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Obama Doesn't "Exchange Ideas" with an Unrepentant Ex-Domestic Terrorist

... "on a regular basis".

Boy, that wasn't a good answer.

It didn't help that Obama followed up by analogizing Bill Ayers, the domestic terrorist in question, to a fellow Senator who vociferously opposes abortion, with whom Obama is also friendly. One man advocates legislation to criminalize abortion, the other is an unrepentant ex-terrorist from the Weather Underground, there is no difference in moral judgment in deciding to befriend either of them, right? (H/T Instapundit).

UPDATE: A reader protests, "Obama specifically mentioned [Sen. Tom] Coburn's statement that capital punishment is appropriate for abortionists. The issue is that Coburn advocated killing people for something Obama doesn't even believe should be illegal."

But the main reason people might be troubled by Obama's friendship with Ayers is not because Ayers has radical political views, but because he's an unrepentant ex-terrorist. The analogy would hold water only if Cockburn had been involved in bombing abortion clinics, escaped prosecution, and now publicly says, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."

And now that the transcript is available, you can read the full context.

Moderator: And I want to give Senator Clinton a chance to respond, but first a follow-up on this issue, general theme of patriotism, in your relationships. A gentleman named William Ayers. He was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other buildings. He's never apologized for that.

And, in fact, on 9/11, he was quoted in the New York Times saying, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." An early organizing meeting for your State Senate campaign was held at his house and your campaign has said you are "friendly."

Can you explain that relationship for the voters and explain to Democrats why it won't be a problem?

OBAMA: George, but this is an example of what I'm talking about. This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.

And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense, George.

The fact is that I'm also friendly with Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative Republicans in the United States Senate, who, during his campaign, once said that it might be appropriate to apply the death penalty to those who carried out abortions.

Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn's statements? Because I certainly don't agree with those, either.

Fearless:
I am beginning to suspect that David Bernstein is not going to be voting for Barack Obama if he wins the nomination.
4.17.2008 1:25am
TyWebb:
DB jumped the shark when he attempted to marginalize the substantial legacy of an essentially good and brilliant man in Prof. Bell.
4.17.2008 1:31am
huskerfan:
Instapundit's judgment has been so so so awesome for so so so long. Keep it up!
4.17.2008 1:32am
hawkins:

It didn't help that Obama followed up by analogizing Ayres, the domestic terrorist in question, to a fellow Senator who vociferously opposes abortion, with whom Obama is also friendly. One man advocates legislation to criminalize abortion, the other is an unrepentant ex-terrorist from the Weather Underground, there is no difference in moral judgment in deciding to befriend either of them, right?


What an absurd statement. Obama did not analogize Ayres with Coburn. He simply stated that he associates with people he deeply disagrees with.
4.17.2008 1:41am
lpc (mail):
You can't blame Ayers for his terrorism, he was just bitter because there were no factory jobs in his hometown, so he wound up clinging to guns.
4.17.2008 1:44am
Displaced Midwesterner (mail):
I'm glad we have this blog to provide brief, not incredibly useful commentary with links to blogs that provide brief, not incredibly useful commentary with links to sites.
4.17.2008 1:45am
hawkins:

You can't blame Ayers for his terrorism, he was just bitter because there were no factory jobs in his hometown, so he wound up clinging to guns.


Ha ha!
4.17.2008 1:50am
Brian G (mail) (www):

You can't blame Ayers for his terrorism, he was just bitter because there were no factory jobs in his hometown, so he wound up clinging to guns


Brilliant!

Obama is a clown, a nothing. I did like his answers on the capital gains questions. It reaffirmed what I already knew: he's a Socialist.
4.17.2008 1:59am
Fearless:

Obama is a clown, a nothing. I did like his answers on the capital gains questions. It reaffirmed what I already knew: he's a Socialist.


What did he say? That capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as those who actually earn their income through working?
4.17.2008 2:03am
Malvolio:
It didn't help that Obama followed up by analogizing Ayres, the domestic terrorist in question, to a fellow Senator who vociferously opposes abortion
At one point in his long answer, Obama obviously realizes "Huh, I'm making it sound like all of my friends are lunatics of one stripe or another", and he starts to stutter.
4.17.2008 2:10am
JB:
Sadly, this was probably the most substantive question asked the whole debate.
4.17.2008 2:18am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"What did he say? That capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as those who actually earn their income through working?"

It shouldn't. If BHO had any economic literacy he would oppose an increase in capital gains tax.

In 1998 most industrial and developing countries tax individual and corporate capital gains more lightly than does the United States. If you tax something you generally get less of it. We need more savings and investment in the US, not less. We shouldn't tax work either. The income tax needs to be replaced by some kind of consumption tax. A capital gains tax is also a tax on inflation. At a minimum we should adjust the current capital gains tax for inflation. Why would someone want to hold a depreciating asset? That's what happens when you tax inflation. Even the European Social Democracies understand this. But but not BHO.

He and his supporters have a lot to learn about economics. But what would you expect from someone who hasn't even run a candy store?
4.17.2008 2:33am
Ak:
Honestly, reading forums on the internet forces me to keep reminding myself I think Obama actually IS a pretty decent candidate who I wouldn't mind as President (from what I've seen so far).

This is necessary because of the wonderful combination of self-righteousness and persecution complex evinced by so many of his followers (and no, I don't mean "supporters"). Not only is it unfathomable to them that you could possibly not support Obama for any legitimate reason, but any questioning of his stances or statements is clearly the most unfair attack ever perpetrated on a candidate. I literally don't think I've seen a single McCain or Hillary supporter complain about the any of stories about their candidates but every single Obama story has one or more Obamites complaining about how this site is "nothing but anti-Obama news" or "too right wing". If criticizing the Chosen Candidate gives you high blood pressure, I strongly suggest you stick to dailykos and make us all better off.
4.17.2008 3:35am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Let's get more specific about BHO and taxes on capital gains. From the transcript of the BHO-HRC debate.
GIBSON: And in each instance, when the [capital gains] rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down.

So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
BHO is telling us here that he's really more interested in social engineering than in raising revenue. He would rather punish high income people than raise revenue. Then BHO tries to use the magician's trick of misdirection by bringing up hedge funds (which don't hedge).

We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year — $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That's not fair.
Here BHO confuses a regulatory problem with a tax policy problem. Hedge funds need to be regulated more because they are a risk to financial stability. There should be caps on the amount of leverage they can take on. In any case if he's so worried about the ill gotten gains of 50 people, why not capture that with a special surcharge on super high incomes? Why punish the middle class? Why punish retirees who are living off their dividends?
4.17.2008 3:48am
Tony Tutins (mail):
If you tax something you generally get less of it. We need more savings and investment in the US, not less. We shouldn't tax work either.

Exactly. Wage income tax rates should be lowered to match capital gains tax rates.

Obama is right. Bill Ayers' opinions and life experience should no more be imputed to him than Sam Walton's opinions and life experience should be imputed to Hillary. (Obama was paid to serve on the board of the non-profit anti-poverty grantmaker Woods Fund; Hillary was paid to serve on the board of the pro-profit discount seller Wal-Mart.)

Further, had government done their job, Bill Ayers would not be living in Obama's neighborhood at all. His presence there reflects the failure of the Federal government and the governments of New York State and New York City to prosecute and imprison Bill Ayers after he and his wife turned themselves in to the authorities in 1981. But the real cause of Ayers' living in Obama's neighborhood is another government agency, the University of Illinois, which hired Bill Ayers and made him a tenured English professor. In Hyde Park, university professors are as common as leather-patched sports coats, used bookstores, or Harold's Fried Chicken shacks. Further, I strongly suspect that Bill Ayers and his wife were introduced to Barack as the English and law professors, respectively, that they are, instead of as the 70's terrorists they were.

(Imagined sign in a university departmental office: "You don't have to have been a long-haired 60's radical draftcard burner to work here, but it helps.")
4.17.2008 4:39am
Ursus Maritimus:
The difference between a prenatal abortion of a fetus via scraping and a postnatal abortion of a fascist via shooting is that fetus isn't objectively an enemy of the people while the fascist is?
4.17.2008 7:29am
VincentPaul (mail):
Let's not confuse the University of Chicago (B. Obama) with the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle (W. Ayres).
4.17.2008 8:32am
ichthyophagous (mail):
The name is "Ayers", not Ayres". People keep making this mistake.
4.17.2008 8:53am
Give Me A Break:
"One man advocates legislation to criminalize abortion"

Obama specifically mentioned Coburn's statement that capital punishment is appropriate for abortionists. The issue is that Coburn advocated killing people for something Obama doesn't even believe should be illegal. Honestly, there really is no answer Obama could possibly give to placate those who actually believe that being friendly with Bill Ayers despite his not repenting for forty-year old crimes of which he was never even convicted reveals some pernicious character flaw. There goes the Sean Hannity vote.
4.17.2008 9:06am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Obama specifically mentioned Coburn's statement that capital punishment is appropriate for abortionists. The issue is that Coburn advocated killing people for something Obama doesn't even believe should be illegal.
So, what's your point? The reason people might be troubled by Obama's friendship with Ayers is not because Ayers has radical political views, but because he's an unrepentant ex-terrorist. The analogy would hold water only if Cockburn had been involved in bombing abortion clinics, and "only wishes I could have done more."
4.17.2008 9:12am
DavidBernstein (mail):
P.S. Obama should have said, "when I met him, I was introduced to him as an English professor, not as an ex-terrorist. I assumed that he was as appalled by his earlier behavior as I am." Obama seemed like he wanted to say that, but never got it out. He also may have realized that this would get him in trouble if it turns out that he stayed friendly and even took advice from Ayers well after his unrepentedness became public in Sept. 2001.
4.17.2008 9:16am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Exactly. Wage income tax rates should be lowered to match capital gains tax rates."

That will increase consumption not investment, unless directed to the high income earners, which is politically impossible.
4.17.2008 9:25am
alkali (mail):
Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers' wife and a fellow member of the Weather Underground, sits on Northwestern's law faculty.

I can only assume that Prof. Bernstein will be calling for his fellow Volokh Conspirator Prof. Lindgren to resign from that tainted institution.
4.17.2008 9:57am
Just Dropping By (mail):
Good shot, alkali!
4.17.2008 10:13am
Lily (mail):
I normally believe we cannot hold people accountable for the positions and actions of others. However, Obama seems to be closely assoicated with so many troublesome people that at some point a reasonal person begins to wonder about Obama's true ideology.
4.17.2008 10:15am
DavidBernstein (mail):
If you call a non sequitor a good shot, then good shot. (But I agree that if Ms. Dohrn is as publicly unrepentant as Mr. Ayers, and Jim was to run for president, and it turned out that Jim was friends with Ms. Dohrn, it would be a bad answer for Jim to say, "well, I'm friends with colleagues on the faculty who are really, really, against abortion, too.")
4.17.2008 10:19am
Happyshooter:
More and more of Obama's true beliefs are coming out. He is not quite the master pol he was sold as.
4.17.2008 10:22am
rarango (mail):
What a terrible debate--Verry little of substance IMO. Mostly gotcha questions which both candidates seemed to fumble--All the McCain team has to do is collect video clips for the general election campaign. That said, I would have thought both candidates would have anticipated those questions and had coherent responses at the ready. The American public was not well served by ABCs handling of this debate.
4.17.2008 10:43am
alkali (mail):
To state what should be obvious, I don't seriously maintain that Prof. Lindgren ought to resign from Northwestern.

