Obama, Ayres, and another kind of ‘school choice’

Now that everyone has been totally desensitized by the ranting of Lee et al. about Obama, probably not much attention will be paid to an accusation of substance that appeared in The Wall Street Journal today. But if you do pay attention, it’s intriguing — and disturbing. It’s an op-ed piece headlined "Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools."

Basically, it provides fairly strong evidence to believe that Bill Ayres — unrepentant Mad Bomber and live-in of Bernardine Dohrn — has been considerably more than "a guy who lives in my neighborhood" to Barack Obama. Sen. Obama was the chairman, from 1995-99, of a foundation that the author, Stanley Kurtz, describes as Ayres "brainchild":

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago’s public schools. …. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation’s other key body, the "Collaborative," which shaped education policy.

… The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.

… Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

The CAC’s agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers’s educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland’s ghetto.

In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I’m a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk’s, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

Until now, the Obama/Ayres connection had been a minor worry at the back of my mind. This rachets that up a notch.

On a less serious note, I was amused to see that Ayres shared with Gov. Mark Sanford the goal of divorcing school funding from the institutional model: "Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate
with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from
groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead
CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such
as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn)."

No, it’s not the same as what Sanford would do. Of course, if we did have vouchers and tax credits, parents would be free to spend it on Mr. Ayres’ idea of a good education, or some other loony alternative, with no accountability to the public from whose school coffers that funding would be diverted. Maybe that’s why I was reminded.

66 thoughts on “Obama, Ayres, and another kind of ‘school choice’

  1. bud

    Seems like a lot of opinion and speculation here. Obama was pretty liberal back in those days and his association with CAC could plausibly be explained by his opposition to racism and other social injustices. So what. This still doesn’t prove any long-term association with anything more radical than a few street protests. This is about the same level as Sarah Palin’s involvement with the Alaska separatists.
    But this is typical of the right-wing media, in this case the Wall Street Journal, change the subject and make unsubstantiated accusations.

  2. slugger

    The below came from the article.
    One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama’s “recruitment” to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

  3. Brad Warthen

    By the way, I add this to a collection I’m starting to form, of "yes, but"-type columns on Obama and McCain — as in, pieces that either intend to, or do, create doubt in the minds of supporters of the candidates.

    There’s a certain type of column that my Democratic friends send me about McCain, that follow a certain form: A writer who has long admired McCain tells why he or she no longer does. The two examples that come to mind:

    1. "The Ugly New McCain" by Richard Cohen of the WashPost. This one has been recommended to me both by Tim of "Crack the Bell" and my recently departed colleague Mike Fitts.
    2. Late last week, Bud Ferillo brought this one to my attention — "How McCain lost me," by Elizabeth Drew, the authoress of Citizen McCain.

    While each of those pieces have their own tales to tell, they are reminiscent of comments I’ve heard for more than a year, from people such as my good friend Samuel Tenenbaum. Samuel, a lifelong devoted Democrat, gave money to the McCain campaign in 2000. He liked him then, when he didn’t win the GOP nomination. He and a lot of people don’t like the McCain who is capable of winning the GOP nomination. What I have to wrestle with in my mind is the degree to which they don’t like this McCain by definition, because they can’t like a guy who would do that.

    Anyway, I take what they send me into consideration, as a "yes, but," just as I consider such things as this piece about Obama, which I put into roughly the same category as what we learned a while back about Jeremiah Wright.

  4. Tim

    Bud, I find it laughable that you make the statement, “Obama WAS pretty liberal back in those days…” You mean he was even more liberal than he is now (having been ranked the number 1 liberal in the Senate)? As I said the other day, even if it were fully substantiated, cold, hard facts, I doubt you’d believe it anyways. Any negative news on Obama to you seems to be a hack piece of the right rather than possibly true.

  5. Lee Muller

    While on the board of The Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama violated the charter by funneling money to unauthorized projects run by Ayers and his pals.
    That is how Obama bought is first influence in Chicago politics.
    The community organizing job which Obama worked was financed by a foundation chaired by Kahled Monsour, the radical Black Muslim who arranged for Obama’s later law school tuition to be paid by Prince Alweed of Saudi Arabia. That foundation in Chicago is funded by the corrupt Nigerian government.

  6. p.m.

