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October 04, 2008

Comments

Sometimes, I try to imagine what it will be like for John McCain when this campaign is over, and he realizes how completely he has destroyed his character and his honor.

For any Wire fans out there, I have a guess as to how McCain will react up on my blog. It's premised on the notion, which Hilzoy seems to share, that he doesn't, at the moment, realize how much he has destroyed them -- nor how many other people are noticing that.

Just a bit of snark.

"...he realizes how completely he has destroyed his character and his honor." I think he has already justified his actions to himself by rationalizing that he is trying to save the country, if not the world, from Obama. He is sacrificing himself and his honor for the greater good of the country as a true patriot. It's a disease.

The more basic question is whether John McCain's character and honor were ever any more real than George W. Bush's commitment to ranching.

Read the current (oct. 16) article in Rolling Stone about the life and times of John McCain and then tell me what character and honor he has to lose. The man is a fraud and the mythology is starting to unravel. He is desperate and it is frightening.

It's almost hard to imagine any advisor, politico, or handler associated with the McCain campaign who honestly thinks that what the country needs from its candidates is less talk about the the economic crisis and more bogeyman fearmongering about Obama's "associations."

I mean, just think about what that tells you of a candidate's, of a campaign's selfishness.

Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov McCain, what have you done- what have you done to yourself?

Let us ponder the imponderable: suppose McCain spends the rest of the campaign smearing Obama and wins.

Remember, it's not an arm-wrestling match or a swordfight: "McCain wins" means "more than half the American electorate votes for him". It means that people we know, people who are our neighbors, friends, even relatives, vote for him. Will those people deserve any of the disgust and contempt in which we would rightly hold John McCain, smear merchant?

I believe a smear campaign will not work. But if it does, I for one will find it hard to remain civil toward McCain voters in real, day-to-day life. I will institute a personal apartheid policy: my dentist, my barber, my mechanic, will all have to assure me they did not vote for the smear merchant if they want to keep my business. If I cannot find a Democrat to buy something from, I will do without it. If a long-lost friend looks me up, my first question will be "Who did you vote for?" Polite society will have to carry on without me, if polite society buys into a smear campaign.

Just to be crystal clear: it's not McCain winning that would set me off; it's not McCain smearing Obama that would set me off; it would be McCain winning by smearing Obama that does it.

My own personal program of political apartheid would of course inconvenience nobody except myself. That would serve me right for not having done enough to personally confront the consumers of smear before they vote for the merhants of smear. So I suppose I'd better spend the next few weekends driving up to NH and knocking on doors for Obama.

--TP

The thing I never understood about the Ayers accusations is that there's such a simple and effective refutation that could be made whenever it comes up, but strangely enough the only place I've ever seen it done was over at Sadly, No!.

http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/11294.html

Bwa Age, Acephalous was also all over that Annenberg connection.

I expect Obama to get the majority of intended votes. But I will not be surprised at all, if (not to say when) the Son of Cain is declared winner because of "mysterious" irregularities in swing states (like undervotes, massive disparities between exit polls and counted votes, system crashes in Democratic leaning precincts) and successful challenges of voters by GOPsters (even just delaying the process is a win for them given the long lines and the fact that election day still is a working day).
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Hoist the uppity [n-word] flag, ye matees of the Son of Cain! [/retch]

""McCain wins" means "more than half the American electorate votes for him"."

Democrats keep making that mistake, you'd think they cut classes during high school civics; "McCain wins" means he gets more than half of the electoral college. It's perfectly possible for McCain to win with a plurality of the vote, (It's the usual way Democrats win, after all!) or even a minority, so long as they're living in the right places.

"The thing I never understood about the Ayers accusations is that there's such a simple and effective refutation that could be made whenever it comes up, but strangely enough the only place I've ever seen it done was over at Sadly, No!."

Probably because most of the people who are pushing the accusation are aware that Obama and Ayers' associations go a lot deeper than both just spending time working for Annenberg. I don't know that I'd call them "best buds", but it's pretty clear that Obama's threshold for shunning murderous terrorists is a lot higher than Tony's threshold for shunning McCain voters.

But, what the hey, if politicians didn't have a high threshold for shunning scum, you couldn't run a legislature, because they'd refuse to occupy the same room with each other.

Like PattyQ, I highly recommend Tim Dickinson's bio of McCain in the October Rolling Stone:

Make Believe Maverick

Until reading this article, I'd found it really difficult to understand how anybody who'd developed such a positive image among so many of the media elite could turn out to be such a narcissistic schmuck.

This shows that McCain has been a hotheaded, ambitious bully since he was a toddler. Those who accept the notion that McCain's POW service is a get-out-of-jail-free card that excuses any subsequent bad behavior may dismiss this as a hatchet job. But most of the most damning evidence comes not from anonymous sources, but from public records, quotes from named people, and McCain's many autobiographies.

To me, it seems reasonably objective. Yes, it's probably overly critical, but that's only because some counterbalance is needed for the many worshipful pieces chronicling the life and times of St. John the Maverick.

