Barack Obama

Obama's Favorite Terrorists

The senator and his choice of friends

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When William F. Buckley Jr. died in February, one of the things widely praised, by liberals and others, was his stalwart insistence on moral hygiene. Even when his conservative movement was small and embattled, he rejected the temptation to join forces with anti-Semites, the John Birch Society and other extremists. Later, he disavowed longtime confederates Pat Buchanan and Joseph Sobran for the sin of bigotry.

Buckley knew the importance of choosing allies carefully. But some people who expect such care from conservatives don't practice it themselves.

Among many liberals, extremism in the defense of "social justice" is no vice. When the folk singer Pete Seeger got a medal by President Clinton, no one cared that he was a veteran apologist for Stalin who still regarded himself as a communist. That indifference betrayed a double standard that conscientious liberals should reject.

By that standard, Barack Obama is a liberal, but not a conscientious one. I don't much care if he declines to wear a flag pin; I can overlook his wife's limited capacity for patriotic pride; and I defended his relationship with his former pastor. But his comfortable association with an unrepentant former terrorist should induce queasiness in anyone who shares the humane values that Obama extols.

When the issue came up in Wednesday's Democratic debate, the Illinois senator tried to duck it. "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 said. He added that to suggest "knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense."

Obama went on, "I'm also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate, who during his campaign once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions. Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn's statements?"

This exercise in moral equivalence is unconvincing, if not dishonest. Would Obama be friendly with someone who actually bombed abortion clinics and defends that conduct? Not likely. But he is friendly with William Ayers, a leader of the radical Weather Underground, which in the 1970s carried out numerous bombings, including one inside the U.S. Capitol. (Though the last person who should object is Hillary Clinton, whose husband pardoned two Weather Underground members.)

Obama minimized his relationship by acknowledging only that he knows Ayers. But they have quite a bit more of a connection than that. He's appeared on panels with Ayers, served on a foundation board with him and held a 1995 campaign event at the home of Ayers and his wife, fellow terrorist Bernardine Dohrn. Ayers even gave money to one of his campaigns.

It's not as though Ayers and Dohrn have denied or repudiated their crimes. After emerging from years in hiding, they escaped federal prosecution because of government misconduct in gathering evidence, but they don't pretend they were innocent. In 2001, Ayers said, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."

Dohrn has likewise rationalized the explosions, claiming that "our acts of resistance were tiny and symbolic." She even went to prison for refusing to testify about an armored car robbery involving her confederates. That crime was not tiny or symbolic to the two police officers or the security guard who were shot to death in the process.

All this is public record, and Barack Obama would have to be in a coma not to know it. Yet he showed no qualms about consorting with Ayers and Dohrn.

It's hard to imagine he would be so indulgent if we learned that John McCain had a long association with a former Klansman who used to terrorize African-Americans. Obama's conduct exposes a moral blind spot about these onetime terrorists, who get a pass because they a) fall on the left end of the spectrum and b) haven't planted any bombs lately.

You can tell a lot about someone from his choice of friends. What this friendship reveals is that when it comes to practicing sound moral hygiene, Obama has work to do and no interest in doing it.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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  1. You can tell a lot about someone from his choice of friends. What this friendship reveals is that when it comes to practicing sound moral hygiene, Obama has work to do and no interest in doing it.

    He has no interest in doing so because he probably sympathizes with Ayers on some level. The ability of liberals to defend the indefensible when it comes to individuals’ actions in the name of their political beliefs is amazing. That Stalinist example is just one of many examples of how liberals will excuse each others’ sympathies with those who are indefensible, so long as their politics are similar.

  2. So, how long until this thread is about the Ron Paul newsletters and the Orange Line Mafia? Is it really a threadjack if I only ask how long until the thread gets jacked? Was Steve Chapman’s article really a metaphor for the cosmo/paleo debate/scowlfest?

  3. It’s hard to imagine he would be so indulgent if we learned that John McCain had a long association with a former Klansman who used to terrorize African-Americans.

    You don’t need to make this long hypothetical stretch to connect McCain to individuals who planted bombs during the Vietnam War era. McCain was planting bombs of his own.

  4. Um, let’s see, Mr. Chapman, so should we vote for McCain instead ? Even though he might start new wars ? Oops, war isn’t “terrorism.”

  5. High on the list of those unrepentant for bombing people into oblivion is…us.

    I find this, Clinton’s “sniper”, and McCain’s “temper” as all crap issues that do not really reveal presidential character, and certainly do not throw any light on policy issues.

  6. I will start with the disclaimer that I don’t support Hillary *or* McCain *or* Obama. Having said this, I will feel free to criticize any particular candidate without worrying that I’m giving aid and comfort to one of his/her competitors.

    On reflection, I think that I’ve been giving Sen. Obama too much credit. For each mini-scandal about his associates, I’ve cheerfully assumed that it was blown out of proportion by the Republican Noise Machine, and that the Senator was fervently opposed to the wacky beliefs of his associates. I still think that we need to give some slack to politicians – especially Chicago politicians – for associating with dubious people. Associating with dubious people is part of the *definition* of politics. There’s still an issue, however, if a politician associates with dubious characters beyond what is strictly required.

    Sen. Obama is in this situation. We hear perfectly plausible explanations each time some dubious association comes up. Rev Wright? Well, everyone has a pastor or rabbi whose politics they disagree with. Mrs. Obama? Well, love is blind, so the Senator need not agree with his wife’s views. Ayers? Well, Obama is just being a good neighbor, and – look over there! The Bush Administration killed more people than Ayers. Booga-booga-booga, Bush-Cheney-Wolfowitz, booga-booga-booga.

    There comes a point when one realizes that we’re beginning to see a pattern. Sen. Obama feels quite comfortable with people with whackdoodle ideas.

    The President has enormous patronage powers. It would be good to know what kinds of people a President feels comfortable around, because these are the kinds of people who he will be inclined to appoint to federal jobs. We’re probably not going to see Rev. Wright, Mrs. Obama, or Mr. Ayers appointed to office under an Obama administration. But we may see people with similar views getting positions in an Obama administration.

  7. I wonder if Norman Podhoretz, Elliot Abrams, and their ilk would have access in a McCain White House ?

  8. A number of our early presidents were buddies with terrorists too. Worked out ok.

  9. Parse’s comments show what a moron he is.

    We were in a war with communist agressors. I was in Nam and I saw the atrocities the VC inflicted on women and children who supported the south. So spare me your fucking whiney ass comments.

    As far as I’m concerned, we should have stayed and finished the job, but assholes like Parse rioted in the street and caused the politicians to go weak knee’d.

    BTW, Dr. Freud is also a moron for his comment.

  10. We were in a war with communist agressors. I was in Nam and I saw the atrocities the VC inflicted on women and children who supported the south. So spare me your fucking whiney ass comments.

    With all due respect to your service and sacrifice, if you wish to use that service as a bludgeon to cudgel other viewpoints out of a conversation, you can take that service and shove it straight up your ass. Your political opinion is not magically better because you’ve been in combat.

