Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Lacrosse Case & the Khalidi/Ayers Controversy

A few years ago, I testified before the Senate Education Committee about the diminution of the academy’s intellectual diversity. I spoke as a registered Democrat, and contended that the issue should concern Democrats as much as Republicans, since neither party has an interest in an academy dominated by race/class/gender groupthink.

Indeed, it seemed to me both then and now that the Democrats have much to lose from the current state of affairs in higher education. First of all, Democrats no more than Republicans should want a generation of students trained in ignorance of U.S. political structures and culture. Second, as Emory professor Mark Bauerlein most persuasively has argued, “when like-minded people deliberate as an organized group, the general opinion shifts toward extreme versions of their common beliefs.” A campus environment overwhelmingly dominated by people who occupy one side on issues of race, class, and gender has allowed extremist voices—such as the Group of 88—to become an increasingly public face of the academic “left,” thereby providing Republicans with an opportunity to discredit mainstream Democratic liberalism.

Alas, few, if any, prominent Democrats have expressed concern with the academy’s ideological one-sidedness. From the standpoint of a political realist, I suppose this disinclination shouldn’t surprise: race, class, and gender correspond politically to civil rights activists, unions, and feminists—three pillars of the Democratic Party’s base. But, as recent attacks on Barack Obama have revealed, the Democrats might have profited from addressing academic extremism before now, because the ideas of academic extremists (whether the Group of 88 in the lacrosse case or the records of Obama “associates” in the current campaign) are all but impossible to defend in the public square.

On Saturday and again yesterday, Sarah Palin brought to the surface the largely surreptitious GOP effort to link Obama with former Weathermen terrorist and current UIC education professor William Ayers. (It was ironic to see a patriotism guilt-by-association attack coming from someone whose husband belonged to a political party advocating secession from the Union.)

Yesterday, Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reported McCain campaign officials planned “to highlight Obama’s alleged contacts with individuals who they say have been linked to terrorist organizations, including controversial Columbia Prof. Rashid Khalidi . . . and Ali Abunimah, . . .who received a grant . . . approved by Wm. Ayers, Obama and Khalidi. Khalidi and his wife held a fundraiser for Obama in 2000. One strategist said: ‘Obama needs to understand he will own his friendships with individuals that are in some cases anti-American, anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist. The American people can decide whether Obama’s buddies reflect their values.’” (That Obama has been denounced by Chicago pro-Palestinian activists and has enjoyed strong support from Chicago Jewish leaders doesn’t fit this narrative, and rarely is mentioned.)

For the GOP attack to work, Ayers and Khalidi have to be viewed as exceptional figures—wholly unlike nearly all other professors. Obama’s judgment can hardly be questioned if his “buddies” were not marginal characters but instead people who resemble lots of other academics, especially since Obama lived in an academic neighborhood (Hyde Park) and spent several years teaching at the University of Chicago Law School.

Yet the truth of the matter is that the basic pedagogical and academic approaches of Ayers and Khalidi fit well within the academic mainstream. Ayers is, after all, a prestigious professor of education (hardly a field known for its intellectual diversity, as I have explored elsewhere). Khalidi was of such standing that Columbia hired him away from the U of C, and named him to chair its Middle East Studies Department. From that perch, he presided over a wildly biased anti-Israel curriculum, even as he informed readers of New York that students of Arab descent—and only such students—knew the “truth” about Middle Eastern affairs.

I agree with Palin that there’s a scandal here—but it’s not that Obama, among his hundreds of associations with academic figures, was acquainted with, and received support from, Ayers and Khalidi. The scandal is the evolution of a groupthink academic environment that has allowed figures such as Ayers and Khalidi to flourish. The tolerance for extremism is on one side and one side only: the academy doesn’t offer carte blanche endorsement to some types of unrepentant domestic terrorists or to figures who suggest that politically incorrect ethnic groups know the “truth.” Imagine the chances of someone who had bombed abortion clinics in the 1980s becoming a prominent education professor. Or consider the likelihood of a man who claimed that Jewish and only Jewish students knew the “truth” about Middle Eastern matters becoming chairman of a major Middle East Studies Department.

As anyone who followed the lacrosse case understands, professors with worldviews like those of Ayers or Khalidi are hardly out of the norm in the academy. Indeed, they would look like moderates compared to some of the Group members (notably Wahneema Lubiano or Grant Farred). If Khalidi or Ayres were employed at Duke, doubtless they would have joined the Group of 88. Likewise, many Group members enthusiastically supported Khalidi’s pet cause of divestment from Israel, just as they had backed the “diversity” educational agenda that Ayres has championed.

In this respect, the GOP attacks against Obama are fundamentally dishonest: the focus should be not on Obama but on an academic culture that has created figures like Khalidi, Ayres, or the Group of 88. Unfortunately, the Republicans have no partisan reason to focus on the educational problem, while the Democrats, because of their past record, aren’t in a position to expose the GOP’s dishonesty.

[A modified version of this post initially appeared at Cliopatria.]

[Update, 10.39am: Sol Stern, whose work I very much admire, addresses the question in today's City Journal. I agree 100% with everything he says about Ayers, and also agree with him that it's perfectly reasonable to "ask Obama what he thinks of Ayers’s views on school reform."]

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very interesting perspective you present. It seems you are advocating that it is OK for Obama to associate with marxists since there are so many in the academy and it is almost impossible to avoid them. On the other hand, one could take this to support the view that any politician who is associated with academia is not to be trusted since he is likely to be such a marxist.

Obama clearly has associated with Ayers much more than the public has been led to believe by the mainstream media. He is not simply a guy in the neighborhood. Obama was chairman of the board of a pseudo political organization founded by Ayers.

Did you see Stanley Kurtz' article on this, which came out two weeks ago, well before McCain/Palin stepped up the attacks?

hman said...

"Dishonesty"? In a knife fight?

Anonymous said...

Talk about "Through the Looking Glass"....

Obama didn't know about Ayers being a terrorist, he never heard Rev. Wright's racist comments in church and he had no idea about Rezko. But yet you want to trust his "honesty" and "experience" to run the country?

In a time of crisis in America, you suggest we should not focus on the candidate but on the academy and how they became so radical and homogeneous?

Unbelievable

One Spook said...

KC:

This is a most interesting post. You begin with a premise on which you believe concerned Democrats and Republicans should agree --- “the diminution of the academy’s intellectual diversity.” Reasonable people should agree with that idea. However, some of your own colleagues in the academy have openly criticized you for your opinions and stance on that issue and, even the most temperate studies show that from 80 to 90% of professors in America are registered Democrats, as you are.