"Until reading this article, I'd found it really difficult to understand how anybody who'd developed such a positive image among so many of the media elite could turn out to be such a narcissistic schmuck."

Republicans don't have any trouble understanding it: The media elite are relatively shallow, and overwhelmingly Democratic: McCain got his positive image by sticking it to his fellow Republicans, something well within the capacity of a "narcissistic schmuck". Republicans even have a name for this phenomenon: "Strange new respect".

It was also well understood by most Republicans, that said positive image would vanish as soon as McCain was running against a Democrat, rather than his fellow Republicans. Sure enough, it happened right on schedule, just as McCain had the nomination in the bag.

Sometimes, I try to imagine what it will be like for John McCain when this campaign is over, and he realizes how completely he has destroyed his character and his honor. I cannot imagine that it will seem worth it come December.
I don't think he'll think about it at all. He'll simply contunue to embrace the self-delusion, viciousness and lies that are now his trademark, all the while clinging to his "Maverick" myth.

Given that John McCain remains such a staunch supporter of paying Iraqis who killed American soldiers not to kill American soldiers any more, I would have thought that he had a much greater problem with the moral ambiguity of interacting with those once branded as 'terrorists'.

Why am I not shocked that the McCain campaign is going to redline the smear machine for the next few weeks?

For all those frustrated by Obama's seeming timidity and his "I agree with John" style, now you have your explanation. Do you think his campaign ever doubted, no matter what the polls might have looked like at this point, that the McCain team wouldn't indulge in an orgy of scary-black-man campaigning in the closing stages?

Good thing that Axelrod has also kept the Keating 5 powder dry, which has two advantages over McCain's smears: it's very relevant to current economic concerns, and it's true.

He swore an oath of office to uphold the Constitution, and declared proudly that if it came down to a choice between 'fighting corruption", and the 1st amendment, he'd ditch the 1st amendment. So, why would anybody imagine he had honor and character to begin with?

Look, your average politician is a sociopath. They don't rise to the level of honesty and trustworthiness you demand of a baby sitter. I'm not exaggerating, we routinely accept a level of dishonesty from politicians that would put a used car dealer in jail. It's not for nothing that "campaign promise" is another way of saying "lie".

If you think a candidate for President, ANY candidate for President, is "honorable", you're either delusional, or grading on a curve so steep Hannibal Lecter would get a "C". Honorable people don't get close enough to that job to even be noticed.

I remember last year reading a story about how the Clinton campaign was going to focus on attacking Obama on character issues and thinking it was a terrible idea. It ran so counter to reality and his whole narrative that it'd be like trying to swim uphill.

I'm sure it'll work just as well for McCain.

Look, your average politician is a sociopath. They don't rise to the level of honesty and trustworthiness you demand of a baby sitter

I think there's an appropriate middle ground between naivete and despair when it comes to judging politicians. Obviously, none are angels.

The thing that most irritates me about McCain is his misplaced self-righteousness, and his eagerness to attribute dishonesty or cravenness to any other politician that happens not to agree with him. I don't know how the guy was ever able to re-invent himself as Mr. Probity, I guess it just confirms the old axiom that prostitutes, ugly buildings and politicians all acquire a certain respectability in their old age.

No, agree it's not going to work. Nobody, and certainly not McCain, has the kind of campaign funds necessary to do that sort of thing entirely with paid media, and the news media have shown absolutely no interest at all in following up any leads concerning Obama's past. As you say, they've got their narrative, and once they settle into a story line they like, they do NOT abandon it. Certainly not to expose somebody they like.

Smear or truth, you can't defeat somebody by telling the public nasty things about them, if the media is going to ignore it. It's like spitting into a hurricane.

"I don't know how the guy was ever able to re-invent himself as Mr. Probity"

He spent a number of years sucking up to the media, rather than his party's base, on the theory that if the media like you, the base will end up liking you. The media can't tell the difference between a politician being principled, and his sucking up to THEM.

i don't get Brett's snarky comments re: Obama's past associations.

i mean, McCain is buddies with Bush and Cheney, who we KNOW are war criminals, and no one seems too bothered by that.

if we're going to measure people by body count, Bush and Cheney make William Ayers look like a piker!

Just to be crystal clear: it's not McCain winning that would set me off; it's not McCain smearing Obama that would set me off; it would be McCain winning by smearing Obama that does it.
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This is interesting.

If McCain stays with the facts about Obama and his relationship with Ayers, Rezko, and Wright and makes sure your family and friends know all about it, why is their judgement about how to weigh these facts in making a voting decision wrong and yours right?

Cannot someone be legitimately troubled by a man who is closely associated with any of these people?

Are you not troubled?

Sometimes, I try to imagine what it will be like for John McCain when this campaign is over, and he realizes how completely he has destroyed his character and his honor.

Alec Baldwin lamented last night on Bill Maher's show on how different McCain/2008 is from the McCain/2000 who would (probably) have been so much better a president than Bush.

I wonder if it will be possible for McCain to rebuild any of the bridges he has burned this campaign season. It's really a shame but who would have guessed that his judgment would become so bad as his level of desperation increased?

If McCain stays with the facts about Obama and his relationship with Ayers, Rezko, and Wright and makes sure your family and friends know all about it, why is their judgement about how to weigh these facts in making a voting decision wrong and yours right?

I think you make the faulty assumption that McCain would stick to "facts" and not wander off into the Land of Supposition and Innuendo.

If there was evidence out there that Obama had crossed a serious ethical or legal line, it would have been uncovered by the Republican Research/Attack Squad. The fact that nothing substantial has been revealed is, to me, proof positive that a guilt by association attack would be for the most part baseless. But then, baseless fear strategies have worked well for the GOP in the past so it wouldn't be surprising to see another one. But I agree with Hilzoy on this; the American public has seen this too many times and is not going to be quick to bite.

If the media's love for McCain was all about liking the fact that he was "sticking it to his fellow Republicans", what explains their similar love for Lieberman when he was a Democrat sticking it to his fellow Democrats?

Cannot someone be legitimately troubled by a man who is closely associated with any of these people?

Define "closely".

Are you not troubled?

I'm looking at the back end of eight years of Bush and Cheney. Next up are thirty days of ugly "the gloves are off" political campaigning from the folks who've made it into a fine art. If they're effective with that, maybe we're looking at four years of McCain and Palin.

Meanwhile - the market is in a death spiral, folks are losing their jobs, homes, and savings, Russia's drawing a line in the sand in eastern Europe and daring us to cross it, China and India are gearing up to eat our economic lunch, the folks in the EU are wondering if they really need to return our calls, and Osama Bin Laden is still giving us the finger from somewhere in Pakistan.

Please feel free to add your own personal list of things that keep you up at night and make you grind your teeth whenever you think about them.

Four years of McCain and Palin.

Dude, troubled doesn't even scratch the surface.

Thanks -

As you say, they've got their narrative, and once they settle into a story line they like, they do NOT abandon it. Certainly not to expose somebody they like.

I don't know. They show signs of finally abandoning the story of McCain the principled maverick, a story they'd settled into for many years, and he was perhaps their favorite politician.

McCain will not have any regrets about how he degraded himself during this campaign because he turns a deaf ear to any criticism and a blind eye to any evidence that contradicts his own self view. We are seeing the cumulative effect of a pampered life (noted POW era aside) and a bottomless sense of entitlement that will not be abated by anything that could happen in anything resembling reality.

DrDave, people can judge for themselves if Obama and his close relationships with Ayers, Rezko and Wright cross any 'serious ethical line'.

Personally I think they do.

Obama cannot hold out as an excuse his relationship with the terrorist Ayers that he was only eight years old when Ayers was trying to blow up things. Obama, after all had a Harvard law degree and certainly could not have been as ill informed of Ayers past as he pretends. Anyone who wants to be President of the US has got to have a better excuse than that for affiliation with a terrorist.

And Resko, a convicted criminal, was a known slumlord and yet Obama sought him out for assistance in buying his mansion. Obama needs a better class of friends.

And Wright is a blatant racist. Obama supported him and had a very close personal relationship with him for over twenty years. That doesn't bother you? Are we supposed to endorse racism now?

If the media's love for McCain was all about liking the fact that he was "sticking it to his fellow Republicans", what explains their similar love for Lieberman when he was a Democrat sticking it to his fellow Democrats?

The media are in the business of selling stories. Give them stories and you're their friend. Especially if the stories are easy to write.

I wonder. If McCain has concluded that he is toast and his only, even slim, hope is to go nuclear, or nucular if you prefer, on Obama, what must Palin be thinking? She must think she has a future in politics, unlike McCain, so she must be thinking that if McCain does in fact run this scorched earth campaign she is likely to go down with him. How can she avoid having her career killed in the process?

Brett (@ 6:38), "murderous"?

Bush and Cheney make Ayres look like a piker? Hell, McCain makes Ayres look like a piker. McCain trained to kill more people in an hour than Ayres is accused of killing in a lifetime.

But I'm not as sanguine as the rest of you that the american people can't be unhinged by negative campaigning. Its all McCain has got since, as it turns out, he doesn't have any real record of accomplishments to run on and he doesn't have any plans for actual accomplishments in office if he makes it to the presidency. The Palin pick alone reveals the essential hollowness of his political program since, as far as McCain himself is concerned, any airhead with a tic is capable of carrying it out if McCain is temporarily not available. But no one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the american people--just look at the die hard mccain supporters who have worked themselves into a frenzied lather pretending that ayres, rezko (get your spelling right, dudes, it makes him look more foreign) and wright--a former marine and well respected pastor of a huge church--are actually evil in a way that is at all comparable to the dictators and corrupt businessmen with whom Gentleman Johnny and his mega-millions wife have done business for all those years Johnny was "serving" his country in office.

aimai

aimai

russell, yes we face some troublesome times ahead. No one has been sounding the alarm on the financial crisis louder then myself.

But here I don't have much confidence in either candidate.

I was really hoping the contest was going to be between Clinton and Romney as I believe they were the stongest candidates each party was fielding on the economic issues. I long held that it was the economy that would decide the election.

As it stands between Obama and McCain, Obama may get a slight edge. But only because of his and McCain's party affiliations and not because of any personal expertise Obama brings to the table. In terms of judging each candidate's reaction to the crisis so far I would give the edge to McCain. He called for the sacking of Chris Cox for gross incompetence. This is long overdue. But I am not confident that McCain would replace Cox with anyone less ideologically committed than is Cox. McCain's party affiliation is a definate handicap to him in regards to qualified non-ideological personal to draw from.

Obama cannot hold out as an excuse his relationship with the terrorist Ayers that he was only eight years old when Ayers was trying to blow up things. Obama, after all had a Harvard law degree and certainly could not have been as ill informed of Ayers past as he pretends. Anyone who wants to be President of the US has got to have a better excuse than that for affiliation with a terrorist.

I love that word, "affiliation". It's so delightfully non-specific. I'm having a hard time believing there's any fire behind this smoke, and even the smoke is pretty wispy. Obama was stuck a very contentious primary race during the Rezko trial, after all, and nothing very shocking was ever dug up.

Hell, I've been "affiliated" with some of the 20th centuries best-known terrorists, good thing I'm not running for prez then. You know, you can actually learn a lot from people like Ayers and Wright, without in the slightest agreeing with their view of the world. I certainly wouldn't have much confidence that John McCain would have any clue about winning the war on terror if he categorically condemns anyone who has ever talked to a critic of the US government.

In terms of judging each candidate's reaction to the crisis so far I would give the edge to McCain.

Yes, because when given the opportunity to discuss the crisis in the first debate, he spent most of the time talking about the need to cut government spending, and specifically to cut out earmarks. In other words, he is obsessed with precisely the opposite appropriate policy solutions for a serious economic downtown.

I don't know that I'd call them "best buds", but it's pretty clear that Obama's threshold for shunning murderous terrorists is a lot higher than Tony's threshold for shunning McCain voters.

Plz to provide complete list of all people murdered by Ayers kthxbye

She must think she has a future in politics, unlike McCain, so she must be thinking that if McCain does in fact run this scorched earth campaign she is likely to go down with him.

I don't think there's much evidence that Palin is capable of that level of political calculation (or that she or most other Republicans care about the damage of campaigning on smears anyway). She may be a great political talent in Alaska, but that's a very small pool. The fact that McCain didn't bother to inform her that the campaign was pulling out of Michigan shows what he thinks of her political judgment.

If McCain wins, Paul and I are moving to Canada. That's how we will shun all of the McCAin voters.

We can't move right away, of course. Paul is still caring for his elderly mother. But after, off we will go.

However, I don't thinkit will happen. Republican smearing and fearmongering only works if people have nothing more immediage to be afraid of and right now people have lots of more immediate things to fear.

And Wright is a blatant racist. Obama supported him and had a very close personal relationship with him for over twenty years. That doesn't bother you? Are we supposed to endorse racism now?

I've heard this charge before but I don't see it. I guess it depends on your definition of "racism", do you mean something other than "anything that challenges white privilege"?

DrDave, people can judge for themselves if Obama and his close relationships with Ayers, Rezko and Wright cross any 'serious ethical line'.

Ken, there is no doubt that people can make an informed decision is presented with facts. And as I intimated earlier, Obama has been campaigning for nearly 2 years and yet no substantial facts have been brought to light that have demonstrated that any serious ethical or legal lines have been crossed. The Clinton campaign did not unearth any and neither has the GOP. I assume that this is not because there has been no effort in this regard, that it is because there is nothing substantial there.

Which brings us back to your initial remark: "If McCain sticks to the facts..."

It seems pretty apparent that the facts are as, byrningman pointed out, a wispy thin smoke screen. As such, my expectation is that the McCain campaign will try to concoct huge piles of horsepucky in an attempt to scare the voters into voting for McCain. But I don't think the voters are buying it this year. But we will see, won't we?

Are you not troubled?

You are kidding, right? The premises of the question itself are beyond stupid. It is a hardrock stupidity that defies description. It is a mendacious stupidity that is deserving of unmitigated contempt. It is a stupidity that should be laughed out of the public square. It is stupidity so obtuse as to defy dislodgement by simple things such as, you know, actual facts.

Really, really stupid.

I have it on good authority that Obama spent years in a legal institution because of his tendency towards pedagogy. P.S. Why is limited association with Ayres as part of the Annenberg Foundation worse that enthusiastic association with Henry Kissinger? After all, Kissinger is arguably a war criminal and is certainly an enemy of the U.S. Constitution, what with the Secret War in Cambodia and all.

If McCain shows more anger in Debate No. 2 Tuesday night than he showed in the first debate, it's over.

The voting public is broke. The same old bullshit isn't going to work this time around -- not from the man who just said, "The fundamentals of the economy are sound."

Frankly, I think there's more of an appetite for Palin and her winking, aw-shucks hockey mom routine than McCain and his elite wing of the right wing.

