Today at a Colorado fundraiser, Sarah Palin accused Barack Obama of hanging out with terrorists.
“Our opponent, though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect — imperfect enough that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,”
Her use of the word terrorist at this stage in the campaign of course is a not so coded attack on Obama’s name, race and plays on lingering false beliefs about Obama’s religious affiliation. Palin’s snarky comments suggest Barack is hanging out with “those People” way out there, those islamofascist terrorists that Rudy spoke about during his failed campaign.
Actually Palin was referring to the caucasion Bill Aires, professor of Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. As the NYTimes reports today, Obama had no affiliation with the terrorist Bill Ayers, whose “terroristic” activities occurred 39 years ago (Weather Underground) when Obama was eight years old. Palin knows as much and should be held responsible for her misstatements.
Rather, Obama has had casual contact with Bill Ayers the educational reformer, whose much lauded work Obama supported, and was financed by Walter Annenberg, Republican stalwart, and onetime confident of President Richard Nixon.
The real issue here is that Walter Annenberg has had more to do with the success of Bill Ayers the academic and reformer than Barack Obama ever did. Had Palin a conscience, she’d attack Annenberg (not Obama) for having made his research and writing possible.
But Palin cares not one whit for facts, as she showed during the VP debate, and has no curiosity about larger social truths, as she made abundantly clear in the Couric interviews.
So clearly, her attack on Obama is nothing more than the latest McCain talking point and is an opening salvo of the final month of her national ambition.
I happen to agree that Bill Ayers provides some rich fodder for political discussion during the next five weeks, but not for the reasons evoked in the press. There is nothing to Obama’s association with Bill Ayers, as if there is any real problem if they really were pals. so what.
here’s the salience of Bill Ayers to the 08 campaign. It brings us back to a reexamination of McCain’s wrongheaded and irrational thoughts about the Vietnam War.
The Bill Ayers of forty years ago had his counterpoint in John McCain. In the midst of a violent period domestically in the US when the US was engaged in a war that many believe should never have been fought, McCain supported it and Ayers opposed it. McCain took up arms in support of the war effort, as tens of thousands of soldiers did. Ayers took up arms as well, a highly controversial and unpopular move in the anti war movement. I am not suggesting a moral equivalence here between ayers and McCain, although I am suggesting these two figures represent polar extremes present in the cultural torment of the 1960s.
Ayers long go left behind his Weather Underground past. I don’t think McCain ever left Vietnam. John McCain’s current candidacy is rooted in milking his Vietnam legend. And for sure, McCain’s Vietnam experience informs his position on Iraq, Iran, even Russia and Spain. Regrettably, his psychic wounds likely left him with dangerous lessons that he would apply were he elected president.
1) McCain thinks Vietnam was winnable. A near consensus of scholars and historians disagree.
2) War opponents are unamerican; potential terrorists; and to be considered the enemy.
That is why Bill Ayers casts such a large shadow over McCain. He remains a very current enemy to John McCain. To John McCain Barack Obama= Bill Ayers.
To understand this consider that the real cause of Mccain’s wounds over Vietnam involve his relationship with his dad. His father, who was commander of the pacific forces during Vietnam, ordered the bombing of Vietnam and Cambodia and was widely discredited for his actions and held as one person responsible for “losing Vietnam.” McCain never forgets what war opponents (Ayers included) did to his dad. In his mind they ruined him.
Does this oedipal story sound familiar? Dubya & Papa 41? The Ayers saga reminds us that if John McCain is elected president, the presidency once again could become a therapist couch used to work out unresolved feeling about how the country mistreated John McCain II.
So, Bill Ayers offers a lot more than a cheap, unfounded way to attack Barack Obama. I think he helps open the door into some scary secrets of John McCain’s mental torment and anguish. yikes!