Indeed, you then state, “Alas, few, if any, prominent Democrats have expressed concern with the academy’s ideological one-sidedness.” To the best of my knowledge, the issue of “the academy’s ideological one-sidedness” is not a prominent part of any Republican platform either. However, it is a pet topic of the very conservative in the Republican Party.

But, while you cast the issue as one of bi-partisan concern, you then conflate what should rightfully be a bi-partisan issue with the very partisan contest of a presidential election. You translate your concern about the dangerous ideology of Ayers, Khalidi, and the Group of 88 and their very public face of both the academic (and Democrat Party) left into a tactical concern that it leaves candidate Obama vulnerable to “attacks” from Republicans.

This is where I believe your post looses traction.

It is interesting to note that the “Ayers Connection” was first broached in the Democratic Party primary debates in April of this year, long before any candidate was nominated. Reports indicated that candidate Clinton had “raised” this issue and presciently warned that Republicans would use this issue against Obama. But, a few days ago the Associated Press, apparently no longer “laughingly tilted in McCain’s favor,” wrote about Palin raising the very same issue, “The Republican campaign, plans to make attacks on Obama's character …” And curiously, you use the same term, “attack,” in your post.

Republicans raising the issue of Obama’s connections to an unrepentant terrorist like Ayers and a radical with terrorist associations like Khalidi has nothing to do with Republican concerns about academic extremism but everything to do with the legitimate concerns about the character, ideology, and judgment of the Democratic candidate.

Think about that.

To borrow your own analogy, imagine if McCain’s first campaign for public office had been launched in the home of a married couple in his neighborhood who had both been accused of bombing an abortion clinic but, due to a legal technicality, had been able to avoid conviction and a long prison term, and they became Christian School educators.

Likewise, imagine if McCain had belonged to an extremely racist all-white church for twenty years where the pastor openly preached “God Damn America!”

First, no Republican with those credentials could EVER be nominated by the GOP (which tells you a lot about the Democrat Party), but if one had been, the Democrat Party would “attack” unmercifully, followed in lockstep by the AP, The “New York Times” and their many copycats, plus all the networks, including FOX, and they could not kill enough trees or capture enough electrons in order to publish and broadcast all of their reports to the American people for whom they purport to be “The Watchdog.”

I submit that “mainstream Democratic liberalism” as you term it, lost when Hillary Clinton lost the nomination. Had the Democrats and the press properly vetted Obama during the primary, he would have never secured the nomination.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

Your posting today will probably find a number of people supporting Obamam shaking their heads and wondering if in fact you have secretly switched political allegiances. However, those involved in academe, whether at the collegiate level or struggling away at the elementary and secondary level, know all to well that group think of the extreme left wing is too often the norm. Dubious scolarship and the use of information claimed as facts or data to support a position are common place as well.
However, this is something that is hard to explain so that it resonates in a soundbite (the seemingly way that politics are conducted today) hence the use of Ayers, et al as the whipping boys for this issue. I agree wholeheartedly that the monolithic group think that marks academia today is a major problem. Students need the exposure to all sides of issues so as to develio their own critical thinking skills. When one view is trumpeted as the only view, everyone loses. Furthermore, teachers who use the classroom as their own bully pulpit reveal themselves to be no better than two-bit dictators of some underdeveloped country. The effect on education is profound in many wyas, the least of which is that the right to dissent, one of the most important freedoms that we possess, is stifled.
cks

Anonymous said...

Google "Khalidi Obama Harvard" and you'll find the Khalidi-Obama alliance is, if anything, more important than the Ayers-Obama alliance.

Kilgore said...

I am no fan of republicans but the democrats are consistently in bed with the "klan of 88" types. Their politics are based on victimhood. Obama is playing it for all he can get and I hope it backfires. I applaud anyone who can expose this connection. We are in peril due to the cowardice of all of our supposed leaders and their unwillingness to truly represent all people fairly.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, KC, but this sounds as if you wish McCain and Palin would focus on something you find important instead of on what they find significant. Yes, academic groupthink is a concern. But I (and, I think, most voters) do find William Ayers fundamentally different from a member of the Group of 88. Instead of a mere leftist bully, he is a bomber, a terrorist, an attempted (at the least) murderer and conspirator who got off because of the fumbling of the authorities. He was not innocent and is not repentant. That he is accepted and respected in academia says much about the corruptness of academia. That Barack Obama finds him unexceptional and a congenial workmate says something significant about Barack Obama. And there is nothing dishonest in pointing it out.

RNB

bill anderson said...

K.C.,

I agree to a certain extent with your assessment, especially regarding the groupthink that dominates the higher education faculties these days. Furthermore, we are dealing with hard left groupthink, and the reason this blog came about in the first place is that the ideology of the hard left was combined with police and prosecutorial misconduct to give us the Duke Lacrosse Case.

The real issue to me, however, is that people like Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, have been embraced by the Democratic Party as the "good guys," yet never have had to pay a political price for what they did.

For example, after the Manson murders, Dohrn, who also was an SDS leader, held up three fingers in a salute to the murderers who stuck a fork into the pregnant belly of Sharon Tate after killing her. She literally praised that brutality.

Yet, here she is teaching at one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, Northwestern, and specializing in children's issues. Yes, the woman who openly praised the brutal murder of an unborn child now is supposed to be the legal advocate of children.

I would ask why has she not paid a price for that? It is because the hard left elements of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media (that same media that gave us the awful Duke coverage) really don't care.

We have to face the fact that the hard left groupthink on campuses would not have near the influence it does without the connection to the Democratic Party, and that is to the shame of the party. Yes, most Democrats I know do not support people like Ayers and his wife, and many Democrats I know actually exhibit the ability to think for themselves.

Nonetheless, it is that political connection that gives the campus hard left its real power. We have seen what they did to Duke. At one time, Duke had a traditional college faculty, one in which most members voted for Democrats, but also saw their classrooms as places of learning, not indoctrination. Their party affiliation did not determine how they would approach students, and they provided a wonderful learning atmosphere.

Those days are gone forever. This "new breed" is not interested in learning and certainly is not interested in their students as real people, only as political symbols. We saw Peter Wood denigrate his own students in a very public way because of his race and his family background.

In the old days, such public denigration of someone like Reade Seligmann would have earned him a pink slip. Today, it earns him prestige and power on the college faculty.

The fact that people with very thin CVs are awarded high places at Duke tells me that the battle is lost. Lost. Those of us who are trying to make sure our classrooms are places where there is real instruction and real discussion are fighting a losing battle. Like you, I will keep fighting because it is the right thing to do.

However, I am not naive about what is happening or what is going to happen. In the Duke situation, we saw that the political aspect of this case took evidence that immediately would have pointed an "old school" police officer and prosecutor to innocence became a series of indictments because the political atmosphere in Durham and at Duke University demanded it. Look for more, not less, of this kind of evil to continue because our universities no longer are places of higher education. They now are the repositories for the Daily Kos and Pandagon crowds.