    As far as I’m concerned, we should have stayed and finished the job, but assholes like Parse rioted in the street and caused the politicians to go weak knee’d.

    What job was that, exactly?

  11. Once again, Obama is exposed as another slithery, slippery politician, just like the rest.

    This isn’t surprising, but some people really have fallen under his spell hard.

    But I will enjoy watching the scrambling defenses of the guy by his fan club, especially with the “but McCain…” excuse.

  12. In reply to Elemenope…

    Shouldn’t Reasonoids be alarmed by state-sponsored violence ? That’s what really kills large numbers of people and often destroys liberty. This is what’s so ridiculous about the Obama whining. Should right-wing politicians really get a free pass for supping with advocates of state violence ? Seriously. A guy like Podhoretz advocates starting a war with Iran and is a regular guest at the Bush White House.

    To beat the Vietnamese dead horse a bit… What would the US have won by staying the course in Vietnam ? Was the outcome in Vietnam really a vital US national interest ? After all, the commies won that battle and yet lost the Cold War.

  13. I would also suggest that Ayers, Wright, and Mrs. O seem distinctly “bitter.”

  14. Kinda like when the Left (justifiably) berates the Bush admin. for “racism”, then gets all huffy when you point out FDR’s Japanese-American concentration Camps.
    Anytime I point out the sins of leftists in the past, lefties always whine:”..but that’s all in the past…we’re talking about NOW!” Funny how they don’t extend the ability to erase past errors to, say, the descendants of southern slave owners.

  15. What has Mrs. Obama said/done that was dubious or seems “bitter?” Please tell me it is not just saying, “For the first time I am proud of my Country” or that we are “mean.”

    Maybe I’m not following closely enough, but Mrs. O seems perfectly pleasant to me.

  16. Not that the internment of Japanese-Americans was a fine moment in FDR’s administration (it certainly wasn’t and I won’t make any excuses for it)…

    But the comparison between a few years of abuse of Japanese-Americans and a few centuries of abuse of black Americans is pretty laughable.

  17. Bill Buckley only purged the John Birch people from his movement because they took an isolationist line on Vietnam. It had nothing to do with bigotry. Similarly, Buckley broke with Buchanan and Sobran because they opposed the first Gulf war, not because of ‘bigotry’.

    And I laughed when I read ‘Buckley knew the importance of choosing allies carefully’. Hence why NR is infested with neocons and moronic movement conservatives.

  18. Pack of hypocrites.

    If you call yourself a “libertarian” and don’t vote specifically to keep McCain out of the white house, you are completely and utterly full of bovine excrement. It is crystal clear that the Republican party is now as flat-out anti-libertarian as anyone can be. Advocates of unjustified war and destroyers of civil liberties.

    They are also advocates of bloated domestic programs, at least as much as the Democrats. Inefficient welfare that goes to people who don’t need it is still welfare. The difference is that a rationale can be advanced for helping the needy, whereas pure corrupt cronyism is wrong by any standard.

    If you value ostensibly lower taxes and trivial cuts in programs for the most vulnerable over your own liberty, you may be a dumb version of Ebeneezer Scrooge, a closet racist, or both, but you are NOT a libertarian. (Please note that the Bush “tax cuts” did not even serve you well economically. The predictable decline in the US dollar alone wiped out any “benefit”.)

  19. So don’t care about Baby Boomer slap fights.

    So glad we have a candidate who doesn’t care about them, either.

  20. joe,

    Ron Paul?

  21. “What has Mrs. Obama said/done that was dubious or seems ‘bitter?’ Please tell me it is not just saying, ‘For the first time I am proud of my Country’ . . .”

    Yes, that struck me as a bitter remark.

  22. To me, this is not a description of a close or meaningful relationship:

    “He’s appeared on panels with Ayers, served on a foundation board with him and held a 1995 campaign event at the home of Ayers and his wife, fellow terrorist Bernardine Dohrn. Ayers even gave money to one of his campaigns.”

    Ayers sounds like a real asshole, but considering how large a politician’s network is, it’s hard to get worked up about this. I especially don’t see how serving on a board with someone as a sign of anything. I don’t think Obama chose the board members; he was merely selected. Would the correct course of action have been to quit the board because you won’t serve along side “that guy”?

  23. Just for the record, WFB didn’t cut his ties with Pat Buchanan and Joseph Sobran because they suddenly revealed themselves to be bigots. He put them at arm’s length because they began questioning the wisdom and morality of our nation’s blind support for Israel, whom they saw as a dubious and duplicitous “ally.” This, of course, immediately qualified both as anti-Semites in the minds of Zionists. Buckley threw them both overboard to avoid collateral damage to the conservative movement in general and National Review in particular.

  24. Pro Lib,

    Chuckling in an audible manner.

    I served on the board of my local Habitat affiliate. I didn’t get any say over who else was on the board, and if there was someone with a shady past on there, I wouldn’t have quit, because I greatly support the work Habitat does.

  25. Episiarch, I don’t think comparisons between McCain and Obama can be dismissed as a “but McCain. . .” excuse when they come in response to an article which invites readers to compare Obama’s behavior to McCain’s.

    I’m certainly not in Obama’s fan club; I’m disappointed that the candidate didn’t respond with a principled defense of Ayers rather than, as you noted, the “slithery, slippery” response of a career politician.

  26. Dr. Froyd,

    Let me see . . . the only way to uphold the antiwar cause is to “vote specifically to keep McCain out of the white house.” This would presumably mean voting for the Dem nominee, since they’re the only “viable” opposition to the Reps.

    Are Hillary and Obama preferable to McCain when it comes to war? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, and her hubby set the ground for it by maintaining the embargo, making the occasional bombing raid, and signing the Iraq Liberation Act proclaiming the removal of Saddam to be U.S. policy.

    Obama opposes the Iraq war, but he’s willing to get into other, unspecified future wars on what appear to be Wilsonian grounds. Because, you see, Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy was such a stunning success that Sen. O can’t wait to emulate it.

    “Baby Boomer slap fights.”

    Ayers isn’t a Baby Boomer – he was born in 1944. See

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_ayers

    Neither is his wife and fellow-terrorist, Bernardine Dohrn, who was born in 1942.
    See

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernardine_Dohrn

  27. Yes, but the people having the slapfights over them are all Baby Boomers.

  28. Mad Max, that’s cool. I didn’t see that remark as bitter. Even if I did, I’m not sure one bitter remark necessarily makes a bitter person.

  29. Barry –

    Funny how they don’t extend the ability to erase past errors to, say, the descendants of southern slave owners.

    First of all, as a member of what you (not I) call “the left”, I do, of course, view Japanese internment as a very grave error in US history. As Dr Freud points out, it took place during a time of real war, and was brief. The most well-known apologist for it is Michelle Malkin, not the “left”. You know that..

    Nothing would please me more than to see descendants of slave owners move beyond past errors. Millions already have. Unfortunately, some continue to wallow in ethnic bigotry, to their own misfortune.