"There's no question that we have to change the subject here"

thanks for the reminder! i need to send Obama another $50.

You know, you can actually learn a lot from people like Ayers and Wright,
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You can learn even more from watching those who befriend them.

And if someone who has befriended them happens to be running for the President of the US it is quite rational to wonder about that persons values and judgement. Is that the type of person we want in the white house representing all of us? Do we excuse terrorism and racism when it is our guy who finds it convienent to embrace their practitioners for personal gain?

Personally, I don't think so. And I do not hold in high regard those who dismiss these concerns just for the sake of winning an election.

"Plz to provide complete list of all people murdered by Ayers kthxbye"

You're joking, right? You don't have to succeed at killing people to be murderous, being willing to try is good enough.

A defense of Obama based on the notion that Ayers isn't a nasty piece of work is a non-starter, and one based on the idea that Obama didn't know that he was a nasty piece of work is, frankly, an insult to Obama.

If Nichols had blown the truck up before reaching the Alfred P. Murrah Building, and McVeigh had gotten off on a technicality, I doubt you'd be cutting Republican Presidential candidates who later associated with him much slack.

Is that the type of person we want in the white house representing all of us?

I dunno. I figure that if the Bush family's pastor--Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell of Houston, who just performed daughter Jenna's marriage--doesn't have any qualms about Obama, neither should I.

I'm not saying anything; I'm just saying...

And Cleek has it right, it's time to head over to Act Blue and give the Obama campaign some more money.

Henry Kissinger is a mass murderer.

John McCain has "befriended" him.

Therefore John McCain's values and judgements are certainly questionable, and we are therefor free to make absurd assumptions regarding his lack of character, and dismiss him out of hand, thus avoiding the difficulties inherent in actually giving it something akin to THOUGHT.

Q.E.D.

Simple games for simple minds, eh, Ken?

If you find the above chockablock full of logical holes, then we agree. For somebody who decries "situational ethics" you sure exhibit that alleged shortcoming exqusitly.

Hence the stupid.

"Plz to provide complete list of all people murdered by Ayers kthxbye"

You're joking, right?

Uh, no.

You don't have to succeed at killing people to be murderous, being willing to try is good enough.

Please stay away from my legal system. Thank you.

Oh, and JFTR, The New York Times has a piece up in today's (10/4) edition about Sen. Obama's "connections" with William Ayers .

Basically: not a lot of "there" there.

As with most of the anti-Obama smears the increasingly desperate Republicans are going to try to rely on.

You don't have to succeed at killing people to be murderous, being willing to try is good enough.

it didn't work for Hillary, and it won't work for you. what it will do is drive your party's already significant negatives right through the roof.

Ken

You're grasping at straws. Show the the "embrace" of terrorists and racists by Obama.

Republicans embraced the Lee Atwater strategy of shouting "Nigger, Nigger, Nigger" (his own words). That doesn't bother you? G W Bush, with McCain's full support, gave up on chasing Bin Laden to invade Iraq. Remember Bush's speech after 9/11? Remember "Wanted, dead or alive." What would the response from Americans have been if he had said "Wanted, inconvienced and free after 7 years." Bin Laden attacked the country and killed 3000 people and Bush and McCain have given him a free pass. Talk about associating with terrorists!

You don't have to succeed at killing people to be murderous, being willing to try is good enough.

Given that the Weathermen routinely called to warn about their bombings to make sure nobody was killed, and the only people who ever died in Weathermen bombings were Weathermen who accidentally triggered bombs while they were setting them up, it looks like Ayers just isn't good enough. Typical lazy Left!

bobbyp,

You understand that when people say that Kissenger is a murderer that is metaphorical, right? And anyway, it was Nixon who actually conducted the war, Kissenger was a Cabinet Officer and advisor.

Ayers, on the other hand, is an admitted terrorist. But because he had a wealthy father (CEO of ConEd) he was able to escape punishment and attend Columbia instead. If it were you or me, we would still be rotting in jail.

Leaving aside whether McCain ever was a man of honor, or a maverick, or lived up to any of his laudatory nicknames - I doubt he's compos mentis enough to realize what he's doing.

Seriously.

Many people have noticed he's far less "there" these days. He rambles, he forgets what he said less than a day previously, he can't finish a train of thought ...

There are rumors his cancer has returned and/or that he's recently suffered a mini-stroke; even rumors that he's dying. He's only released part of his medical records, and then only to hand-picked journalists, and even then only for a few hours.

If any of these rumors are true, it opens up a whole raft of reasons McCain either isn't aware of what he's doing (and will be even less aware of it in December) or doesn't care.

tomeck, I don't defend racism no matter where it comes from. I have been an outspoken liberal Democrat all my life mostly because of the racist embrace of the Republican Party. But I will not tolerate racism from Democrats either. Wright is a racist and Obama had a long and very close personal and professional relationship with him for twenty years. Obama's actions during the primary campaign shows Obama's willingness to use racism against an opponent. We say we don't tolerate that kind of behavior in Republicans, well we shouldn't tolerate it in Democrats either.

