Rhinehold from comment #259699 again courtsey of wikipedia ““Obama was introduced to Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn in 1995 at a “meet-and-greet” political meeting then State Senator Alice Palmer held for Obama at the Ayers home in the Hyde Park section of Chicago, where the Ayers and the Obamas lived.[7] State Senator Alice Palmer introduced Obama as her chosen successor at the meeting of her past supporters at Ayers’ house.”

Rhinehold states “This makes entirely no sense, to be honest. Am I running for president on the notion that my judgement is superior than the other candidates running?”

Rhinehold I didnt mean you personally, put both sentences together like this: “If you point the finger at others why should you not be held to the same standard? As we are discussing the presidential candidates should John McCains guilt by association be a on the table afterall his campaign has decided its in their interest to discuss this?”.

“I don’t care if you discuss that at all with anyone supporting McCain or talking about McCain at the time. But if I am disucssing something about Obama, why do you find it necessary to try to deflect the conversation?”

Rhinehold if you go back to comment 259659 you will see that it wasnt addresses to you specifically so I dont feel as if I was deflecting the conversation.

“Is it that you are admitting that your candidate is bad, but just not as bad as your chosen opponent? Can you really not defend or support him just based on his own history, views and judgement?”

Rhinehold Im saying that this ad, paid for by a McCain supporter of ill repute himself, is intentionally deceptive and by bringing Ayers distant past up and associating Obama with Ayers past causes one to beleive Obama is guity of something dasterdly because he is associated somewhat with the man today.
It seems many are questioning his judgement based upon Ayers 35 years ago, not Ayers today. The ad attempts to make one think that because Obama knows Ayers today that Obama not only agrees with Ayers actions of 30 years ago but was involved in the actions as well as the 9/11 actions.

The ad fails to mention the advanced degrees received by Ayers in the 80’s. It tries to tie Ayers and Obama into the 9/11 attacks with the image of the capital despite the fact that neither was associated with the 9/11 attacks and the capital wasnt part of the 9/11 attacks. It doesnt mention Ayers current occupation as a professor of education. It does mention both Obama and Ayers serving on a “left wing board” but fails to mention it is “an anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation established in 1941.”

As it attempts to associate Obama with Ayers and both with the 9/11 attacks , its hard for me to understand why it shouldnt be considered a tawdry guilt by association attack ad. That is why I decided to get into the fun of playing guilt by association instead of trying to convince someone else that Obama didnt show bad judgement etc. You see it was Ayers who showed bad judgement back in the 60’s not Obama. It was Osama Bib Laden who showed bad judgement in 2001 not Obama. It is a shame the ad fooled so many of you so easily but trying to defend guilt by association as if it was legitimate would give the ad more than it deserves .


Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2008 3:18 PM
Comment #259754
From Rhinehold “That depends on the association, but if you are running for office and want to appear as a non-radical, why would you start your senate campaign in the home of someone like this?”

yet he says “No, it’s a strawman argument because I am not playing a ‘guilt by association’ game.”

That sounds like guilt by association to me Rhinehold.

Then we should define guilt by association then.

Is it ‘guilt by association’ to say that someone has similiar beliefs as another because they know each other? Yes.

Is it ‘guilt by association’ to say that someone’s judgement comes into question because they don’t identify the obvious political ramifications for their actions? No.

See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 3:37 PM
Comment #259765

Well that was an absurd definition, Rhinehold.
If you knew a neighbor that was arrested for child molestation, or selling drugs, I guess by that definition, you should have been taken in as well. Of course by the same definition, McCain is pure as the driven snow, because the only thing he seems to remember being associated with were his years in a Vietnamese prison.

Posted by: janedoe at August 27, 2008 4:14 PM
Comment #259772

j2t2, your wikiality copy and paste on BHO being Alice Palmer’s annointed successor is part of the revisionism of BHO’s biography by his handlers. In reality, he muscled her out of office. Palmer, not surprisingly, supported HRC this year. A lot of things happen on the south side of Chicago that never get much attention in the media, and things that BHO did are being subjected to the same sort of revisionism, to gloss over the fact that most people who support him, would not approve of much of what he as actually done.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 27, 2008 5:02 PM
Comment #259780
If you knew a neighbor that was arrested for child molestation, or selling drugs, I guess by that definition, you should have been taken in as well.