Nolikeyhubby said...

I must preface that I agree with what you say about the current slant in the upper echelons of the American Education system.

But ...

Is it really that dishonest? Obama has downplayed his association with Ayers first saying essentially that he was just a neighbor then saying that he didn't know of his past. That I would call dishonest. He served with the man in two separate organizations. The relationship stretches back 21 years. So while the Obama camp tries to downplay ties by saying he was only 8 when Ayers started on his radical path, the fact is that the WU was active into the 80's when Obama was in his 20's. He went to the same college where Ayers taught. He received political support from both Khalidi and Ayers. While they may not be current members of Team Obama they weren't fringe members either.

Imagine if such connections could be made, however tenuous, between McCain and David Duke.

AMac said...

"For the GOP attack to work, Ayers and Khalidi have to be viewed as exceptional figures—wholly unlike nearly all other professors. Obama’s judgment can hardly be questioned if his 'buddies' were not marginal characters but instead people who resemble lots of other academics..."

Hmmm. The assertion is easy to understand. However, the "if...then" logic of these two sentences is not so clear-cut. Other, less charitable interpretations also come to mind.

BillyB said...

The academic culture is not running for president.

It is not dishonest to point out associations with people who shape your world.

It is dishonest to claim that you don't really have those associations, or when those associations are pointed out, to claim a disassociation with them.

It is dishonest to sit under the teaching of a man you admire for 20 years and then claim that you didn't hear what he said.

The mainstream press will not address these issues and Mr. Obama's response is always, "It's a lie." Truely, lies are being told about who Obama is, but not by the republicans.

I respectifully disagree with your post.

Wright said...

I must have missed the part where the Group of 88, despicable as they are, took up bombing public buildings. The Obama/Ayers connection, like the Obama/Jeremiah Wright connection, and the Obama/Pfleger connection as well as other Obama connections, shows the candidate to be someone who's associates share a hard-left worldview. Yet Obama denies that he holds this worldview, denies that he has said and done things that he has been recorded as saying and doing, and claims that his association with these extremists is purely coincidental. As some sage recently remarked in a somewhat different context, accepting these explanations requires a willing suspension of belief.
You say, KC, that the focus should not be on Obama but on the culture that created Ayers et al. I agree with the second part of that statement, but Obama is the candidate for President of the United States, and he - knowingly and willingly - associated himself with the culture and its adherents.

Anonymous said...

This post should be labeled a biased commercial. Fortunately for readers, it is your opinion only. Unfortunately for those who google critical names you mention, this verbage will show up.

Stick to the LAX case please. Everyone knows you really like inexperience for the next president.

Anonymous said...

"Associated" isn't the right word for the Obama-Ayers connection. "Allied" is.

no justice, no peace said...

KC, with as much respect as I have, and as an independent...

There is nothing dishonest about exposing the depth of Obama's associations. They need light and we have not received enough.

Were one to voluntarily associate with Timothy McVeigh then one should expect others to question ones judgment. Obama chose, not once, but on many occasions, well into his adult political life, to associate with these people.

Having ex-FNMA frauds like Mr. Johnson and Mr. Raines provide counsel raise similar concerns about Mr. Obama’s decision-making.

More disconcerting is how the press presents these associations. The press advances Obama’s red-herring spin that he was 8 years old when the terrorist acts occurred. This is fraudulent as it is soft acceptance that Mr. Obama spent quality time with the terrorist and is an intentional attempt to shift focus elsewhere. It begs the real question – did Mr. Obama receive money and spend formative times with Mr. Ayres. Yes, he did.

A larger question is why Mr. Ayres, like Crystal Magnum, is not in jail. In eerie fashion, the press and Obama spin teams are attempting to ignore the broader issue. If you spend time with a hooker, you should expect others to wonder why.

The spin teams and press call one meeting a coffee. Everyone should understand that those "coffees" are fund raising events. He had a terrorist organize a fund raising event and chose to participate. That's a bad decision and deserves a scrutiny that it has not received.

No scrutiny has been paid to the board they mutually serve on. What exactly does that group do? Who else is on the board? What did were their responsibilities? They don’t matter because Obama was eight when Ayres was bombing the Capitol and Pentagon? Don’t most boards have liability associated with them? Who would join a board that had Timothy McVeigh as a member?

Consistent with the lack of examination into Obama's past is the woeful presentation of his inaction and receipt of money from FNMA. Raines, Gorelick, and others, cooked-the books, personally received hundreds of millions in bonus money, and then some of them advised Obama.

How is the influence these people have had on Obama substantively different than the feminist doctrine received by Tara?

There are a couple of other issues. First, you make no mention of indendepents. Second, there is quite a bit more money in politics than academia which suggests that if you correct the root cause at the political level then academia will eventually follow.

Jack Straw said...

KC,
I admire your willingness to take on academia from the inside, and from a position on the left. It is easy for a Republican to attack the groupthink culture of academics and not suffer blowback from his/her ideological peers (finding a Republican in academia is a bit harder to do, of course). That you are attempting to expose the nakedness of the emperor from within speaks well of your academic honesty.

I don't think anyone reading this blog has any hope that McCain will spend any time in the next month on the issue of academic freedom, any more than Obama will. It is a long term problem that has been growing for decades, and it will require long term solutions. One of the few that could work is for the government to get out of the education industry and quit propping up failed ideas/ideologies that have lodged in the system. Only schools that actually provide meaningful returns on the tuition investment would survive. But that won't happen in my lifetime, and I am not that old.

all the best,
Jack Straw

skwilli said...

I don't know about this one. I always defer to your intellect, but something doesn't smell right about this one. What Ayers did was a crime, and was not prosecuted because of technicalities and statute of limitations problems. His group did actually kill, and did actually bomb things. Any politician that has ANY relationship with him is a fool. A (known) fool should never be President of the US. After-the-fact fools not included!

Shouting Thomas said...

Well, the problem that you suffer from is obvious: You share the academic belief that, once you designate any individual as a "bigot," or designate any idea as "bigotry," that individual or that idea cease to exist and cannot be mentioned.

This is the explanation of why you can stomach a professional associate with the life-long race baiter who you share the platform with on Cliopatria.

You are part of the problem, professor. You only recognize the problem at its most extreme.

You've got a long way to go in understanding just how deep this nonsense goes in yourself.

Anonymous said...

KC:

Nice try.

The fact that you felt it necessary to put a wet blanket on the association topic suggests it is getting traction (finally).

Ken
Dallas

Gary Packwood said...

KC said...

...as Emory professor Mark Bauerlein most persuasively has argued, “when like-minded people deliberate as an organized group, the general opinion shifts toward extreme versions of their common beliefs.”
::
Professor Bauerlein is arguing the exact same point that was argued by the framers of the Constitution of the United States.

