April 28, 2008

Hillary Clinton and John McCain Are 'Dangerous Lunatics"

That's the message Ben Smith sees in these pieces by the Boston Globe (on Hillary Clinton and Iran) and Fareed Zakaria (on John McCain's call for "war" against Russia and China).

Posted by armand at April 28, 2008 12:22 PM | TrackBack | Posted to International Affairs | Politics


I agree. And what does that make someone who thinks unrepentant domestics terrorists are just guys who live in his neighborhood?

Posted by: Morris at April 29, 2008 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ummm, are you equating Ayers as a threat with the threats posed by launching wars against Iran, Russia and China?

Because if you do, well, lunatic isn't the first word that leaps to mind - but it wouldn't be the last.

Posted by: Armand at April 29, 2008 01:09 PM | PERMALINK

i'm not a huge fan of frank rich, but his sunday column made pretty fast work of the bullshit guilt by association thing everyone's trying to level at obama (the exclusivity and stridency of which speak volumes about how consonant his policy proposals seem to be with the public's).

really, since the right wing's mainstream is unapologetically in bed with the likes of enron, halliburton and blackwater; the very same financiers whose own determination to build their fortunes on the backs of deceived borrowers has punished the undeserving (and appears not to be punishing the ones responsible, again with the right's blessing); not to mention reverand wright's equals in hate and betters in publicity like falwell and robertson; and the NRA, who'd like to keep real domestic terrorists in the vein of timothy mcveigh locked and loaded (as opposed to academic homebodies like ayers), guilt by association is something they'd be wise not to press too hard.

Posted by: moon at April 29, 2008 01:21 PM | PERMALINK

oops, i take it back. the comments re guilt by association were in another column i can't recall. rich's is still worth it, though, for its effective undermining of the media-juiced meme that obama's failure to beat hillary in rustbelt and populous blue states somehow translates to mccain winning all, or even any, of them.

Posted by: moon at April 29, 2008 01:25 PM | PERMALINK

Nice straw man, Moon, do you get a bulk rate? This isn't guilt by association. This is Barack Obama asked about a domestic terrorist who if he had been a little more successful would be as well known as Timothy McVeigh. Barack Obama calls him a "professor" and a guy from his neighborhood. What the Hell is that?

For anyone who's seen the FLIR photography at Waco, there is no doubt as to justification for what McVeigh did, except that there is no justification for domestic terrorism. And I'd like to see Inholfe refer to McVeigh as a veteran, just somebody from our state, and not get (justifiably) nailed to the wall for going to easy on him. Yes, there are people like Black Panthers and Turner Diaries types who think of these guys as heroes for their revolutions. But no one who believes that should ever be President.

Posted by: Morris at April 30, 2008 02:34 PM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama calls him a "professor" and a guy from his neighborhood.

Ayers is both of those things, and free to be so thanks to the eminent judgment of the very justice system that will eventually put Kenneth Lay back on the street, if it hasn't done so already. The same judicial system that won't have the opportunity to put Scooter Libby back on the street, because by executive fiat it was never given the opportunity to take him off it.

The Weathermen did some bad stuff, no doubt, but they didn't hurt nearly as many Americans -- and we're talking several orders of magnitude here -- as Lay. I don't think the right is going to insist on breaking all ties with him on that basis, though. And he's not the worst of the folks the right toadies up to -- just the first to come to mind.

Put simply, Ayers has paid his debt to society in full, and is, on all contemporary accounts, an upstanding member of his community to an extent we might all emulate to the general betterment of society. And in any event, merely knowing an ex-con isn't agreeing with him. The critics have yet to significantly associate him with Obama in any way that exceeds the incidental.

For anyone who's seen the FLIR photography at Waco, there is no doubt as to justification for what McVeigh did, except that there is no justification for domestic terrorism.

That's saying a lot more that's positive, about a much worse and nuttier perp, than Obama's ever said about Ayers. Guess you should pretty much give up on running for office now, eh?

Posted by: moon at April 30, 2008 04:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Put simply, Ayers has paid his debt to society in full, and is, on all contemporary accounts, an upstanding member of his community to an extent we might all emulate to the general betterment of society."

He said he wished they had done more, he wished they had blown up more buildings and/or killed more people. How the Hell does that equal the "betterment of society"?

And talk about unresponsive, you're still acting as though I'm implying guilt by association when I've been very explicit about my objection here. If Obama simply used the words "domestic terrorism" in connection with Ayers, I wouldn't have a problem. But you have people like Barack and the Chicago mayor who, like you, think this guy is some inspiring folk hero. Guess what? People who want to murder innocent people, and are disappointed that they didn't get to murder more people who risk their lives to defend our country, don't deserve my spit!

Posted by: Morris at April 30, 2008 09:40 PM | PERMALINK


Posted by: binky at April 30, 2008 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

See, this is the problem with post classical liberals, the inversion of morality disguised as nihilistic moral relativism. You don't actually believe it's important that Ayers is a dometic terrorist because you identify him as one of your own, someone who doesn't judge others for being evil. And if he doesn't judge others for being evil (which, of course, he does in that he was trying to blow them up, he just wouldn't think of it that way), then it doesn't matter what he does.

The trouble is, if he had actually succeeded in his efforts, Ayers would have killed as many as died in OKC before he was stopped. But because he failed, he validates the idea that we're all really failures, all equal, and there's nothing to threaten esteem when someone proves themselves a failure. Lay, on the other hand, succeeded in his deceit, in his effort to rise above by stepping on others; Ayers failed in his efforts to rise above by stepping on others. So if I am a post classical liberal who fears failure, then Ayers makes me feel good about myself, because he's a failure with good intentions like I believe myself to be.

Posted by: Morris at May 1, 2008 08:16 AM | PERMALINK

And Morris the problem with you is that you make wild inferences.

Obama didn't call him a folk hero. Ayers happens to live in Obama's neighborhood. The fundraiser that I believe is usually used to link Obama and Ayers happened 5 years before Ayers made the comments you discuss, and around 30 years after Ayers committed his crimes. And if I'm not mistaken the way that they met was that Ayers' wife happens to be on the law faculty at Northwestern. There is no evidence that they are anything more than casual aquaintances.

How you get from there to Obama praising Ayers is a leap.

Though really Mo that comment above about McVeigh - that's, ummm ... I really don't know what to say.

Posted by: Armand at May 1, 2008 09:54 AM | PERMALINK

The comment I'm talking about was the one in the debate, when he was asked about Ayers. That was after Ayers had talked about wishing he'd killed a lot more people. Obama didn't call him out as a domestic terrorist, and that's the trouble with his stuck on stupid diplomacy approach, or just another John Kerry as I'd say. It won't matter to him that Iran kills our soldiers. He'll say something like, "Well, we all agree that our government has its problems, and we all agree that something should be done about the destructive influence of American foreign policy." He's not united we stand, he's united they stand.

Posted by: Morris at May 1, 2008 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

or maybe obama has decided to eschew the whole fer us or agin us motif of all political dialog on the right whereunder you either hate gays, abortion, and all non-christian faiths, or you're a "terrorist." maybe he'd like strong words to stay strong by using them judiciously.

as for upstanding, and not deserving spit, i'll be if either of us want to do the digging that the ayers clan have given more to their community than either you or i have given ours in a comparable time frame. one doesn't get on boards of charitable foundations for being a former weatherman, or even just for being a professor. and i'm not on any. you?

Posted by: moon at May 1, 2008 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

What in the hell are you talking about? You are mad b/c he didn't respond to a question in the exact way you wanted him to respond? Is that it? Obama thinks the entire line of questioning is stupid, and said so. I presume he takes it as a given that fair minded people will naturally assume that a US senator is opposed to terrorism. That being the case, why indulge this Republican attack line?

And you go from being mad at him for not answering a question in the way you wanted, a question not posed in a way to require the kind of answer you wanted, to thinking he'd be just fine with Iranians killing Americans? Look I don't want to go into name calling - but are you a complete and utter loon or what?

