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Obama’a Unanswered Questions (and Misleading Answers) on Bill Ayers

On August 27, the Obama campaign sent out a series of talking points to supporters, urging them to call in to the Mitt Rosenberg show on Chicago’s WGN network to challenge his guest, National Review investigative journalist Stanley Kurtz. Kurtz has been “probing Obama’s relationships with left-wing ideologues.”

At the time of the show, Kurtz had just been granted access to archives of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Bill Ayers co-founded that education reform group in 1995. Barack Obama chaired it from 1995-99.

A quarter century before co-founding this Challenge, Ayers co-founded another group, the Weather Underground, a left-wing terrorist organization. Age has not mellowed this angry leftist:

he is not apologetic about his terrorist past (and had the bad luck to be quoted as saying, in an interview that ran on Sept 11 2001, that “I don’t regret setting bombs. … I feel we didn’t do enough.”)

When asked about his associations with this unhappy man at the Pennsylvania Democratic debte on April 16, the then-Democratic frontrunner (and current Democratic nominee) brushed off the question:

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 some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

I guess the truth of this comment depends on what the definition of is is. Obama may no longer exchange ideas with Bill Ayers on a regular basis, but it’s pretty clear he did so as recently as the late 1990s when they served on the Annenberg Challenge together.

This is not to engage in guilt by association, not to suggest that Obama is responsible for the heinous actions of Ayers and his organization, but to wonder at why the Democratic presidential “mischaracterized” their relationship.

Senator, you’ve got some explaining to do.

UPDATE:  And the media’s got some questions to ask.  They’ve collectively shown more interest in allegations about Sarah Palin’s supposedly faked pregnancy than in Obama’s actual associations.  As Diane West writes:

I say this having mentally stacked the questions the media have already asked Mrs. Palin in two days of intrusive and pointless questions against the glaringly obvious questions the media have never asked Mr. Obama in two years. Mr. Schmidt noted that “the media is asking more questions about Palin’s pregnant daughter” than about Tony Rezko, the Chicago fixer and Obama patron who was recently convicted on corruption charges. But that’s just the first item on a long list of passes the media have given Mr. Obama — passes on vital matters of character, judgment and political belief.

These range from the media’s protective hesitation on his long-term relationship with former Weather Underground leader William Ayers, to their near-total absence of interest in his recent campaign choice for Muslim outreach, a young man with affiliations to not one, but four organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

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10 Comments

  1. The issue of Obama lying about his relationship with Ayers – claiming, disingenuously, “Ayers is just some guy in my ‘hood” – is interesting, I admit. But I think there’s a deeper issue.

    Obama keeps saying “I’ve condemned Ayers’ past actions”, as if that settles the question. But there’s condemnation, and then there’s condemnation. Obama’s rings phony. Obama refuses ever to say, “… *and I condemn Bill Ayers for having done* those actions.”

    Say I have an uncle and he shoplifts. Every time someone asks me about it, I say “What’s wrong with you – don’t you know I condemn shoplifting?” Instead of saying “Yeah, this is serious. I’m sorry my uncle shoplifts and in fact, since he won’t listen to me, I repudiate him.”

    Obama says “I condemn Ayers’ past acts of terrorism” without ever actually repudiating Ayers. Obama is (secretly or otherwise) happy to have Ayers as a friend. That’s not normal, not right, and not morally serious. Obama has terrible judgment in friends, and is not morally serious. That’s the issue here.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 10, 2008 @ 2:24 pm - September 10, 2008

  2. ILC, I think you’ve hit on something. It’s like many of the left-wingers in this forum who won’t condemn public sex. At a certain fundamental level, they don’t have a problem with it. At a certain fundamental level, Obama doesn’t have a problem with Ayers’s politics.

    I mean, wasn’t Ayers a community organizer? Weren’t the Black Panthers a Community Organiztion?

    Comment by V the K — September 10, 2008 @ 2:32 pm - September 10, 2008

  3. also, Ayers’ wife is Bernadine Dorhn: and she just LOVED the Manson touch of sticking a fork into one of their victims… so much that she started to use a symbol of a fork in Weatherman demonstrations.

    And it was at this Ayers-Dorhn household that Obama started one of his campaigns.

    I think Obama will do ANYTHING for money and power.

    Comment by Heather — September 10, 2008 @ 2:36 pm - September 10, 2008

  4. Obama says “I condemn Ayers’ past acts of terrorism” without ever actually repudiating Ayers.

    And yet still felt comfortable enough to work side by side doing….. oh, that’s non of our business???? Sorry. Not good enough.

    Comment by sonicfrog — September 10, 2008 @ 4:27 pm - September 10, 2008

  5. […] Obama’a Unanswered Questions (and Misleading Answers) on Bill Ayers […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Of Lipstick, Macacas & the Media — September 10, 2008 @ 8:45 pm - September 10, 2008

  6. Huh.

    I thought sure we might get some real explanation about the Ayers connection from the left here. I mean better than “he was just 7 years old!”

    Where’s the Liberal “patriot” clown on this?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 10, 2008 @ 10:11 pm - September 10, 2008

  7. He was 8, TGC 😉

    Again I say it goes back to, “I condemn Osama bin Ladin’s actions… but man, what a cool dude he is. We’re buds. We were on the board of Annenberg Challenge together. Doesn’t it prove how cool I am? It’s cool to have radical friends like Osama. Aren’t I great?”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 11, 2008 @ 1:18 am - September 11, 2008

  8. I read your blog, therefore I’m a right-winger now, too. I get it.

    Comment by jimmy — September 12, 2008 @ 2:06 am - September 12, 2008

  9. […] Post would have better things to write about, say the Democratic candidate for president’s association with an unrepentant terrorist which began (as far as I can tell) at least three years after Mrs. McCain addressed put her problem […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Washington Post: Print Version of MSNBC? — September 12, 2008 @ 10:50 am - September 12, 2008

  10. I can’t help but wonder how the media would react if it were discovered that John McCain spent 20 years as a member of an all-white racist church and began his political career in Timothy McVeigh’s basement.

    Comment by CraigT — September 12, 2008 @ 7:39 pm - September 12, 2008

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