Being purposely obtuse is about the same as using a straw man argument, j2t2.

Of course by the same definition, McCain is pure as the driven snow, because the only thing he seems to remember being associated with were his years in a Vietnamese prison.

Again, just can’t stop deflecting back to McCain, can you?

One final time, I have never suggested that Obama is guilty of being a radical terrorist because he had his senate campaign start in the house of one. However, I do say that his actions in actively seeking out the use of his house for that purpose puts his judgement into question. What is the answer? That’s for an individual to decide. But maybe you could talk about that instead of trying to deflect, erect straw men or be obtuse for once.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 5:39 PM
Comment #259790

j2t2,

Your statement- “It tries to tie Ayers and Obama into the 9/11 attacks with the image of the capital despite the fact that neither was associated with the 9/11 attacks and the capital wasnt part of the 9/11 attacks.” -really tests the patience of the reader. The capitol was not a part of the 9/11 attacks largely because of the courage of the passengers on Flight 93. It was a part of the plan of the attacks. Otherwise your statement is still incorrect because the Pentagon was hit (though, given your usual aplomb at spelling, that’s probably not what you meant to say). Otherwise the tie-in seems valid enough. He clearly did intend to bomb the capitol, as the 9/11 terrorists intended to do, and he clearly succeeded as they did not.

Now, Ayers should be given credit for the intelligence he has shown in the years since his terrorist days. He can be forgiven the pure bad (?)karma of having his statements published on the day of the attacks. Had he known what was coming he doubtless would have kept his mouth shut.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at August 27, 2008 7:40 PM
Comment #259791

Rhinehold I understand the definition of guilt by association to be logic that(from wikipedia) “asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association.”

As an example,from wikipedia “Hitler was a vegetarian. Hitler was pure evil. Therefore, vegetarians have evil ideals.” Or in this case
Bill Ayers was a radical communist, Obama knows Bill Ayers, Therefore Obama supports radical communisism.

“I don’t think you adequately capture what is going on here. That he says now that he didn’t mean what he said then the way he said it has little meaning, IMO, on much. Nor does what he said then, actually”

I have already read the article you have suggested Rhinehold its the same article Chops linked to in the original post. Here is what Ayers said about the article back in 2001.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C06E3D6163BF935A2575AC0A9679C8B63

Perhaps that may clear things up for you a bit. Its not my intent to defend Ayers actions nor Ayers himself. I do not know the man and cannot attest to his frame of mind in 2001 or 2008. What I do know is what he did 30 + years ago actually has little or nothing to do with the Election in November. The ad was deceptive and is still deceptive. It is a case of guilt by association. Trying to say Obama used bad judgement because he currently lives near Bill Ayers, Had a political function at his house, and was on the same board of a antipoverty organization is grasping at straws IMHO. Its the difference between was and is, the past and the future.

To condone this type of ad as relevent, to condone this type of ad as anything more than smear tactics by a unscrupulous crook shows that the right can’t run on issues and track record. Its disappointing and doesnt serve the country.


“Being purposely obtuse is about the same as using a straw man argument, j2t2.”

Thats not me this time Rhinehold. ;)

“Again, just can’t stop deflecting back to McCain, can you?”

Although thats still not me, I feel that if McCain supporters want to dish up this type of ad that yes McCain needs to be held accountable for it. How else would you suggest that this kind of propaganda be stopped. A man of character and honor would not support this guilt by association crap he would condemn it.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 27, 2008 7:47 PM
Comment #259798

Rhinehold-
If you are going to treat this as a matter of judgment, I have to ask what circumstances make his association poor judgment. What were his choices? What did know at the time? What were his choices afterwards?

This notion that it’s bad judgment to simply be associated with him would be unfair to anybody. First, you don’t always know everything about the people you meet, the circumstances of their lives. Second, people can be more complicated than folks make them out to be, so the oversimplified notion of who’s toxic to be associated with can conflict with how we experience these people in real life.

Third, and most importantly, there are times in our lives when we really aren’t given the choice of who we associate with, or when we don’t have the foresight to know.

Obama’s website links an external report from a newspaper, and it’s that which calls Ayers an upstanding member of the community

The trick of this implication is not to be provable, but to linger. It’s not to be truthful or open up debate, but to distract and ensnare. And so, I’m not going to be gentle. I’m going to put this insinuation to the test, and see if a different story doesn’t come out.

I don’t like the lazy (not you personally, but the style of talking point) sort of logic that is used to put forward this kind of insinuation and innuendo. It’s like how Right Wing pundits call themselves entertainers to get around the ethics required of reporters. It’s a way to come to the conclusions they want to come to, and say the things they want to without having to have evidence on their side to support their opinion.

As for your education? I believe people can have formal education and informal. I prefer formal more because of the structure. I got farther, but in the end, I am right and wrong based on my logic and my facts, and nothing in the way of formal education guarantees that I have either. The reference was for context, concerning my style and attitudes. It is not you I’m attacking, but the virulent, fallacious style of attack for which a reckless disregard of the truth is characteristic. That’s the sort of thing I hate with a passion, because I believe Democracy depends on the clarity of dialogue and the ability to agree on facts in common.

Lee Jamison-
I attack it on all fronts. First, it’s probably an illegal bit of electioneering, according to McCain’s own law. Second, if he use material that was copyrighted without the author’s permission, then even the most truthful account cannot be legally used. Third, if the perspective offered is so limited as to preclude effective understanding of the situation, then it is little better than a lie, even if the fact by itself is true. Half the truth is not enough to give an honest accounting. You may think you’ve put forward all you need to, but I think you’re short on the details, whether they flatter my hopes and dreams or not.

If you don’t care about the particulars, then I don’t care for your definition of truth and honesty, and mourn little for the mothballing of this commercial.

Ayers took issue with the reporting that portrays him as unrepentent for the violence by the way. He was saying, he claimed that it was his opposition to the war he didn’t do enough about. But regardless, he’s a bit player here.

The real question is why Barack Obama should have to carry a burden for knowing him. How much? But you never really go into the details of his association, so it’s all vague and shadowy.

Really, what went on? What contamination really came across, hmmmmm? When you can answer that, I can judge your suspicions on the merits. Until then, I will give your suspicions little credence.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2008 9:10 PM
Comment #259805
Or in this case Bill Ayers was a radical communist, Obama knows Bill Ayers, Therefore Obama supports radical communisism.

Thanks for proving my point for me, j2t2. I am not saying that Obama supports radical communism, which is the point you keep missing.

Perhaps that may clear things up for you a bit.

I wasn’t really very foggy. Ayers, on the other hand… I’m not sure he is really aware of the truth of much during that time, as I pointed out. I know, you missed that too…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 11:02 PM
Comment #259807

If you are going to treat this as a matter of judgment, I have to ask what circumstances make his association poor judgment. What were his choices? What did know at the time? What were his choices afterwards?

Well, for the third time, I think, in this thread, the fact that he held his campaign start at Ayers’ home was bad judgement. UNLESS he didn’t know who Ayres was or what he had been OR he was publicly willing to stand up and defend him, say that Ayers was a victim of his youth had I know him to be beyond that past.

He does neither, as I can tell. When confronted with it during the debate he (and his followers) acted offended that his judgement was questioned and shrugged it off as ‘just some guy in my neighborhood I knew’. Again, bad judgement, IMO. Instead of putting it to bed right away, as he could have with Wright, he lets it linger and fester. Why?

I have a lot of questions I am going to be looking into because Obama made them part of his campaign. Between calling attention to his Judgement as his main qualifier and then showing, IMO, bad judgement in other areas, that makes them part of the equation.

But what I don’t understand is why do his defenders want to sling as much mud the other way in order to defend and attempt to make anyone who questions your candidate as being, somehow, less than human?

like how Right Wing pundits call themselves entertainers to get around the ethics required of reporters.
And the left wing doesn’t do this? Have you watched CNN and MSNBC lately?
As for your education?

The point was that you don’t know about my education, other than what you might find on the profile section of this site. If you looked, you would see that I had completed programs in Nuclear Physics and am now a SR Engineer in the computer industry. I also write music and fiction as well, but not under this name, of course.

So it made little sense to me why you would point out your education as if it needed explaining for someone like me…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 11:12 PM
Comment #259817

First of all Lee thank you for pointing out my spelling error. I would like to be able to blame my spell checker except for the fact that I am the spell checker.

Second I have great respect for the brave people of flight 93 and their courage in stopping the airplane from reaching its intended destination. Did you notice if the ad attempted to tie Ayers and Obama in with the people of flight 93? I didnt think it did as they would have left the viewer with a positive impression of Obama and his close personal friend Ayers.

Whether you want to include the capitol building as part of 9/11 or not is actually irrevelent. The fact that you say “Otherwise the tie-in seems valid enough” tells me that you have fallen victim to the deception that is this ad. You see neither Ayers nor Obama had anything at all to do with 9/11. I hope you can agree with that statement. So what is the point of showing any video at all of the pentagon or the capitol while 9/11 is flashed on the screen? It is because Osama Bin Laden can then be associated with Ayers and Obama. While not an outright lie it is a deception that will catch the eye of many less informed and unwary voters. To me that is guilt by association.

Is that what a candidate with good character wants the voters to say about his opponent? Is that the moral highground that McCain and his followers want us to see? To defend this kind of deceptive propaganda speaks volumes about the character of those that defend it.

The fact that you are telling me that Bin Laden’s intent was to ram an airplane into the capitol is indicative of how you have associated Ayers and Bin Laden as if what Bin Laden did on 9/11 has anything to do with Obama’s close friend Ayers.

You see Ayers didnt use an airplane like Bib Laden, he is a domestic terrorist unlike Bin Laden, and he was a young man those 30 years ago when he did his bad deeds and has since repented, again unlike Bin Laden.

The righties claim they want to understand the relationship between Ayers and Obama for a variety of reasons yet Bin Laden is tied into the whole issue? Why? If their reasons were noble and their intentions were honorable would they not turn away in disgust at the mention of Bin Laden in this ad?

I stand by my initial assessment of this issue it was guilt by association then and it is guilt by asociation now.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 28, 2008 12:00 AM
Comment #259818

“Or in this case Bill Ayers was a radical communist, Obama knows Bill Ayers, Therefore Obama supports radical communisism.
Thanks for proving my point for me, j2t2. I am not saying that Obama supports radical communism, which is the point you keep missing.”

Rhinehold you are questioning Obama judgement based upon this ad amongst other things. You say his judgement is questionable becuase he had a political function at Ayers house. Perhaps support is the wrong word but there seems to be an association with something radical if your questioning Obama’s judgement.

“Perhaps that may clear things up for you a bit.
I wasn’t really very foggy. Ayers, on the other hand… I’m not sure he is really aware of the truth of much during that time, as I pointed out. I know, you missed that too…”

Whether you were or are foggy Rhinehold or not, I wouldnt make that accusation, however if you read Ayers comment in the NYT that I linked to and gave the same weight to it as you do the NYT reporter that wrote the article you linked to then perhaps you would find he has changed over the years and all the hullabaloo over Ayers and Obama would be put into perspective. You like to claim that you havent called Obama anything and much like this ad you are correct but you are also very deceptive. Why would you question Obama’s judgement regarding his relationship with Ayers if you didnt think the Ayers of 35 years ago and Ayers of today are the same ? Why would you qustion Obama’s judgement if you thought he hasnt done something improper? You have found him guilty of bad judgement havent you?


Rhinehold says “One final time, I have never suggested that Obama is guilty of being a radical terrorist because he had his senate campaign start in the house of one. However, I do say that his actions in actively seeking out the use of his house for that purpose puts his judgement into question. What is the answer?”

As previously stated (from wikipedia)”“Obama was introduced to Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn in 1995 at a “meet-and-greet” political meeting then State Senator Alice Palmer held for Obama at the Ayers home in the Hyde Park section of Chicago, where the Ayers and the Obamas lived.[7] State Senator Alice Palmer introduced Obama as her chosen successor at the meeting of her past supporters at Ayers’ house.”” This is the final time for me to Rhinehold perhaps if you were to read it this time.

