Ayers Emerges from the Underground, Calls the Pigs

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Many of those who viewed the introduction of Bill Ayers into the presidential campaign as a low, dishonest campaign tactic have now taken to the idea that the former Weather Underground leader and pretend revolutionary was himself somehow mistreated by the media. The most egregious example is perhaps New Yorker editor David Remnick, as pointed out and deconstructed by ex-New Lefty Ron Radosh.  As a confirmed Ayers-hater (I actually read Fugitive Days way back when), I refrained from commenting on Ayers during the campaign not only because I thought it not only a strategically silly line of attack—a position the election results seems to have vindicated—but the McCain campaign never got around to proving that Ayers and Obama were indeed "palling around." Nevertheless, I have to agree with New Republic's Leon Wieseltier that "I would not shake the man's dirty hand."

And now Ayers is attempting to defend himself—albeit unpersuasively. Writing in In These Times, Ayers talks about all the threatening emails he received in the past few months, which forced him to contact the hated Chicago pigs (an inverse of the "Days of Rage," I suppose), and "the serial assassinations of black leaders  [that] disrupted our utopian dreams" in the 1960s (he's talking about Fred Hampton, not MLK). Read the whole piece here. There is plenty of stupidity on display, but I particularly like this line, coming as it does from a supporter of the Cuban dictatorship: "In a robust and sophisticated democracy, political leaders—and all of us—ought to seek ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, or even radical, ideas."

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  1. political leaders-and all of us-ought to seek ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, or even radical, ideas.

    I actually kinda agree with this.

  2. And by “talk” Ayers means planting pipe bombs in their mailboxes.

    There are lots of nice guys out there with really crazed and wacky worldviews (I used to have lots of friendly conversations with a black separatist about 10 years ago, nice guy) and I really don’t have much of a problem with any of them. But there are lines and Ayers crossed them, got away with it and has shown pretty much no remorse over any of it. Folks defending him are really stretching it.

  3. Agreed with the above commentator – you had me until the last line. Yes, Ayers is scum. How does this mean dialogue is impossible with radicals or dissidents? Especially a strange sentiment to espouse here, a place much of mainstream society would consider dissident, if not radical. Just because Ayers is morally vacuous does not mean every single thing he says or does is likewise wrong.

  4. Isn’t it about time for the media to let Ayers sink back into the muck, and eventually blow himself up in a garage in a fit of despondency over his irrelevance?

    -jcr

  5. he looks kinda like Skinheads from Maine Colbert in that picture.

  6. Just because Ayers is morally vacuous does not mean every single thing he says or does is likewise wrong.

    Isn’t it about time for the media to let Ayers sink back into the muck,

    This is all about Moynihan’s demons. I look forward to four more years of showcasing Ayers wacky brand of anti Americanism from Michael to remind us what evil looks like.

  7. “Palling around” was a huge mistake; see, in addition to the other points, #18 here. If the McCain campaign weren’t completely incompetent they would have repeatedly given the laundry list of who BHO had been associated with and pointed out that it’s difficult to find someone completely mainstream who’s a past BHO associate. And, they would have pointed out the money that BHO directed to Ayers. And, it would have been them – and not bloggers – who found out that BHO and Ayers shared the same floor of a building.

    Instead, they repeatedly played into the hands of “fact checkers” and the NYT.

    Try and find anything from the McCain campaign pointing out what the NYT forgot to mention, and note also that the NYT’s report was then repeated by other sources, and those other sources were then used by bloggers et al to downplay the whole issue.

    The main problem with this as an issue is McCain and GOP gross incompetence.

  8. What horseshit. Any column where the chief indictment of anybody is that they’re a hypocrite is just lazy. What about what he actually said, Michael, or did? Oh, that he might be blinded by ideology into saying something stupid, that’s what you wasted your time typing out.

    Anyway, you should call the cops on people who are threatening to kill you. You should also change your opinion of a police department when the level of corruption drops from “Murderous” through “Violent” and on through to “Just Generally”. You should also respect people with radical and radically stupid views enough to talk to them. Yes, even you.

