Friday, October 10, 2008

Obama on Ayers: "I assumed he had been rehabilitated"

Sphere: Related Content

Ben Smith at Politico has the story including audio:

In an interview with the sympathetic conservative talk radio host this afternoon, Obama offered the clearest explanation yet of how an extremely careful politician allowed himself anywhere near a former '60s radical who would become a Republican target in this year's presidential campaign.

Obama "had assumed" from Bill Ayers' stature in Chicago, he told the Philadelphia-based Michael Smerconish, that Ayers had been "rehabilitated" since his 1960s crimes.
In the interview, which was taped this afternoon and will air tomorrow, and which you can listen to above, Obama recalled moving back to Chicago after law school, and becoming involved in civic life there.

"The gentleman in question, Bill Ayers, is a college professor, teaches education at the University of Illinois," he said. "That's how i met him -- working on a school reform project that was funded by an ambassador and very close friend of Ronald Reagan's" along with "a bunch of conservative businessmen and civic leaders."

"Ultimately, I ended up learning about the fact that he had engaged in this reprehensible act 40 years ago, but I was eight years old at the time and I assumed that he had been rehabilitated," Obama said.
Where to start.

First, Michael Smerconish is a lawyer and worked for the campaign of Bush 41. He's not a Conservative but is conservative on some issues. Call him Republican lite and he strives to be the guy who's fair. I listen to him daily and sometimes in his quest for fairness, he allows some questions to go unanswered by those he's interviewing. It seems to me that those who get off easier are Democrats because he wants to have them back on so he can continue to be perceived as fair. The fact that Obama chose a local Philly radio station and Smerconish to talk about Ayers says quite a bit.

That said, let's parse this for a second. Imagine if we weren't talking about William Ayers but were talking about Eric Rudolph. Rudolph placed a bomb at an abortion clinic that killed a security guard, one at a gay nightclub and another at the Atlanta Olympics that killed an attendee. He did it for political means in a war against the United States. Rudolph is in jail for the rest of his life.

William Ayers placed bombs at police stations, the Pentagon and during their escapades, a police officer was killed. He did it for political means in a war against the United States. Ayers is a tenured professor in Chicago having gotten off on a technicality.

Now imagine if John McCain was known to have associated with Rudolph actually having met and got his blessing before entering into politics. Further imagine McCain sitting on a board with Rudolph and setting up programs that doled out millions of dollars. What would you imagine the media would say? They would question his judgement and say he was not qualified to lead. It would be a story that would be splashed across the front pages of our major papers daily and would lead every newscast for the rest of the month.

Back to Obama. He said that he thought that Ayers had been "rehabilitated". Exactly what type of rehab is recommended for a left-wing zealot who waged a terrorist war against his own country? What therapy would one prescribe for a man who married a woman who participated in his crimes and was a fugitive for years? Is there a drug that turns one from a leftist radical who plants bombs into a person one would wish to serve on a board with and share lunch?

Both Rudolph and Ayers used bombs to further their political agenda, people died because of those actions and one is rightfully sitting in jail while the other was busy teaching and holding luncheons for a future presidential candidate. There's no difference between Ayers and Rudolph with the exception that one was a right-wing radical and the other a communist radical. Their aims were different but their tactics were identical. Ayers tactics were perhaps worse because Rudolph acted alone while Ayers was the leader of an organization and his followers were also committing violent crimes.

For Obama to say he thought Ayers had been rehabilitated is scandalous and for this reason alone should preclude him from winning the presidency. It's a sham that Obama says he didn't know of Ayers' past and then to say he believed him to be "rehabilitated" when anyone who knew any history of Chicago knew of Ayers. Obama chose to meet and serve with Ayers because Ayers was his ticket to winning elections and it was politically expedient for him to do so. Just as Obama knew of Rev. Wright's racism, he also knew exactly who he was dealing with in Ayers and chose to continue that association because it was beneficial to him. Either that or Obama truly was ignorant of Ayers terrorist past in which case he is too stupid to be be president. Obama may be alot of things but stupid is not one of them.

As for Smerconish, he tossed out softballs and let Obama take batting practice. Instead of following up with something like: "Senator, you say you thought he was rehabilitated, so that means you knew of his past activities when you met him?" (Obama has intimated previously that he didn't know of Ayers past) Smerconish asked about the Phillies-Dodgers series. Granted, it seemed as though he was pressed for time but if you were the one who scored this interview when the Ayers scandal was blowing up, wouldn't you have at least pressed him on it?

Update: I guess Obama didn't watch TV in 1998. It sure sounds as if Ayers and Dorhn were "rehabilitated", doesn't it?:

No comments: