Friday, October 17, 2008

The Radicalization of Obama

Without RedState, I just don't know what I'd blog about any more. Obama's now coasting to an easy victory. McCain's got nothing but tired nastiness to toss out; a real snooze. And there really isn't much of anything catching my eye. So what do I do? Go to the jokers at RedState and find me some stupid. It never takes long.

This time, it's a rambling post by Dan McLaughlin trying to slam Obama for pointing out that his association with Bill Ayers isn't at all scandalous. And the post had to be rambling because McLaughlin really didn't have anything to say. Obama's point was that he was part of a non-controversial educational foundation that did good things and Ayers, who is now a respectable educator, happened to be a part of it. And that's all entirely true.

But to McLaughlin, this can't be true. Because this is the best dirt they've found yet on Obama, so it must be really dirty. I mean, this guy is literally teeming with anti-American radicals and other dirty bastards, so if Ayers is the best they've got, it's GOT to be good. I mean, if Obama isn't really palling around with Ayers the Terrorist, then they really don't have much of an argument against him.

And yet the best McLaughlin can do is to change Obama's point. Obama was showing that this organization he was with wasn't radical and had many establishment players involved. McLaughlin changes this point by pretending as if Obama was trying to shift the blame to these other people. But the blame for what? Obama's entire point was to show that his association with Ayers wasn't wrong or evil. And if that's Obama's point, then there's no blame to be shifted.

Radicalism by Association

And so as usual, a RedStater's entire post was a bust because he missed the point. But a big part of the problem is that McCain isn't making the attacks that the freaks at RedState think he should make. All McCain did was mention Ayers and say that Obama needed to explain "the full extent of that relationship" with Ayers. And so all Obama needed to do was to mention all the other people who were also associated with that group, which would show that it wasn't a radical group. And therefore, Obama wasn't a radical for being associated with it either. And that's what he did.

But McCain never leveled any actual charges of wrong-doing by Obama. And the reason he didn't is because there aren't any. All they've got is tough-sounding accusations that are an ever-increasing absurdity of guilt by association. McLaughlin is so well-versed in these accusations that he merely provided two links to them, which I'm sure he assumes was a Case Closed moment; and that it's just a matter of time before the bailiff comes and carts a babbling Obama out of the courtroom.

But the two links were dull jokes. The first was a lot of noise about how Ayers' is still a radical; a "school destroyer." The evidence: Ayers taught a class titled "On Urban Education" which taught how to solve "homelessness, crime, racism, oppression" as a global issue. Wow. That's radical! It also cites a letter he wrote about not growing up. And that's about it. It's a long piece in the WSJ, yet for all the loud bluster about him being a radical, there was almost nothing from Ayers himself that would indicate that he's anything more than the standard social justice professor. The author even makes it sound ominous that Ayers was elected vice president for curriculum of the American Education Research Association; while a normal human would assume this was a good thing for Ayers.

And the second piece was even worse. It basically amounted to lot of fuss about one school program funded by Obama's foundation which had two guest lecturers that were radicals. That's right. Guest lecturers. Stanley Kurtz devoted eight whole paragraphs to just one guy who gave a seminar to a group funded by the foundation. And this is the sort of radicalism Obama is supposed to be blaming others for, in McLaughlin's eyes.

Is it any wonder McCain was embarrassed to even be mentioning this during the debate? Sure, he mentioned Ayers. But he refused to make any accusations. You'd think if this was so important that McCain would have wanted to mention it more. And you'd be right. It's obvious that McCain believes that he has no evidence suggesting that Obama is a dangerous radical, and the best he can do is hope that something turns up.

Friends v. Buddies

And as usual, the RedState commenters were the best. First off, there were three intelligent commenters who did a good job of defending Obama, and no one was really able to touch what they wrote. The first one did a great job of highlighting Ayers' career, showing that he's no longer the scary terrorist the RedStaters pretend he is.

And that just flabbergasted all the RedStaters. The best they could do is pretend as if their point was already made and proceed right into the victory laps. Here's my favorite comment "I don't think anyone here has a problem with anyone being friend with Bill Ayers. We have a major problem with a man who wants to be president being buddies with a person like that."

And please, read that one again. Perhaps you can explain it to me. I've read it about five times and still don't get it. Is he making a distinction between "friends" and "buddies"? This was simply gibberish. But the rest weren't much better.

And a basic theme I've found with conservatives is that the only way anyone can repay society is through prison time. As if it's better to have taxpayers provide room & board to someone for a few years than for them to take care of themselves and benefit humanity. I had a long discussion on this very issue once, and I still don't understand how prisons benefit society more than service to the community. I've always thought rehabilitation was better than punishment, while most conservatives consider me to be a simple-minded fruitcake for saying so.

The Master of Trolls

Another good commenter was Catsy, who really ate everyone else's lunch. In fact, Catsy did such a bang-up job that Streiff, the official RedState "Master of Trolls" (no, I didn't make that up), had to threaten Catsy to get him/her to stop. I quote "Catsy, if I were you I'd seriously consider buggering off right now instead of trolling. I'd really, really seriously consider it. And I'm not in the mood to argue about it."

WTF?? Is this a blog, or the fricking mob? There wasn't even any trolling here at all. It was just an old fashioned conservative ass-whipping. And so the "Master of Trolls" had to come out from under his bridge to lower the hammer. Catsy decided to stop commenting until after the election.

And here was a good line from lonebeagle: "Obama has no character because he has surrounded himself with a full roster of American hating lunatics--Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, etc etc etc." Wow, that IS a full roster. Let's see, we've got Ayers. We've got Wright. And then we've got etc etc etc. Why, add four more etceteras to that and we'd have ourselves a baseball team! No wonder Obama has no character.

And as a final note, here's a comment from antisocial: "I don't for a moment believe anybody bought that professor line from Barack about Mr. Ayers." Bought what professor line? Say what you will about Bill Ayers, he's a damn professor! Similarly, another commenter wrote sarcastically of the "venerable "Dr." Ayers," putting "Dr." in quotes, like there was some sort of doubt about it. If authoritarians hate one thing, it's when "radicals" are given titles of authority. It blows their little minds every time.

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