    Why is it, Brad, that you call out the “ranting of Lee et al about Obama,” when bud’s ranting about the right-wing media, which as far as I’ve been able to determine does not exist outside talk radio and Fox News, gets a free pass?
    There’s really no way to blame the right wing for the public-education mess, and no reason to exonerate Obama for his radical associations. The left wing has remade the schools in its own image, and Obama had his small part in it, and the blind are leading the blind.
    That’s really all there is to it. The left wing doesn’t parent, because it takes a village. The left wing doesn’t teach, because it’s hard to set an example with your hand out.
    It all started back in the ’60s, when protesters railed against the system, and now, 40 years later, as so-called grownups, they have finally all but destroyed the system.
    Shame was, and is, the left had nothing that actually works to replace the system they destroyed.

  7. Bart

    How many have read Obama’s first book, “Dreams of my Father”? I made it a point to try to understand the man before I made up my mind so I invested in the book to learn. Even with the read, I am not sure about him because I believe his metamorphisis is not yet complete and he still doesn’t know who he really is. But one thing is for sure. He has been drawn to the William Ayers type through out his life.
    Never forget for one moment that he was trained in the most violent of all political battlefields, Chicago. It may not mean much to South Carolinians but the tactics used in Chicago to win a political contest makes those used by Lee Atwater and Don Fowler look like play time at kindergarten. Brass knuckles, poke in the eye, knee to the groin are nothing to a Chicago trained politician. All of this crap about running a civil, polite campaign was nothing more than smoke and mirrors and McCain fell for it initially. He realized he had been screwed when Obama opted out of accepting government financing for his campaign after committing to it.
    One thing I truly believe. Obama is the perfect chameleon.
    We have six weeks until election day. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

  8. wtf

    Brad, first sign that something is a steamy load is if Lee agrees with you. That should send off big alarms in your head that there is no truth.
    Obama was 8 years old and living overseas when Ayers was doing his rebellion in the US.
    After Ayers gained power, rather than continue on the rebellion, something that a lot of white southerners failed to do, Ayers took his power and opened free legal counsel for those who lived in poverty in the innercity but needed legal help.
    Years later, a young law school graduate Barack Obama, who turned down Wall Street offers to instead offer legal advice to inner city citizens, comes to town, so of course their names get lumped together.
    Being joined together to offer the poor free legal advice or to try and rebuild a community from poverty and despair to something positive is hardly high crimes and misdemeanor behavior.
    This is a bogus story that Hanity has been trying to get legs for nearly a year and everytime it falls on its face. Why? Because it can’t hold up to simple scrutiny.
    Don’t be foolish and fall for the whisper campaign of the lunatic Lee’s of the world.

  9. Randy E

    Brad, your bias towards McCain is at “drink the kool-aid” level.
    In the midst of what some consider to be one of the worst economic crises in our history, the man who could gain responsibility for our economy believes “the fundamentals of our economy are strong”. His chief finance henchman believed the crises was purely psychological and minimized the need for a housing bailout WHILE he was a lobbyist for a big bank, UBS.
    His top foreign policy adviser, Scheunemann, lobbied for Georgia (the country) while crafting McCain’s reaction to Russia’s invasion.
    While you and Lee check all the closets for an iota of influence of Ayers on Obama, McCain’s top advisers have clear conflict of interest as they not only influence but CREATE policy for McCain.

  10. Lee Muller

    The Obama apologists talk all around the issues, but are afraid to touch them.
    The Obama talking point is that Obama barely knew William Ayers, which is a blatant lie. As Brad’s revelation states, Obama and Ayers served together for years on a board that handed out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Ayers and his radical friends.
    The Obama and Ayers families spent lots of time together.
    Obama announced for the Illinois Senate at the Ayers’ home.
    And the Ayers are only a few of the many socialists and communists with whom Barack Obama has chosen as his friends. Obama has no normal people for friends.

  11. Lee Muller

    When Obama proposed this weekend to extend pubic education down to infancy, “..zero to five..”, it was not in order to educate poor children. It is for the State brain laundry, instead of their parents, to have control over children during the most formative years.

  12. david

    Brad finally drops the charade and pretends suddenly to realize what nearly everyone else has known and screamed about for months:
    Obama has close personal ties to a subversive anarchist terrorist, as well as other commies and America haters.
    At least Brad acted surprised.

  13. Lee Muller

    Muslim backers of Obama’s career
    Percy Sutton, the lawyer for Malcolm X, claims that he pulled strings to get Barack Obama admitted to Harvard Law School, after being asked to do so by Khalid Monsour, a radical Black Muslim from Oakland, California, but now with a new Muslim name and living in Texas, with connections to Saudi Prince Alweed.

  14. Mike Cakora

    Brad –
    Minor but important point: the name is “Ayers,” not “Ayres.” The misspelling is in the title of your blog entry as well as throughout your post. It’s important for accuracy, and not only in getting comprehensive results from search engines.
    An independent researcher, Steve Diamond — a lawyer, political scientist and law professor (School of Law, Santa Clara University) — who’s been following Kurtz’s efforts to review the records finds that he got it right in the column you linked to, but it’s incomplete. The overview is here, and the details are here. The really important point is that Ayers and Obama: they were not radical leftists, but authoritarians who sought to wrest control of the Chicago schools from the duly elected school board and City of Chicago Administration. The second link is Diamond’s research paper that contrasts the Ayers / Obama authoritarian and anti-union approach of the Challenge with a democratic alternative.
    A fair reading of Diamond’s blog and research paper shows that he’s trying to be non-partisan and fair: he does not proclaim a political preference and in fact laments the silence on this issue from the left “because there is very little about that movement that can be called progressive or democratic.”
    FWIW, here’s Diamond’s Top Ten Highlights of the 20 year Obama-Ayers Connection
    I’m somewhat interested in the authoritarian aspect since Obama’s folks seem to be quite successful in stifling critics — not that there’s a lot for them to do with the mainstream media in the bag — in the few venues where media outlets do offer airtime to thoughtful critics. But more on that in a bit.

  15. Harry Harris

    I often question the validity of “guilt by association” political arguments for a number of reasons. I have worked with, liked, and socialized with a variety of people who are vastly different from me in attitudes and values. I’ve learned valuable things from almost all of them. I refuse to be intimidated, even by social pressure, into isolating myself among the “acceptable” folks. Probably my biggest beef with guilt by association concerns the polarization of our society and politics today. Kudos to any politician who isn’t afraid to talk with, meet with, serve with, and be associated with whomever they find opportunity to relate to. Obama has shown the strength of character to be who he is and to celebrate the understanding that his diverse background has helped to produce. I wish that Senator McCain had remained true to the former integrity that is missing in his campaign (personal, misleading attacks), his positions (Bush economics, right wing religious rhetoric), and his deceptive populist metamorphosis (He now hates those Wall Street bums he pushed to deregulate).

  16. p.m.

    Yeah, Harry, that’s what we need, a president who hangs with the unmentionables.
    That’ll solve the credit crisis, cure the dropout problem and boost GDP, Obama and Ahmadinejad doing brunch with Bill Ayers and Castro’s little brother.
    Birds of a feather flock together.

  17. Joe

    The arab african obama cannot bowl the weight of his balls, cannot fish nor hunt,
    never owned a business, never played football, never been in the military service,
    and . . . this kind of metro man is to be the commander in chief, with his hate America wife??
    Hail to affirmative infirmative action?

  18. Mike Cakora

    Harry –
    I don’t disagree with your general point on guilt by association. Heck, I’ve had beers with some of the notable leftists in town, haven’t minded picking up the tab, but you won’t find me dressing up in orange coveralls to protest Guantanamo.
    But Obama did name as his education advisor Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, a prominent national figure, and she’s not your average educator. Details are here. She’s a proponent of the latest theory on reparations as the link indicates, so one has to wonder about the degree to which Obama supports it.
    (Note that the linked blog entry is by a guy sympathetic to the notion of reparations, but even he finds fault with Darling-Hammond’s approach. Read what he took away from the conference in southern California.)
    Over the course of the campaign I’ve become more convinced that Obama and crew are not Clintonites, not Carterites, and by no means representatives of the Kennedy legacy, not matter how hard they try to project themselves as such.
    They and theirs are fascists, authoritarians, whose intend to change traditional politics by ending it with as much force as is needed. The simple fact is that the pernicious effects of the Fannie and Freddie contagion of bad debt throughout our financial system will give the government control over a significant part of our economy.
    It’s not just the banks that are looking for a bailout, but also home-builders, automobile finance companies, and probably pawnshops. Everybody will have to cough up a few extra bucks for the rescue, but the folks who’ve been responsible in using credit and have been paying their bills on time will be a bit PO-ed. I know I will.
    There’s a calculus that folks will apply (even those who can’t spell “calculus”). Responsible folks will figure that a vote for Obama will usher in a Democrat Congress who will go hog-wild in controlling every aspect of our financial lives for starters. They will ensure that everything is fair to everyone all the time, replace the secret ballot with card-check for bringing in unions — unions protect the workers — turn free trade into “fair trade” to replicate the Smoot-Hawley success of the depression, boost energy prices by restricting domestic drilling in hopes of boosting the price of conventional energy to the point where alternative energy resources are competitive in price, etc.
    A vote for McCain will produce unpredictable results in the Congress, and that means a little less damage to the economy.
    The second alternative offers slim hope. But that’s a lot better than the first.

