Guilty


  Alas, despite liberals’ terrific fear of John McCain and the Republican Attack Machine, evidently McCain was more afraid of the real attack machine: the mainstream media. He wasted no time in denouncing the North Carolina ad. Obeying the media's command that Republicans not mention any facts unfavorable to Obama, McCain said, “There's no place for that kind of campaigning, and the American people don't want it.” He promptly fired off a letter to the North Carolina Republican Party presuming to tell them not to run the ad.

  Say, is it too late to nominate someone else for that “Who's the Biggest Pussy?” contest?

  McCain even fired a “low-level staffer” who sent around a YouTube video on his personal Twitter account linking Obama to the Reverend Wright—Obama's own pastor, who married him, baptized his children, and gave him the title to his second book. “We have been very clear,” a McCain campaign statement said, “on the type of campaign we intend to run and this staffer acted in violation of our policy. He has been reprimanded by campaign leadership and suspended from the campaign.”42 Rank-and-file Republicans began to fear an announcement from McCain that Reverend Wright would be joining his campaign.

  Even faced with a Republican presidential candidate who stoutly refused to mention any negative information about his opponent in order to impress the media, liberals would not stop fretting about the Republican Attack Machine.

  In the New York Times, Frank Rich paid the usual media homage to Obama by denouncing Hillary for “her ceaseless parroting of right-wing attacks.” More of a man than McCain, Hillary was not afraid to mention Obama's friends. Or as Rich put it, she launched a “barrage of McCarthyesque guilt-by-association charges against the media's candidate, portraying him as a fellow traveler of bomb-throwing, America-hating, flag-denigrating terrorists.”43 True, Joe McCarthy named only Soviet spies and their witting accomplices, but when liberals use phrases like “McCarthyesque guilt-by-association charges,” they mean something bad.

  No one had accused Obama of guilt by association, but rather guilt of association—association with a bomb-planting, America-hating, flag-denigrating imbecile. Obama's pal Bill Ayers was cofounder of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground, which had bombed a dozen buildings, including the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, and various police stations. Ayers was utterly unrepentant, saying—in an interview published on September 11, 2001—that he wished he had set more bombs. In a 2001 issue of Chicago magazine, Ayers was photographed jumping on an American flag, and in another interview after the 9/11 attack, he said that this country makes him want to “puke.” Those are facts. I am sure liberals like Frank Rich would like to embargo discussion of their favorite terrorists, but Obama's friends were not being “portrayed” as “bomb-throwing, America-hating, flag-denigrating terrorists.” They were “bomb-throwing, America-hating, flag-denigrating terrorists.”

  It is also a fact that Ayers's wife, fellow Weatherman Bernardine Dohrn, praised the Manson family for murdering Sharon Tate and others, shouting at a 1969 rally, “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!” In a better country, just saying “Dig it!” in public would get you twenty years in the slammer. At other rallies, Dohrn said, “Bring the revolution home, kill your parents—that's where it's at.” It got to the point that the members of the Manson family had to distance themselves from Ayers and Dohrn.

  Nor, as Obama and his adoring media claimed, were sociopaths Ayers and Dohrn just people who happened to live in his neighborhood: They were there at the inception of Obama's political career, hosting a fundraiser for Obama at their home back in 1995. Obama served with Ayers on the board of the radical Woods Fund, long after Ayers's 2001 wish that he had set more bombs. Obama shared a podium with Ayers at a University of Chicago event—organized by Michelle Obama, director of the university's Community Service Program.44 In keeping with Obama's statements on his other friends, like Tony Rezko (“This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew”)45 or the Reverend Wright (“The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met twenty years ago”),46 perhaps Obama could have said, “The Bill Ayers I embraced at the kickoff party to my political career was not the same Bill Ayers who tried to murder hundreds of innocent Americans by blowing up the Pentagon and other buildings.” That has a nice ring to it.

