The torch passed to the rad­i­cals

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Not with a bang but a whim­per, the Clin­ton era ended. An an­gry and frus­trated Bill Clin­ton could only watch as Hil­lary’s piti­fully shrunken del­e­gate num­bers were posted on the count­ing board. It was enough to make a de­voted hus­band wish his wife had clung to her own name.

With the vote, the last ves­tige of the “old” Demo­cratic Party was swept away. No more “the mid­dle way,” no more of the rel­a­tive mod­er­a­tion of the Clin­ton years. The sea of black, fe­male, gay (but not nec­es­sar­ily cheer­ful) and rad­i­cal faces at this con­ven­tion tes­tify to the cel­e­bra­tion of the spirit of the ‘60s, the most squalid decade of a grim and con­tentious cen­tury.

It was the Anointed One tak­ing cen­ter stage, the stage moved to the Den­ver Bron­cos foot­ball sta­dium so he could make the speech of his life against the back­drop of a fa­cade of plas­ter col­umns wor­thy of the righ­teous wrath of Sam­son. They’re call­ing this one the Tem­ple of Obama. But fa­cades are frag­ile. We know what hap­pened to Sam­son.

The Obama camp, if not the se­na­tor him­self, is nev­er­the­less grow­ing in­creas­ingly ner­vous that they haven’t put up enough mir­rors or con­jured enough smoke. He ought to be al­ready get­ting his poll bounce, pad­ding what he ex­pected to be a comfortable lead. But nei­ther the emo­tional ac­co­lades of Teddy Kennedy nor the oaths of loy­alty from Hil­lary, man­u­fac­tured overnight of high-im­pact plas­tic, have moved the nee­dle.

On the eve of what should be the big­gest night of the nom­i­nee’s ca­reer, the cam­paign dis­patched its le­gion of lawyers to at­tempt to sup­press the First Amend­ment in pur­suit of squelch­ing a tele­vi­sion com­mer­cial ask­ing in­con­ve­nient ques­tions about Mr. Obama’s friend­ship and as­so­ci­a­tion with two vi­o­lent and un­re­pen­tant ‘60s rad­i­cals.

The cam­paign com­mer­cial, not au­tho­rized by the McCain cam­paign, makes no wild ac­cu­sa­tions, raises no ques­tions about any­body’s pa­tri­o­tism, but asks pointed ques­tions about a man’s judg­ment in choos­ing his friends.

The Ayres con­nec­tion, and what can be made of it, fright­ens the Obama cam­paign. There’s no ques­tion that the se­na­tor has been pals with William Ayres and his wife, Bernar­dine Dohrn, and what we know about that friend­ship is dam­ag­ing enough. Mr. Obama launched his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer at a fundraiser in the home of William Ayres; Ber­na­dine Dohrn was the evening’s host­ess. The two men served to­gether on a foun­da­tion that dis­pensed money to left-wing causes and in­sti­tu­tions in Chicago, in­clud­ing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church. The two of them ap­peared in tan­dem as re­cently as 2002 on a panel at the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois at Chicago. The panic-like re­ac­tion to the new tele­vi­sion com­mer­cial sug­gests there may be other things some­one doesn’t want us to know.

If the un­re­pen­tant bomb-throw­ers were try­ing to live quiet lives, to re­flect on their evil, they picked an un­for­tu­nate day to emerge from those re­flec­tions. Their op-ed es­say, “No Re­grets For a Love of Ex­plo­sives,” ap­peared in the New York Times just a few hours be­fore Is­lamist ter­ror­ists flew air­lin­ers into the World Trade Cen­ter and the Pen­tagon. Talk about get­ting a bang for your buck.

“I don’t re­gret set­ting bombs,” he told a Times re­porter in an ac­com­pa­ny­ing pro­file. “I feel we didn’t do enough.”

This dy­namic hus­band-and-wife duo were well known in their day. Ber­na­dine Dohrn cut a strik­ing fig­ure at ral­lies of the Weather Un­der­ground, the first home-grown Amer­i­can ter­ror­ist cult, in her sig­na­ture leather miniskirt and high-heeled black leather boots cut at a shapely thigh. (That’s the way ev­ery­body could talk then.) She in­vited the like-minded to con­spire with her against “Amerikkka,” and once raised a three-fingered “fork salute” to Charles Man­son and the “fam­ily” who killed and mu­ti­lated the ac­tress Sharon Tate and friends.

“Dig it!” she told that rally in Flint, Mich., in 1969. “First they killed those pigs. Then they ate din­ner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a vic­tim’s stom­ach! Wild!”

Barack Obama has de­scribed William Ayres as “just some­body I know in the neigh­bor­hood.” He protests now that he was only 8 years old when th­ese friends “in the neigh­bor­hood” were killing cops and blow­ing up things. No­body is sug­gest­ing that he was there, only that his judg­ment is not re­li­able. Who can trust a man who chooses friends like that?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.