Sunday, October 19, 2008
Johnny's in the basement,
Mixing up the medicine,
I'm on the pavement,
Thinking about the government
Back in the 1960s, domestic terrorists knew their place. They lived underground. They kept out of sight. And when they did come up for air, you knew about it.
Today it seems domestic terrorists not only walk among us, they actually breathe the same air we do. Well, maybe not all of us. But they certainly breathe the same air as Barack Obama.
So what does the tempestuous, stormy past of a 1960s Weatherman by the name of William Charles Ayers have to do with Barack Obama, who was all of eight years old when Ayers was tapping phones, blowing up buildings and generally trying to bring down the American government?
This, my friends, is just the question the McCain campaign would like you to consider. But whatever you do don’t look to John McCain for the answer. The last thing McCain and his minions want to do is tell you what to think about Bill Ayers' relationship with Barack Obama. They want you to use your imagination. And they want you to imagine the worst.
According to the McCain campaign, Obama wasn’t just friends with Bill Ayers, Ayers was actually a mentor—someone who helped to mold and shape Obama when he was a young, up and coming Chicago politician.
They had coffee together back in 1995 when Obama was first running for office, for Pete's sake. And we all know what those ‘60s radicals were putting in their drinks back then, don’t we? Hell, for all we know, Ayers could have programmed Barack to be the next Manchurian Candidate.
And while McCain keeps pitching his stories to the ink well, he's been very careful not to call Obama a terrorist. No question, McCain's trying to keep a clean nose on this one, letting a group called American Issues Project do his bidding.
McCain campaign ad: Subterranean terrorist, Bill Ayers, comes up for air after 40 years.
But McCain isn’t the only one walking on tiptoes. Barack Obama’s jumped down a few manholes himself over the last few years when the issue of his relationship with Bill Ayers has come up.
In his 2004 race for the Senate when the Obama-Ayers relationship first was made an issue, Obama avoided a potential political scandal by claiming the Republicans where just doing it again by looking for a new friend, a man in a trench coat to whom they could tie the electorate’s über paranoia.
In February of 2008, the ‘Ayers issue’ arose again during the Democratic primary. And again, Obama failed to personally repudiate the charges. Instead, he ducked down the alleyway, leaving it up to his spokesman, Bill Burton, to issue the following statement: “Any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous.”
So why has that soot the McCain campaign has been shoving in the face of Obama stuck this time? Because it turns out that Bill Ayers and Barack Obama do have something in common.
In a September 2001 interview with the New York Times, Bill Ayers was asked about his past 'civil disobediences,' to which he replied, "I don't regret setting bombs...I feel we didn't do enough."
Similarly, it wasn’t until last Wednesday’s debate with McCain that Barack Obama finally acknowledged Ayers’ actions in the 1960s and early 1970s were unconscionable. Yet in typical Obama double-speak, he stopped short of extending that condemnation to Ayers himself.
America is a forbearing nation. We tend to forgive one another for our past indiscretions. But in order to receive your ‘get out of jail’ card, you have to admit to the indiscretion in the first place.
The real issue at the heart of the current Ayers-Obama controversy isn’t whether or not Ayers' actions in the ‘60s and early ‘70s were “unconscionable." What Ayers did 40 years ago is beyond unconscionable. It's irreprehensible. And it isn't that Barack Obama has shown himself to be just as unrepentant as the man with whom he has allowed himself to be linked, either. The real issue is that neither man will admit an error in judgment.
When given the chance to come clean in 2001, Ayers should have said he was wrong to put innocent American lives at stake to advance his own personal, vindictive political beliefs. And when asked about his relationship with Ayers in 2004, Barack Obama should have said he respects Ayers for his convictions, but abhors the tactics he used to try to achieve them.
What American wants is for these men to come clean. To date, neither has come close. And until they do, this political shit storm isn’t going to blow over anytime soon. Which is exactly what John McCain was counting on the moment he dosed the American public with the story in the first place…
Better stay away from those,
That carry around a fire hose,
You don't need a weather man,
To know which way the wind blows