Legitimate concerns about the policies and character of Barack Obama are being caricatured as examples of persecution via "guilt by association" - a phrase popularized by anti-anti-communists in the 1950s, to defend people who allegedly went to one or two communist meetings in their misguided youths.
To apply this phrase to Obama's 20 year association with Rev. Wright, his close political alliance with Bill Ayers, and his financial dependence on wheeler-dealer felon Tony Rezko is ludicrous. Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe thoroughly debunks the defensive tactic, demonstration genuine guilt-by association tactics used by the left against conservatives, and contrasting these with Obama's close associations.
in 2000... George W. Bush made a campaign stop at Bob Jones University, a school known for anti-Catholicism and a ban on interracial dating. Other than that single brief visit, Bush had no tie to Bob Jones. He hadn't studied there, never supported it financially, didn't share its racial or religious views. Nevertheless, he was sharply criticized for his appearance. The media declared it a "defining moment" of Bush's campaign, and many of his critics (including then-rival John McCain) pronounced him guilty by association of aligning himself with Bob Jones's noxious teachings. [....]
In none of these cases was there anything like the long relationship that Barack Obama had for so many years with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the incendiary, America-damning pastor he described for years as his mentor, his sounding board, and his friend. In none of them was there anything comparable to Obama's significant involvement with William Ayers, the domestic-terrorist-turned-extremist-professor with whom Obama worked closely at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, channeling more than $100 million into radical education projects.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky