Weathermen ghosts continue to haunt Obama campaign

By Dan Streib

Accusations of a connection between Barack Obama and ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers have recently been gathering steam in conservative journals thanks to Weekly Standard and National Review contributor Stanley Kurtz.

For the uninitiated, the Weather Underground was a domestic terrorist group that grew out of the New Left in the ’60s and ’70s. The group sought to transform America into a communist nation. Obviously, Obama does not seek such a transformation, but relationships with people like Ayers do raise other questions.

More to the point is that Mr. Kurtz, along with many other journalists and lawyers, is investigating files that were recently released by the University of Illinois at Chicago that could have information regarding the relationship between Ayers and the Democratic nominee. As of yet, nothing has been found, but this does not mean that new evidence of a serious connection won’t come up in the near future.

So, a stalemate has formed, but the Obama camp seems unable to effectively repel the allegations. Yet, the mere inability to prove his association with Ayers was not substantive could seriously hurt Obama come November.

The biggest reason Ayers has proven himself such a burden is the total lack of remorse he has shown over his involvement with the Weather Underground. That qualifies Mr. Ayers as an unrepentant communist terrorist. No one wants to campaign for president with something like that hanging around their neck.

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    Unfortunately for Obama, there are indeed reasons for suspicion. Obama endorsed Ayers’ radical 1997 book on the justice system entitled “A Kind and Just Parent.” Obama also kicked off his 2004 senatorial campaign at Ayers’ house. Furthermore, Kurtz has written about times when Obama may have closely worked with Ayers on committees in Chicago. Although none of that evidence does anything more than raise eyebrows, the controversy is serious enough that McCain really does have a moral obligation to at least raise the issue during the campaign.

    The strategic consequences of such a move are obvious. Imagine the “mere” possibility of close associations between an unrepentant communist terrorist and Obama being made known to the electorate. Does anyone not see the result here?

    When undecided voters stand at the booth and remember that Obama may have radical connections, they’ll logically choose to be safe rather than sorry. They’ll choose McCain rather than Obama. And don’t be surprised by a similar reaction from those Obama supporters who are less certain of their political allegiances.

    So all McCain really has to do is make a point of the issue and keep close in the polls. Then, he can pull off an upset on election night. How did the Democrats get themselves into this situation?

    Well, Andrew C. McCarthy had an article in the National Review last week that explained how the party selected a nominee like Obama, despite such suspicions. In his piece, he makes the point that all Hillary Clinton had to do was bring Ayers up, and the Obama candidacy would have been sunk. However, she could do no such thing, because her husband Bill had pardoned two Weathermen at the end of his administration.

    Granted, maybe Bill just knew these guys. That sort of acquaintance is nothing compared to the close political relationship of which Obama has been accused of having. Yet, if Hillary brought Weathermen up, Obama would have done so in return, and horrific consequences would follow. So, according to McCarthy, she kept mum.

    The Democrats are in a pickle. If they do lose this election over the Ayers issue, they should learn this: Don’t fall too far in love with some fast-rising, planet-saving, faint-inducing, smooth-talking, inexperienced senator that hasn’t been, as Senator Clinton put it, “vetted.” What if he actually ends up representing your party due to circumstances beyond your control, like a far-too-quiet former first lady?

    If the Democrats don’t learn that simple lesson, then a saying on a popular cereal commercial might become applicable to politics. It’d go something like this:

    Silly donkeys, the White House is for elephants!

    Dan is a junior in political science and if Sarah Palin wasn’t married, then, well…you know.