However, if I wanted to up the rhetorical ante here, I could say something like, "I suppose Prof. Lindgren can do what he wants, but if I found myself teaching side-by-side with an ex-terrorist, and greeting ex-terrorists at faculty receptions, and sitting on faculty committees with ex-terrorists, I would resign from that school."

Does Prof. Lindgren really do all these things? I think the picture painted by that hypothetical comment is probably vastly misleading, but it's also probably true that Prof. Lindgren treats Prof. Dohrn with normal collegial courtesy that would be open to this sort of distortion. Unless Prof. Lindgren actually goes around slamming doors in Prof. Dohrn's face, it would certainly be hard to "prove" these unfair insinuations are false.

No one could really disagree that you might be able to learn something about someone by looking at the people with whom they associate. At the same time, guilt by association can readily degenerate to Calvinball, where rules are made up arbitrarily as we go along. The distinctions raised by Prof. Bernstein in his 9:19 a.m. comment have just that Calvinball quality to them: again, while I don't believe that Prof. Lindgren ought to resign from Northwestern, whether or not he's running for President has nothing to do with it.
4.17.2008 10:47am
GP (mail):
How about a moratorium on DB posts?
4.17.2008 10:55am
Orson Buggeigh:
The politics of association gets vicious. It is interesting,though, that academics have no problem accepting convicted terrorists (criminals), but utilize the claim of criminal behavior against those who have not even been charged. Compare the comments on blogs from academics regarding Ayers and Dohrn and John Yoo. All three are tenured faculty, I believe. Many academics see nothing wrong with hiring Ayers and Dohrn as faculty, and have tenured them, yet at the same time they find the tenured position of John Yoo problematic. Tenure is intended to protect unpopular faculty with unpopular ideas.

While I disagree with the decisions by the faculties to hire convicted terrorists in the first place, I defend the rights of Ayers and Dohrn to retain their posts, as they have been hired and tenured through the appropriate process. However, Berkeley is being contacted repeatedly by faculty calling for the dismissal of a tenured faculty member, John Yoo,a faculty member who has not even been charged with a criminal act. I'm not sure I would want to associate with any of the three, all of whom strike me as morally bankrupt. But,fair is fair. If the faculty nation wide think tenure should not apply to people they call 'criminal', then why should tenure apply to people who are actually convicted criminals? Likewise, people with political ambitions may sometimes discover that the unsavory persons they associated with become political baggage.
4.17.2008 11:14am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Orson.
problem is, Ayres, Dohrn, et al, did things which a certain proportion of the liberal population can't really, really condemn. Not in their heart of hearts. So the difference in treatment between them and, say, Yoo is understandable.
4.17.2008 11:38am
NattyB:
This guilt by association stuff gets a bit ridiculous and I think it'll actually help Obama in the long run.

Are we going to talk about Patty Herst next?

If Obama goes down, it should be because his policies are bunk. Not because his pastor is a relic of the 60s.

Do you respect the flag? Does your pastor love America? What a bunch of BS.
4.17.2008 11:39am
Bill Woods (mail):
DB: "...The analogy would hold water only if Cockburn had been involved in bombing abortion clinics, ..."

"Cockburn" should be "Coburn". Not a big deal, but since you added the comment to the post, you might want to correct it.
4.17.2008 11:53am
Dave N (mail):
This guilt by association stuff gets a bit ridiculous
Apparently only if it is directed at Barack Obama. If it is directed at John McCain (see the left wing blogosphere's frothing at his endorsement by John Hagee), then guilt by association is perfectly OK.
4.17.2008 11:54am
calmom:
The point of the Ayers association is that in Obama's liberal circles, being friendly with an unrepentant bomber isn't a political liability.

Most people who still know right from wrong would have nothing to do with a terrorist.
4.17.2008 12:04pm
alkali (mail):
Many academics see nothing wrong with hiring Ayers and Dohrn as faculty, and have tenured them, yet at the same time they find the tenured position of John Yoo problematic.

Actually, I think the consensus position on legal academic blogs is that even if it's too bad Yoo is tenured, his tenure can't be questioned this point on the basis of the "Yoo Memos," etc.

I don't really know why Ayers and Dohrn were tenured; it's really before my time, even though I'm closing in on 40. I am aware of at least one contemporaneous column criticizing it (by liberal columnist Michael Kinsley; it was entitled "Dohrn Again," ho ho ho).

The lot of them can be roundfiled for all I care.
4.17.2008 12:07pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
I'm sure if were to come out that McCain had a similarly "friendly" relationship with David Duke, the Left would be all, "Like, whatever.". Because we know that the Democrat left is rational, evenhanded, and opposed to guilt by association.