  9. Here’s a vote to acquit whomever punches Ayers’s ticket.

  10. I luv Bill Ayers! Hes mie heero! Wun dae, I hope two hav teh bawls to dew wut hee did.

  11. LONEWACKO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *shakes fist in air*

  12. Here’s a vote to acquit whomever punches Ayers’s ticket.

    Well, even scumbags are entitled to due process of law. That being said, if I were in the jury pool for a case where the defendant was charged with kicking the shit out of Ayers, the prosecution might want to use one of their peremptory strikes to excuse me.

    -jcr

  13. Yesterday’s Brickbat headline makes me nervous. Please update that column already. Thank you.

  14. Hey Magnetron, why should you respect people with radical and radically stupid views enough to talk to them, especially when you’ve read an entire fucking book full of them? Is every stupid idea valid and somehow worthy of thoughtful consideration? That, my friend, is horseshit.

    And, more importantly, the use of “what a long, strange trip it’s been” when referring to the sixties is a sign that there’s no reason to continue reading. There oughtta be a new Godwin Law for that.

  15. Here, here! I’m with JCR! Personally, I feel that Ayers was cheated out of the prison rapes he so rightly deserved!

  16. In a robust and sophisticated democracy, political leaders-and all of us-ought to seek ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, or even radical, ideas.

    I think we should invite Mr. Ayers to chat with the commenters on Hit and Run. I’m certain the utopian hippie terrorist communist sympathizer piece of maggot infested monkey shit would heve nothing to fear seperated from all of us by the tubes.

    I promise to treat him with the same sort of respect I treat other public figures.

  17. Am I gonna get rickrolled if I click on it?

  18. The problem with Ayers is that he’s apparently unrepentant and still believes that he was fighting the good fight. I have no use for him. He isn’t a reformed sinner, and there’s nothing he has to say that couldn’t be said at least as well by a better person.

    I don’t really fault Obama, though. I keep wondering what I would do if, in my capacity as an academic, some old rich dude asked me to sit on a scholarship panel and I found myself in the room with some old Boomer whose name was in the news way back in 1973. In all likelihood I’d never even realize what sort of person I’m sitting next to.

    Hell, I sit on committees with some old Boomers, and I have no clue what any of them were doing in 1973.

  19. Yawn. Damn spelling nazis! Very well, “hear, hear” it shall be in the future.

  20. “In a robust and sophisticated democracy, political leaders-and all of us-ought to seek ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, or even radical, ideas.”

    I actually had to read that line three times to be sure I wasn’t seeing things. Then I laughed hysterically. Man, that is rich.

  21. No, no. Keep doing it your way. Please. Forget anyone said anything.

  22. Too late. You had a point even if you were kinda being a dick about it. Well played . . . well played.

  23. The problem isn’t Bill Ayers. Ayers himself is nothing but a classic example of an escalating thrill seeking sociopath. He gravitated to radical political politics because it allowed him to feed his narcissism and his desire for drugs, sex and violence. If he came of age in a different milieu, he would have been just as vicious, only his political rational would have been different.

    The problem with Ayers is the leftist subculture that tolerates and even approves of him. They listen to his rants, read his manifestos and interviews and see nothing wrong. Many of those people are prominent members of political groups and parties, the media and academia.

  24. I don’t blame the Pres-elect for sharing a board seat with this guy – that’s the kind of kinky stuff you have to do in politics.

    Fair is fair – if you can’t make Obama guilty by association because of his attenuated “links” with Ayers, you can’t hold Ayers innocent by association because of his attenuated links with Obama.

    Now that attacks on Ayers can no longer hurt The One, I feel free to call Ayers what he is – an unrepentant ex-terrorist who should kiss Uncle Sam’s ass every day that the American concern for due process was so great that they let him off (due to FBI abuses) despite his obvious guilt.

    Here’s a memorial plaque to Dr. Robert Fassnacht, murdered by the Weathermen in one of their bombings.

  25. I don’t know anything at all about Ayers or his views (was convinced he and Obama weren’t close enough for me to care, didn’t look farther).

    Coming from that point of view, I pretty much agree with everything he says in this article. Perhaps it’s hypocritical to things he’s said in the past, but there doesn’t seem to be much to criticize in this piece.

  26. I wonder why people don’t condemn folks like Henry Kissinger (who actually had a hand in killing lots of innocent people with secret bombings) as readily as they condemn folks like Ayers (who, though worthless and repugnant, never killed anybody).

    Now don’t be mean. I’m genuinely curious.

  27. Les,

    I’ll happily condemn Kissinger, who I do know something about. 🙂

  28. Les,
    In the past, I’ve repeatedly called for the execution of Henry Kissinger.

  29. Les,

    More due to his and his associates incompetence than a desire to not harm anyone. Not killing people wasn’t getting them the attention or policy changes they desired so they attempted something grander by trying to target a disco filled with soldiers and civilians. Ayers friends blew themselves up first though.

  30. Naga, how would you non-dickishly have done it better?

  31. Naga,

    Oh, sure I know it was only because they were idiots that they didn’t kill anyone. But still, there’s so much venom for this (ultimately harmless) loser and so much respect for the (mass-murdering) good doctor, it confuses me.

    Brian and economist, your condemnations lift my spirits.

  32. Damn right. To hell with Kissinger.

  33. Really curious now,

    “Just walk away. Just walk away and we will spare your lives . . . just walk away.”

    Les,

    True enough but he’s ultimately harmless due to a roll of the dice rather than because he didn’t mean to hurt anyone. Also, screw Kissinger that bastard.

  34. “Damn, Butters is really good.”

  35. Okay. Won’t do it again.

  36. It’s Butters! “That’s me!”

  37. “Now, Kyle, the key to success in my class is concentration.”
    “Maybe we’ll have to send him to concentration camp!…Oh, godDAMMIT!”

  38. @ Naga,

    Acceptable. Well I could quote some Edward threats from the Urkobold website for fun. I laugh almost everytime I take the time to read them.

    “Keep fucking with me, Urkobolds. I dare you.” – Edward
    “Keep playing with fire, boys. Keep playing with fire” – Edweirdo
    “Fuck with bull, and you WILL get the horns. Fools.” – Edweird

  39. I always imagine Edward sitting at his computer screaming “UUUURRRRRRKKKKKKKKKKOOOOOOBOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLD!”.

  40. Find it acceptable to persist in error next time? OK.

    Just as long as we’re still friends.

    Friends? Are we friends?

  41. Of course, I also imagine Edward pissing himself whenever he sees a 100+ comment thread that he hasn’t shat on.

  42. @ Naga,

    Urrrrr . . . listen . . . uh . . . . you’re kinda creeping me out now. I can picture you with wide crazy eyes silently mouthing the word “friend”. Just a little creepy.

  43. Please be my friend. Please don’t hate me.

  44. I DON’T PISS MYSELF WHEN I’M AWAKE!

  45. As Friedman points out in the first chapter of Capitalism and Freedom, legal dissent is really only possible in a capitalist society.

  46. Hate you? What? I don’t even know you! (wait! better switch to pimp daddy naga mode and see if that works) Listen. You know I love you. But I’m a free bird, and this bird . . . well . . . you just can’t change. Now where my money at?!

  47. Here. Here.

    😉

  48. Touche’. LOL!

  49. Turnabout is fair play Billy boy!

  50. Naga, indeed we agree. Ayers’ stupidity is our gain. God Bless the incompetence of pampered commies!

  51. So outside of Balko, Reason supports police raids that result in the murder of innocent people? And a libertarian publication has a particular issue with armed black people and elevates MLK as a hero over assassinated Black Panthers?

    Ok, got it.

    Ayers IS scum, but the problem I find in the judgment of Ayers is that it is rarely about Ayers ( as attacks on Obama are rarely about Obama).

    Can someone just call Ayers for what he is without involving all these other guilt by association tactics and ridiculing harmless people that Ayers associates with?

  52. So when a majority of reason blog posts hack Mike for an attack on Bill Ayers isn’t time to fire him and send him to the Weekly Standard or Human Events?

  53. I keep wondering what I would do if, in my capacity as an academic, some old rich dude asked me to sit on a scholarship panel and I found myself in the room with some old Boomer whose name was in the news way back in 1973.