    If by “erase” you mean “dishonestly fail to acknowledge the historical record and its role in creating present situations”, then I don’t support that. Indeed, nothing could be more anti-libertarian than a coded call for censorship of history. We all have a mixed sensation of admiration for our ancestors, complicated by the fact that they behaved in ways that are now seen as despicable (human sacrifice, slave ownership, etc, etc, etc). That’s true for every rational human being.

  30. ‘For the first time I am proud of my Country’ is not what she said.

  31. Wasn’t Barack Obama approximately 8 years old and living in Indonesia when Ayers was conducting his radical activities in the 1960’s ?

  32. It’s hard to imagine he would be so indulgent if we learned that John McCain had a long association with a former Klansman who used to terrorize African-Americans.

    It’s okay because Obama’s black. Black people can’t be racist. Only white people can be racist.

  33. joe,

    It’s difficult to know when these associations matter and when they don’t. And I think most of us are willing to tolerate some not-so-pleasant associations in acknowledgment of the needs of political expediency.

    Still, my attitude has always been that Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion. Obama has long been plugged into Chicago politics, which means that he must be, almost by definition, somewhat tainted. From my perspective, it’s allowing a Chicagoan to enter national politics in the first place that’s the mistake. It’s like voting for Huey Long for POTUS–you’re just asking for corruption trouble.

  34. “Buckley knew the importance of choosing allies carefully. But some people who expect such care from conservatives don’t practice it themselves.

    Buckley wasn’t a politician. The ultimate conclusion is that liberal politicians should adhere to a standard that conservative politicians do not adhere to, because after all, a dead conservative writer used to adhere to such standards.

  35. No, Lamar, the conclusion is that Obama is just another shady politician. Sorry if that makes you sad.

  36. If consorting with people like Ayers and Wright are Obama’s worst sins, than by modern standards he’s one of the most upright decent politicians we’ve produced in the last 30 years. It’s a fact of life – if you want to get ahead as a Democratic politician in Chicago you’re going to spend time with people like Ayers and Wright. Does that mean Obama is a hypocrite willing to compromise moral principles to get ahead? Of course it does, excuse me, he’s a politician, not a saint. There’s not an iota of evidence that Obama agrees with radical leftist or black nationalist positions – he’s a down the line mainstream liberal. And currying favor with Ayers is a lot less dangerous than currying favor with scumbags like Mark Rich.

    And people do raise good points that 60s radicals like Ayers get cut too much slack – but, you know, he’s “one of us”, a college educated upper class white guy (he’s the son of the former CEO of Con Edison for Chrissake), and we don’t turn on our own. We forgive. We understand it was a stupid phase that most of those radicals have since grown out of. Completely hypocritical, yes, but that’s life. Ayers mistake was that he should have decided to convert to right-wing conservatism a la David Horowitz, he’d probably be a media hero by now.

    Sure, I agree that Buckley was a better person than Obama – and how many offices did he hold? Good people simply don’t get elected, you take the best that’s on offer. I think Paul was unfairly slimed, and now Reason is doing the same thing to Obama. This just ain’t an issue folks.

  37. The moral blind spot you have Steve, is not recognizing the terrorist acts committed by the US government on a regular basis.

  38. Mad Max –

    Let me see . . . the only way to uphold the antiwar cause is to “vote specifically to keep McCain out of the white house.” This would presumably mean voting for the Dem nominee, since they’re the only “viable” opposition to the Reps.

    Yes. This statement is more or less correct. That is the present situation.

    However, if you vote for a libertarian spoiler candidate and take a vote from McCain, it is about the same thing as voting for the Democrat, I suppose. But honestly voting against McCain’s only real opponent would make more sense.

    Your complaint about Obama’s vague “Wilsonian” tendencies, while probably true in a very literal sense, is the height of denial.

    You will, perhaps, literally tell yourself anything to keep voting for the pro-war, anti-habeas corpus, pro-pork Republican party, while desperately claiming to be a “libertarian”. Maybe you vote “libertarian”, I don’t know, but many here are so in love with the deluded dream of a return to the economic policies of 1880 (which they falsely imagine will benefit them, personally), that they will say anything to try to justify supporting the authoritarian, war-mongering, cronyism party.

    You essentially refuse the life boat as the ship sinks, on the grounds that the life boat is not magically immune to springing a hypothetical leak in the future.

    McCain promises to extend the real war that we are already in. And hints far more strongly at new ones in the near future. Attempting to justify supporting him by selectively critiquing the motes in the eyes of his opponent is ludicrous.

    Anyone who supports a continuation of Bush policies under McCain should stop calling themselves a “libertarian”. Your minds will crack under the strain. Call yourself an “authoritarian” if you support authoritarians.

  39. Troof –

    It’s hard to imagine he would be so indulgent if we learned that John McCain had a long association with a former Klansman who used to terrorize African-Americans.

    It’s okay because Obama’s black. Black people can’t be racist. Only white people can be racist.

    Of all the delusional reversals of reality I have seen recently, this one takes the cake.

    The exact opposite is what is happening. McCain is allowed to consort with racists, anti-Catholic bigots, and so on, and no-one says a word. Yet everything anyone Obama has ever associated with has ever said is harped on.

    The media clearly seem to believe that only black people or their friends can be racist.

    Reverend Wright did not even make any statements of bias against people of European descent, and I believe his church had a fair number of white members (could be wrong, but I think so). He made some crude and insensitive statements about US policy. I personally thought, beneath the crudeness and exaggeration, there was even a fair degree of accuracy to his statements.

  40. ‘For the first time I am proud of my Country’ is not what she said.

    True. What she said was “for the first time in my adult life”. Distinction without a difference.

    And yeah, that strikes me as bitter.

    Still, I think the real issue has become, not that Obama has had a pretty incidental relationship with Ayers, but the way he drew a moral equivalence between the unrepentant leader of domestic terrorist organization and a pro-life US Senator and OB/GYN.

  41. How much is Obama paying you, Froyd?

  42. Sure, planting bombs. But I wonder if Obama would be so quick to pal around with Ayers and Dohrn if they owned “assault rifles” or carried concealed handguns.

    If you call yourself a “libertarian” and don’t vote specifically to keep McCain out of the white house, you are completely and utterly full of bovine excrement.

    Because Obama and Clinton have better libertarian creds? Sorry. I’ll have to restrain my gag reflex, but I’ll vote McCain to stop either of the others. The war is not my single issue.

    To me, this is not a description of a close or meaningful relationship:

    I agree about sharing board membership, although it’s interesting that they didn’t note which foundation board offered these two membership.

    But holding a fundraiser at Ayres’ house? The first question any politician asks about potential hosts for such an event is, “Are their political views so far from mine that the association can come back and bite me in the ass.” The answer in this case should have been, “Yes! No way in hell do we hold a fundraiser there!”

    And I’ll bet if Obama was invited to be on a panel with Wayne LaPierre he’d pass in a heartbeat.

  43. “No, Lamar, the conclusion is that Obama is just another shady politician. Sorry if that makes you sad.”

    Oh, big shocker. In case you didn’t read the subtext of my post, I already know that Obama is just another shady politician, and I’m wondering why Chapman wasted 700+ words telling us something we already know.

