Sunday, December 07, 2008

Nobody cAyers

William Ayers has an Op-Ed in the New York Times in which he addresses his connection (or lack thereof) to Obama. Thankfully he waited until after the election to come out of the woodwork, and he makes a good point about the attempts to smear Obama using their loose association, but nobody's really asking for his opinion. The Times should not have given him a platform regardless of his point about the campaign, and once they read the rest of his piece it should have been shredded, not printed.

The piece may be bookended with legitimate points regarding Obama and the campaign, but in between Ayers spends most of the column narcissistically trying to salvage his own reputation—unavoidably at the expense of Obama's.

The "real Bill Ayers" rationalizes and excuses his past behavior, and lamely attempts to refute the "unrepentant terrorist" label fixed on him by—being totally unrepentant, and dishonestly minimizing his actions.

Hilzoy pretty much nails it:
"Ayers may think that there's still a debate about the Weather Underground's effectiveness. And he might also think that he "acted appropriately in the context of those times." To me, though, he's just a shallow rich kid who took himself and his revolutionary rhetoric much too seriously, helped inspire people to do things that got them killed, and helped to discredit the anti-war movement and the left as a whole."

In case any defense of Obama for knowing Bill Ayers ever came across as a defense of Ayers himself, let me be clear—I think the guy was fucking scum back in the day. Even if he has rehabilitated himself (debatable) and become a productive member of society (he has) then the most it earns him in my book is "shut the fuck up, lay low, and go about your business" status. I'm not interested in anything the guy has to say if it's not contrition.


Smitty said...

When I read his op-ed in the NYT via Balloon Juice yesterday, I had trouble articulating seemed to not matter to me. You summed it up perfectly.

To me, I sort of feel like he "forgot" his past and moved on until the McCain campaign made so much of it. ANd Ayers, as you say, did indeed do the right thing by laying low throughout the campaign. One of the first right things he's done, when it coms to politics.

I think, though, that all the attention made him re-impressed with himself. 'Oh yeah! I was a super-cool radical back in the day! Here's why I mattered!'


And yes, you called it, I will be meme-ing your meme later on...

Bob said...

Ayres who?

steves said...

He totally creeped me out and I think Obama would have been better off never having anything to do with him. If he is smart (which I have every reason to believe he is), he will not have anything to do with him in the future and Ayers can fade back into obscurity.

Mr Furious said...

I think at the local, education-related level that Obama started out at, this guy might have been tough to avoid, and I absolutely will not hold it against Obama for serving on the board of a charity for education issues run by the Annenberg Foundation. IS NPR "palling around with terrorists" too?


I do think as Obama entered political life due diligence should have revealed who this guy was, and ten foot poles should have come into effect.