William Ayers is a Professor of English. What could be more harmless than that? Nothing to see here, folks. Move along now.
4.17.2008 12:18pm
David M (www):
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 04/17/2008 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.
4.17.2008 12:27pm
JosephSlater (mail):
I wonder if the attack pieces on Obama on this blog will ever get around to discussing his positions on issues.
4.17.2008 12:29pm
calmom:
Positions on issues don't mean much if a candidate's character is questionable. (BTW, that applies equally to Obama and Clinton).
4.17.2008 12:39pm
rarango (mail):
Re issues: (and I agree that is certainly a topic the debate should have focussed on--not the stuff they spent an hour on). When the SCOTUS rules on the second amendment case, then I will certainly be happy to try to figure out Obama's current position on gun control--right now it is have it both ways: respect second amendment but local bans OK. Those seem contradictory to me.
4.17.2008 12:48pm
NattyB:
Dave N @10.54

As Obama likes to say, "Let me be clear."

This guilt by association stuff is stupid regardless of who it's aimed at.

The Hagee stuff is stupid. It's a distraction from the real issues. Such as:

1. McCain is viewed as an expert on National Security.

2. McCain has advocated for the same disastrous National Security positions as W., for the past 8 years.
- one could argue that McCain would pursue different policies then W., and that he adopted those positions because he was being a loyal republican - which cuts against the Maverick meme. But given that his foreign policy advisers are from the same small pond of Neo-con think tanks, I doubt there'd be much of a change. This more than anything else, is why I'm likely to support Obama in the fall.

But this is a debate I'd rather have then which random person said what and how tenuously they are related to so and so's campaign.

As an aside, does anyone know how McCain voted on the creation of Homeland Security? I think of the creation of DHS - as a gigantic expansion of government, that gives out our tax dollars for little return - as symbol for just how much the republican's strayed from their conservative values and small government underpinnings. Big praise to McCain if he voted against it.
4.17.2008 12:49pm
neurodoc:
BHO: ...those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries.
That's either stupid or disingenuous, and I don't for a moment think BHO is stupid. Those who have amassed huge fortunes "working" the stock market only pay 15% in fed taxes on the sale of appreciated assets held for more than a year, but people who have not amassed fortunes pay the same 15% in fed taxes on the sale of appreciated assets held for more than a year. And both the former (huge fortunes) and the latter (no fortunes) pay the same marginal rates on any "earned" income, up to 35%, at the same time they are paying 15% on any long-term capital gains that they have realized. So "lower tax rate than their secretaries" makes for a good sound bite, but it is intentionly misleading. And "raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness," that is dangerous bit of populist pandering, since it reflects a concern about vote getting over doing the right thing by the nation's economy.

Now, there is "unfairness" in the tax treatment hedge fund managers' "earnings" (that's what they are, not true long-term gains on investments as such). This is truly unjustified and unjustifiable from any perspective, but some of those champions of the common man, like Chuck Schumer and Christopher Dodd, are handmaidens of the heavyweight Wall Street types who funds the senators and like that special tax treatment just the way it is.
4.17.2008 1:12pm
Rand Simberg (mail):
If BHO had any economic literacy he would oppose an increase in capital gains tax.

No, he would oppose an increase in capital gains tax rate. Neither he, nor anyone else, has any control over whether or not an actual tax is increased.
4.17.2008 1:13pm
mcgruder (mail):
As someone who finds much of BO personally appealing, and who may well vote for him, his answer on this question is appalling.

Ayers is a terrorist and attempted murderer who has found a living and some degree of professional comfort based upon these acts. That Obama could find anything to say to this scumbag is beyond me; this has nothing to do with his politics and a lot to do with his integrity and character.

I simply do not want the POTUS having a free-form idea-driven relationship with a man who really doesnt want to walk back on his murder-oriented background. Ever.

As a Dem., these sorts of "he's not a bad guy in private" type relationships with the tenured nutbag set is just instant, and justifiable, chum for the RW.

also: the coburn analogy sucked. Coburn made an idiotic statement for which he is justly marginalized; Ayers tried to kill people.
4.17.2008 1:20pm
Fenton (mail):
I like how the one clown compared the Weathermen to Wal-Mart. Better start eating fish and brain food Jack!
4.17.2008 1:21pm
Philistine (mail):

That's either stupid or disingenuous, and I don't for a moment think BHO is stupid.


Presumably, Obama's statement about those in the stock market being taxed less than their secretaries comes from Warren Buffett's comments that he (and 400 of those he was addressing) did so. Buffett stated he was taxed at a 17.7% on $46 million (without trying to avoid paying higher taxes), while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30%.

Presumably, Buffett was including social security tax.
4.17.2008 1:23pm
c.gray (mail):

And both the former (huge fortunes) and the latter (no fortunes) pay the same marginal rates on any "earned" income, up to 35%, at the same time they are paying 15% on any long-term capital gains that they have realized.


Isn't this a little bit like saying that both the wealthy and the poor have the same right to spend their nights sleeping under a highway overpass should they so choose? True in the abstract, but besides the point in the real world?

While I think there are a lot of perfectly sound policy reasons for keeping the rate on capital gains low, I'm unsure its politically wise to maintain a tax system where Paris Hilton and Theresa Heinz Kerry pay lower marginal rates on their incomes than the guy who mows my lawn.
4.17.2008 1:30pm
neurodoc:
rarango: Mostly gotcha questions...
Can someone tell me what exactly constitutes a "gotcha question" and why they are to be decried? Are those questions that catch politicians would rather not be asked because it causes them discomfiture to answer? I didn't watch last night's debate, so would someone tell me which of the questions asked were the "gotcha" ones that shouldn't have been asked. And would one of those people who disapprove of Tim Russert's questioning of the candidates tell me which of his questions have no place being asked.