Wouldn't is be more effective to help university students understand that the Constitution of the United States is real; that the Federalists papers are real and Universities in America do not function outside of the constitution?

Might even be a good idea to allow university student to actually touch a copy of the Constitution of United States.

Might be an even better idea for parents to give their kids a copy of the US Constitution and then say (with eye-to-eye contact)...this is important to you.
::
GP

Anonymous said...

I have been on the faculty of three institutions and must disagree. Ayers is an exceptional figure. He is very much out of the norm in the academy.

Pot-banging is not murder. It is not blowing up public buildings. Ayers is no Waheema, he is much more dangerous.

KC Johnson said...

To the 10.23:

I wasn't clear in the post (and have modified it accordingly): I was saying that Ayers' and Khalidi's pedagogical/academic approaches are in the mainstream, not their personal backgrounds.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether Ayers' and Khalidi's (and the Gang of 88's) pedagogical/academic approaches are in the mainstream or not, anyone associated with them is utterly unfit for elected office. I thought KC's work on the lacrosse case indicated he realized that. Apparently I was mistaken.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

The scandal is the evolution of a groupthink academic environment that has allowed figures such as Ayers and Khalidi to flourish.

Hear hear!

And the reasoning pointing out that in such an echo chamber, the extreme versions of the base narrative tend to predominate in public expressions is also good. No enemies on the left, indeed.

However, the echo chamber which K.C. Johnson has described so accurately in academia is pervasive throughout the MSM as well, and therein lies the biggest problem for the Republicans. If the flaws of Democratic opponents are concealed or trivialized in the portraits given the public by the media, the contest is loaded against the Republicans whose warts are lavishly and repeatly 'examined' publicly with great 'concern'.

How else is the full picture of Obama's radical associations and actions to reach public knowledge, if the quasi-public trust of the media fails or refuses to do the job? That chore falls by default to the Republicans, since it is practically suicide for them to allow the factual acts and intentions of their opponents to be concealed from public view - until after the election.

K.C. Johnson, has raised a very important subject here, which should be made part of the education of everyone.

Anonymous said...

In following this campaign, I used to think that a black candidate's only path to political prominence was through connections with the likes of Jeremiah Wright. I thought that was a real shame, and I didn't blame Obama for following the only path available to him.

But then John McCain introduced us to Sarah Palin. Her experience shows that you don't have to go along to get along. In a State dominated by corrupt republican politicians, she fought against that corruption, risked her career, and came out of those battles a better, stronger and more popular politician.

Mr. Obama has a huge pile of "Sister Souljah" opportunities sitting in front of him, but he has yet to take advantage of any of them.

KC, you constantly point out the problems with radical groupthink in education. Well, Mr. Obama has been in position to fight against that at several points in his career, and he chose not to. He could shine the bright light of a presidential campaign on the issue, but instead he choses to let his allies in the media cover up these associations.

Mike S

Anonymous said...

KC,

Some people are single issue voters (abortion being the big one, one way or the other.) I certainly don't see you as a single issue voter, but the issue of radical groupthink in academics is certainly a big issue for you.

Which of the presidential candidates would do more to increase that trend towards radicalizing college campuses and which would do more to reverse that trend? I don't think it is a major issue to either of them, but you have to think that in 4 years, campuses will have more radical groupthink if Obama is elected than if McCain is elected.

I see you as a classical liberal, KC. In a cycle in which the republicans nominated the most liberal candidate possible, and the democrats nominated the candidate furthest to the left that they possible could, don't you have to consider voting for the republican?

Mike S

xutag77 said...

I am more concerned about Obama's educational policies for the future than I am about Ayres' terrorist past. Obama has proposed a nationwide service element to any high school that receives federal funding.

Will someone with the belief system of William Ayres be asked to lead that program?

bill anderson said...

I need to emphasize that association with people is not necessarily a crime or even an endorsement of what they have done. Now, if one runs for president, as Obama is doing, then both he and McCain are going to have to answer questions about the people who have helped their political careers.

Nonetheless, I agree with K.C. that the larger issue here is the fact that higher education has become a political sewer. In the name of "academic freedom," people in power have crushed academic freedom and made it almost unrecognizable where it still does exist.

By the way, the Democrats do not have a monopoly on academic brutality. I have a close friend who taught at a politically-conservative college that had promised him "academic freedom." He was and is against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has a generally libertarian view of political economy.

The administration went after him in a way that angers me to this day. These people could have given lessons to Karla Holloway and Wahneema Lubiano and Peter Wood. (They seemed to believe that the mission of their college was to produce shock troops for the Republican Party.)

The larger issue -- and K.C. understands this as well as anyone alive -- is the politicization of the academic world. Once that Rubicon was crossed, it was inevitable that the river became a sewer.

Anonymous said...

KC Johnson said...
To the 10.23:

I wasn't clear in the post (and have modified it accordingly): I was saying that Ayers' and Khalidi's pedagogical/academic approaches are in the mainstream, not their personal backgrounds.


But you said that the republicans are dishonest for trying to expose their personal backgrounds and showing the connection with Obama.

Perhaps you just used the wrong theme to advance your argument about groupthink in acadamea. You come across more like a raving Obama supporter with democrat groupthink. Seen any yellow dogs?

Kevin said...

I'd agree to a point. I am a progressive (still pining for Hillary I sadly admit) and I make a point of avoiding apologetics for terrorists such as Ayers and Dorn. Indeed, I envy the Republicans' tendencies to stick needles in the arms of "their" terrorists when they can convince a jury - or in the case of David Duke push them so far off the cliff of respectability that only British academics use his website as a resource when they rabidly demonize Israel-and-only-Israel as happened recently.

What then IS the Chicago political culture's problem that they need to have Ayers and Dorn as the "people to be seen with." And I for one do not let BO or anyone in the A/D sphere off the hook. If Obama is to be believed as the second coming of "change" and "hope" (Bill Clinton owns the copyright on those memes doesn't he?) and be "post partisan" than why did he have his political cotillion with such vile and toxic people. Ayer's idea of post-partisanship would be dancing on the graves of recently-expired-at-his-hands adversaries. It's unacceptable to be near him. And being embubbled academic or Chi-town political culture is no excuse.

I can assure you that if Palin had ties to David Duke or Stormfront, we'd be looking at Liddy Dole or Kay Baily Hutchinson as the token MILF in the GOP ticket (much better choice overall). It's the democratic party's fault for advancing such a nakedly vulnerable candidate as the new "It Girl" when the country is sensitive to terrorism.

Anonymous said...

KC -

You said:

"(It was ironic to see a patriotism guilt-by-association attack coming from someone whose husband belonged to a political party advocating secession from the Union.)"