  19. Randy E

    That’ll solve the credit crisis, cure the dropout problem and boost GDP, Obama and Ahmadinejad doing brunch with Bill Ayers and Castro’s little brother.
    Birds of a feather flock together.
    – p.m.
    What “credit crises”? The fundamentals of our economy are strong because the government is taking over huge private businesses. I guess your reference to Castro directed at W and his boy Paulson. Good point, pm.
    Birds of a feather? As in flocking with Phil Gramm who lobbied for a huge foreign bank (UBS) while crafting McCain’s no bail out response to the mortgage crises? Or with Rick Davis who made HUGE amounts of money through his lobbying firm that represented Freddie Mac these past few years? So using your logic, McCain is beholden to Big Bank because his posse comes from Big Bank. Good point pm.

  20. Lee Muller

    The mortgage market collapse is the result of the failure of two giant GOVERNMENT agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which backed millions of junk loans to unqualified minority home buyers, and to speculators.

  21. Lee Muller

    More socialists advising Obama
    Obama’s advisors include executives from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Lehman Brothers, who paid themselves hundreds of millions in bonuses.
    Two more fans of communism serving as Obama advisors are Harold Ickes and Laura Tyson, both from Bill Clinton’s administration.
    Harold Ickes, son of Stalinists, was overseer of the secret Hillary Care attempt to seize control of the medical industry.
    Laura Tyson, economic advisor to Clinton and Obama, did her graduate work on how wonderful medical care was in Communist Romania – the same one which sold for adoptions some 20,000 HIV-infected children to Westerners.

  22. Lee Muller

    Bill Ayers long time comrade Mike Klonsky blogs for Obama
    One of Bill Ayers’ and Bernardine Dohrn’s comrades in the late 60s Students for a Democratic Society was Mike Klonsky. When Dohrn and Ayers moved in one direction toward the violent tactics of the Weather Underground, Klonsky, in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, dropped the pro-Russian communist politics of his parents and became a committed Maoist. As leader of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) in 1977 he travelled to Beijing and was toasted by the senior Beijing leadership.
    When the crazy left of the 70s died in the 80s, Klonsky went to graduate school in education in Florida and then moved to Chicago. While driving a cab there he was recruited by his old friend Bill Ayers to head up a new project called the Small Schools Workshop in 1991. Its offices were in the Department of Education building at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle Campus where Ayers taught. In 1995 the newly formed Chicago Annenberg Challenge headed by Ayers and Obama gave the Workshop a grant of $175,000. The Annenberg Challenge also had its office space in the same building as Ayers’ Department and the Workshop, rent free courtesy of the University.
    In 2008 Klonsky ran a blog on the official Obama campaign website on education policy and “social justice” teaching. When discussion of the Klonsky blog emerged in the blogosphere, it was promptly shut down by the campaign and all of the posts made by Klonsky were removed from the site.
    [This is from Stephen Diamond, at the Santa Clara School of Law, who has been tracing Obama’s more than 20 year working relationship with Ayers and other communists.]

  23. Pat Hendrix

    Brad, this is it? After all the near hysteria about the dark secrets buried in the University of Illinois Archives, we get this? Let’s just say that I’m underwhelmed by the reporting here. The fact is, you’re not a serious person. You’re a hack with an agenda and no ideas. Juxtapose this against the news on Wall Street; the fact that the American tax payer is going to carry 700 billion in bad paper, and tell me what’s more “disturbing”? You’re not a serious person. Grow up.
    Pat Hendrix

  24. Doug Ross

    Brad says about vouchers:
    “with no accountability to the public from whose school coffers that funding would be diverted. ”
    Every time you pull out this empty phrase, please also reference the ten year PACT testing program that did absolutely nothing to hold schools accountable.
    Any accountability system that has zero impact on school performance AND neglects to address the needs of students who do not meet minimum standards is actually WORSE than no accountability at all.
    But you’re more than willing to keep throwing other people’s money down the educrat employment welfare system…

  25. Pat Hendrix

    Other people’s money down the “educrat employment welfare system…”
    Again, you’re not serious people with serious ideas. As the banking system begins its move into the public sector, we continue to hear about the “welfare system.” Sigh.
    No ideas, no solutions, just hyperbole and wedge issues alluding to race. Proud to be stupid since 1670.

  26. Lee Muller

    The current mortgage problems are nothing compared to what Obama and his radical socialist advisors and Muslim financiers have planned for America.

