Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe looks at William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn - the two unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists frieindly with Obama - and wonders why asking the candidate about them is out of bounds especially since he seems so comfortable with their views on America:
Actually, as I pointed out earlier in the week, if Ayers/Dorhn are in the mainstream of Chicago politics, then "Josef Stalin is the mayor and Pol Pot is Cook County Commissioner:"
Obama didn't leave it there. His campaign issued a 1,300-word "fact check" pooh-poohing his connection to Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn (another former Weathermen terrorist), as "phony," "tenuous," "a stretch" - but simultaneously defending them as "respectable fixtures of the mainstream in Chicago."
Yet Obama's ties to Ayers and Dohrn aren't nearly as trifling as he suggests, and their views - today, not 40 years ago - are about as "respectable" and "mainstream" as those of, say, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama's incendiary minister.
But Jacoby alludes to Obama's real problem with this relationship:
This would come as a surprise to Mayor Daley who also has had kind words to say about Ayers/Dorhn - no doubt because he doesn't wish to anger the liberals in Hyde Park and because he has a sneaking admiration for the former terrorist's chutzpah. Daley is also a crook who gets away with his crimes which at least gives him something in common with Ayers. There is no excuse for Obama.
Arguably, none of this would matter if Ayers and Dohrn had long ago repudiated their violent extremism. But they have always refused to apologize for their monstrous behavior. "We weren't extreme enough in fighting against the war," Ayers told the Chicago Tribune in 2001. In a memoir published that year, he exulted: "Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon." America, he said after Sept. 11, "is not a just and fair and decent place. . . . It makes me want to puke."
Is this Obama's idea of "respectable" and "mainstream" political thinking? If so, doesn't that tell us something about his judgment and standards?
Of course it does. Instead, the candidate continues to insist these relationships are "distractions" or part of the "freak show" of the campaign.
The fact that he doesn't recognize how ordinary Americans are so puzzled over his being on a first name basis with such a character is more evidence that Obama has no clue about the values held by his fellow Americans.
In the end, it will probably be his biggest liability going into the general election.