Q. How is Obama like Osama?
A. They both know someone who bombed the Pentagon.
That joke has been circulating the Internet and it is unfair, but there is some truth to it. Ayers matters. If John McCain was palling around with someone who bombed abortion clinics 30 years ago and never felt any repentance, it would be front page news.
What annoys me most about Ayers is that he was a child of privilege who attacked the very system that gave him everything. One he faced jail for life, fell back on that privilege and the fact that the FBI made errors in building a case against him. Ayers should be sharing a cell with the Unabomber, not teaching (what exactly radicalism?) at a university.
I can understand the anger of the black militants of the 1960s. Blacks were treated as second class citizens and subject to harsh disabilities under the power of the Jim Crow laws. So I can understand why they viewed the “system” as corrupt. But Ayers and his ilk were simply spoiled children trying to get back at daddy for leaving them with the nanny while boinking the babysitter.
My parents grew up in poverty that I could never imagine. As Catholics, they were treated as second class citizens until after WWII, when the threat of communism became a bigger threat than the Pope. The country of their parents (Italy) has declared war on the United States. Yet they never threw bombs but worked damn hard to better themselves, their family and in that way, their country.
Ayers matters because he never regretted his life and it really raises the issue of Obama’s judgment. Obama has surrounded himself with some questionable people over the years. Where they people he used to further his activities and career or did Obama truly believe as his friends believe? Back in college I had am acquaintance who started associating with Operation Rescue types. I tried talking him out of it -- to me, Operation Rescue tended to shade off to a radical fringe that were terrorists. After he told me that he had lunch with Randall Terry, I broke off our friendship. And as far as I know, this person never threw a bomb or directly associated with anyone who threw a bomb.
Ayers matters because it sheds some light perhaps on what Obama truly believes. Despite his voting record, he is trying now (successfully) to publicly recast himself as a moderate. If elected, and with large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, would Obama govern from the center or the left? And if from the left, how far left?
Ayers matters as it opens a window on Obama.