    I am serenely confident that we will find that the association between Ayers and Obama is much longer and deeper than we now know. Obama and his campaign have a history of lying about the relationship and shifting their story when caught out.

    Obama and Ayers had offices in a very small office building before Obama got to Annenberg.

    Obama and Ayers both lived in the same neighborhood in NY when Obama was going to school there. Given their shared views, it seems highly unlikely they didn’t travel in the same social circles.

    Obama had absolutely no known connections or qualifications to take over at Annenberg, yet Ayers was a big player there and Obama got the gig.

    Ayers and Obama both draw from the same well of hard-left community activism.

    Way too many coincidences, but pursuing the story during the campaign or especially now would be career-threatening for any journalist with ambitions to work in the elite coastal media.

    Someday, the truth will emerge, and people will slap their foreheads at the audacity of the men who took them in, and their own gullibility in falling for it.

  54. I don’t understand the Moynihan-hating here. He’s no worse than Steve Chapman. Of course, that’s not the highest praise, either.

  55. Since we’re bashing Kissinger, doesn’t he have a list of countries he can’t go to because he’ll get arrested for war crimes? Or is that just wishful thinking on my part?

  56. Hey, I haven’t been hiding! I wrote most of Obama’s more popular book, I got him his first job, and I post here regularly.

  57. Four independent teams of writing analysts said I almost certainly rewrote several parts of Dreams of My Father. That’s change you can believe in!

    Anyways, all I ask in return is that Obama invite me over so I can put a bomb in a women’s restroom at the White House. You know, for old times’ sake.

    Well, that and for the bragging rights. In your face Osama! I bombed the Pentagon first, and I got here first too!

  58. Now this is the story all about how,
    My life got flipped, turned upside down,
    And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there,
    I’ll tell you how I became the Prez thanks to a man called Bill Ayers.

  59. Writing in In These Times, Ayers talks about all the threatening emails he received in the past few months

    Wow, threatening emails. That’s almost 1/1000th as scary as A FUCKING BOMB you lowlife terrorist piece of shit.

  60. And here we have examples of what I was talking about. For Republican loyalists, Ayers matters so much more than the fact that the President and Vice-President violated felony wiretap laws or that they repeatedly lied to justify invading Iraq.

    The same people that pop a vein talking about this loser who couldn’t even manage kill anyone with the bombs he set, they shrug their shoulders and “regret” the unnecessary deaths of young soldiers, and the innocent men, women, and children blown up and burned alive, all of them abstract figures, the “costs of war” in their eyes.

    But this Ayers guy? And that Obama fella who interacted with him? Well, that really pisses them off! It would be funny if it weren’t kind of sick.

  61. Four independent teams of writing analysts

    WTF is a “writing analyst” (let alone a team of such) and how is one objectively different from “right wing blogger making things up?”

    The whole “Ayers wrote Obama’s book” is the craziest thing I heard all election season – and needless to say the competition was fierce. I mean god knows Obama needs help writing, right? And logically he’s going to get his book ghostwritten by people he happens to be on some educational panel with, and not, say, professional writers. It is more likely that Obama is a secret crypto-muslim born in Kenya out of a scheme by his communist mother to overthrow the united states than it is Ayers writing part of Obama’s book. Gah. More masterbatory imaginings from the geniuses who brought us “Hillary murdered Vince Foster.”

    It’s going to be a long eight years of crazy email forwards.

  62. Ayers is morally vacuous does not mean every single thing he says or does is likewise wrong.

    Yep, even a stopped clock…..

  63. And some e-mails, like this one I got from satan@hell.com: “I’m coming to get you and when I do, I’ll water-board you.”

    Jesus Chrysler, get me a shovel, this bullshit is getting deep.

    You can’t send an email from that address unless you actually are the guy with the pitchfork and the long red pointy tail.

  64. “It is more likely that Obama is a secret crypto-muslim born in Kenya out of a scheme by his communist mother to overthrow the united states”

    WAIT. A. SEC.

    WHY DIDN’T THIS COME OUT DURING THE ELECTION???