After we deal with the "gotcha" issue, maybe we can come back to talk about going "negative" and "the politics of personal destruction" which we hear about when supporters don't like the attention that their candidates are getting. I have my doubts about those as big concerns, though from time to time there are campaign tactics that are contemptible.
4.17.2008 1:31pm
WHOI Jacket:
I think that this is the 21st debate that Obama and Clinton have participated in, going all the way back to April 2007, over a year ago. If the Democrat primary voters haven't made up their minds by now, they are clinging to something and I don't know what it is.
4.17.2008 1:33pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
Guys, let's simplify this:

Coburn: said he thought it ought to be a law --- passed by the Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court --- that abortionists should be executed. Dumb? yes. Bloody unlikely? yes. Illegal? No.

Ayers: Supported and participated in the construction of a bomb that was going to be used to murder servicemen and civilian bystanders at a Fort Dix dance, but which went off early, so it only killed three people including his then girlfriend, and now says he doesn't regret it. Dumb? yes. Bloody unlikely? No, it happened. Illegal: exceedingly.

In other words, Coburn: political jackass. Ayers: accessory to murder, felonious murderer, and only by luck not a mass murderer.
4.17.2008 1:41pm
c.gray (mail):

Can someone tell me what exactly constitutes a "gotcha question" and why they are to be decried?


How about a question aimed more at enhancing the moderators fame by inciting public controversy and endless media replays of the question, than at giving ordinary members of the public a chance to actually determine how a candidate's presidency would likely differ from his or her opponents?

That distinguishes "Wouldn't you want the death penalty for someone who killed one of your little girls?" from something like "Would you extend the US nuclear retaliatory umbrella over Israel?"
4.17.2008 1:42pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

I can only assume that Prof. Bernstein will be calling for his fellow Volokh Conspirator Prof. Lindgren to resign from that tainted institution.


How about if we call for Dohrn to resign in order to stop tainting the institution?
4.17.2008 1:47pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Charlie.
Not everybody thinks Dohrn is a taint.
4.17.2008 1:59pm
Amphipolis:
His parallel only works if he would be willing to befriend an anti-abortion bomber, not just someone who disagrees with him.
4.17.2008 2:11pm
calmom:
Notice that Obama didn't say "I'm also friendly with Robert Byrd, a former Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan."

Might have been a more apt analogy, but then the West Virginia primary is coming up.
4.17.2008 2:20pm
bwan:
oops...

"Coburn answered that 'while abortion is not against the law now, if it were, states could use death penalty laws to punish the taking of innocent life.'"

not quite what obama said, is it? what does that do to his parallel?
4.17.2008 2:22pm
hattio1:
Professor Bernstein says;

The reason people might be troubled by Obama's friendship with Ayers is not because Ayers has radical political views, but because he's an unrepentant ex-terrorist. The analogy would hold water only if Cockburn had been involved in bombing abortion clinics, and "only wishes I could have done more."


But in referring to Professor Lindgren's possible association with Ayer's wife Professor Bernstein says


But I agree that if Ms. Dohrn is as publicly unrepentant as Mr. Ayers, and Jim was to run for president, and it turned out that Jim was friends with Ms. Dohrn, it would be a bad answer for Jim to say, "well, I'm friends with colleagues on the faculty who are really, really, against abortion, too."


So, which is it??? Is the problem the friendship or the answer? Or does that depend on which comment you're responding to at the time?
4.17.2008 2:24pm
PC:
I'm curious about Barack HUSSEIN Osama's position on Ward Churchill.
4.17.2008 2:30pm
err (mail):

I'm unsure its politically wise to maintain a tax system where Paris Hilton and Theresa Heinz Kerry pay lower marginal rates on their incomes than the guy who mows my lawn.


Since when does the federal government control all the factors that determine marginal tax rates?
4.17.2008 2:30pm
Carolina:

. . . the wonderful combination of self-righteousness and persecution complex evinced by so many of his followers (and no, I don't mean "supporters"). Not only is it unfathomable to them that you could possibly not support Obama for any legitimate reason, but any questioning of his stances or statements is clearly the most unfair attack ever perpetrated on a candidate.


Quite true. It's really creepy. DailyKos has a post up now where the proprietor of the site (Kos) agrees with a statement that Hillary is not a democrat anymore. Apparently, attacking Obama in any way gets you converted into a Republican, even if your position on the major issues is nearly indistinguishable from Obama's.

HRC and McCain supporters seem to remember, for the most part, that we live in a decent country and the USA is not going to fall into the ocean and be swallowed up a la Atlantis if their candidate does not get elected. Some of the Obama people seem to believe the only way to avoid the apocalypse is to elect Obama.
4.17.2008 3:11pm
Ohio Scrivner (mail):
The thing most people forget when discussing tax rates on income vs. capital is the signifant inflation component that attaches to long term investments. A fity-percent gain on an asset held for 20 years may not, in fact, be a real gain once it is adjusted for inflation. Thus, the effective tax rate on the sale of some long term investments can exceed 100 percent.

While we could account for inflation by indexing the amount taxed on capital gains to inflation over the relevant time period, that idea has not found much favor yet due in part to the administrative hassles it would cause. Thus, a simpler, albeit imperfect, solution has been to tax long term investments at a lower tax rate.

Raising the long term tax rate on capital gains to the income level without adjusting for inflation would result in capital being taxed at a higher effective rate (since a potion of the gain simply reflects inflation and not an actual increase in relative value). That same tax rate would also chase more capital overseas.
4.17.2008 3:11pm
DANEgerus (mail) (www):
Another Barack Hussein Obama lie in that he misrepresented Senator Coburn(R)'s statements:
Coburn answered that "while abortion is not against the law now, if it were, states could use death penalty laws to punish the taking of innocent life."

"I believe when we take innocent life intentionally, except to save lives, that we are violating moral law," Coburn said. "Now, I understand what the law is. My hope would be that we would get back to a time when we recognize the value of life, and I think we're not."

via GatewayPundit
4.17.2008 3:12pm
Calvin Pantinga:
So, for the lefties who defend BHO on this one, it would be meaningless if Eric Rudolf, or Fred Phelps had hosted John McCain's senate planning party at their houses? Hmmm... something about that just doesn't ring true.

And the idea that being in favor of punishing murders is somehow morally equivalent to unrepentant domestic terrorism is deeply offensive.

What is clear is actually that those who defend BHO just don't really have that much of a problem with Ayers. Which is deeply troubling.
4.17.2008 3:20pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
I believe it will be found that Obama has been bending the truth again. He says that he has not "received some official endorsement from" Bill Ayers. That may be truth, I dunno (was there an unofficial endorsement?), but it has been credibly reported that Obama actively sought Ayers' endorsement/support. This has not only been reported by right-leaning pundits and Hillary operatives; it has been used by Obama supporters to brush aside questions about Obamas relationship (if any) with Ayers. It is refered to as "kissing the ring", and all NY Dem politicians are required to travel to Harlem, to call on Al Sharpton for that purpose.

So, are there any chits that Ayers can call in to President Obama? Maybe a pardon for Ms. Dohrn, so she can be licensed to practice law?
4.17.2008 3:20pm
JosephSlater (mail):
The emphasis on Obama's middle name in some of these comments is just so very cool.
4.17.2008 3:22pm
ronnor:
Amazing that the Democrats don't vet their Presidential aspirants more throughly than they do, especially one from Chicago where even the dead vote. Now we are finding out the Senator Obama has associated with Bill Ayers the terrorist and Rezko the indicted and has a mentor named Rev. "Goddamn America" Wright. There hasn't been any real digging by the media like where did the money come from to buy the Senator's home and lot adjacent to it. There is a Saddam bagman that hasn't even been touched in the news yet but will be, the Democrats had a shoo-in and they pick political cripples.
4.17.2008 3:30pm
rarango (mail):
Neurodoc: a "gotcha" question to me is one that has been aired, and the candidates have answered (eg HRC/Bosnia). To ask it again when the answer is known is, to me, a "gotcha" question. Clearly there are other interpretations such as hidden camera journalism where you confront prespondents with what they have said, or springing new facts on the respondent after getting them to take a position.
4.17.2008 3:33pm
hawkins:

HRC and McCain supporters seem to remember, for the most part, that we live in a decent country and the USA is not going to fall into the ocean and be swallowed up a la Atlantis if their candidate does not get elected. Some of the Obama people seem to believe the only way to avoid the apocalypse is to elect Obama.


Republican supporters arent as dire about the consequences of electing a Dem? You cant be serious.
4.17.2008 3:46pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"No, he would oppose an increase in capital gains tax rate. Neither he, nor anyone else, has any control over whether or not an actual tax is increased."

Of course I meant "rate" and that should have been clear from context. Usually people leave off "rate" when it's obvious that's what they mean.
4.17.2008 4:05pm
c.gray (mail):

Republican supporters arent as dire about the consequences of electing a Dem? You cant be serious.


In a normal year, I'd say you were right.

But the sort of Republicans who believe in shrill hyperbolic nonsense aren't exactly enthusiastic McCain boosters. And aside from a small fringe of aging feminists, the shrill hyperbolic left seems to have rallied around Obama and spurned Hillary in a big way.
4.17.2008 4:15pm
Dave N (mail):
Hawkins,

Republican supporters arent as dire about the consequences of electing a Dem? You cant be serious.
I am a Republican. I support John McCain. If Barack Obama is elected, I do not think the world will come to an end. I do think that we will have had an election where the best candidate was not elected. I am also concerned about the consequences of a Supreme Court where a Goldberg/Brennan/Marshall/Douglas clone replaces John Paul Stevens, let alone Anthony Kennedy.

I note that your response was to a post that claimed that Kos agreed that HRC was not a Democrat anymore because she dared to attack Barack Obama. If Kos did do that (out of principle I avoid his site like the plague; why should I help line his pocket by being counted as a visitor for ad revenue purposes?), it was such a monumentally stupid statement that it deserves all the scorn it receives.
4.17.2008 4:16pm
vcobserver:
By many, if not most people's definition, Menachem Begin was a "terrorist" in 1948. And I'm not aware of him ever showing remorse for the acts which earned him that reputation.

So if, say, Ronald Reagan in 1980 refused to disavow any association with Begin, that would have been a reason not to vote for him?

(Unless of course terrorist campaigns which end in success are judged by different standards.)
4.17.2008 4:19pm
Davebo (mail):

Amazing that the Democrats don't vet their Presidential aspirants more throughly than they do, especially one from Chicago where even the dead vote.


Cough!


"Do you think if Barack Obama had left his seriously ill wife after having had multiple affairs, had been a member of the "Keating Five," had had a relationship with a much younger lobbyist that his staff felt the need to try and block, had intervened on behalf of the client of said young lobbyist with a federal agency, had denounced then embraced Jerry Falwell, had denounced then embraced the Bush tax cuts, had confused Shiite with Sunni, had confused Al Qaeda in Iraq with the Mahdi Army, had actively sought the endorsement and appeared on stage with a man who denounced the Catholic Church as a whore, and stated that he knew next to nothing about economics -- do you think it's possible that Obama would have been treated differently by the media than John McCain has been? Possible?

And -- this is fun to contemplate -- if Michelle Obama had been an adulteress, drug addict thief with a penchant for plagiarism -- do you think that she would be subject to slightly different treatment from the media than [Cindy] McCain has been? Anyone?"




http://www.cogitamusblog.com/2008/04/question-for-th.html
4.17.2008 4:21pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
The trouble with trying to compare Eric Rudolph or Fred Phelps to Ayers is that they are not Establishment figures. Academics skew to the left, not the right. The most hateful professors I can think of in Illinois are the late White Nationalist UIUC professor Revilo P. Oliver, and Northwestern's resident Holocaust denier Arthur Butz. Oliver died in 94, and retired from the Champaign campus in 77, so there's little chance Obama could have met him. Butz lives within biking distance of the Evanston campus, so again, not a neighborhood figure for Obama. But I think it's impossible that Obama could be friendly with either Butz or an Oliver.
4.17.2008 4:47pm
LM (mail):
Richard Aubrey,

problem is, Ayres, Dohrn, et al, did things which a certain proportion of the liberal population can't really, really condemn. Not in their heart of hearts. So the difference in treatment between them and, say, Yoo is understandable.

Are you saying there's more left wing sympathy for Ayers and Dohrn than right wing sympathy for Yoo? If so, what's the evidence that's true?
4.17.2008 5:15pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
For all the BHO fans. Both McCain and HRC voted against the disastrous 2005 Energy Bill with its mandate subsidies for ethanol production. BHO voted for it. Now we have rising food prices and food riots in some countries. To be sure there are many factors that affect food prices, but an inefficient allocation of resources that converts food to fuel with a net energy loss certainly doesn't help.
4.17.2008 5:19pm
LM (mail):
Dave N,


This guilt by association stuff gets a bit ridiculous

Apparently only if it is directed at Barack Obama. If it is directed at John McCain (see the left wing blogosphere's frothing at his endorsement by John Hagee), then guilt by association is perfectly OK.

Are you saying McCain/ Hagee gets anywhere near as much play as Obama/ Wright?
4.17.2008 5:20pm
Carolina:

Clinton's license to do harm
by kos
Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 07:21:00 AM PDT

In one of the threads last night, commenter theran made a good observation:

At some point the concept of "Republicans will do X" has turned into a license for Hillary to do all the same things. It's bizarre, but I don't really consider her a Dem any more.

Yup.



That is the Dailykos post I was referring to. The bolded part is his language, the non-bolded text in the middle is what he was commenting on.
4.17.2008 5:20pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
LM.
I'm saying the left condemns Yoo for his supposed sins and does not condemn A &D for theirs. Was not referring to conservatives and Yoo.

There was a Law &Order piece some time back based loosely on the discovery of that hippy/yuppy bomber now living the upscale life.
The younger--always female--assistant was playing hard core, while McCoy, the scion of those days was being sympathetic.
So L &O thinks there are a number of their viewers who would sympathize--the woman was a sympathetic character--with the idea that eating granola for forty years excuses a good deal.
4.17.2008 5:20pm
LM (mail):
Carolina:

HRC and McCain supporters seem to remember, for the most part, that we live in a decent country and the USA is not going to fall into the ocean and be swallowed up a la Atlantis if their candidate does not get elected. Some of the Obama people seem to believe the only way to avoid the apocalypse is to elect Obama.

~ and ~

c.gray,

But the sort of Republicans who believe in shrill hyperbolic nonsense aren't exactly enthusiastic McCain boosters. And aside from a small fringe of aging feminists, the shrill hyperbolic left seems to have rallied around Obama and spurned Hillary in a big way.

Nice theories, but at least for the Democrats, the polling says otherwise. Significantly more Obama supporters are willing to vote for Hillary than Hillary's will vote for Obama.
4.17.2008 5:40pm
LM (mail):
Richard Aubrey,

I thought you were making a different point. My only objection to what you are actually saying is your over inclusive reference to "the left." I don't doubt you're right as to some minority of the left.
4.17.2008 5:52pm
Dave N (mail):
Are you saying McCain/ Hagee gets anywhere near as much play as Obama/ Wright?
No. But the relationship is not as close, either. Though I do note the troll above who could not be content to smear John McCain but thought it would be fun to smear Cindy McCain as well.

I do remember some commentor, though, who, with a straight face, tried to argue that the McCain/Hagee association was somehow worse than the Obama/Wright association.
4.17.2008 5:58pm
Dave N (mail):
Carolina,

Thank you for doing what I refuse to do and providing the Kos quote. What an amazingly dumb thing for Kos to say.

I have no fear of President Obama unless an arrogant leftist like Markos Moulitsas actually has his ear.
4.17.2008 6:02pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Dave N wrote:

I have no fear of President Obama unless an arrogant leftist like Markos Moulitsas actually has his ear.

I would worry more about George Soros.
4.17.2008 6:16pm
Gaius Marius:
The following comprise Barack Hussein Obama's Ten Commandments:

I. Thou shalt have no other gods before Barack Hussein Obama.

II. Thou shalt not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below except for Barack Hussein Obama. Thou shalt not bow down to them or worship them; for I, Barack Hussein Obama, am a jealous God.

III. Thou shalt not take the name of Barack Hussein Obama in vain.

IV. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor to pay your taxes to Washington DC and your state government, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Barack Hussein Obama on which thou shalt campaign for his election.

V. Honor Barack Hussein Obama so that you may live long upon the land that you think you own but you really do not pursuant to Kelo v. New London.