I would take a few moments to point out Brett's probably hypocrisy on this stuff in re: Randy Weaver, the Minutement, David Koresh, other militia movements, etc., but why bother? He doesn't believe any of this garbage anyway, not with any consistency. He's an ideologue, just throwing chaff into the air in the hopes that it will confuse people.

Why are we engaging the ken troll?

Since Brett's not a troll, I'd like to hear an explanation from him of what specific connections Ayers had with Obama beyond those listed in yesterday's NYT article about the them. As far as I've seen, there's no there there.

ken, do you know any racists? Any?

with regards to the events of the late 60's, maybe the Republicanists should heed the words of their celebrity VP candidate:

"For a ticket that wants to talk about change and looking into the future, there’s just too much finger pointing backwards to make us think that’s where you’re going."

Al Qaeda bombs US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, August 7, 1998

"Look, is this guy, [bin] Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted? Most of us have never heard of him before." -- John McCain, mid-September 1998

Ken, you--and Republican hacks--keep saying that Wright is a racist, and I have yet to see any evidence of it. Please point me to just *one* comment of Wright's that provides evidence of his racism. I'm serious about this--I'm really trying to figure out what you think his racism consists in.

"You understand that when people say that Kissenger is a murderer that is metaphorical, right?"

Absolutely not. His policies and advice led to the needless deaths of millions of innocent people. And using Brett Bilmore logic, he is guilty, guilty, guilty.

Furthermore, I guess you agree with Stalin (I paraphrase): "One death is a tragedy, a million a mere statistic". And then you have the effing gall to whine about Ayer's "terrorism"? and dare to lecture us about situational ethics? That is madness, lunacy, and unhinged.

Apparently plain english is not good enough for you, or simply has no meaning, or has only the meaning you assert.

Hence the stupid.

Regards,

I'm with Turb. I don't think I'll ever convince Brett of much, or agree with him on much, but he seems sincere and reasonable in his differing opinions. Ken, not so much; that guy's been a liberal democrat all his life like I've been a horned toad all mine.

Why are we engaging the ken troll?

Practice? Rainy Saturday?

Why are we engaging the ken troll?

Practice? Rainy Saturday?

The ironic thing is that I would have consigned him to the pie shop weeks ago but I've been waiting to see if he ever responds to Gary's questions.

I'd honestly like to know what he's referring to with Obama and the primaries and whether his definition of racism is any different than Tom Metzger's.

I guess I'll give up soon but for now I still find his cowardice funny.

Bellmore - your cynicism is unsettling. All politicians are sociopaths? I assume your preferred state is a dictatorship of self?

I'd also be interested in a clear statement of what, exactly, the relationship between Obama and Rezko, and between Obama and Ayers, consisted of, and why I should care.

By "why I should care" I don't mean all the reasons they are not good guys. That part is clear enough. I mean why whatever association they had with Obama reflects poorly on him (Obama), and should affect my support of him for President.

I'm also with Turb, I'd prefer hearing it from Brett, who is clearly not a troll and never has been, than from ken, who has every appearance of being one.

Thanks -

I would take a few moments to point out Brett's probably hypocrisy on this stuff in re: Randy Weaver, the Minutement, David Koresh, other militia movements, etc., but why bother? He doesn't believe any of this garbage anyway, not with any consistency. He's an ideologue, just throwing chaff into the air in the hopes that it will confuse people.

Why go with pikers like Weaver and the Minutemen? Why not go with the associations the top of the McCain campaign has with people like Mobutu Sese Seko and Jonas Savimbi? Compared to these guys, the people killed by all of the 1960s American radicals is a rounding error. Far from shunning them, McCain's top campaign officials took their money to lobby on Capitol Hill to make sure they could keep killing people.

ken, do you know any racists? Any?
-----

Yes. I have met plenty of racists. I have endured racists epitaphs and suffered physical violence at the hands of racists. I have been robbed, beat up, chased and had my life threatened by racists. My family was forced out of our home by racists. My younger sister came close to losing her life at the hands of a racist.

In spite of my parents teaching that color is only skin deep some members of my family responded to all this by disliking all minorities.

I responded by disliking all racists. It is a gut level thing with me. I detest racism. I know up close and personal the harm it causes.

ken, based upon your last comment I have to assume that your calling Wright a racist was just meant to tweak, and you realize that he is not really one.

russell, you seriously do not know the relationship between Rezko, Wright and Obama? This must be willful ignorance on your part.

The relationship with Rezko is so tight that Obama turned to Rezko for help in buying his family mansion. Strangers don't do that.

The relationship with Wright is so tight that Obama has referred to him as a favorite uncle, a member of his family.

And the relationship with Ayers, regardless of how you want to minimize it, is certainly not appropriate for someone who wants to be President of the USA. The proper relationship to William Ayers is one of scorn and derision.

jm: actually, reading between the lines of ken's 03:48pm comment, it would appear to me, according to ken's warped 'logic', that "racist" = "person of colour". Which, at least, partly explains how he can, with such righteous conviction and myopic certainty, continually label Rev. Wright and Barack Obama "racists".