    I WOULD RECAST MY VOTE FROM “NONE OF THE ABOVE”, to “OF THE ABOVE, NONE”

    THE OUTRAGE!!!!!! MY DEAR FRIEND “OF THE” WILL BE CRUSHED!!!!!

    OH THE COOKIES FOR THE WEIBSKOBOLD!!!

  65. Oh for peets sake leave the poor guy alone already.

    jess
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  66. Can someone just call Ayers for what he is without involving all these other guilt by association tactics and ridiculing harmless people that Ayers associates with?

    Like this? Face it, he’s a fuckin’ pampered leftist dumbass. Trust fund revoltionaries impress me not one iota.

  67. In reading these, when people make assumptions and comparisons, I’m confused. I’m looking wishing these comments could discern re: Ayers: he did this/that then, he did/not do this to make amends for that, he is like this/that now.

    I’m glad he is not plotting to kill people anymore: I do NOT agree with this. I AM interested in hearing what it was that he was so all fired up against, why didn’t he think he could make headway another way? What was he THINKING–what else was going on then? HOW has he come to change to someone who wants to work with the system–it didn’t start with this call for police protection if he’s on a major urban school board.

  68. I AM interested in hearing what it was that he was so all fired up against, why didn’t he think he could make headway another way?

    Life’s too short to spend any time digging into the self-justification of a trust fund terrorist.

  69. Hey, Editors:

    What’s the significance of the red # next to each commentor? I clicked on one for a comment I liked and it changed color.

    Have a key handy?

    Thanks!

  70. For Republican loyalists, Osama bin Laden matters so much more than the fact that the President and Vice-President may have overzealously tried to ptotect us or that they relied on flawed CIA intel in Iraq.

    The same people that pop a vein talking about this loser who couldn’t even manage to hit the White House, they shrug their shoulders and “regret” the unnecessary deaths of young soldiers, and the innocent men, women, and children blown up and burned alive, all of them abstract figures, the “costs of war” in their eyes.

    But this Osama guy blowing things up? Well, that really pisses them off! It would be funny if it weren’t kind of sick.

  71. WTF is a “writing analyst” (let alone a team of such) and how is one objectively different from “right wing blogger making things up?”

    How is MAX HATS objectively different than the crap in my ass?

  72. And logically he’s going to get his book ghostwritten by people he happens to be on some educational panel with, and not, say, professional writers

    Oh, and Ayers is a writer, dumbass.

  73. Ich Gehore Nicht Zur Obama-Ayers Gruppe!

  74. What’s so compelling about this snippet that the thread has gone on into the morning?

  75. I’m somewhat ashamed to point this out as it indicates that I bothered reading Ayers’ entire idiotic screed, but you’d think that after years of building bombs and protesting the U.S. military he’d finally learn how to spell ORDNANCE correctly.

  76. Way too many coincidences, but pursuing the story during the campaign or especially now would be career-threatening for any journalist with ambitions to work in the elite coastal media.

    Paglia has a healthy curiosity about it. I’m sure she’ll be looking for a job soon.

    Given that Obama had served on a Chicago board with Ayers and approved funding of a leftist educational project sponsored by Ayers, one might think that the unrepentant Ayers-Dohrn couple might be of some interest to the national media…

    Ayers comes off in the film as a vapid, slightly dopey, chronic juvenile with stunted powers of ethical reasoning. The real revelation is his wife, Bernardine Dohrn (who evidently worked at the same large Chicago law firm as Michelle Obama in the mid-1990s)…

    The mystery of Bernardine Dohrn: How could such a personable, attractive, well-educated young woman end up saying such things at a 1969 political rally as this (omitted in the film) about the Manson murders: “Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild!”

    Yeah, man. “Wild.”

  77. GG,

    There is a reason why Paglia works at an obscure liberal arts college in Philadelphia while lesser lights like Catherine McKinnon work at Harvard and Michigan. It is because Paglia, for all of her faults, doesn’t give a shit about being PC and says what she thinks.

  78. What’s the significance of the red # next to each commentor? I clicked on one for a comment I liked and it changed color.

    Have a key handy?