  27. Pat Hendrix

    As I begin my day with a helping of yogurt, coffee and inane Republican talking points, let me provide a link to chew on:
    Wrap your minds around that. The Republican Party has so badly mismanaged the country that the electorate is ready to put into office a black dude named Barack Hussein Obama II that has been in the Senate for 15 minutes and is – according to Brad – a secret radical muslim/terrorist. Hillarious.

  28. bud

    We pretty much know what we’ll get with a McCain presidency, more of the same Bush failures. More wars, more financial crisis, higher gasoline prices, more tax cuts for the wealthy. It really isn’t that difficult to assess given his voting record along with recent flip-flops on taxes and torture.
    Obama is, of course, a bit more of a mystery. Mike and others assert that Obama will make radical and destructive changes to our social policies and is dangerous to our western way of life. But I don’t find these charges credible. He will certainly change the direction we’re going in. Given the trillion dollar socialist bailout we’re facing isn’t change a good thing? Obama did have his fling with activists some years back. That much I will concede. But he’s grown into a very pragmatic young senator who stands for peace, justice and economic prosperity for all, not just for the ultra wealthy.
    But where he’s especially pragmatic is in the foreign policy arena. The Bush years were frankly about as radical as it gets. The GOP has become a flaming caldron of radicalism on how we deal with the world. We kill thousands of people and spend 3 trillion dollars for false reasons. Obama has always oppossed this waste of resources and in my opinion he’s been proven right about 4,200 times now. He wants to go after Osama bin Laden more aggressively and he appears to have a cordial relationship with other world leaders. Why is that radical?
    The right in this country continues with it’s fear tactics. Paint Obama as some kind of radical through this guilt by association mantra in order to get your man elected. Sound familiar? Frankly it all seems bogus to me. Obama has pushed for social justice and hope for young, impoverished people of all races and now because of that he’s branded as a radical who wants to use force, if necessary, to gain slavery reparations. Give me a break. That is so ridiculous.
    The bottom line is this: McCain offers the same failed polices and Obama offers change. Given the disaster of the last 8 years I’ll take change and the prospect of hope, any day.

  29. Lee Muller

    It’s not a secret, and you cannot explain away Obama’s socialist and Muslim entourage.
    So far, Pat, you have not said anything that indicates your having any knowledge about Obama. You talk in vagaries, just as he does.

  30. Pat Hendrix

    Hoping to spare myself the twin stupidities of Ron Morris and Brad Warthen, I generally stay away from anything beyond the USC practice report. I guess that’s why I just assumed that Mr. Muller’s posts were meant as a parody of Right Wing talking points. ‘Fraid not.
    I’d suggest you look into the great things the pharmaceutical industry is doing with anti-psychotic drugs.

  31. Lee Muller

    Ah, another childish personal smear from an Obama fanatic, who is unable to discuss issues and the embarassing friends of Obama.
    Got watch ESPN or MTV.

  32. Lynn Teague

    So what was the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, when it isn’t at the center of a political mud-slinging fest? It was a public-private partnership funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation. The Annenberg Foundation was established by Walter Annenberg, publisher of TV Guide and Seventeen magazines and ambassador to Great Britain under President Richard Nixon. The Annenberg Foundation is not in the business of funding far-left radical experiments, but gave substantial funding to the Chicago project, in keeping with the strong interest in education of founder Walter Annenberg.

  33. Pat Hendrix

    An accusation of “childish, personal smears” from a fellow that talks about “Obama’s socialist and Muslim entourage” and “Obama and his radical socialist advisors and Muslim financiers” is frankly hilarious.
    I suggest you look into Cannabidiol – it has proven very effective at controlling your symptoms.
    In any event, the mess on Wall Street has absolutely nothing to do with giving “millions of junk loans to unqualified minority home buyers.” Nothing. Not one serious observer has made that case. After all, there were no lobbyist for poor black folks asking to deregulate the default risk and holdings requirements on Wall Street so that a few people could make huge returns with relatively little risk.
    I suggest reading more and writing less.