    Ronald Reagan pardoned Robert Wendell Walker, who later killed and dismembered a woman.

  44. Maybe you vote “libertarian”, I don’t know, but many here are so in love with the deluded dream of a return to the economic policies of 1880 (which they falsely imagine will benefit them, personally),

    It isnt so much that we imagine it will benefit us, such as we desire the opportunity and autonomy to benefit ourselves.

  45. Pro Liberate:

    You say that you believe that “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.” Well then, are you going to join the call of the Democratic Party to have Cindy McCain release her tax returns? Any public couple that fails to release their tax returns (husband and wife) will never be above suspicion. I hope that you’ll follow your own stated standard and join me in calling for BOTH McCains to release their tax returns.

  46. Darn. That last sentence was part of a point I decided not to push. Ronald Reagan was a fine fellow who never pardoned anybody who didn’t deserve it (and never disclosed whom he pardoned unless it helped him politically).

  47. Dr Fraud-

    Reverend Wright did not even make any statements of bias against people of European descent

    Maybe you should Google “Garlic nose”…

  48. I’m wondering why Chapman wasted 700+ words telling us something we already know

    Because he gets paid for it and it’s what’s out there right now. Why are you wondering at all?

  49. Man, this thread is making me want to vote for McCain.

  50. “Because he gets paid for it and it’s what’s out there right now. Why are you wondering at all?”

    Yes, he gets paid for it, which is why I called him out for comparing a writer’s “moral hygiene” to a politician’s. If he is saying that McCain is way better on this issue, then address it head on. I mean, it’s not like McCain supported the Contras as they raped women, cut out their tongues and burned their villages or anything. I mean, let’s really get into the issue of moral hygiene….

  51. If Chapman’s standard is one that you plan on holding all politicians to, then bye-bye Libertarian party. Your average card-carrying Lib has more baggage than a DC hobo’s shopping cart. Does Obama really have to explain why he “Served on a panel with [him]”?

  52. Although it bothers me a bit, Obama’s buddies haven’t quite convinced me that he is a marxist revolutionary, but I don find the fact that he is unwilling to address these relationships wholly and honestly more disturbing than the relationships themselves.

  53. Did I say that I trusted McCain any more than I trust Obama? I see them as tied in untrustworthiness, with HRC winning the title of Most Untrustworthy hands down.

    My point was that we ignore the taint on our candidates a little too easily, based on the premise that they’re all dirty to some degree. I think we should take a different view and reject candidates who lack at least the appearance of ethical purity. We’ll still get screwed, but not as brazenly and perhaps not as often.

  54. Pro Liberate:

    Fair enough. I get your point.

  55. “Oops, war isn’t “terrorism.”

    That’s right – it isn’t.

  56. “I think we should take a different view and reject candidates who lack at least the appearance of ethical purity.”

    This would mean that only the best bullshitters, liars and deniers would get elected. Anybody with any sense of honest truth would immediately get booted for some perceived ethical violation, while the real crooks would always keep a respectable front.

  57. Yes, he gets paid for it, which is why I called him out for comparing a writer’s “moral hygiene” to a politician’s.

    It seems more like you are calling him out for comparing a writer’s “moral hygiene” to Obama.

  58. “It seems more like you are calling him out for comparing a writer’s “moral hygiene” to Obama.”

    No, look at my 9:44 post and you’ll see that I made no reference to Obama. It was you at 9:47 that brought up Obama. I know that Obama was the target of Chapman’s “guilt by association” harangue, but my comments are meant to criticize applying a writer’s sense of professionalism to a politician.

  59. For people who are posting on a website called “Reason” the appalling lack of reasoning is remarkable.

    Does anyone recall ever learning basic principles of semantics and logical reasoning?

    The fact that Obama (or anyone else for that matter) has “associated” himself with people who have “bad” viewpoints does not mean Obama has the same “bad” viewpoints. When I was young it was thought among some circles that it was OK to speak with people with “bad” ideas, even belong to perhaps the same church or civic organization as them, because open acknowledgment and argument was how the “marketplace of ideas” was supposed to work.

    Is the new test for presidential viability the amount of denouncing of “bad” others one has done in their careers? God save the republic if this is so …

    Hardly libertarian, the lot of you.

  60. I see the Ron Paul revisionists are in full force, but they should’ve got their lies straight before posting.

    The truth is Buckley threw out the anti-semites and conspiracymongers (i.e., all of Ron Paul’s friends) long before Vietnam and Israel were issues.

    Next time you want to make a Big Lie, learn from your hero Goebels and at least make it plausible.

  61. I know that Obama was the target of Chapman’s “guilt by association” harangue, but my comments are meant to criticize applying a writer’s sense of professionalism to a politician.

    OK, fair enough, but it seems this only pisses you off when it regards Obama.

  62. “OK, fair enough, but it seems this only pisses you off when it regards Obama.”

    It pissed me off when it happened to Ron Paul.

  63. Maybe you vote “libertarian”, I don’t know, but many here are so in love with the deluded dream of a return to the economic policies of 1880 (which they falsely imagine will benefit them, personally), that they will say anything to try to justify supporting the authoritarian, war-mongering, cronyism party.

    As opposed to the Democratic dream to
    go back to the halcyon days of the 1930’s when you had to seek approval from a policy board just to wipe your
    own ass? If you want to indulge in cheap shots and caricatures, we can do it all day. It is is a shame you decided to go that route though; by doing so, you undermine the persuasive content your post above had.

  64. The truth is Buckley threw out the anti-semites and conspiracymongers (i.e., all of Ron Paul’s friends) long before Vietnam and Israel were issues.

    Rothbard still wrote for NR well into the 1960’s. It was his association with anti-war radicals (though not Weatherman radicals, just Leninist) that made him persona non grata to Buckley.

  65. For people who are posting on a website called “Reason”…

    Man it’s too early for that and I’m at work. Cut it out.

    God save the republic if this is so …

    Get off of your high horse, Napoleon.

    Hardly libertarian, the lot of you.

    Oh well, that settles that then. Who died and made you the Doler of Decoder Rings?

    Ah yes, mocking a politician. How downright pro-government of us! Oh, you must have meant that libertarianism needs to somehow dictate my lifestyle or thought processes.

    Libertarian = government philosophy. To hell with this lifestyle libertarian stuff, where I have to accept (or tolerate) every dumb viewpoint that comes down the pike.

  66. Man, this thread is making me want to vote for McCain.

    It’s making me stick with my decision to quit voting several years ago.

  67. Lamar,

    There’s no perfect solution other than reducing the power of politicians in the first place, but I’d rather beat the crap out of people caught doing bad things (or not vote for those who smell bad) than to just wink and nod knowingly.

    Also, what constitutes bad associations (or actions) is often a judgment call. Someone can confess to youthful indiscretions or other seemingly bad things and still get elected. This is one of the reasons I bemoan the lack of r?sum?s on the donkey side of the ticket–we just don’t know enough about how they’ll act in power.

    We know too much about McCain, however ?

  68. It pissed me off when it happened to Ron Paul.

    Gotcha. Me, I don’t care–this is the way this world (politics and political reporting) has always worked.