Are you really asserting or implying an equivalence between seeking change by forming a party within the legal political process and seeking change by blowing things up and killing people?

Anonymous said...

Are you really saying that peacefully advocating succession from the U.S. and attempting to accomplish the same through the ballot box is morally equivalent to Bill Ayers's terrorist campaign to achieve change in the United States through random bombings and violence?

Do you really really believe that?

Do you really believe that the Parti Quebecois is morally equivalent to a terrorist organization like the weathermen?

Let me say that I do not support the goals of either the AIP or the PQ but I find them a good sight more respectable than Bill Ayers's Weathermen. Don't you?

Can we agree that this attempt of moral equivalence of a party attempting to achieve its goals through peaceful means to a terrorist organization seeking political change through violence by TPM is just silly? Indeed, silly enough to not even qualify for serious consideration.

From your work on Durham-in-Wonderland, I know you to be a serious person. This analogy is beneath you (but not beneath TPM).

jamil hussein said...

Bill Ayers was a mass-murderer who led violent group of lunatics. On 9/11/01 he wrote he was sorry..for not murdering more people. Everybody knew who he was and what values he stood for. Obama chose to associate himself with Ayers (and bunch of similar violent, racist lunatics). All of them hated the US and supported anti-semitic terror (Wright's church published several Hamas letters).

Had Palin or McCain started their political career in the living room of Unabomber (who got acquitted because of some technicality by the "deep throat") somehow I don't think MSM would think that's ok.

Also, the fact that Todd Palin may be have belonged in Alaska secessionist party is hardly comparable. They were not murdering people of advocating hatred towards the US.

Anonymous said...

KC,
Unfortunately, you have really missed the mark with your assessment of McCain/Palin and their criticisms of Obama's associations. The real reason they criticize him is because they are "racists". After all, they are criticizing Obama. There couldn't be any other logic to the criticism of a presidential candidate who worked with a liberal professor that bombed his political opponents for ideological reasons.

But, think of it this way, McCain/Palin have this in common with you. You, after all, are a "racist" because you applied a knowledge of facts and logic to the lacrosse case. There couldn't be any logical argument to side with supposedly rich, white atheletes that attend an expensive private univeristy.

Face it KC. Your tolerance of Obama's association with Ayers is really like tolerance of a conservative gladly associating himself with Timothy McVey. The problem isn't the leftward tilt of the academy; it is the absence of consistent application of facts, knowledge and ethics to the issues of the day. By critisizing the Group of 88, you've just dipped your toe in the pool. What I can't understand is how Obama can accept support from a "racist" like.....you.

Anonymous said...

While we're talkin' about presidential candidates pallin' around with folks who might not have the best interests of our great country at heart, have you noticed that McCain is spendin' a lot of time with this dude by the name of Todd Palin, who, until about 2003 was a member of a secessionist party called the "Alaska Independence Party," and whose motto is not America First, but "Alaska First"? OMG, is McCain a Manchurian candidate who, if he wins the election, will issue a proclamation that Alaska is no longer a part of the United States? Now that's what I call bein' a maverick!!

And it gets worse!! McCain's running mate is one Sarah Palin, who is actually MARRIED to Todd Palin!! Merely a coincidence? I think not!

And something else, have y'all noticed that McCain's name ends with "Cain"? In addition to betraying the US by given' up Alaska, he must be plannin' to flood the streets of our great nation with drugs if he becomes president!!!

Ken Duke ;)

Anonymous said...

I've read and respected this blog for a long time, but other comments make very clear what's wrong in your argument.

Democrats swooned for an unvetted candidate and now cry racism when questions are asked. I don't know how Obama would govern, but he's clearly hiding the extent of his left-wing associations in the past.

Bill in Pasadena

Debrah said...

I don't even want to hear about this subject any more.

I'm tired of it.

The analysis above was a solid one, in my opinion.

To be quite blunt, on a gut level I believe that those two men were very good friends of Obama.

I also think that he has always known about the caustic words of Jeremiah Wright.

BUT.......I most certainly do not believe that Obama shares the views of any of these men.

Let's just admit that all politicians have shady associations during their rise to prominence.....and let it go at that.

I've really had enough of the obfuscation.

Of course Obama knew---and knows---all about these men.

I trust his intellect and understanding of the current, as well as decades-old problems, in this country.

My hope is that he will serve as a catalyst for change so that the rest of society does not have to continue to suffer fools, criminals, deadbeats, and charlatans....just because they are black.

I want that excuse removed from the table. I want these professional "victims" and their game shut down.

An Obama presidency would assist this mission.

But really, I suppose that I just like the guy.

And fundamentally, I don't think there there will be an earthshaking difference no matter which man---Obama or McCain---wins.

Lastly, it is quite possible for someone to be a radical terrorist bomber such as Ayers and also perform well in a lecture hall.

Throughout history, some of the worst criminals have also possessed positive qualities as well as being gifted in other areas of their lives.

I'm really tired of this whole topic.

Hylton said...

KC, you almost get to real meat of the story, but don't quite say it. I think its ridiculous to try associate Obama with a "terrorist" because nobody seriously believes that Obama is, ever will, or ever has considered building bombs in his basement. You do get to it in the update to your post: what does he think of Ayers educational philosphy. Do we really not know the answer to that question? Ayers wrote the grant for CAC. Ayers recruited Obama to head the board. CAC gave grants to many educationally questionable groups while rejecting requests from groups that wanted the money for things like teaching math and english. If he didn't fully believe in Ayers educational philosphy, I seriously doubt he would have a) accepted the chairmanship and b) headed it for so long.

becket03 said...

Ayers, an unrepentant domestic terrorist who K.C. Johnson has the gall to call a "presitigious professor," wasn't merely an "associate" of Obama. He was an ally -- a close ally. They collaborated extensively on projects over many years. As Executive Director of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Obama presided over the distribution of millions of dollars to Ayers led initiatives.

Obama has lied consistently about his long term connections to radical leftwingers, an affinity for whom he developed at his mother's knee, who was herself far on the left all her life. The media, totally in the tank to this fraud, has consistently suppressed the truth.

And now we see K.C. Johnson soft-pedaling Obama's record, as if it's nothing to be alarmed about to have a committed socialist in the White House during a period of economic crisis.

Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

From the comments you would have thought Bill Ayers had murdered hundreds of people. His case was thrown out for illegal wire taps and prosecutorial misconduct. The government was involved in the WU and SDS too. He was just another radical violent dissident until the War on Terror and the 2008 election when he suddenly became a terrorist. Forty years ago lots of people were acting out over and in Viet Nam.

Excuse me, I have to look under my bed for the terrorists who apparently are everywhere.

These political attacks need to be seen for what they are, political attacks.

So what - I don't agree with Ayers, I don't agree with the 88, I don't agree with Obama either. I'm not going to have a cow over it. Gary Packwood - give every poster on this thread a copy of the Constitution - and send a couple to the current White House thugs and might as well include McCain and Obama while you're passing them out. Not that it means anything anymore.

Good grief, the man grew up, sure, he's still a loon, but that isn't against the law yet, is it?

I think I'll become the new obnoxious poster who asks on every thread: "Is _______ a terrorist?"

One Spook said...

KC writes:

"I agree 100% with everything he [Sol Stern] says about Ayers, and also agree with him that it's perfectly reasonable to "ask Obama what he thinks of Ayers’s views on school reform."

Heck, that's an easy one! Obama will simply say the he doesn't agree with Ayers views --- case closed, nothing to see here folks! Just like Obama said he “doesn’t agree” with the racist Reverend Wright after spending 20 years listening to his poison sermons.

But Obama's association with Ayers is actually longer and much deeper than his association with Wright. And, Ayer’s views on school reform are the least of his sins.

Ayers admits he is “Guilty as hell, free as a bird—America is a great country,” ... guilty of planting a bomb in San Francisco that killed one police officer and mained another. And around the time he began his association with Obama, Ayers granted an interview published in 1995. Ayers characterized his political beliefs at that time and in the 1960s and 1970s: "I am a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist ... [Laughs] Maybe I'm the last communist who is willing to admit it. [Laughs] We have always been small 'c' communists in the sense that we were never in the [Communist] party and never Stalinists. The ethics of Communism still appeal to me. I don't like Lenin as much as the early Marx.”

Ayers was a celebrity in Chicago during that time, and even to today. Everyone in Chicago Democratic politics knew of his admitted terrorist background, and Obama could not have associated with Ayers and not known that.

With all due respect I would ask you this, KC. Notwithstanding Ayer’s views on educational reform, when you were working on your Master’s Degree at the University of Chicago in 1989, if Ayers had approached you to work with him on a project, would you have worked on it and not inquired into his background? And, knowing his background, would you have agreed to work with him?

Did you sign the statement that you reported was signed by Wahneema Lubiano— in your own words, “… a statement wildly claiming that a prosecution against a New York “Muslim American” for allegedly aiding Al Qaeda “threatens the First Amendment rights of others.” ?

If you answer no to those three questions, then you can understand why reasonable people raise questions and have some very serious reservations about Obama’s associations, his ideology, and his judgment.

One Spook

One Spook said...

Anon @ 10:23 writes:

"I have been on the faculty of three institutions and must disagree. Ayers is an exceptional figure. He is very much out of the norm in the academy.

Pot-banging is not murder. It is not blowing up public buildings. Ayers is no Waheema, he is much more dangerous."


Indeed Ayers is more dangerous.

However, when the extreme pedagogical/academic approaches of Waheema Lubiano and the Group of 88 facilitate and abet the prosecution of demonstrably innocent men for crimes that never occurred for which they could spend up to 30 years in jail, I would suggest that is highly dangerous as well.

One Spook

Anonymous said...

KC: I am disappointed in your veiled attempt to hype Obama and bemoan Democratic "victimization" in this blog. I'd much rather read about the Lax civil suits, but it must be a really slow day in the newsroom ?

It's your blog and you can say anything you want about GOP attacks being dishonest, but I would suggest you look into Joe Biden's background if you want to examine dishonesty -especially academic dishonesty.

Debrah said...

If McCain can't pull something out of a hat tonight, he's toast.

Now everyone can shut up!

Anonymous said...

KC -

I usually don't comment at this site, although I turn to it almost daily. I agree with what most of the previous commenters have said,and in particular, with Bill Anderson.

For my part, I was with you until your last paragraph, and except for the following statement:
" ... thereby providing Republicans with an opportunity to discredit mainstream Democratic liberalism." There is no Democratic liberalism except in the sense of being liberal with other people's money. The Republicans, while quite imperfect, hew much closer to the definition of liberalism (of the 19th century type) than do the Democrats.

At then end of your posting, you then use the phrase, "GOP's dishonesty." Where is that dishonesty? Provide examples. As you well know from Duke, saying it so does not make it so.

Jack in Silver Spring

bill anderson said...

I do have to disagree with K.C. on one point, and that is his comparison between Billy Ayres and Todd Palin. Todd Palin never has bombed the capitol or tried to murder innocent people. He has never stood shoulder-to-shoulder with murderers like Hugo Chavez. In other words, a comparison of Todd Palin to Billy Ayres is like comparing cheese to chalk.

For that matter, secession movements hardly are evil. There is one in Vermont right now, and I remember that the Clinton administration bombed civilian passenger trains, bridges, hospitals, churches, TV stations, and the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in order to force the Serbian government to grant independence to a secession movement.

So, I think that K.C.'s comparison of Todd Palin to Billy Ayres is a bit overblown. In fairness to him, he was saying that both men have criticized the U.S. government, but the example of how they have carried out their attitudes is worlds apart.

Anonymous said...

Is Palin a Communist?

Anonymous said...

KC,

As a registered republican (who may vote Obama anyways), I have to say that I think his past and shady associations should be fair game. There is some concern there, and OF COURSE the republicans are going to hurl their share of mud.

I am curious...do you think it is fair that Obama continues to hit McCain on the Keating 5 scandal? This, in my mind, is closer to the Duke fiasco. The affair blew over after the ethics committee decided there was no there-there...but we have people insisting "something happened". If the governing body dismissed the issue, is this not an attack without basis?

ES Duke 1990

Anonymous said...

K.C., I, too, disagree with your essay- and with loving respect for the dedication, intelligence and fairness I've seen from you for several years now.

I agree with the poster who suggested that Ayers and Khalidi must be examined as *allies* with whom Obama has aligned himself. Thomas Sowell penned an excellent article about this today.

I wish that I were intelligent enough to satisfactorily explain to you why I have changed my vote, but I do not have the prowess to make the argument.

Today, I wonder if we shouldn't just let the main stream media and academia tell us who should be the President, because we seem to have lost all right to expect a diversity of opinion.

Texas Mom

Debrah said...

" I was saying that Ayers' and Khalidi's pedagogical/academic approaches are in the mainstream, not their personal backgrounds."


The overriding problem is that people who actually know the facts regarding these associations---and few American voters do---believe that you cannot divorce one from the other.

I don't think you can.

It has always bothered me that the Jeremiah Wright, the Ayers, and now the new one, the Khalidi associations, have never been fully explained.

I don't want to see Obama win on such a free ride.

And I know that he will, indeed, win.

I just don't want to see another white wash by the media.