  34. Tim

    So you’re trying to say that modern day liberal theology represents Jesus? If so, I’d suggest that you go read your Bible a little closer. Not saying that Republicans or conservatives have the corner on what Jesus represented, but they’re sure a heck of a lot closer than what the modern Democratic platform stands for (well, conservatives…not so much Republicans). Shoot, if you really want to get technical about it, eschatologically speaking Jesus wouldn’t even mess around with a democracy or representative republic. At worst you could describe him as a benevolent dictator, at best the ultimate monarch. So please, don’t try to paint Jesus into a ‘radical, leftist, small-c communist.’ It’s a really, really weak argument…

  35. Phillip

    A few miscellaneous thoughts come to mind reading all this:
    1) Thank you Lynn for reminding everybody that the Annenberg Challenge as manifested in Chicago was just one of many still-ongoing programs in American public education, lots of projects undertaken in many American cities, some of these have proven more successful than others. Here are some more of these dangerous “radical” activities that the Institute has been conducting in various school systems in the US, including—near us—Chattanooga and Atlanta. As Count Floyd used to say on SCTV, “Oooooh, scary, keeeds, veeeerrry scary…A-ooooooooo!”
    2) The Ayers obsession is this campaign’s…oops, bet you thought I was going to say Swift Boat…no, not at all. The Ayers obsession is the McCainiacs’ equivalent of the Dems’ spending too much time on the Bush National Guard service issue in 2004. Still much ado about nothing…and a sure sign of a losing campaign.
    3) It dawned on me that Mike Cakora’s going over to the Lee Muller wing with this Ayers obsession is an interesting parallel to the McCain of 2000 turning into the McCain of 2008. And both make me sad. When you see a usually coherent conservative thinker start going down the paranoiac road and singing the same tune as good ol’ Lee, well, it makes me think that perhaps conservatism has indeed reached a point of ideological exhaustion.
    3) And Bart, give that tired Chicago thing a rest. It’s like my northern friends who think all Southerners are yahoo redneck racists. More empty guilt-by-association. This is another one of McCain’s tired tropes, featured in another one of his tawdry, cheap, and inaccurate campaign ads..

  36. Lee Muller

    It is perverted for liberals, who constantly ridicule Christianity, to assert that socialism is the teaching of Jesus.
    It would be a smear to call Obama a socialist without enumerating the examples, but we have done that, both in naming the multitude of socialists, communists and Muslims behind his campaign, his history of socialist organizing, and his socialist platform.
    Anyone who considers it a “baseless smear” is simply ignorant about Obama, or playing dumb to avoid discussing Obama’s socialism.

  37. Neffs

    I’m sorry guys. There are multiple passages in the Gospels where Jesus talks specifically about selling your goods and giving to the poor, about living communally with shared property, about governments not taking advantage of the poor, about a number of things that would today be considered to be radical, Leftist, and small-c communist. Way more than he ever talked about gays or anything sexual, for that matter. Just because you say it is not so does not make it not so.

  38. Tim

    Yes, Neffs, all that is in there, but you need to read your Bible as a WHOLE, not just pick and choose what you want. We’re also told to be as wise as serpents (i.e. be good stewards). Throwing money at a problem is not being a good steward. And I’m not the one saying it’s not so, I’m just referring you to the Bible. That’s where you lose your argument.

  39. Pat Hendrix

    Reading these posts, I might have to start agreeing with some the other posters that SC public education has produced a gaggle of semi-literate, conspiracy prone halfwits. I do understand the allure of conspiracy theories, the type that neatly package an American success story – a guy moving from a poor, broken, interracial home to Harvard Law, then to professor, the US Senate and now at the verge of being the first black president – to a story of a Manchurian candidate posed to bring a socialist, communist, islamo agenda to America for the ultimate purpose of destroying the country. This type of absurd paranoia unburdens the individual from the difficult task of thinking and reduces the issue down to “That commie, terrorist loving negro wants to destroy America.” Again, it would be okay if it were simply the occasional nut, but when Brad Wharthen engages in the sort of absurd thinking by citing this passage as damning evidence of an Obama-terrorist connection:
    “Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.”
    So Stanley Kurtz spends days wading through 70 linear feet of archival material, spends thousands of dollars of man hours, and the best he can come up with is that Ayers was part of a five-person “working group” that signed off on Obama joining CAC’s board?
    Get a hobby.

  40. Tim

    And another thing, Neffs, find me one place where Jesus or the early church relied on the government to take care of the poor? Honestly, our country started going down the crapper as soon as the church abdicated its responsibility to the government to take care of the poor. So, if you’re insinuating that the church should stand up and take its rightful place again then I’m on the same page with you. If you’re insinuating that it’s the government job by invoking the name of Jesus then, again, you have a really, really weak argument. I again refer you to your Bible if you’re going to follow this line of reasoning…

  41. Lee Muller

    Giving your own money to the poor is charity.
    Electing a government which will use armed force to take money from other people so you can give it to the poor is just arrogant theft.

  42. Pat Hendrix

    Considering we live a capitalist society – one in which Obama has done very well – a better question might be, has he ever praised socialism? The answer being no, of course.
    As for terrorism, I suggest you discover a little known website called google. There are dozens of instances where Obama states categorically that we should destroy Islamic terrorist organizations that have targeted the US:
    “We have to have a much smarter relationship with Pakistan and the military of Pakistan to build credibility and support for their taking the actions that only they can take within their own country. But clearly we have to be prepared…. if we had actionable intelligence that Osama bin Laden or other high-value targets were in Pakistan I would ensure that they were targeted and killed or captured.”
    “This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO’s first mission beyond Europe’s borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.”

  43. Harry harris

    See there, Brad. You’ve unleashed the underworld. It is amazing how people will promote wild-eyed theories, supported by whatever evidence they can find or conjure, rather than debate the stated positions of candidates on issues of importance.
    On another note, the comment about Jesus’s teachings being more aligned with “conservative” thought than “modern day liberal theology” is simply wrong. Taking the “whole Bible” view may allow one to choose among a broad array of positions, but the actions and teaching of Jesus give scant support to any of today’s politically conservative thought. I also find a strong apolitical bent to Jesus’s statements about and dealings with “the State” or those who would use political or mob-based power to police the religious public square (Pharasees, Sanhedrin, High Priesthood). Anyone characterizing Jesus as any sort of dictator or monarch just isn’t fully aware of the kind of Kingdom about which Jesus taught.

  44. Herb Brasher

    At least some perceptive people are pointing out that the practice of getting news solely over the internet is dumbing down our society and creating to misinformation and partisanship.

  45. p.m.

    Randy, I’ve read your post three times now, and I still have no idea what you’re talking about, but I did recognize my initials.
    That’s OK, though. What you wrote made just as much sense to me as the last soundbyte I heard from Obama, so y’all are marching in lockstep.
    Best I can say is an economic crisis gets Obama elected, so guess what Obama wants? The next six weeks is going to be a bumpy ride.

  46. Lee Muller

    Herb, you want to just wave your hands and make the truth go away by not discussing it.
    Herb, why don’t you try to explain away all the Muslim influences in Obama’s life, from his father to his stepfather, to his school, Pakistani roomate, Nation of Islam, Kahlid Monsour and Prince Alweed.
    Then try to explain away his socialist and communist buddies.

  47. p.m.

    McCain offers the same failed policies and Obama offers change. — bud
    Even if that were true, bud, Obama merely offers change to policies that have failed elsewhere.
    Do we really want to be the United States of Cuba?

  48. Joe Six Pack

    GAK me again!!
    Verbosity unleashed is the tit for tat yo mama in yo face jive dufus nonsense of the drunk with their own keyboard nut hole surfers loosing their oh so clever bile shots at little ole ladies.
    How you people weave your fantasies is proof of how great America IS!!
    Listen to african negro talk radio, am 620, 10am to 5pm, feel the love.

  49. Herb Brasher

    What you mean by “discuss” Lee, is to either agree with your viewpoint, or quarrel about it, and I have no interest in either. Waldman summed the problem up well:

    To some extent this is about the politicization of mainstream media. Increasingly, people gravitate to the media sources that confirm their preconceived notions – Fox and Rush and WND.com for conservatives and Olberman and Kos for liberals. If that’s true, that represents a searing indictment of conservative media – for either promoting or failing to shoot down a blatant falsehood. (There may be counter examples on the liberal media; please post if you have them).

    A “blatant falsehood,” Lee. That is what your talking points about Obama are. Try discussing the real issues, which includes recognizing the complexities of the same.

  50. Lee Muller

    The only “blatant falsehood”, Herb, is your pasting something and attributing it to me.
    The Muslim, socialist and communist friends and close associates of Obama are a fact.
    You and the other Obama apologists continue to dismiss them out-of-hand, because you are unable to defend them or explain them away.
    I suspect a lot of Obama supporters don’t care, because they are socialists, communists and Muslim sympathizers themselves. They cannot discuss their true opinions because they know how repulsive it would be to most Americans.

  51. Herb Brasher

    The “blatant falsehood” I was referring to was your attempt to paint Obama as a Muslim. Ditto your attempt to make him a non-US citizen. The Waldman quote above is pasted in, because it aptly describes what is happening with too many people.
    It would help us all if you would refrain from clogging up the comments with these fabrications, so we don’t have to filter through all this in order to discuss the real issues. I don’t plan to vote for Obama, especially given his position on abortion. But if we don’t all learn to discuss the real issues, rather than throwing around tabloid fabrications, then the future for this country is dim, indeed.
    And if this fabricating doesn’t stop, I’ll be sorely tempted to a sympathy vote for Obama.