  69. Hes a Chicago politician. He has some shady associates.

    This is surprising, why?

  70. It’s making me stick with my decision to quit voting several years ago.

    Amen, brother.

  71. I’m from Hyde Park and I’ve met Bill Ayers. The fact of the matter is that he’s hard to avoid, especially for people interested in education. I think what he did in the 60’s was horrible, but he’s an important part of the Hyde Park community now, and it would have made Obama’s job here a lot more difficult if he’d refused to have anything to do with the guy. Also, Ayers is a really nice guy; until I found out he was a terrorist I really liked him.

  72. Cesar,

    It’s not surprising, but is it so bad to actually hold someone accountable for once?

    Has Obama actually answered the question of “Did you know Ayers was a murderer, and if so, why did you continue to work with him?”

  73. Ayn Randian, I agree and it would be better had he should have given an answer like Jorgen’s above.

    Still the fact that this story is coming from Sean Hannity makes me gag.

  74. If you want to play the old guilt by association game, why not emulate the master? From being a cheerleader for McCarthy in the 1950’s, to his feuds with the JBS, and Ayn Rand, Rothbard, Buchanan and Sobran. He was even still around (though he had stepped down from the operational level) when Frum laughably tried to play the gatekeeper in the pages of NR in 2003 against those on the right who opposed the invasion of Iraq.

    Also, to that claim that the almighty Buckley ‘threw’ people out of the movement, Rand and Rothbard are more influential than ever while Buckley’s legacy consists on Neocon quislings.

  75. Has Obama actually answered the question of “Did you know Ayers was a murderer, and if so, why did you continue to work with him?”

    Murderer? First I have heard that the charges against him were that extreme. If you are correct, than I will have to rescind any defense of Obama suggested by the post above (though I’m more concerned about the legacy of Rothbard and Rand, but out of a sense of fairness those examples were used to defend Obama).

    If you are correct, Obama had at the very least, an obligation to insist that Ayers be thrown off any board that they mutually belonged. If you are correct, the guilt by association is a fairly applied here.

  76. Maybe I’ve been following this primary season *too* closely, because the biggest problem I had with Chapman’s article is that it’s title should be ‘Shit You Already Know.’

    And I agree the Buckley analogy is laughable, although I’m not a conspiratorial as those above. If they were so keen of purging bigotry, they would have gotten rid of Derbyshire a while ago. (Note: I like Derb; he’s one of the best people they have. I just thing he’s just wrong about one particular thing). And that’s putting aside the more argumentative assertion that they’re reflexively anti-muslim but pro-christian to the point of bigotry.

    Last, with the (admittedly always weak) b-b-b-but defense. Is Obama’s loose association a while ago with the odious (and criminal) Ayers, more or less problematic than McCain’s strong association within the past month or so with the odious (but not criminal) Rev Hagee?

  77. And if you bring up Rezko, what about Keating Five?

  78. I just watched that documentary on The Weather Underground (I didn’t catch its name) yesterday, and I was surprised by the parallels of the world of 1969-72 and now. I guess for someone born in the mid-80s like myself, it was shocking to see the level of unrest, not only because of racial issues (and the prison rights movement) but also the straightforward war protest movement and the whole “bring the war home” message that the Weather Underground had.

    Frankly, when the government was literally breaking into the homes of 21 year old Black Panther leaders to murder them, I’m not shocked that people like Ayers did what they did.

    However, I was shocked at how much the group seemed to be motivated by what we call “white guilt,” and how odd some of their speeches sounded, as though they wanted to grab a part of the authenticity of the Black Panthers or some of the other third world revolutions going on at the time. It’s supremely ironic that the first legitimate black presidential candidate is being asked to denounce the Weathermen and refusing, while the Black Panthers were swift to denounce them back in the early 70s.

  79. Murderer? First I have heard that the charges against him were that extreme.

    He was one of the leaders of an organization that committed several murders. I don’t know that he personally popped a cap in anybody, but he’s just as culpable as any Mafia don.

  80. True. What she said was “for the first time in my adult life”.

    Still won’t put the right quote, huh? How embarrassing – it’s getting really obvious.

    “For the first time in my adult life, I’m REALLY proud of my country.”

    vs.

    “For the first time in my adult life, I’m proud of my country.”

    One – the incorrect quote – is about feeling embarrassed about one’s country for one’s entire adult life. The other is about having an intense feeling of pride.

  81. I’m back to thinking Obama doesn’t have a chance of winning the general election. Let’s see if he can change my mind again.

  82. Well, joe, being just proud isn’t good enough for a presidential candidate’s spouse. She should be bursting with pride at all times.

  83. R C Dean | April 21, 2008, 11:57am | #
    Murderer? First I have heard that the charges against him were that extreme.

    He was one of the leaders of an organization that committed several murders. I don’t know that he personally popped a cap in anybody, but he’s just as culpable as any Mafia don.

    Being of an anti-collective guilt and not a pro-RICO guy, I am not convinced all Weathermen are culpable for the crime of each member. A bomber who did not actually kill anyone is guilty of reckless endangerment certainly even if he was careful that no one was in the vicinity (unknown unknowables Rumsfield would call them), but if someone in another cell
    in another city ups the ante and shoots up a bunch of cops than the bomber in the first example is no more responsible than the either of us would be for the actions of the killer.

  84. I just thing he’s just wrong about one particular thing

    Is it teh gay or teh Mexicans? I think he’s wrong about quite a few things but he’s still the most interesting writer there by a wide margin.

  85. alan,

    Still, if the National Geographic Society starts offing people, I’m not renewing my membership.

  86. “For the first time in my adult life, I’m REALLY proud of my country.”

    vs.

    “For the first time in my adult life, I’m proud of my country.”

    One – the incorrect quote – is about feeling embarrassed about one’s country for one’s entire adult life. The other is about having an intense feeling of pride.

    I don’t know. You could also interpret the first (complete) quote as “I was just pretending till now.”

    For your interpretation, you have to assume that she was unphased by, for example, to moon landing, the liberation of Kuwait, the fall of the Berlin wall and winning the cold war, and not to mention merely living in a country where she’s free to speak her mind and work her way up to earning $300K/yr.

  87. So, the lesson is: if you want to run for president someday make sure that in every joint venture you participate in, no matter how noble the point of the venture, the thing you must do is A) run a back-ground check on each other person participating, B) become familiar with every public thing each fellow participant has said, and then C) loudly proclaim that for you to continue with the venture any person who has done or said something “bad” at some point in their past must be removed from the venture.

    What stupidity.

  88. NAL,

    I don’t know. You could also interpret the first (complete) quote as “I was just pretending till now.”

    You know, just looking at that sentence (independent clause in a longer sentence, actually) by itself, and ignoring the speech that surrounded it, you are absolutely right; that could be just as plausible an interpretation.

    Knowing what she was saying – talking about the level of discourse that has characterized political campaigns, and how both Obama’s campaign and the country’s reaction to it were (at that point) operating on a higher level, where people were actually considering ideas and listening to each other – leads me to draw the first meaning from it. And let’s fact it, she’s right – the level of political discourse in this country hasn’t been something to be proud of over the past 20 years.