The end result--a win--will be less sweet in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I must have missed the new reports of how the AIP (which Governor Palin was NOT a member of, despite false press reports and Obama commercials to the contrary) blew up bombs at the Pentagon, plotted mass murder at a dance at Fort Dix, and murdered police officers in cold blood. How intellectually dishonest of you to try to equate the two.

So, to recap, a political party which Gov. Palin is NOT a member of has never advocated or used violence, while lifelong friends and mentors of Sen. Obama HAVE, and continue to, advocate and use violence to effect political change. An democrats just can't help themselves when lying. Whether it is Obama's past or DAMN's claims in court, they are incapable of acknowledging the truth.

Anonymous said...

kc,

With all due respect, being unrepentant about one's terrorist past to the point of saying that one didn't do enough is a CURRENT pedagogical/academic approach. Are you contending that support of terrorist acts and tactics is in the current mainstream of academia?

Anonymous said...

Well, so much for the claims that this little patch of ether was filled with groupthink.

marco said...

"In this respect, the GOP attacks against Obama are fundamentally dishonest: the focus should be not on Obama but on an academic culture that has created figures like Khalidi, Ayres, or the Group of 88."

Whose focus should be on the academic culture? Academics rarely run for office--it is politicians who live and die by public perceptions.

Does it work both ways? The attacks on Caspar Weinberger were fundamentally dishonest. The focus should have been on the culture that created the Iran Contra program.

Anonymous said...

Folks can say all they want about how the Alaska Independence Party is just a mom and pop group gathering signatures. But I think we need to look at its founder, Joe Vogler, to find out their real attitude:


'"The Alaskan Independence Party quotes Vogler as stating "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."

In a 1991 interview currently housed at the Oral History Program in the Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Vogler is recorded as saying "The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won't be buried under their damn flag. I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home."'

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Vogler

***

David Talbot, of Salon.com, wrote yesterday that

'"Vogler's greatest moment of glory was to be his 1993 appearance before the United Nations to denounce United States "tyranny" before the entire world and to demand Alaska's freedom. The Alaska secessionist had persuaded the government of Iran to sponsor his anti-American harangue.

That's right ... Iran. The Islamic dictatorship. The taker of American hostages. The rogue nation that McCain and Palin have excoriated Obama for suggesting we diplomatically engage. That Iran."'

(snip)

The Salon article closes with the following:

'Imagine the uproar if Michelle Obama was revealed to have joined a black nationalist party whose founder preached armed secession from the United States and who enlisted the government of Iran in his cause? The Obama campaign would probably not have survived such an explosive revelation. Particularly if Barack Obama himself was videotaped giving the anti-American secessionists his wholehearted support just months ago.

Where's the outrage, Sarah Palin has been asking this week, in her attacks on Obama's fuzzy ties to Ayers? The question is more appropriate when applied to her own disturbing associations.'
(http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/10/07/palins_unamerican/)


(That last part kind of sounds like, "Imagine if the LAX players had actually been NCCU football players, and the 'victim' had been a white Duke student. The NAACP would have been marching in the streets demanding the unjust prosecution to stop.")

Ken Duke

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

You do get to it in the update to your post: what does he think of Ayers educational philosphy. Do we really not know the answer to that question? Ayers wrote the grant for CAC. Ayers recruited Obama to head the board. CAC gave grants to many educationally questionable groups while rejecting requests from groups that wanted the money for things like teaching math and english.

Now that the details of the doings of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge are finally (finally!) coming to light, it is not unreasonable to illuminate Obama's acts as Chairman. He screened the applications and dispensed the money - about $150,000,000 of it, after the 'matching funds' poured in from local businesses.

And since the Annenberg Foundation set up the first $49,000,000 with the explicit intent of improving Chicago children's academic performance, let's hold up a measuring stick to check compliance of the CAC with that intent. After all, the CAC itself did so, and found no improvement in school performance after those vast funds were doled out.

Even if the CAC declines to demand an explanation of the failure (honor among liberals perhaps), why should we not demand one? In a business relationship, diverting that $150,000,000 to non-educational purposes would well deserve charges of fraud. Obama's behavior, as Chairman of the diverting organization, should have been a legitimate subject for public illumination and discussion, starting when he announced his Presidential campaign.

If the country is to remain a democracy, it cannot afford to allow the blackout of such significant acts by its candidates for office.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad people have pushed this AIP story to the point of insanity. Proving once again, as in the Duke case, what your opponents accuse you of are things they would or have done.

Thus we learn about Obama's (not his wife's) membership in the "New Party" which I believe would be yet another connection to Ayers.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/10/archives_prove_obama_was_a_new.html

No justice, no peace said...

Inre:

"I'm really tired of this whole topic."

"Now everyone can shut up!"

Move along, move along, nothing happened here. Listen to yourself.

These comments are substantively no different than Klan of 88 comments.

"... trust his intellect and understanding of the current, as well as decades-old problems, in this country.

My hope is that he will serve as a catalyst for change so that the rest of society does not have to continue to suffer fools, criminals, deadbeats, and charlatans....just because they are black."

There is absolutley no evidence to back up this position. This is pure emotion.

We, collectively, are hosed due to others lack of critical analysis of both who support Obama and his alliances.

Their modus operandi is no different from the most egregious participants in the lacrosse hoax.

We are F'd if Mr. Obama wins with a majority in the House and Senate.

Someone please remember to turn out the lights.

Anonymous said...

I was associated with the drug cartels -- or at least a cartel -- back in college. See, my roommate had the biggest baggie of pot I've ever seen, and I think he sold it. I know he smoked it. Well, I don't know, know it, but he did have bloodshot eyes all the time.

He must have bought that stuff from people who bought that stuff from people who bought it from some type of drug cartel.

I didn't turn him in, so I guess I'm as much to blame as him, even though I never smoked marijuana and certainly never sold it. Oooh, I've a question. Who was Obama supposed to turn Ayers in to?

Anonymous said...

http://www.akip.org/platform.html

The platform of the Alaska Independence Party.

Observer

One Spook said...

Anon @ 5:29 writes:
"Oooh, I've a question. Who was Obama supposed to turn Ayers in to?


(Waving my raised arm widly) I've got that answer!

The same people he should turn Rev Wright, Franklin Raines, Rashid Khalidi, and Tony Rezko in to.

The American electorate.

That way, the electorate can better understand what Obama's close associations with terrorists (Ayers); racist America haters (Wright & Kahlidi); crooks (Raines); and convicted felons (Rezko) says about Obama's judgment and character.

That was an easy one!

One Spook

Anonymous said...

The sudden outcry over Bill Ayers in the comments and the media claim we have an actual terrorist in Ayers. If he is such why hasn't he been arrested and prosecuted. The claims that his case was dropped on a technicality doesn't work. Hundreds of totally innocent people were and are being held at gitmo - it is funny to think the current administration is stopped by mere laws or technicalities.

