Obama is not a terrorist. There may be some who think he is a terrorist sympathizer, I am not one of them. He does not condone terrorism and thus is not sympathetic to terrorism. But I do think he has sympathies for some of the radical left politics that underpin what Ayers did and what Ayers stands for today. And it is plainly obvious he felt comfortable allying with and working with Ayers, a non-reformed, non-repentant terrorist who to this day advocates for radical, revolutionary change, says he didn't do enough bombing in his youth, and has expressed great affinity for Chavez, Castro, and other modern communist revolutionaries. Obama's judgement in making this alliance was completely wrong by any sane, reasonable standard. In making that choice, the comfort he had in that alliance, and the need to know the reasons for it all call into question Obama's character. The question of where Ayers's politics and Obama's politics are sympatico and where they diverge is rational and most certainly relevant.
From this alliance and the work they did together is raised very serious concerns about what his political philosophies are, particularly as they relate to education policy. Also of concern are his positioning on capitalism vs command economies, radicalization of the youth, his understanding of this country, it's history and his vision for this country and it's place in the world, etc. His other alliances and associations (Wright, Phleger and the Trinity Church; his praise of Farrakahn and his praise -- indeed, deification -- of Obama; Rezko and possibly the Giannoulias family; etc.) also call Obama into question on these and other issues.
Obama knew Ayers was a terrorist, knew of his radical left philosophies on education, economics, politics and his very unfavorable view of this country in general. Ayers was and is not some closet case hiding his past or his political positions. He and his wife have been a nationally known figures for decades. He's written dozens of books proclaiming his radical leftist philosophies and detailing his traitorous acts through the 60's, 70's and (in his wife's case) the 80's, and his still present embrace and glorification of that past. Local and national media appearances. Speeches, private and public, academic and personal. Obama knew this stuff, and he allied with him anyway. He had, until the last couple days, been trying to say he didn't really know any of this or that he had minimal contact and involvement with Ayers. Now he's saying that he thought Ayers was rehabilitated, giving the lie to his past claims of ignorance of who Ayers was, what he had done, and what he was about. But this too, like all his other sidestepping excuses and rationales, strains the limits of rational belief and adds yet another layer of self-contradiction to his tale on this issue.
This was not like Kootch's situation where he did not know what was going on or who the person was. Obama knew. Everyone in Chicago politics knows. The University of Chicago, no doubt, hired him precisely because of his checkered past and his unrepentant attitude about it, probably considered it enlightening to have someone with his background of sedition and traitorous acts against the country on the staff. But I digress... Obama knew, and he allied with Ayers anyway, to advance his private and public career.
Kootch, after you found out about this pedophile co-worker, did you so much as sit down at the same table with him anymore? Would you ally yourself with him by choice? Regardless of who he worked for, what greater levels of political access he might open for you, or how "rehabilitated" you thought he was? Particularly if you were an ambitious politician? If you did, would you expect to be given a pass for it if you managed to become a Presidential nominee, much less a candidate for the local school board?
And again, this isn't just about the paling around with terrorists angle, though that is bad enough in and of itself. Ayers is a self-described radical leftist, a "small 'c' communist". His theories on juvenile justice, primary education, the role of raising political consciousness and "questioning authority" in the education of youth, the role of education in achieving the revolution he desires and advocates for to this day.... Obama allied himself with Ayers specifically on this ground when it came to the Chicago Annenberg Challenege. And do not throw out the straw man argument that Annenberg is a conservative or that there were conservatives on this board too or whatever else is being peddled these days to distract and sidestep a direct answer. Where the money came from is not at issue. Who else was on the board is not at issue. What is at issue is how Obama chose to spend the money Ayers managed to get for this project, why he chose to spend it in those ways, and what aspects of Ayers's radical leftist philosophies on education and "the revolution" Obama himself subscribes to.
Raising these questions is important because very little about what makes Obama tick has been exposed in this election process. What has been exposed has been systematically dismissed by hypnotized and utterly supportive media. Only when pressed to look into it, as a CYA exercise, do they do so, and then they accept the Obama party line as gospel and declare it "a trumped up" non issue.
Very little time has been devoted to this "meta" stuff in the debates. The two questions that got closest were about if Health Care is a responsibility or a right and if the candidate would militarily defend Israel if attacked by Iran. We know economic proposals, we know health care proposals, we know positions and intent on Iraq and Afghanistan, but precious little else. We have a very ambiguous picture of his character, his motivations, and his philosophies. These are very important in choosing a leader, most especially the President. They become even more important when we realize he'll very likely, if elected, have a filibuster proof democrat majority in congress and will be the leader of that party.
What does he stand for? Not in the flowerly speech making terms that only mean something if you believe the person saying them, but in terms of verifiable record, in terms of past expressions, in terms of, yes, past alliances and associations and who he chose as partners on his way up the political food chain. These things inform us as to his ideals, his mission, and thus whom he is likely to surround himself with. They drive how he will handle the post-economic crisis phase (say the last 3.5 years) of his term if he's elected. They drive how he will deal with those things we don't expect and can't even know to ask him about now.
We haven't even touched social policy or issues, constitutional interpretation, beliefs on presidential authority vs legislative vs judicial, etc. There is a vast under-examined aspect to Obama that needs to be laid bare for the country to effectively and knowingly make their decision on Nov 4. I welcome this same exposure of McCain, though I think it is a little less pressing a need since he has such a long history and record and set of national media exposures. Many people know him through this long national public history. However, the record hasn't been exposed much in the debates or the last couple of month of discourse and that means there are many people who either don't know it or have an incorrect knowledge of it, so I welcome and advocate for it for both Obama and McCain in the following weeks, particularly at this last debate.
There is more to this election and this choice for President than "fixing" the economic crisis and whether or not to leave Iraq and how to effectively reengage on Afghanistan. These things have gotten very little attention in the last couple/few months and it is vital for it to be heard and exposed in order for the public to make informed consent in their votes.