Once again if you still see Ayers as he was not as he is perhaps the judgement problems isnt owned by Obama. Afterall the guy is a distinguished professor in his mid 50’s not a 20 year old wetherman. I wonder if after watching this ad you associate Ayers with Bin Laden and Obama with young Mr. Ayers and then question Obama’s judgement.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 28, 2008 12:46 AM
Comment #259824

Just an update: the CAC records were finally released, and a preliminary examination revealed nothing especially interesting. It’s clear that Obama has been disingenuous here:

The UIC records show that Obama and Ayers attended board meetings, retreats and at least one news conference together as the education program got under way. The two continued to attend meetings together during the 1995-2001 operation of the program, records show.

Compare with Obama’s quote:

“This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood… . He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.”

If Obama can meet with someone regularly for 6 years, launch a campaign in his living room, and not exchange ideas with him, that’s worrying. Do we want a president who ignores those he’s meeting with regularly?

More likely, Obama was Ayers’ friend and associate when it was politically convenient… but wouldn’t be caught dead with him now. Same story we saw with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. This doesn’t disqualify Obama from the presidency, and it doesn’t make Obama a terrorist or a racist. But it does raise questions about his judgment, his principles, and his priorities.

As far as Ayers goes, I think he could begin to expiate his sins by paying for the physical damage his bombings caused. Perhaps a civil lawsuit would be in order? He lives in a nice house (nice enough to launch political campaigns) in a wealthy neighborhood now - while the taxpayers picked up the dime for his, shall we say, destructive youthful tendencies.

Posted by: Chops at August 28, 2008 7:01 AM
Comment #259825

And a tongue-in-cheek suggestion: the next creepy Bill Ayers ad Simmons funds could totally feature a Sesame Street theme:

“A” is for “Ayers”… this is a person in your neighborhood!
Posted by: Chops at August 28, 2008 7:04 AM
Comment #259826

Chops-
Let me give you a notion of how this could fall apart: right now, Obama is talking to guys like T. Boone Pickens. Politically speaking, these guys are far apart. Let’s say Obama helps put together a foundation and puts me and Boone Pickens on it. Let’s say we meet twice a month.

Does it follow then that he and I are going to become fellow Right Wingers (Boone helped fund the Swiftvets)? Does it follow that we even have to be? Does it follow that we have to become close friends?

No. People collaborate in these endeavors all the time. The Republican partisan logic is that you must keep yourself hermetically sealed from any and all possible sources of ideological corruption. You consider it a matter of judgment, because for Republicans, paranoia about fifth columns is rampant. If it’s not commies, it’s black panthers. If it’s not Black Panthers, it’s the ACLU. If it’s not ACLU, it’s Code Pink. Ayer and Obama probably had a casual relationship. But you choose, with the benefit of hindsight, to paint the relationships as a political blunder.

Or you choose, like some, to paint it as one of Obama’s supposed stepping stones to political power. Both interpretations abstract what really goes on with politics at the local level, and within foundations.

We have to remember that Obama willingly gave up more lucrative employment to be a community organizer and then to be a lawyer at a relatively low-paying firm that dealt with more community issues. Another ambitious person might have just charged right up to the top, and taken a different path to political power, perhaps going into criminal like Kerry and other similar politicians did.

Let’s give Obama the benefit of the doubt on these things, and suppose that he is essentially a centrist, neither afraid of working with business, nor petrified of government intervention. Looking at the way that Obama reaches out between different parties (civil liberties groups and the police in one example) He might have seen a casual association with Ayers as par for the course, and not anticipated that about ten or thirteen years later, he would get swiftboated about it.

In this case, then judgment would have nothing to do with who Obama associated with. He would have decided that as a matter of course, he’ll deal with the people on an even keel, especially a former terrorists who has since become a well-regarded professor of education.

I think the demands that the Republican put on people are unrealistic. I also think they’re a bit hypocritical. The Republicans cheered on the Militia movement, until Oklahoma City made that politically radioactive. They cheered on the leaking of a NOC agent’s identity. They cheered on a secret organization in the Defense department which sold arms to one of our worst enemies and appeased terrorists abducting Americans and Europeans. They cheered on their own share of radicalism, and unlike most Democrats, have really yet to distance themselves from it. That is why I bring up McCain’s association with convicted Watergate Burglar G. Gordon Liddy.