  What was a candidate for the United States presidency doing being friends with these former terrorists, Ayers and Dohrn? Why not Timothy McVeigh? Would anyone have a problem with handing the presidency to a friend of McVeigh's?

  Obama also tried to dismiss his friendship with Ayers in one of the Democratic debates, on the grounds that Ayers is a college professor— well, yes, but that's a whole other problem—and that he hadn't tried to bomb any government buildings for years. In the ABC debate in April 2008, Obama said Ayers is “a professor of English in Chicago … and the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts forty years ago when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn't make much sense.”47 (Technically, Ayers is a professor of education, meaning that he is less qualified to teach than the entire population of the United States.)

  Forty years was a long time ago, but not as long ago as slavery existed in this country and we never hear the end of that. But the real problem was, Ayers and his Weatherman wife not only had never repented, they wouldn't stop boasting about being revolutionaries. To the contrary, blowing up buildings was their greatest glory! They were like Bette Davis in the movie What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?—endlessly reliving their ridiculous youth. They've never accomplished anything else. Run a search of their names. All you will find are documentaries, books, memoirs, and interviews about their days as “revolutionaries”! Ayers finally produced a book in 2001. Guess what it was about? Nope, it was not a treatise on economics. Come on, have another guess!

  Ayers's now-famous quote published on September 11, 2001—“I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough”48—was from an interview about … guess what? If you guessed the history of the Civil War, I'm sorry, but you're wrong again. In another Times interview a few days later—which is more interviews than the collective Times interviews given to bestselling conservative authors—Ayers clarified his remarks from the 9/11 edition by saying that this country makes him want to “puke.”49 The interview was conducted by a reporter who said her parents were Weathermen.

  Mr. and Mrs. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? still attend SDS reunions, such as the one in 2007, where Ayers and Dohrn gave vapid speeches about AmeriKKKa being “the greatest purveyor of violence on this earth.” They give dramatic renderings of their days “underground” as if it took derring-do to hide in a country where 12 million illegal aliens stroll about Los Angeles unmolested. These so-called “Weathermen” are more boring than the Weather Channel.

  In Ayers's 2001 book about his years as a domestic terrorist, Revolutionary Days, he cheerfully recalls, “Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.”

  He concludes his book with the following paragraph:

  Finally, my heart and my hope is with every freedom fighter who is, even now, imprisoned for speaking out fearlessly, for action on a passionate conviction that we might work toward a future of peace and justice: Sundiata Acoli [COP KILLER], Jamil Al-Amin (H. Rap Brown) [COP KILLER], Herman Bell [COP KILLER], Anthony Jalil Bottom [COP KILLER], Kathy Boudin [DROVE GETAWAY CAR FOR COP KILLERS], Marilyn Buck [BROKE COP KILLERS OUT OF JAIL], David Gilbert [DROVE GETAWAY CAR FOR COP KILLERS], Mumia Abu Jamal [COP KILLER], Raymond Luc Levasseur [COP KILLER], Sekou Odinga [ATTEMPTED COP KILLING], Anthony Ortiz [LOSER REVOLUTIONARY], Leonard Peltier [COP KILLER], Oscar Lopez Rivera [FALN TERRORIST], Michael Santos [LOSER REVOLUTIONARY], Carlos Alberto Torres [FALN TERRORIST GROUP BOMB MAKER], and the list goes on and on.

  I guess Charles M
anson is no longer considered one of the “cool” revolutionaries.

  But why should Ayers and Dohrn apologize? They are the cosseted love children of the liberal intelligentsia. Liberal America awards them, fawns over them, the Democratic candidate for president hangs out with them. In the fastest automatic rehabilitation you've ever seen, they were taken in by the establishment and given professorships, where they are subsidized to opinionate all day. If only Timothy McVeigh had said he bombed the building in Oklahoma City to protest American “fascism, imperialism, and racism,” he too could be teaching at Northwestern University and sitting on a board with a future U.S. president.