    Click on the # symbol and that comment will go to the top of the page and the address of that comment appears in the window on the top of your browser. It’s useful when linking to a particular comment like I’m doing now.

  79. yes, if I wanted to write an autobiography about my experiences growing up as a biracial child in Indonesia and Hawaii I’d have it written by a white hippie who never lived outside the continental US.

  80. GG, you may have noticed that Camille Paglia does not apparently have any ambitions of working for a major media operation. Ergo, her musings (and another connection between Obama and Ayers, via their wives) do not contradict my thesis that serious investigation and reporting on their relationship are radioactive to anyone who does have such ambitions.

  81. It’s not stupid to say that political leaders should engage with dissident and radical viewpoints. In fact, it’s pretty obvious.

    I would think that Reason Magazine would encourage political leaders to expose themselves to radical views on pornography, drugs, privacy, and personal liberty.

  82. Oh, and Ayers is a writer, dumbass.

    So who ghostwrote Ayers books then? We need a team of “writing analysts.” Stat!

  83. Lindsay,

    Of course, it is not stupid to say that. I think Moynihan’s point (and it is certainly one I agree with) is to call attention to Ayers’s hypocrisy. Using bombs/violence to express your political opinion means precisely that you DON’T believe in free speech and democracy. It means you believe your views should prevail, no matter the cost.

    The reason people feel angry with Obama for associating with Ayers (and, for example, the AERA for appointing him Vice President of Curriculum Studies) is that it sends a message that democracy isn’t important, IDEALISM is. (Idealism, of course, as defined by someone else…)

  84. The reason people feel angry with Obama for associating with Ayers (and, for example, the AERA for appointing him Vice President of Curriculum Studies) is that it sends a message that democracy isn’t important, IDEALISM is.

    I could take these people more seriously if they held everyone to the same standards. Ayers deserves to be shunned, but no more than anyone involved in, say, the Iran/Contra affair.

    When the people who are upset with Obama for associating with Ayers can muster the same reaction for those who associate with people like Elliot Abrams and John Poindexter, both of whom actively supported terrorism in order to overthrow a democratically elected government, I’ll take them seriously.

  85. OK, Les, turnabout is fair play.

    Since you, apparently, believe that associating with people who support terrorism to overthrow a democratically elected government is good reason to shun someone, do you also condemn Obama for associating with Ayers?

  86. Since you, apparently, believe that associating with people who support terrorism to overthrow a democratically elected government is good reason to shun someone, do you also condemn Obama for associating with Ayers?

    Absolutely, there is a list of things I’d condemn Obama for, and associating with Ayers is on it. But it’s near the bottom of that list (let’s be real, there are cops and District Attorneys all over the country who have done more damage to actual people than Ayers ever did, despite his best efforts), unless he hires Ayers or praises him for his “service” or decides to work directly with him again, in which case it will shoot to the top.

    People like Poindexter and Abrams and Ollie North and Kissinger will continue to be respected by politicians and partisans, despite the fact that they’ve all worked directly to support anti-democratic terrorism. I mean, if we’re going to make a list of people to condemn, to shun, to foam at the mouth over, why not put the people who were actually involved in the deaths of innocent civilians at the top?

  87. You let strategic considerations about advancing Republicans’ political campaigns determine what you write about, Michael?

  88. You know what’s even more pathetic than a Baby Boomer who won’t stop refighting the hippie/square wars of the SixtiesMan, and indulsing in paranoid conspiracy theories about why American politics don’t revolve around his SixtiesMan obsessions?

    A post-Baby Boomer who does the same thing.

  89. Kudos to you for refraining from the Ayers noise.

    Here is the problem:

    The right took Ayers and made him a Celebrity. Now, obviously, Ayers has always had a Madonna-type knack for “reinvention”–alas!–but it was the Right that made him a household name.

    Maybe Ayers can go on a Lecture Tour debating “Joe the Plumber” (whose name isn’t Joe and who isn’t a licensed plumber, but Madonna didn’t actually give birth to Christ either, so who cares?).

    But, God! The Weather Underground is back and Michelle and Rush and so many others did the PR work along with Sarah Palin.

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