  52. Lee Muller

    I don’t see Obama practicing Islam or Christianity. He might be an atheist.
    I don’t see any mainstream, normal Christians around Obama, only “former” Black Muslim and racist Jeremiah Wright and his ilk.
    I don’t see Obama rejecting radical Islamic teachings or vowing to stop its spread. Instead, he blames America and “the Jews” for making Muslims want to kill us.
    I see lots of Muslims and Nation of Islam “Black Muslims” around Obama his entire life.
    I see radical Muslims in Nigeria financing his “community organizer” job.
    I see radical Black Muslim lawyer Percy Sutton and his cohort bragging about getting Obama into Harvard Law School and having a Saudi Prince pay the bills.
    I see lots of socialists and communists like Billy Ayers, Bernadine Dorn, Laura Tyson, and others managing and advising on all Obama’s campaigns.
    I see the FEC investigating campaign contributions to Obama from Palestine, laundered through names in Georgia.
    I see the World Muslim Congress saying they hope Obama is elected.

  53. Lee Muller

    Herb, you know you speak an untruth when you say I am “fabricating” these connections of Obama to radical Islam, to socialists, to communists, and to terrorists.
    I dare you to select any one I have named and try to defend him. Even Brad has waked up and realized that Obama has been lying about not knowing Bill Ayers, after 20 years of working with that terrorist.

  54. Lee Muller

    Obama has known Bill Ayers for 21 years.
    The documentation, in print, news articles, and videotape, of Barack Obama and Bill Ayers together goes from 1994 to a socialist banquet in 2005 honoring Kahlid Monsour.
    References in those documents indicate that Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers began in 1987.

  55. Red

    Floating on a sea of denial, Obama supporters look the other way when any of Obama’s radical ties are mentioned. Rev. Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Bill Ayres all have a relationships with Obama and people refuse to admit that these ties are a problem. Hanging out with terrorists and people who hate America is not normal. Common sense tells us that looking at a person friends can really tell you a lot about who they are. Wake Up America can you not see what Obama really stands for??

  56. Lee Muller

    We can’t change the hard-core Obama crowd, because many of them are socialists and hate America, so Bill Ayers and the other terrorist friends of Obama don’t bother them.
    But we can put the facts in front of voters who are still undecided. Good, honest Americans will find Obama’s agend very repulsive and scary.


    More than half of the whopping $426.9 million Barack Obama has raised has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won’t disclose. Unlike the McCain campaign, which has made its complete donor database available online, the Obama campaign has not identified donors for nearly half the amount he has raised, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Eight watchdog groups have asked both campaigns for more information on small donors, The Obama campaign never responded, whereas the McCain campaign “makes all its donor information, including the small donors, available online. America sends hundreds of Billions of dollars to Muslim countries for our oil. Apparently hundreds of millions of dollars are finding their way back here to elect their pawn. Remember the survey of how all the Muslim countries want Obama to win the election. … AND, foreign Muslim fund raising has been actively bringing in millions more for Obama. Obama does not want any opposition, so he already is trying to stop Freedom of Speech, with the NRA. Then, to make any opposition defenseless, he wants to take away our right to bear arms. Next, he wants a Civil National Security force to put down any oppositioin. The Muslim ‘caliphate’ of infiltrating and taking over America from within has already begun. Furthermore, Obama wants to defang our military … send Billions overseas … meet with Islamic terrorist leaders … and further weaken our country in the international community. If Obama gets elected, America will become a third world country, with no way to defend itself.

  58. Mitch Owens

    America, last I heard, is a land where redemption is possible, even encouraged. Ayres has become a respected expert on education reform, his opinions taken quite seriously by education professionals as well as politicians, including Mayor Richard Daley, who has praised Ayres’s intellect, persipacity, and scholarship. I fail to see how Ayres’s record from nearly 40 years ago must in any way sully his position and work today or damage Senator Obama by association. As the senator has stated, Ayres’s association and work with the Weather Underground took place when Obama was eight. Public records, works, and perceptions indicate that Mr Ayres is not the same man today as he was way back then. Once again, either you are redeemed by your work and life or you never are. Any thoughts?

  59. TommyF

    Last I heard, new evidence has been found linking Obama and Ayers as VERY close, and working together on the Annenberg Project in tandem. The point is not whether they worked together, but that Obama has hidden these facts by calling his relationship with Ayers as “tenuous” or “not very close” – even though David Axelrod said their relationship was “very friendly” (and now Axelrod is back-tracking).
    BE CAREFUL! Obama is snowing you on more than this. His vote for the bailout is who he REALLY is, a typical politician with no real ideas.


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