IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Steve Chapman on Obama’s terrorist associates:
It’s not as though Ayers and Dohrn have denied or repudiated their crimes. After emerging from years in hiding, they escaped federal prosecution because of government misconduct in gathering evidence, but they don’t pretend they were innocent. In 2001, Ayers said, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”
Dohrn has likewise rationalized the explosions, claiming that “our acts of resistance were tiny and symbolic.” She even went to prison for refusing to testify about an armored-car robbery involving her confederates. That crime was not tiny or symbolic to the two police officers or the security guard who were shot to death in the process.
All this is public record, and Barack Obama would have to be in a coma not to know it. Yet he showed no qualms about consorting with Ayers and Dohrn.
It’s hard to imagine he would be so indulgent if we learned that John McCain had a long association with a former Klansman who used to terrorize African-Americans.
UPDATE: Reader Darin S. Morley echoes the thoughts of a lot of other emailers: “Hasn’t McCain had a long association with former Klansman and fellow Senator Robert Byrd?”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Dem reader Nick Foresta emails:
I think this Ayers thing is pretty thin rope to hang Obama with. They just served on a community board together. Obama didn’t put him there. He was already there when Obama joined. And I’m no fan of Obama’s. I ain’t voting for him but who happened to be seated next to him on some community board a couple of decades ago isn’t the reason.
I think the connection was a bit closer than that makes it sound, but this is a fair point — except that, as pointed out above, it seems highly likely that the press wouldn’t cut a Republican that sort of slack. In fact, I think that a lot of anti-Obama sentiment stems not so much from Obama himself, as from the press’s over-the-top support of his candidacy. I wonder if, in the long run, that will hurt him more than it helps?
MORE: Why Bill Ayers matters.