  The board that Obama and Ayers served on together, the left-wing Woods Fund, gave a big grant to the infamous Tides Foundation. This type of foundation-to-foundation giving is a notorious form of (legal) “laundering,” whereby the initial foundation avoids the stigma of the recipient foundation's subsequent ill-advised grants, even while making them possible. Tides is a monstrous group that has funded virtually every evil in the world, including not only outright terrorist supporters in the Mideast but numerous offensive U.S. groups as well.

  Woods also gave money to the Arab American Action Network, an Israel-bashing group of loonies headed up by Obama's friend Rashid Khalidi, the infamous Columbia “professor.” When Khalidi was leaving Chicago for New York in 2003, Obama attended a farewell party for Khalidi, along with Ayers and Dohrn, giving him a warm tribute and saying that Khalidi had begun a conversation that was necessary for “this entire world.”50 At Columbia University, Khalidi holds the Edward Said chair. A devoted admirer of Yasser Arafat, Khalidi was at the center of protests by Jewish professors, alumni, and students over the anti-Semitic tone of the Columbia Middle East Studies program. The United Arab Emirates gave a contribution of $200,000 to fund his professorship. Joel Klein, head of New York City's Department of Education, blocked Khalidi's appointment to an advisory position with the department, saying his harangues against Israel made the appointment inappropriate. The Woods Fund also gave a donation to Trinity Church, presided over by another pal of Obama's: racist and anti-Semitic loon Jeremiah Wright.

  But none of this mattered because the media warned the public in advance not to believe any information they heard that did not reflect favorably on the Democratic candidate. That is the point of all their wailing about “smears” from the Republican Attack Machine: Republicans should not be allowed to talk. If Republicans make any argument against a Democrat, they are said to be engaging in personal attacks. If telling voters the facts about Democrats constitutes an “attack,” then maybe there is such a thing as a Republican Attack Machine. Most people call it a “tape recorder.”

  In an aggressive move, the media, in tandem with the Obama campaign, began debunking patently preposterous slurs that no one else had heard. To great applause from the media, for example, the Obama campaign launched a website in June 2008 called “Fight the Smears” in response to this purported deluge of false and defamatory information about him and his wife coming from mysterious Republicans. The imaginary slurs were all thematically related to actual facts about Obama. So by loudly defeating a handful of ridiculous claims about him, the media covered up his undeniable problems. The myth of a Republican Attack Machine victimizing Democrats had once again been used to preempt meaningful debate on real issues.

  Needless to say, the only smears debunked on Obama's website had already been thoroughly shredded, day in and day out, throughout the media. In fact, the only way anyone had heard of the alleged smears was by hearing them debunked. In all its glory, the famous Republican Attack Machine had produced a few Internet rumors that, even if untrue, were more fact-based than the things the media routinely say about Republicans.

  We were repeatedly told, for example, of right-wing smears that Obama was a Muslim. This was particularly ungrateful, in light of the fact that conservative TV and radio host Sean Hannity had done more than anyone else in America to publicize Obama's “Christian” pastor, Reverend Wright. Moreover, when liberals thought no one else was listening, they boasted of Obama's Muslim background, citing it as a reason to vote for him. In a much-heralded article in the Atlantic Monthly,51 liberal Andrew Sullivan wrote:

  The Republicans and independents who are open to an Obama candidacy see his primary advantage in prosecuting the war on Islamist terrorism. It isn't about his policies as such; it is about his person….

  What does he offer? First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan. Such a re-branding is not trivial—it's central to an effective war strategy…. There is simply no other candidate with the potential of Obama to do this. Which is where his face comes in.

  Consider this hypothetical. It's November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America's soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama's face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.

  Liberals gleefully cited the fact that Obama “attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy” as a reason to vote for him—it will make our enemies love us! But some Americans didn't want our enemies to love us; they would prefer that our enemies fear us. Why weren't they allowed to cite the very same fact—that, as a boy, Obama attended a majority-Muslim school? It's a peculiar form of political debate that allows the exact same information about a candidate to be used if it is given as a reason to vote for him, but constitutes a hate crime if it is cited as a reason not to vote for him.

  Sullivan touted the benefits that would come from a “brown-skinned” president, but when former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, a Hillary supporter, said “if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position”52—she was called a vile racist. Obama said her remarks were “divisive” and “patently absurd.”53 Ferraro was later forced to resign from Hillary's campaign.54

  Maybe there were also some voters who didn't care one way or another about Obama's Muslim background or that he was half-black, but were starting to notice that he was Muslim when it helped, and not when it didn't; that he was a committed member of the Reverend Wright's flock when it helped, and not when it didn't; that he was black when it helped, and not when it didn't. Even that point couldn't be made. Any facts about Obama were portrayed as vicious smears— unless they were being cited as reasons to vote for him.

  IN ANNOUNCING HIS “FIGHT THE SMEARS” WEBSITE, OBAMA said, “There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mail. And they pump them out long enough until finally, you, a mainstream reporter, ask me about them. And then that gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.” First, I would like to know the name of a mainstream reporter who asked Obama any difficult question, much less a question premised on a lie—other than how he planned to respond to Republican lies. Second, I have evidence that Obama and his wife said something inappropriate!

  I don't think he's a Muslim, but I do think he said “I would” to the question “Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?” Obama didn't even hesitate or “do nuance”—as he did in response to pastor Rick Warren's question about when life begins. There is no possible result of such a meeting apart from appeasement and humiliation of the United States. If we are prepared to talk, then we're looking for a deal. What kind of deal do you make with a madman until he is willing to surrender?

 
Would President Obama listen respectfully as Ahmadinejad says he plans to build nuclear weapons? Would he say he'll get back to Ahmadinejad on removing all U.S. troops from the region? Would he nod his head as Ahmadinejad demands the removal of the Jewish population from the Middle East? Perhaps in the spirit of compromise, would Obama agree to let Iran push only half of Israel into the sea? Obama: “As a result of my recent talks with President Ahmadinejad, some see the state of Israel as being half empty. I prefer to see it as half full.” Obama said he was prepared to have an open-ended chat with Ahmadinejad, so I guess everything would be on the table. Obama could return and tell Americans that he could no more repudiate Ahmadinejad than he could his own white grandmother.

  I don't think Obama's wife Michelle made sneering remarks about “Whitey,” but I know for a fact that she said, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country.” I believe he was born in this country, but I know his friends include racists, anti-Semites, and domestic terrorists, such as Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, and Bill Ayers, respectively.

  Still, the media wildly cheered Obama for fighting back against the Republican Attack Machine, the mendacity of which they illustrated by shouting the words: “Lee Atwater,” “Karl Rove,” “Willie Horton,” “the Swift Boat Veterans,” or any combination thereof. You never get details because the details don't help them. A front-page article in the New York Times in 2008 described the work of Floyd Brown, a conservative activist, as specializing in “malicious gossip”— without giving a single example.55

  MSNBC's Chris Matthews somberly complimented Obama for doing “something John Kerry didn't do,” which was to “go after Swift Boats swiftly.”56 Praising Obama for his antismear website, Chrystia Freeland of the Financial Times said Obama had learned from “these Swift Boat episodes.” She observed that “recent political history is really helpful to Barack Obama. He and his campaign have seen what these sorts of stories, if not confronted right away, can do to a candidate.”57 On ABC's Good Morning America, the nonpartisan, totally objective George Stephanopoulos explained that Obama was “colored by the experience of the Michael Dukakis Democratic campaign in 1988, of John Kerry's campaign in 2004. In both of those cases, the Democratic candidates were attacked by unfair and untrue charges, but failed to respond and lost the election.”58

 
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