Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More on Ayers/Obama

On guilt by association.

Jim Lindgren:

Thus, guilt by association seems a particularly unfair tack to take in criticizing Obama for someone else’s violent acts. To the extent Obama’s contacts with Ayers are relevant at all, then it shouldn’t be as shared responsibility, but merely as a question of judgment and of candor if Obama were to be misleading in his statements.

Judgment and candor are the issues.

Another important issue is the extent to which that sub-culture, while being sincerely non-violent, also self-contradictorily romanticizes the Viet Cong, the Weathermen, the Black Panthers, the PLO, FARC, Che, Mao, etc. To what extent does Obama go with that flow?

On what basis does one treat some ideologically-motivated, attempted mass murderers differently than others?

If Obama or his campaign had ever denounced Ayers with the fervor that his campaign has now used in denouncing Kurtz, Obama wouldn’t be having trouble on his connection to Ayers. And I’m not suggesting that Obama should have denounced Ayers. I am just noting the grossly disproportionate responses of the Obama campaign to their differing offenses and the Obama campaign’s direct attack on Kurtz’s character, not just what he's done or said – including very explicitly using arguments of guilt by association against Kurtz (which of course are being used against Obama, despite the protestations to the contrary of his critics).

Steve Diamond: "Obama Campaign Harasses WGN Radio Host."

Caller after caller to WGN read off talking points provided them by the Obama campaign alleging that Dr. Kurtz, and by implication and sometimes directly, Milt Rosenberg, was "smearing" Barack Obama and finding Obama "guilty by association." They also accused Kurtz of lying.

Yet, when pressed for specifics, these callers had none.

...

But it suggests to me a whiff of panic inside the campaign. Sure, John Kerry should have gone after the swift boaters in the last election. But this is not swift boating. We are talking about a decade or more of close political activity involving Ayers and Obama.

Far from being a smear, the accusation made that Dr. Kurtz and Global Labor is engaged in "guilt by association" is really a form of McCarthyism.

LA Times:

Christenson also stressed that the Obama campaign was invited to send a representative to appear on the show to balance the discussion of the newly-opened documents. But the campaign headquarters just down Michigan Avenue from the station refused the request.

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