  89. Skallagrim,

    I am not a Chicago political insider, so the things I learn about this matter are second hand and develop over time. However, from what I can gather, 1) Ayers is a well known person in Chicago politics and his background is also well known in those circles, 2) Obama was expected to kiss Ayers’ ring in order to advance in Chicago’s political milieu, 3) to the extent he did this, measured by the extent of Ayers culpability as a criminal terrorist is a measure of Obama’s own personal integrity.

  90. Does Chapman have a problems with conservatives who regularly hang out with, accept accolades and fund such socialists, Troskyists and even a former member of the Black Panthers? I speak of Christopher Hitchens, who’s hatred of Catholics would make a Roundhead blush, David Horowitz, the Black Panthers’ white kitten, Peter Collier, who with Horowitz edited the radical (and CIA subsidized to boot) magazine Ramparts, one Stephen Schwartz aka Comrade Sandalio aka Suleymain al Schwartz, who was a big Sandinista supporter in the 1980s and who asociated with Muslim terrorist groups in Europe, Josha Muravchik, a former member of the Social Democrats? Todd Gitlin, a former head of Social Democrats USA?

    We now call them neoconservatives. They’re the respectable Socialists. You see, Seeger’s problem was he was an apologist for Stalin and not Trotsky, who had his thousands of innocents killed too by the Red Army and the Cheka during the Russian Civil War, you just don’t hear about it. No one asks if Irving Kristol or Norman Podhoretz if they repudiate Trotsky (and given what they believe it looks like they don’t). It was only the Stalinists who got called the McCarthy’s subcommittee and HUAC, not the Trotskyists. They got off easy. Did anyone ever ask Irving Kristol if he was a member of the Communist Party or some sort of socialist subversive organization? I didn’t think so.

    We can play these games all day Mr. Chapman. The question is, are we going to escape the 1960s (or the 1930s and Alcove 6 at CCNY for that matter) and go into the 21st century or are we going remained locked into the Stalin-Trotsky debate well into 2008? Hmmm?

  91. So the word “really” now means “very?”

    ‘k.

  92. I’ve been pretty approving of Obama’s campaign so far, but his use of his grandma and Tom Coburn as rhetorical tools in his speeches made me cringe a little. That said, this Ayers affair is getting pretty tiresome. I have no reason to believe Obama actually approves Ayers’ shady past; he probably doesn’t have the balls to condemn it and risk losing a tiny (if very vocal) group of supporters. Some voters might find that a deal-breaker; others (including me-self) don’t.

  93. So all the progs are having a hissy fit because the chosen one has some pretty grimy baggage. How unfair, sort of like you guys treated Ron Paul-
    It would have been nice if we could have argued the merits of each candidates philosophy, maybe found some common ground but many lefties here can only see in simplistic carictures.
    Come on, can’t you see any parallels between Obama and Paul’s treatment?

  94. Yes, Jim Bob, and it has meant that in common speech my entire life.

    I really like that sweater.

    George Bush is a really bad president.

  95. NP I agree the stupidest things Obama has said are the grandma and Tom Coburn statements. Tom Coburn != Bill Ayers. He didn’t bomb abortion clinics or anything. He better watch slip-ups like that.

  96. Pro Libertate | April 21, 2008, 12:15pm | #
    alan,

    Still, if the National Geographic Society starts offing people, I’m not renewing my membership.

    That ivory poacher had it coming. 🙂

  97. A few replies to some of the cognitive dissonance-provoked one-liners.

    Maybe you should Google “Garlic nose”…

    I did and got this…

    http://weblogs.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/politics/blog/2008/03/rev_wrights_italian_job_hold_t.html
    It contains this
    “From the Wright-written eulogy for scholar Asa Hilliard in the Dec. 2007 edition of the Trumpet magazine: “(Jesus’) enemies had their opinion about Him… The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans.”
    After calling Jesus’s crucifixion “a public lynching Italian style” executed in “Apartheid Rome,” he goes on to claim that white supremicists run the U.S. government:”
    It’s obnoxious and I don’t defend it. Although technically directed at the ancient Romans, it is also insulting to modern Italians, in a rather childish way. However, my ultimate point was not that Wright was a nice guy, but that his comments are overplayed, whereas McCain’s even worse associates and supporters are ignored.

    How much is Obama paying you, Froyd?

    I don’t know yet how much money Obama could save me relative to four years of McCain. Let’s use Bush as a model for how much a Republican has cost me – and you. The Iraq war is said to have already cost 3 trillion dollars. That’s ten thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child in the US. Whether that figure is accurate, high, or low, it’s a substantial amount of money to have borrowed involuntarily, to do something pointless and unethical with. Then there’s the fall of the US dollar, the weakening of the economy, the domestic wastage, and all the messes which may need to be cleaned up in the future. McCain may not be quite as bad as Bush, but he’s very close.

    Of course, there’s also the incalculable value of my full constitutional rights, which I would sacrifice a great deal of money to retain.

    Man, this thread is making me want to vote for McCain.

    Yeah, right. It’s this thread. It’s not that you’re a hypocrite who calls himself “libertarian” but votes for authoritarians.

    Alan said something that deserves a serious reply?

    As opposed to the Democratic dream to go back to the halcyon days of the 1930’s when you had to seek approval from a policy board just to wipe your
    own ass? If you want to indulge in cheap shots and caricatures, we can do it all day. It is is a shame you decided to go that route though; by doing so, you undermine the persuasive content your post above had.

    I don’t think my shots are cheap or inaccurate. No Democrat voter I know of wants to go back to the economic policies of the 1930’s. My comment was terse and sardonic, but many libertarian economic goals do seem to revolve around na?ve elimination of all publicly cooperative institutions. That does resemble going back in time to the period immediately before such institutions were established. I don’t believe in waste or excessive “regulation”, but I don’t believe in the libertarian economic view either. That’s why I, personally, am not a libertarian. I am, however, a good deal closer to being one than anyone who would vote for McCain is. You can count on me to support your basic human rights. I’m not trying to shut down public schools, and I don’t think your rights are violated by them, but I am opposed to the government spying on you without due cause, to your being locked up indefinitely without habeas corpus, to your taxes being wasted on pointless wars of aggression, etc. I’m basically libertarian on non-economic issues.

    I do support Obama, because McCain is far worse.

  98. With McCain and a Democratic Congress, you’re going to end up with a Teddy Roosevelt third term. Small government? Hahaha! Yeah, right. So you get socialism with imperialism.

    Obama just gives you socialism.

  99. For the first time in my adult life, I’m REALLY proud of my country.

    Sure, whatev. Put it in context all you want, its still a pretty sad commentary on her.

    The more you parse it, in some ways the worse it gets. What she seems to be saying is that she didn’t feel proud of her country until she and her husband got a national platform from which to dispense their wisdom. Self-absorb much, Michelle?

  100. Hey RC Dean, why isn’t Cindy McCain in prison for her drug use and theft? I know I would be (and you, too) if I got caught stealing OxyContin from a charity.

  101. “Sure, whatev. Put it in context all you want, its still a pretty sad commentary on her.”

    It is a sad commentary indeed that she thinks so many Americans are uneducated, culturally illiterate rednecks who substitute fundamentalist religion for accepted logic, have a collective memory shorter than 10 years, have unrealistic and naive imperial dreams, make no attempt to understand the problems facing the country and brush it all off with their “victim-hero” working man idiotic schtick. It’s sad because if most of America fits that description, who’s going to vote for her hubby?

  102. I don’t think my shots are cheap or inaccurate. No Democrat voter I know of wants to go back to the economic policies of the 1930’s. My comment was terse and sardonic, but many libertarian economic goals do seem to revolve around na?ve elimination of all publicly cooperative institutions.

    That is entirely irrelevant to what you are trying to accomplish.

    You had an itch to scratch concerning libertarian economics. Like most liberals, you thought you have something worth saying on the matter (you don’t), and you let that itch undermine any persuasive case you had to make on the relative merits of McCain versus Obama by insulting the audience you were addressing.

    Most libertarians do not support McCain, and will not vote for him. That does not mean I have any intention of falling in line for Obama. My decision was made based on
    Samantha Powers essentialy stating that Obama’s claim of us getting out of Iraq in eighteen months is a ‘best case scenerio’, and the protectionism that Obama has embraced even early on in the campaign.

  103. Cesar,

    Yeah, exactly. To be fair, though, it’s possible that Obama didn’t plan on using Coburn to shield himself from the Ayers association; instead he might have been taken aback by the question and improvised his retort. Hopefully he’ll be more careful and forthright in future Q&A sessions.

  104. “For people who are posting on a website called ‘Reason’ the appalling lack of reasoning is remarkable.’

    “Next time you want to make a Big Lie, learn from your hero Goebels and at least make it plausible.”

    Dear Lord, please stop, you’re giving me alcohol poisoning.

  105. Alan –

    Sorry if you find criticism “insulting”. Ironic, since you’re actually using at least as insulting a tone as I am. But whatever.

    Most libertarians do not support McCain, and will not vote for him.

    My point here is that anyone who votes for McCain is not a libertarian to begin with.

    If you’re already not voting for McCain, then I really don’t have a problem with you.

    I don’t have the slightest problem with actual, sincere libertarians. If an actual libertarian candidate, who combined laissez-faire economic policy suggestions with respect for human rights, were seriously running against a candidate with sane economic policies and respect for human rights, then I might, as the economic policies would be the differentiating factor. That isn’t an issue, and isn’t likely to become one in the forseeable future. Libertarians who actually vote libertarian, or don’t vote at all, aren’t a problem for me. What annoys me are people who call themselves “libertarian” and then vote for authoritarians.

    If a libertarian candidate were running against an authoritarian, I’d support the libertarian, regardless of economic policy.

    That does not mean I have any intention of falling in line for Obama. My decision was made based on Samantha Powers essentialy stating that Obama’s claim of us getting out of Iraq in eighteen months is a ‘best case scenerio’, and the protectionism that Obama has embraced even early on in the campaign.

    I fully agree that Obama is not an ideal candidate for libertarians. He’s not an ideal candidate for “liberals”, either, for that matter (and I don’t support protectionism). However, given how extremely opposite to libertarian values the current Republican party is, I would assume that at least some libertarians would vote for Obama.

    I think Cesar summed it up nicely – I don’t actually agree that the policies of an Obama administration would really merit the term “socialism”, but I think this is accurate.

    With McCain and a Democratic Congress, you’re going to end up with a Teddy Roosevelt third term. Small government? Hahaha! Yeah, right. So you get socialism with imperialism.

    Obama just gives you socialism.

    I also don’t think McCain with a Republican congress would be any better, to put it mildly.

    But the bottom line is, both parties are massively far from libertarian economic policies. Arguably the Republicans are further, even on purely economic grounds.

    When it comes to imperialism and destruction of constitutional rights, the current Republican party, overall, is much worse than the current Democratic party.

    A logical, sincere libertarian would either not vote for either major party, or vote for the Democrat.

  106. “For people who are posting on a website called ‘Reason’ the appalling lack of reasoning is remarkable.’

    “Next time you want to make a Big Lie, learn from your hero Goebels and at least make it plausible.”

    Dear Lord, please stop, you’re giving me alcohol poisoning.

    Yeah, I dealt with the above post without snickering the first time around. You cannot read back issues of NR from the 60’s without wondering when exactly this mythology of the Anti-Semite Slayer get started. It was Jewish intellectuals that Buckley seemed the most hostile too. That only changed when Norm the Pod and Irving Kristol claimed to have had a right wing conversion in the 70’s.

    Buckley wrote that long essay, In Search of Antisemitism in 1990, and I think of it is a bit of opportunistic revision on his part. Ask yourself, if you enjoy reading ancient stacks of magazines like I do, does the National Review of the 1960’s more resemble The American Mercury of the 1950’s, or Commentary from the 1970’s as the fonder of NR would have you believe.

  107. A logical, sincere libertarian would either not vote for either major party, or vote for the Democrat.

    I don’t agree. Not voting for either party makes sense, but voting Democratic does not. First, I don’t accept as given that the Democrats are inherently less likely to continue the GWOT or even the Iraq occupation.

    Second, many libertarians are scared about the prospects of going back to single party rule. The GOP was bad enough, and they at least still retain a line or two of limited government rhetoric. I suspect that the Democrats will try to push a whole lot through if they win control of the government, knowing this time around that total control may be gone in a couple of years.

    If I can’t have a limited government candidate, then my next best hope is for gridlock.

  108. Bill Buckley and Obama do have a cosmopolitanism in common. Buckley’s personal friends included many liberals – he would go skiing with John Kenneth Galbraith, invite Norm Mailer over for dinner – I think even Mick Jagger went to one of his parties.

    I don’t think Obama ever skiied with Ayers, but it’s not too hard to imagine him doing some chardonnay sippin’ with WFB – and he’d seem much more at home doing shots with bowlers in Pennsylvania than Hillary. That photo of her seems so forced it’s cringe worthy.

  109. Any article that starts off with worship of Saint Buckley is probably not worth reading, but I pushed ahead regardless, and now I’m sorry I did.

    Steve Chapman seems entirely unaware of the fact that Ayers, these days, is a small-time political operative in Chicago. It’s hardly surprising that he’d move in the same circles as Obama, who was until recently a Chicago politician.

    Man, people are really desperate to hang that “Controversial Negro” tag on Barack, aren’t they?

  110. Dr Froid, I just read your last post and I find myself agreeing with most of it. Most of my personal venom has long been aimed at the authoritarian set in the Republican party. I registered as one in ’94 as I was willing to give their congress a chance after 40 years of Democratic control, and I can sincerely say they drove me out of the party. The John Yoo Republicans deserve jail time, not power.

  111. atrevete

    Bill Buckley was a close personal friend to John Lennon and Yoko Ono too.

