Oct 10, 2008

Walking on thin Ayers

This Ayers stuff is beginning to annoy me.

"I do not need lessons about telling the truth to the American people," says McCain, never once pointing to the falsehoods Obama is alleged to have made, restricting himself instead to smoky conspiracy-theorising and tea-leaf reading: Obama hasn't told us the full truth. Whatever he's said... there's more..... I feel it in my bones. McCain knows this to be untrue — the whole episode was fully aerated during the primaries — which is why he never has the courage to confront Obama with his suspicions, either in the debates, or in a stump speech, even in an advert.

"Associations are important. They provide a significant insight into character," says Charles Krauthammer. They demonstrate Obama's "cynicism and ruthlessness." Really? In his Machiavellian efforts to serve on an a board dedicated to educational reform? In fact, they tell us very little about character, for the simple reason that these men are politicians: Obama's cursory contact with Ayers is no different from the nutjobs McCain has had cause to consort with over the years, not least G. Gordon Liddy, the former White House "plumber" and Watergate burglar.

On behalf of the Nixon administration he masterminded a break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist and managed a 20-year prison sentence only because his most far-fetched schemes (including kidnapping anti-war protestors and bombing the Brookings Institution) never came to fruition. Liddy's sentence was commuted by Jimmy Carter, and since that time he's built a career as a radio host. McCain has appeared on Liddy's show and congratulated him for his "continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great." Are we supposed to hold McCain accountable for this association?

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