Oh, Roger, I’m glad to see you’re back. We were just talking about you on Wednesday and missing your grand political insights. So, I’m sorry to have to school you completely on your latest post, since each post of yours is a rare treasure, but school you I must.
First, allow me to roll on the floor laughing.
Instead of being a member (or whatever you call it) of the Weather Underground, suppose instead that he was a member of a group that bombed (or wanted to bomb) abortion clinics [emphasis mine]
You mean like Dobson and his ilk, who get wined and dined by just about every major Republican politician and some of the Democrats, so that they can show they care enough about “Christians” as if Dobson is some kind of Protestant Pope?!
Republicans all the time consort with people who advocate for abortion providers to receive the “death penalty” however it might be handed out and those people are treated like mainstream Evangelicals whose opinions on all matters must be taken seriously and taken into account.
Second, Ayers would have remained in relative on-the-lamb obscurity if not for prosecutorial misconduct by the Feds similar to the kinds of unconstitutional bullshit going on today, so if you want to start pointing fingers at who let Ayers back into polite society, start pointing Right. And let’s be clear–he is now a member of polite Chicago society (as such can be said to exist). This isn’t the equivalent of John McCain sneaking into the North Carolina mountains, leaving word with someone down to the post office to go leave a note in the crook of some tree, so that McCain and Rudolph can meet back behind the Walmart dumpster and discuss McCain’s political future. This is Obama serving on a board with Ayers, a board a lot of folks served on, and seeing Ayers socially because they ran in the same circles, circles also heavily populated by Republicans.
There’s a two-fold problem as I see it. One, for better or for worse, midwesterners tolerate a lot of bullshit people in the other part of the country don’t tolerate and this Ayers crap either has or is going to turn a lot of midwesterners off. You do not hold someone accountable for the actions of his friends and neighbors in the midwest. What you’re up to is your business; all we ask is that you put it aside long enough so that we can work together to get the shit we need to get done done.
I can’t begin to express how incredibly rude it would be to refuse to serve on a board because you disagreed with the politics of someone else on it (but in fairness, it would be perfectly acceptable to serve on that board with them and then passively aggressively work to undermine and ruin them, just trying to be even-handed). Or to leave a place because someone whose values you repudiated showed up. That would be seen as a sign of aggression.
Though it seems that the Right would only be satisfied if Obama had punched Ayers upon introduction to him.
Which brings me to my final point.
It seems to me like the biggest problem is that there is a growing gap between conservative values and non-conservative values (leaving aside liberal values just for a second). The non-conservative stance that the majority of Americans seem to prefer is “Do what you want as long as I don’t have to give a shit. But once I Have to give a shit, we’re going to have to have a problem.”
The conservative stance seems to be “You must be like us, or we’re going to have a problem.” Most people in America do not give a shit about Ayers. The only people he managed to kill were folks from his own group. The government couldn’t even keep its nose clean long enough to wage a successful prosecution against him. And it was 40 years ago. I think most of America thinks “Who fucking cares?”
Listen, as a hippie liberal commie quasi-lesbian dog marrying god hating abortion slut bogey woman of Tennessee conservatives everywhere, I actually do feel your pain. I have a lot of pet causes I want people to give a shit about and see the larger picture about and understand the deep and important history of.
But they don’t, because either it doesn’t directly affect them or they can’t see how it directly affects them.
I find this aggrevating, and I imagine you do, too, but it’s just a fact. Acting as if it’s our fault (us being the liberals) for not accepting your framing of the Ayers situation and also getting on board with the calls for his repudiation, or his re-repudiation, completely overlooks the problem. We’re not the ones who don’t give a shit. I mean, look, I just wrote 1000 words about Ayers. Clearly, I give a shit.
No, it’s everyone else.
And, now that I think about it, they’re not going to give a shit precisely because they assume all politicians are basically the same. You’re saying “But don’t you see?! It’d be like if McCain was hanging out with Rudolph.” What I’m saying is that most people in America assume that McCain is hanging out with someone like Rudolph. It just hasn’t come out yet. So, instead of having the effect you’d think it’d have–of showing Obama as someone who consorts with idiots–I think it subtly reenforces the idea that McCain is a hypocrite, which is weird because there’s at least a nugget of truth to the Ayers stuff.
But I think that Americans assume McCain does it (with “it” being consorting with unsavory folks) too, and that the only reason it hasn’t come up is because Obama is running a less ugly campaign.
That’s the problem with trying to tar your opponent as much as possible–deservedly or not, you get covered in tar, too.