    Buckley even went to bat to get Lennon a green card when the INS was rejecting him over a MJ conviction.

  112. MY FELLOW “BITTER”, STUPID, WORKING CLASS PEOPLE 🙂

    If you think like Barack Obama, that WORKING CLASS PEOPLE are just a bunch of “BITTER”!, STUPID, PEASANTS, Cash COWS!, and CANNON FODDER. 🙁

    You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you think Barack Obama with little or no experience would be better than Hillary Clinton with 35 years experience.

    You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you think that Obama with no experience can fix an economy on the verge of collapse better than Hillary Clinton. Whose 😉 husband (Bill Clinton) led the greatest economic expansion, and prosperity in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

    You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you think that Obama with no experience can manage, and get us out of two wars better than Hillary Clinton. Whose 😉 husband (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

    You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you think that Obama with no experience saving the environment is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose 😉 husband (Bill Clinton) left office with the greatest amount of environmental cleanup, and protections in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you think that Obama with little or no education experience is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose 😉 husband (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American. And created higher job demand and starting salary’s than they had ever been before or since.

    You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you think that Obama with no experience will be better than Hillary Clinton who spent 8 years at the right hand of President Bill Clinton. Who is already on record as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

    You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you think that you can change the way Washington works with pretty speeches from Obama, rather than with the experience, and political expertise of two master politicians ON YOUR SIDE like Hillary and Bill Clinton..

    You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you think all those Republicans voting for Obama in the Democratic primaries, and caucuses are doing so because they think he is a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton. 🙂

    Best regards

    jacksmith… Working Class 🙂

    p.s. You Might Be An Idiot! 🙂

    If you don’t know that the huge amounts of money funding the Obama campaign to try and defeat Hillary Clinton is coming in from the insurance, and medical industry, that has been ripping you off, and killing you and your children. And denying you, and your loved ones the life saving medical care you needed. All just so they can make more huge immoral profits for them-selves off of your suffering…

    You see, back in 1993 Hillary Clinton had the audacity, and nerve to try and get quality, affordable universal health care for everyone to prevent the suffering and needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of you each year. 🙂

    Approx. 100,000 of you die each year from medical accidents from a rush to profit by the insurance, and medical industry. Another 120,000 of you die each year from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. And I could go on, and on…

  113. Thirty-five years experience doing what, pray tell? Heck, I was President of the United States for a summer fellowship, by that logic. I’ve also been CEO of several large corporations, since I’ve provided counsel to CEOs in the past. It amazes me that anyone, even a partisan, would take her strange claim seriously. She’s been in the Senate. That’s all that counts.

  114. Is it not true that Obama supports mostly market friendly policies? Is Chapman trying to suggest that Obama is a closet communist?

    I don’t see why Chapman is so angry at Obama. Yes, liberals are hypocritical about Obama and Ron Paul, but what does that say about Obama as a candidate?

  115. If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

    Lets not forget that she failed.

    Lets see, the most popular president in a generation, who, incidentally, had made the issue a centerpiece of his campaign, was unable to get her plan through a Congress packed with Democrats and Rockerfeller Republicans* and we’re supposed to think she’s a freaking genius.

    *who want national healthcare so they don’t have to worry about catching anything from the help.

    (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

    Excusez-moi. But exactly what “nuclear power” did Bill Clinton go to war with?

    I’m pretty sure there’s an idiot in the room but it ain’t anyone you’re looking at. Unless there’s a mirror in front of you.

    (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American.

    Oh, I get it. You’re putting us on. Only a kidder could come up with such manifest bullshit.

    I see I have to take my sarcasmometer back in for calibration. It took a reall whopper to set it of this time.

  116. I dunno, joe. I know the word “really” is used in place of “very,” “extremely,” and other similar adjectives in everyday speech, but I’ve also heard it used in a context in which it’s used to mean “genuinely” or “actually:”

    “I’m really happy for the first time in my life,” for example. That phrase could be read in the way you explicated in your post, or, it could be read in the way I would be more inclined to read it: “I’m actually happy for the first time in my life.”

    I’m not saying you’re absolutely wrong and I’m absolutely correct, but I do say you’re engaging in a bit of mind-reading in order to engineer the least offensive reading of Michelle Obama’s statement that you can. It’s a plausible bit of spin, which, I suppose, is the best kind.

  117. Oh, and Merriam-Webster gives both definitions:

    really
    One entry found.

    really

    Main Entry:
    re?al?ly Listen to the pronunciation of really
    Pronunciation:
    \?r?-(?-)l?\
    Function:
    adverb
    Date:
    15th century

    1 a: in reality : actually: “things as they really are,” “there was nothing peculiar about her doing this, really” – Peter Taylor b: truly, unquestionably -used as an intensifier “a really beautiful day” c: very 2 “look really close” “he runs really fast” 2-used to emphasize an assertion “you really should read Yeats” “really, you’re being ridiculous.”

    When I write I try to avoid using really to mean very, because I consider it imprecise and lazy language, but I don’t know if that’s a truism.

    Her statement was really ambiguous, no?

  118. Jim Bob,

    Why don’t you do what I did, look up the text of her speech, and what the context indicates?

  119. During Operation “Iraqi Freedom”, thousands of innocent women and children were killed. The Weather Underground? Who cares? If our President can authorize the killing of as many innocent people as he chooses as part of our social engineering adventures abroad, why have such qualms about Obama’s friendship with Ayers and Dorn?

  120. Alan, there is something rather funny about the whole Rothbard/Buckley split. Rothbard and his minions all claim Buckley was a warmongering statist because of his Commenweal article in 1952 about tolerating big government during the Cold War YET Rothbard did research for Buckley’s book “Up from Liberalism” in 1959. So, if Buckley was a nasty statist in 1952, why was Rothbard still working and doing research for him in 1959??? Truth probably is as with much of Rothbard, it was personal, not public policy that caused the riff. Rothbard was known for his temper.

  121. Sean Scallon won the thread.

  122. Sure seems like Reason is running against Obama lately. No mistake about that.

  123. obama is black 🙁

  124. I’m inclined to brush this connection/relationship off. In fact, I think all (ok, maybe not all, but most) relationships that all three candidates have with individuals need not be scrutinized. First, we can’t assume that Obama supports the WU’s bombings just because he is friendly with two former members. I see it more as a way to publicize his connection to the 60’s and try to take away some support of that generation from Hillary.

    Second, the logic of this article leads us to many slippery slopes of which Slate writer Tim Noah outlines here (http://www.slate.com/id/2189464/) connecting the candidates to Hitler within two degrees of separation.

  125. The McCain-Hagee connection is a non-issue because Hagee’s role in the political arena is chiefly that of a cheerleader for the Israeli right. No one really cares about his anti-Catholic theology(especially not liberals- who despise Catholicism) except for that guy who heads up the Papist version of the ADL.

    McCain should find a philo-semitic white nationalist with a violent criminal past (BUT NOT MURDER) to hold a fundraiser for him so we can just call it even and stop discussing Ayers and Wright.

  126. not really black, mind you. but enough for me to hate him for being black. because i hate black people, like obama

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