I suppose that makes me "racist", too.

(Re: ken's unlikely sob story of endless persecution at the hands of teh mean ol' darkies, I am sorely tempted to call bullsh!t [along with several other incivil terms of endearment] but I'm afraid that doing so might cause the precious posting rules to violently implode.)

john miller, no I mean it when I say that Wright is a racist.

I'd also be interested in a clear statement of what, exactly, the relationship between Obama and Rezko, and between Obama and Ayers, consisted of, and why I should care.

Going twice...

Thanks -

mattbastard clearly does not have a clue about racism, except perhaps as he once read about it in a textbook.

Oh, and since Gary appears to be otherwise occupied:

"I can never forgive him [Barack Obama] for useing racism against the Clintons."

How did Barack Obama do that?

"But I also will no longer support afirmative action, preferential admission policies and other programs designed to assist minorities gain access to good job opportunities."

What does Barack Obama have to do with this?

"But we also know that when somone like him does not get accepted it is because they made room for a minority applicant with lower GPA. Skin color made all the difference."

How, exactly, do you know this? Please be specific.

"jes, Your comment about me is typical racism."

Can you please define what you mean by "racism"?

Thanks.

Sometimes, I try to imagine what it will be like for John McCain when this campaign is over, and he realizes how completely he has destroyed his character and his honor.

Yeah, but he'll be looking forward to his inauguration in January, and I can't imagine that he'll be worrying too much about what the voters of America think of him. It's not as if the voters get to decide an election any more: that kind of thinking is so 20th century.

I cannot imagine that it will seem worth it come December

He wants to be President more than he wants anything else, after all: I think knowing he's going to be in January will make anything seem worth it.

russell, you seriously do not know the relationship between Rezko, Wright and Obama? This must be willful ignorance on your part.

Here is what I know about Rezko and Obama:

Obama bought some property from him and got a pretty good deal.

Here is what I know about Ayers and Obama:

They both participated in a Chicago area political organization.

Neither of these associations bothers me. Perhaps if I knew more, they would.

Hence, my request for more information.

Also, if by "willful ignorance" you mean I'm deliberately trying to NOT know more, you are wrong. If you mean "get off your lazy @ss and do your own homework", that would be a fair comment, and perhaps I will.

It just seemed like you had some specific information in mind, so I thought I'd ask.

Floor's open, have at it.

I actually know plenty about Wright, I don't need any help there.

Thanks -

mattbastard clearly does not have a clue about racism, except perhaps as he once read about it in a textbook.

Yes, clearly. My experience as a person of colour growing up in a culture in which whiteness is the dominant norm? Incomparable to ken (and Hillary's) hard-won firsthand knowledge of how it feels to be on the receiving end of the most vicious kind of racism: reverse racism.

On behalf of the entire Global Negro Conspiracy, I admit it: the largely mythical pseudo-variety of racial prejudice that us whiny niggers always gripe about is nothing but a collective plot designed to make innocent white folks feel guilty.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Here is what I know about Rezko and Obama:

Obama bought some property from him and got a pretty good deal.

Not quite.

Some landowner wanted to sell a home and an adjoining piece of property.

Obama wanted to buy just the home, not the property.

Rezko offered to buy the property, if Obama bought the home.

Obama bought the property; he dickered the price down by about $300K (property comps showed that the lower price was in the neighborhood of market rates). Rezko bought the adjacent property.

mattbastard:

pwnage...but you ARE fighting the Black Knight....

russell, by all means do your own homework. As I've pointed out to before regarding Gary, it is best that people learn some things, especially when it might contradict the illusions they enjoy about a favorite candidate, on their own.

You can start with the fact that Obama turned to Rezko for help in buying his family mansion. Obama would not be living there today if it had not been for Rezko's assistence in making the deal work to Obama benefit.

As for Ayers. What we know is that Obama had no qualms about having a relationship with an admitted terrorist. Instead of condemming Ayers and standing up against domestic terrorism he condoned him for his personal political gain.

It is too late to put Ayers in jail for his actions. His wealthy dad (CEO of ConEd) saw to it that he got off on a technicallity. But it is not to late to condemn him and those who condone his actions through acquiescence.

You or I would be still rotting in jail had we done what Ayers admittedly did.

ken, since you have been asked and have not answered why you think Wright is a raqcist, I presumed you really didn't think he was.

As far as "You or I would be still rotting in jail had we done what Ayers admittedly did." probably not. All we needed to do was ask the Clinton administration for a pardon. They were good at pardoning convi8cted terrorists who did a lot worse than what Ayers did.

You baloney about Rezko and Obama is just that, baloney.

And I don't know why any of us keep responding to you, since you have yet to put forth anything other than unsubstantiated claims.

The relevant documents on Rezko:

http://archpundit.com/blog/2008/01/24/rezko-primer-vi-house-purchase/

Thin gruel, there, I'm afraid.