Posted by: Armand at May 1, 2008 01:57 PM | PERMALINK

You must think people are idiots. It hasn't been a week since the Rev. Wright's press club speech, and you think you'll get away with the claim that conservatives are all about hate filled propaganda, setting one group against another? So, which is it, do you think people are too stupid to see past what you're doing, or are you just blind to the hate filled, racist ideology of the left?

And do you honestly think that appointment to a charitable board means they're clean? Even the founders of charities ride dirty:
"The founder of a charity that resettles African refugees in Los Angeles pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of embezzling more than $1 million from the nonprofit."

Presidents of charities ride dirty:
"The former president of a hospital auxiliary in San Francisco has been charged with embezzling almost $166,000 from the charity, money that otherwise would have served needy patients for more than a year."

Even HAMAS gives money to people as a way of getting their support. So I don't think it's a stretch that Barack would side with a group like HAMAS who mixes violence with charity, if he isn't willing to speak up against Ayers. This candidate of you all's is the one who made a huge point about how important words are. So why, then, does he refuse to call out Ayers as a domestic terrorist?

Why should I have to assume anything about Obama? He's there to tell people who he is. Is it a problem for him to come out against terrorism? I admit, that bothers me. If that's not his starting point, I think the people of this country deserve to know what he believes to be more important than protecting Americans (ALL Americans).

Posted by: Morris at May 2, 2008 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Obama's spoken against terrorism lots and lots and lots of times. Big part of his foreign and defense policies. So I really haven't the foggiest what you are talking about there.

And your HAMAS stuff is just ... I forget, is moronic or idiotic the more stupid one? And is there a deeper step down into stupid? B/c that certainly qualifies.

If you choose to ignore with Obama actually says about terrorism, security and the Middle East that's up to you - but you are living in a fantasy world of your own creation. He opposes what you oppose. For him terrorism = bad. For him HAMAS's terrorism = bad. If you're too thick to read those words that are so important to you ... Who the hell cares what he calls some man in Chicago? Well, obviously you do. But I'd be hard pressed to think of matters less relevant to serving as president and delivering the best possible administration for the people of this country.

And while I'll let Moon deal with the rest of your response I've got to get in a ... oh, puh-leeze. Someone with some charity was corrupt! Stop the presses! Who knew! Guess we need to go round up all board members of all charities. B/c you know they are a dangerous bunch, all bent on crime. If you are going to be that ridiculously literal there's really little use in engaging this. Since you are mad as hell at Ayers and find him to be the #1 menace to society that you do, why don't you actually look into his background, why he got on the Woods Board and discuss that. That's a wee bit more relevant than some crime that isn't remotely related to any of the people we are talking about here.

Posted by: Armand at May 2, 2008 02:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Why should I have to assume anything about Obama?"

I haven't the foggiest idea, but that doesn't seem to stop you from assuming all sorts of things that are demonstrably false about him.

And if you want to talk about the left, I'm here. If you want to talk about the fringe, that's fine too. But let's not mistake the two. Wright speaks for no one I care about. And when the right repudiates Billy Graham with his rampant, well-publicized, and undeniably virulent anti-semitism, when it castigates Falwell and Robertson for, inter alia, saying gay Americans caused 9-11, then it can pretend to tell Obama what to do about Wright.

Until the right's going to have to clean out it's own closet, where its best and brightest are busy fellating some of the ugliest, most hate-filled and un-American (at least insofar as they clearly hate us for our freedom) pseudo-men of god this side of Afghanistan, it has no business playing holier than thou with Wright, whom Obama simply cannot have repudiated in stronger terms.

Have you heard Billy Graham on the Nixon tapes? And yet he's counseled both Bushes (as well as Clinton) inside the White House? And you're pissed off that Obama hasn't, what, called for Wright's murder? I mean, that's about all he can add to what he's already said. What more do you want?

Posted by: moon at May 3, 2008 01:18 PM | PERMALINK
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