Why is it that such associations are considered par for the course for Republicans, but Democrats must avoid all such contamination if they want to gain office? It’s worse than a double standard, it’s a cynical way of projecting the radicalism of the right onto the left.

As for the price Ayer’s paid? I don’t think its enough, but since they couldn’t convict him, I take comfort in the fact that he spent years in hiding, unable to reveal himself for fear of capture and prosecution.

And if you really want to be karmic about it, the poor son of a bitch ultimately became the bourgeois suburban schlub he had such open contempt for back in the sixties. And if you look at the world around him, he failed.

That’s the justice he faces in this world.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 28, 2008 8:05 AM
Comment #259831

SO when Obama is on a board that deals with anti poverty issues and educational opportunities for the poor conferring and working with an educator and social activist on the same board seems to be wrong if you are a republican? Perhaps if he would have conferred and worked with an expert in …well what would make you happy?

Did Obama and Ayers attend these meetings retreats etc. by themselvers or just maybe were their other board members sharing the same space? Was it a requirement that all board members become close personal friends with all other board members? Is it the republican world view that Obama should have shunned this man for deeds he committed 30 years prior? Refused to participate on the board becuse Ayers was on it?

Why is it no one brings up the same close ties to the other board members that have served with Obama during the same time frame? Is it only the dirt we are hunting for here?


When Obama made the statement ““This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood… . He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.”
were both of them still on the board of directors or was Ayers in fact some guy who lived in the neighborhood? Is it just not possible for the repubs to seperate the past from the pesent. Board member last decade neighbor this decade yet always a board member?

So to me this whole thing seems to be saying:
1. Repubs are stuck in the past, the dems are the future.
2. Guilt by association, guilt by association guilt by association.
3. The ad was deceptive and intellectually dishonest. It seems republican minds are readily influenced by this particular type of deception and steps should be taken on their behalf to ensure good judgment when choosing what they watch. Afterall acceptance of this ad is acceptance of slimier than most Simmons and his style of campaigning right?
4. Republicans have much higher standards for others candidates than they do their own. Perhaps if Ayers would have done the usual influence peddling and illegal fund raising this wouldnt have been seen as out of the ordinary.
5. Obama and Ayers were not involved with 9/11 despite all attempts to make you think otherwise.
6. And last but not least , lets keep the repub track record tucked away lest we be judged for our progress or lack there of.

Posted by: j2t2 at August 28, 2008 10:59 AM
Comment #259848

I normally think it’s wrong to reprint a post from another thread on Watchblog, but it’s more appropriate here.

OKAY, let’s talk about TRUE PATRIOTISM.

Everyone makes a big deal about McCain’s POW status. So let’s hear what THE most decorated combat soldier in American history had to say about McCain:

“in McCain’s own words just four days after being captured, he admits he violated the U.S. Code of Conduct by telling his captors “O.K, I’ll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital.”

A Vietnam vet detractor says, “He received the nation’s third highest award, the Silver Star, for treason. He provided aid and comfort to the enemy!”“

The above was by Colonel David Hackworth, who won TEN SILVER STARS for his actions in combat, something that is unmatched by any other veteran in American history.

http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnmccain.com/cin_hacker_2.htm

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 28, 2008 1:45 PM
Comment #259867

And Hackworth just became another repugnant partisan hack. Good for him!

I was wondering when the Swiftboating was going to begin…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 28, 2008 3:46 PM
Comment #259871

Ah, Good Old Rhinehold!

He takes the most-decorated soldier in our nation’s history, who won TEN Silver Stars for combat heroism, the TRUEST of combat heroes our military forces have EVER had -

- and calls him a ‘repugnant partisan hack’.

Hackworth (who passed away three years ago) was almost court-martialed in ‘71 and then forced to resign, all for having the guts to say the Vietnam War couldn’t be won because the training was inadequate and the officers did not understand guerrilla warfare.

Yeah, a ‘repugnant partisan hack’ for sure, just like the Marine and Army generals who resigned rather than take the job that Petraeus finally took as CentCom commander.

Good Old Ultrapatriotic Rhinehold -

Yep, you’re on the Republican side for sure. As long as the generals say what you want to hear, then it’s proof you’re right…but if the generals say what you DON’T want to hear, then they’re ‘repugnant partisan hacks’ too, huh?

P.S. When it comes to ‘swiftboating’ - were the swiftboat attacks true? or false? Is what Hackworth said false? or true? Answer those, please.

AND WHILE WE’RE ASKING, who among the Dem bigwigs are attacking McCain on this issue like the Republican bigwigs were attacking Kerry? If you can’t answer these, then HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY ACCUSE THE DEMS OF SWIFTBOATING?

Ah, don’t answer that - I already know: Dems/Libs can be accused of anything under the sun, no matter how silly, and the accusations are automatically true.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 28, 2008 4:27 PM
Comment #259872

oh yeah - almost forgot -

With Bush I, the Republicans had a combat pilot who served his country with honor.

With Bush II, the Republicans had a deserter.

But with McCain, the Republicans get a man who, after having been captured only four days by the Communist Viet Cong, says “O.K, I’ll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital.”

And they get even more patriotic, wrap themselves ever deeper in the flag with every passing election!

Yeah, that’s real progress in the Republican party.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 28, 2008 4:34 PM
Comment #259890

“With Bush I, the Republicans had a combat pilot who served his country with honor.” Just to be contrary, have you seen the archival footage of Bush coming on deck grinning after bailing out of the crash where everyone else died? I had a higher opinion of him before I saw that.

“Alice Palmer introduced Obama as her chosen successor”
j2t2, please stop repeating that like spaced repetition in advertising. It doesn’t make it true.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 28, 2008 6:29 PM
Comment #259892

“Alice Palmer introduced Obama as her chosen successor”
j2t2, please stop repeating that like spaced repetition in advertising. It doesn’t make it true.

its right out of wikipedia ohrealy. I only repeated it because it was of concern to Rhinehold. If you have something that tells us this isnt correct please present it, but until then why would it not be true?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 28, 2008 6:51 PM
Comment #259896

j2t2, I’m not going to repeat what I already posted further up in this thread. Wikipedia is not a reliable source for anything but popular culture, because different pages on that site say contradictory things on the same subject. What you are quoting is revisionist spin.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 28, 2008 7:15 PM
Comment #259903
He takes the most-decorated soldier in our nation’s history, who won TEN Silver Stars for combat heroism, the TRUEST of combat heroes our military forces have EVER had -

- and calls him a ‘repugnant partisan hack’.

Yup. When you say things like that about another officer (violating Code of Conduct btw) then that is what it makes you. Of course, that you want to defend him is your obvious partisanship, or that you even brought him up to begin with.

Yeah, a ‘repugnant partisan hack’ for sure, just like the Marine and Army generals who resigned rather than take the job that Petraeus finally took as CentCom commander.

I’m sorry, but that you can, with a straight face, attempt to make that comparision calls your whole argument into question.

Good Old Ultrapatriotic Rhinehold

Whatever. I’m a disabled vet, does that allow me to say Kerry was treasonous without being a repugnant partsian hack?

Yep, you’re on the Republican side for sure. As long as the generals say what you want to hear, then it’s proof you’re right…but if the generals say what you DON’T want to hear, then they’re ‘repugnant partisan hacks’ too, huh?

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you read this one short comment before reading the original comment I made to your OTHER posting of this in ANOTHER thread.

http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/006126.html#259865

Have fun.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 28, 2008 9:14 PM
Comment #260177

Rhinehold -

One retired officer accusing another retired officer of giving ‘comfort and aid to the enemy’ is not a violation of the UCMJ…especially since the one who made the accusation did so more than a decade after retirement.

What’s more, other than Hackworth’s opposition to the war, can you find ANYTHING indicating that he was a liberal? I don’t think so - in fact, until I found his quote about McCain and after reading his columns several times, I was sure then and now that he was a conservative.

‘Repugnant Partisan Hack’?

No. Just a man who called it like he saw it, and was in a far better position than most to speak with authority concerning McCain’s actions.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at August 29, 2008 5:51 PM
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