What we know is that Obama had no qualms about having a relationship with an admitted terrorist.

A person who is a professor for a major American university. Who receives multi million dollar grants from people like Walter Annenberg (not much of a liberal, I'm afraid). Who is called a leading expert on education?

Not thinking this through, are you?

So here's the thing. In a perfect world I might be troubled by Obama's entanglements with Rezko and Ayers, or maybe even Wright. But in a perfect world, Rezko and Ayers wouldn't exist, Wright would be a cuddly teddy bear, the Dow would be at 36,000, gas would cost 25 cents a gallon, and I'd be so rich that Warren Buffett would beg to shine my shoes.

But we don't live in a perfect world, Obama is not a perfect person, and, sadly, people like Ayers and Rezko do what they do. And so we're left with a choice between two imperfect candidates and their Veeps, John McCain and Sarah Palin, and Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

McCain and Palin would continue the destruction of the past 8 years as if the fundamentals of the economy were strong, the U.S. were victorious and glorious in Iraq, and Jesus is just around the corner. Obama/Biden represent a change from that. For the better? Probably. For the worse? Maybe.

But God fncking damn if I'll vote for more of the same.

major American university = University of Illinois (Chicago).

mattbastard is now claiming to be black. What a hoot. Clearly he is nothing but a troll.

Make a deal dude. You wanna have some respect? Then you gotta show some respect.

If you think your color provides you with a priviledged position of exclusivity on being a victim of violent racism... well that is just too funny ... and pathetic for words.

And what is this 'reverse racism' anyway?

Racism is racism and is not to be tolerated from anyone.

ken, posting guidelines. You're not being polite to other posters.

I'm worried that merely by posting comments on this blog, we've all disqualified ourselves from elected office. Any opposition research team will have a field day with our "association" with Ken.

In a perfect world I might be troubled by Obama's entanglements with Rezko and Ayers, or maybe even Wright.

Given Ayers' entanglements with Columbia University, Walter Annenberg and a lot of the Republican establishment in Illinois, that's....a lot of company Obama shares.

Reverse Racism is what whites shout when they don't get into the law school they want.

If some black guy mugs you just beacause you're white, and he only mugs whites, ok that's a racist attitude. But Racism isn't just personal attitudes, it's the whole power structure, government, economic, scholastic and more by which one race oppresses another.

Ken, you may have suffered some ugy incidents, if so, I feel for you. But I doubt you've suffered racism.

A day after you can read this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/us/politics/04ayers.html?_r=2&hp&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Palin said this:

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h2TC1ztefVzOiXeCNcmY7lIelBNwD93JRMQ81

"In remarks to GOP donors in Englewood, Colo., on Saturday, Palin said Obama seems to see the U.S. as being so imperfect that, in her words, "he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country."

mattbastard is now claiming to be black. What a hoot. Clearly he is nothing but a troll.

Make a deal dude. You wanna have some respect? Then you gotta show some respect.

Excuse me, "dude", but I never asked for, nor desire your respect. As for my purported ethnic identification, well, I suppose it's possible that my dark complexion could be the result of a childhood tanning bed incident, and not my halfrican pedigree.

Anything's possible.

Oh, and considering the fact that you also think (or, rather, disingenuously assert) that Gary Farber is a 'troll', I will happily and heartily accept the dubious honour without further protest.

[Insert Inigo Montoya quote here. In plural.]

The rest of your irony-deficient bleating speaks for itself, to say nothing of every other thread-derailing, factually-challenged, reality-averse assertion you've ever posted while trolling the comments here.

I miss bril.

The "terorist" Ayers!

Stop the bullshit.

Ayers put M80's in a pentagon toilet 40 years ago and hurt nobody. Now he is a distinguished professor at the TERRORIST University of Illinois. McCain bombed and killed men women and children and he is a "hero"? Ayers has more character than his critics. STFU about Ayers.

Ken, you may have suffered some ugy incidents, if so, I feel for you. But I doubt you've suffered racism.

ken accused mattbastard of knowing nothing about racism. when mattbastard mentioned his background, ken accused matt of being a troll and demanded respect from him that he clearly is not granting matt.

Obviously, mattbastard is far too...articulate...for ken to handle.

john miller,

The evidence of Wrights racism was endlessly presented and discussed during the primary campaign. It became such a problem for Obama that he choose to throw Wright under the proverbial bus (a little too late) hoping to put the problem behind him.

I've no interest in trying to convince you now concerning Wrights racism. If the material presented then was not enough to convince you then nothing will.

Or perhaps you saw it. Perhaps you were so emeshed in the consensual illusion that Obama was 'the one we've been waiting for', that no evidence of Wrights perfidity could break through. So go dig it up and take another look. Perhaps now that things have calmed down and Obama is not at risk due to his connection with Wright you can judge it more objectively.

And I don't think I would ever be so well connected or wealthy that had I done wrong to ever be considered for a presidential pardon. You may feel different about your own chances.

Ken - As someone who was trekking in Mongolia during the primary campaign, I would appreciate a primer on Wright's racism, if you have the time.

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