It is a disgrace to see the videos of recent Palin and McCain speeches where the crowd calls out "kill him" and "terrorist" in reference to Obama.

Is McCain a terrorist? Perhaps he is, his campaign incites political violence here at home.

haskell said...

Looks to me like the Obama-Ayers educational reforms have already gotten to anonymous 5:29 am 10/9. What a masterpiece of logic and exposition. LOL, do you know what Obama and Osama Bin Laden have in common? They both have friends who have bombed the Pentagon. If it wasn't for "prosecutorial misconduct" Ayres would be in jail today. Er, unless he had a jury of Democratic constituents a la OJ Simpson (part 1).

Anonymous said...

I hate to keep coming back to this Alaska Independence Party, but I think it's important.

Is it really appropriate for the Republican candidate for vice president to be so closely associated with a secessionist party? Palin is running for Vice President of the UNITED States of America, darn it, and the party of Lincoln was the party that PRESERVED the Union.

McCain stumbled over this same issue in a previous campaign, in 2000 I think. His "Straight Talk Express" was derailed as it pulled into South Carolina where they flew that ultimate symbol of secession, the Confederate flag, over their capitol. When asked how he felt about that, he offered the "mealy-mouthed" (a la Scarlett Ohara) reply that it was up to the people of South Carolina to decide which flag to fly atop their capitol.

I, (and apparently millions of others) had been waiting to see how he handled that issue, because I had become excited about his campaign, and was poised to send in a donation. When he was afraid to tell that bunch to pull that damned flag off of the capitol of a State that US soldiers had died to preserve within the Union, I wrote him off.

Ken Duke

Anonymous said...

Factcheck.org on William Ayers and Obama. Published 10/10/08.

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/he_lied_about_bill_ayers.html

Campaign spots and speeches regarding the relationship between Obama and Ayers by the McCain/Palin team have been misleading and inaccurate. Comments in speeches by the team of Mccain/Palin about Ayers have been misleading and inaccurate.

It is sad how you people have gotten carried away and rushed to judgment on this issue. Apparently you believe that politicians and their campaign ads tell the truth.

Do not believe the pap politicians try and spoon feed - pure and simple. When the crowd calls out 'kill him' 'Terrorist' 'Traitor' abut a US Senator, and the politician seems to encourage that idea about their opponent, you should have the sense to realize you have just witnessed Presidential Politics in Wonderland.

Bella said...

"Republicans raising the issue of Obama’s connections to an unrepentant terrorist like Ayers and a radical with terrorist associations like Khalidi has nothing to do with Republican concerns about academic extremism but everything to do with the legitimate concerns about the character, ideology, and judgment of the Democratic candidate." -one spook

My thoughts exactly, although probably better stated. KC, I feel like you're trying have your cake and eat it too here. Obama's connections to Ayers and Khalidi should be of concern.

This connection is unnerving for some many reasons, the most prominent being that this man who bombed government and law enforcement buildings and remains unrepentant is responsible for educating the youth of America. And even his ability to do that, with help from Obama, is questionable (What were the results of the Annenberg challenge? Where did the $$$ go?).

You have every right to support whomever you desire. However, your attempt to somehow justify or diminish his connections while attempting to belittle the legitimate questions of Clinton, McCain, Palin, and American voters is disappointing. I have appreciated your dedication to this case but I would rather read about the case without political commentary.

Bella said...

One more before I go...

" bill anderson said...

I need to emphasize that association with people is not necessarily a crime or even an endorsement of what they have done. Now, if one runs for president, as Obama is doing, then both he and McCain are going to have to answer questions about the people who have helped their political careers.

Nonetheless, I agree with K.C. that the larger issue here is the fact that higher education has become a political sewer. In the name of "academic freedom," people in power have crushed academic freedom and made it almost unrecognizable where it still does exist."

What is being ignored here is the fact that Obama sat on the board of the Annenberg challenge WITH William Ayers. It's difficult to separate the two on the topic of radical education, seeing as how they led an EDUCATIONAL REFORM board together. More importantly, that educational reform showed NO improvements. So how then it is inappropriate to ask Obama about these connections? If we should be concerned about the radical left and the group of 88 (although, as has been pointed out, pot-banging is not at all equivalent to murder), why should we not question Obama on his connection to radical education through individuals like Ayers and Khalidi?? Obama is not being accused of bombing buildings...lord knows he's repeated that "I was 8 years old" defense enough times to remind the world that he was not involved. However, he has ties to Ayers through educational reform. And, call me biased if you like, but I would not want my children being educated by a domestic terrorist. So, how is this not a legitimate issue for Clinton, McCain, Palin, and voters to have raised??

bella said...

Hey Ken Duke,

"...have you noticed that McCain is spendin' a lot of time with this dude by the name of Todd Palin, who, until about 2003 was a member of a secessionist party called the "Alaska Independence Party," and whose motto is not America First, but "Alaska First"?"

I neglect to see how the spouse of the Presidential candidate being affiliated with the AIP at some point in his life is equivalent to Obama palling around with an unrepentant murderer. Can you please enlighten me? Perhaps, to be fair, you should talk about Obama's connections to the New Party. I think the people you are deliberately trying to mislead deserve to know that Obama may have had socialist ties.

Had to get one more in there. The media is worshiping Obama and assailing Palin quite frequently, don't need to see it here too.

Anonymous said...

This one is not going to go away, even after the coronation.

Who really wrote Obama's book?

http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/who_wrote_dreams_from_my_fathe_1.html

Jesse Jackson (future secretary of state?) fills us in on Obama's new foreign policy approach

http://www.nypost.com/seven/10142008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/the_o_jesse_knows_133450.htm?page=0

William Jockusch said...

If the only thing I knew about Obama were his stance on the Duke case, I would support him for President.

However, when one looks at the full picture, it is much more disturbing.

As recently as 2001, Obama believed in Government - supported redistribution of wealth. This point is not disputable. Yet the failure of this idea was the most important lesson of the second half of the 20th century.

Obama is also intimately connected with the people and policies that caused our housing crisis. Again, the evidence for this is overwhelming and indisputable.

Additionally, Obama's plan of abandoning Iraq to Al Qaeda would probably have had genocidal consequences. The evidence for this lies in Al Qaeda's own writings and actions, which remind one strongly of what the Nazis did in the 1930s.

KC, wake up! You did us all a wonderful favor with the blog. But aside from his stance on the Duke case, Obama has little to recommend him.

William Jockusch said...

One more thing. If we are talking about political parties people have ties with --

The New Party claimed Obama as a member in 1995. This party described itself as a "class-based party" and its policies were socialist at best.