VI. Thou shalt not kill any Jihadists who even now are plotting to attack America.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery with any other political organization or societies other than those led by neo-communist liberals like Barack Hussein Obama, Markos Moulitsas (a/k/a DailyKos), Reverend Jeremiah Wright, George Soros, and other rejects from the Comintern.

VIII. Thou shalt not steal because only your federal government and state government are entitled to steal your money via ridiculous taxes so that neo-communist liberals in Congress can transfer whatever they steal from you to their cronies.

IX. Thou shalt not give false testimony against your neighbor unless you are a card carrying member of the Democrat Party like President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, or Senator Barack Hussein Obama.

X. Thou shalt not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor because it is already coveted by the neo-communists in the Democrat Party who are always scheming new ways to pilfer personal property belonging to individual Americans.
4.17.2008 6:17pm
Nunzio:
Isn't the problem for Obama is that he's starting to be viewed as just another politician?

And as to the "issues." Putting aside the likelihood of getting stuff passed, what specific policy initiatives does Sen. Obama propose? His website is "a chicken in every pot drivel."


At least McCain admits he doesn't know economics. Neither does Obama.
4.17.2008 6:18pm
ejo:
yoo, a man trying to protect this country versus ayers/dohrn, people trying to kill citizens/soldiers of this country. must be a tenured professor coming up with that analogy. as to Fred Phelps, he is a Democrat while I am not sure if Eric Rudolph has issued any endorsements as of yet. Further, at least the church of Phelps has limited membership and few apologists, unlike the church of Wright.
4.17.2008 6:21pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):

Are you saying there's more left wing sympathy for Ayers and Dohrn than right wing sympathy for Yoo? If so, what's the evidence that's true?


Well, he might be saying that there's just as much, but Ayers and Dohrn distinguished themselves by blowing shit up and killing people.
4.17.2008 6:31pm
LM (mail):
ejo,

yoo, a man trying to protect this country versus ayers/dohrn, people trying to kill citizens/soldiers of this country. must be a tenured professor coming up with that analogy.

The three of them were mentioned together for the purpose of defending Yoo, not the others. And nobody has even hinted that their behavior is comparable. But don't let that get in the way of a good stereotype.
4.17.2008 7:03pm
Thomass (mail):
JosephSlater (mail):

"I wonder if the attack pieces on Obama on this blog will ever get around to discussing his positions on issues."

a third of the comments are about his capital gains stance...

and, I'm sure someone has mentioned it, but Obama misrepresented Coburn's statement (in much the same way he did his grandmother's views)... One of the old saws in the pro choice side's arguments is to ask about whether a change in Roe would make providing abortion criminal.. He simply addressed that, probably to put it behind him and move on with his argument, and said that was a possibility if the people in states wanted that. He didn't endorse the idea of making it capital crime in the quote I've seen regarding this.

Ya all were misdirected by Obama again. Even the basic facts of his argument were bogus.... analogies aside…
4.17.2008 7:04pm
LM (mail):

Well, he might be saying that there's just as much, but Ayers and Dohrn distinguished themselves by blowing shit up and killing people.

Actually, he's not. And nobody's disputing the distinction.
4.17.2008 7:05pm
Thomass (mail):
LM (mail):

"Are you saying there's more left wing sympathy for Ayers and Dohrn than right wing sympathy for Yoo? If so, what's the evidence that's true?"


Are you comparing the two? Too funny. Keep digging...

Yoo wrote a dumb memo supporting too much executive power... that lead to zip. Even if he is somehow responsible (which is debatable) the pentagon rules that resulted said things like you could switch prisoner sleep cycles (while specifying no sleep deprivation).. et cetera... nerf bat stuff.

In some sort of PC Orwellian doublethink he is responsible for every prisoner abuse done by anyone in the military… to people so inclined to PC Orwellian doublethink…
4.17.2008 7:13pm
LM (mail):
Thomass,

"Are you saying there's more left wing sympathy for Ayers and Dohrn than right wing sympathy for Yoo? If so, what's the evidence that's true?"


Are you comparing the two? Too funny. Keep digging...

How about reading the thread and then telling me if that's what I'm doing?
4.17.2008 7:57pm
Elliot123 (mail):

How about if Terry Nichols hosted a campaign event for Obama? Both Nichols and Ayers bombed Americans. I think the difference is that Nichols hasn't said he wished he had bombed more. Would Obama get a pass if he said he and Nichols didn't exchange ideas?

Or maybe Richard Reid? OK if he hosted a campaign event for Obama?
4.17.2008 8:33pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Three disconnected remarks.

1. I find Ayers lack of repentance detestable, and I agree it's too bad that he and his wife are where they are and not in prison. Their connection to Barack Obama is pretty tenuous, though.

2. I always ask people who want to index capital gains if that goes for the mortgage interest deduction in the other direction. At that point, where indexing <i>increases</i> their taxes, they tend to lose interest.

3. Charlie Gibson knows nothing about how changes in tax rates can have different short-term and long-term consequences. He also knows very little about income distribution if he thinks $200K is a common family income.
4.18.2008 1:30am
wuzzagrunt (mail):
[Charlie Gibson] also knows very little about income distribution if he thinks $200K is a common family income.

Not predominant; but not exactly uncommon. In high cost of living areas--like NYC and surrounds--a cop/nurse couple, a firefighter/teacher couple, or similar occupations (with overtime) could have $200K in combined income. They won't be living like the Hollywood celebs, either.
4.18.2008 1:45am
JosephSlater (mail):
No, a third of the comments have not been about the capital gains issue.
4.18.2008 12:08pm