More on Bill Ayers and Guilt by Association

by matttbastard

Gail Collins FTW:

The McCain folks have been obsessed with William Ayers, a neighbor of Obama’s who is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Back in the 1960s, Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, were leaders of the Weather Underground, an antiwar group whose penchant for violence was exceeded only by its haplessness. Ayers has since become an education expert and was named Chicago’s Citizen of the Year in 1997. He gave Obama a house party when Obama was running for the State Senate.

In my experience, most State Senate hopefuls are so thrilled at any sign of interest that they would happily attend a reception given by a homeless couple in their cardboard box. But even though Obama was 8 years old at the time the Weathermen were in the news, that house party puts all their misdeeds on his platter. Sarah Palin has been telling her increasingly scary rallies that he is somebody “who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists.”

[…]

Before we go any further, I have a confession to make. When I was a college student, I believe I attended a party with Bernardine Dohrn. This was pre-Weather, when Dohrn was a leader of the Students for a Democratic Society, better known as S.D.S. Some of my friends wanted to meet her because they were interested in establishing an S.D.S. chapter at our campus. I was opposed, under the presumption that S.D.S. meant Students for Decent Styles, a group that had been active in fighting spaghetti-strap dresses at my high school.

Still, under the new rules, I believe I may now be held partly responsible for all of Dohrn’s misdeeds, including aggravated battery, bail jumping, the Days of Rage and unreadable political tracts.

McCain’s favorite supporter, Senator Joseph Lieberman, recently called the Obama-Ayers connection “fair game.” This reminded me that Lieberman once came to a party at my house. It was years ago, when he was still a Connecticut state senator, and we have already established that state senators will go to anything. Still, I can’t help but feel that I am not only a potential victim of the new guilt-by-association standard, I am also somewhat complicit in establishing it.

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

Recommend this post by Progressive Bloggers

John Sidney McChickenshit III.

by matttbastard

Josh Marshall:

McCain’s moral cowardice has been one of the subtexts of this campaign ever since he wound up the nomination and turned his attention to Barack Obama. But I did not realize it would reveal itself in such a physical dimension.

The tell came this week as McCain unearthed the Ayers story which, for whatever its merits, was fully aired months ago and has no clear relation to the particulars of October other than McCain’s collapsing poll numbers. He’s on it. Palin’s on it. He’s releasing slashing new TV ads like this one. Both of them are ginning their crowds up into spiraling gyres of right-wing delirium — a ready-made Lord of the Flies (and let’s admit that’s a gentle allusion, given the tone of these barnburners) if Obama happened into one of the auditoriums at the wrong moment.

He ever swaggered on for a couple days about how he was going to ‘take the gloves off‘ when he met up with Obama in Nashville. But when the two of them were there in each others physical presence … nothing. By a myriad of gestures and reactions Obama owned him.

Nor is it a matter of shifting off the tactics, because as soon as McCain made his hasty retreat from the stage at Debate #2 he was right back at it. In every other aspect of life, high and low, refined and unlovely, we have a word for that kind of behavior: cowardice.

And now Obama can lightly taunt McCain with that very cowardice, his inability to just say it to his face. And if my take on the inner workings of McCain’s mind at the moment is right that should simply unhinge him even more.

Ta-Nehisi Coates:

Frankly, I’ve always believed that the quickest way to show you’re a chump is to run around telling everyone about that aren’t one. You want to prove to the American people that you aren’t shook? Don’t talk them to death. Get in the ring and kick the other guys ass. It’s that simple. Screw all this talk about who’s tougher than who. Here is what I know: McCain will talk that shit about Ayers and brag about taking the gloves off. He will send his wife and Sarah Palin out to do his dirty work. But when faced with the man who he believes “palls around with terrorist” he played his position.

Joe Biden:

“All of the things they said about Barack Obama in the TV, on the TV, at their rallies, and now on YouTube … John McCain could not bring himself to look Barack Obama in the eye and say the same things to him,” Biden said this morning. “In my neighborhood, when you’ve got something to say to a guy, you look him in the eye and you say it to him.”

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Joe Six-Pack in OH

by matttbastard

h/t Jonathan Martin, video courtesy blogger interrupted

Related: George Packer on the challenge Obama faces in Ohio:

Gabe Kramer, the S.E.I.U.’s chief of staff in Columbus, told me, “You talk to people about the issues and the issues resonate. But what you hear people talking about on the street and on TV and radio is the other things. Is Obama like us? Does Obama share our experience of the world? Which is not the same thing as racism, but overlaps with it.” Obama, Kramer added, is “very good at talking to professionals—people who care about policy—and comes across as judicious, careful, thoughtful. But he has a harder time talking about them in a way working-class white Ohioans can relate to.”

h/t Eric Martin & Gary Farber

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Joe Six-Pack in PA

by matttbastard

h/t cleek in ObWi comments.

Update: Dana Milbank, on the road with the McCain-Palin campaign, quotes Lehigh County GOP Chairperson Bill Pratt at yesterday’s McCain-Palin rally in Bethlehem:

“Think about how you’ll feel on November 5 if you wake up in the morning and see the news, that Barack Obama — that Barack Hussein Obama — is the president-elect of the United States,” Platt said. The audience at the Lehigh University arena booed at the thought of it.

“The number one most liberal senator in the United States of America was, you guessed it, the ambassador of change, Barack Hussein Obama,” he added. “This election is about preserving America’s past and protecting the promise of its future.”

The sage Platt had more information to disclose. “Barack Obama refused to wear an American flag on his lapel,” he said of the man who, at the presidential debate the night before, was wearing a flag pin on his lapel. The audience booed. “Barack Obama, a man who wants to be president of the United States of America, removed the American flag from his chest because it was a symbol of patriotism. Perhaps Barack Obama doesn’t put country first, but he puts fashion first.”

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers