Colmes coshed Kate Obenshein with one simple question: Tell me what radical ideas Obama came up with as the result of his association with Bill Ayers?
Obenshein's retort boiled down to: William Ayers is a radical who wants to radicalize America's schoolchildren. Her explanation of what she meant by radical was very unclear and she was unable to demonstrate how her ideas of Ayers' radicalism impacted Obama's policy ideas.
Colmes then turned to Byron York with the questions, "Can you tell me what things Obama said that reflect Ayers?" and "What do they agree on?"
York was obviously far out of his depth. He replied, "I'm not going to tell what they agree on because they won't talk to us about their relationship."
Whereupon I threw a blanket over my head commenced sucking my thumb.
My frustration had risen month after month as I'd watched journalists, pundits and politicians feel their way around in the dark on the Ayers issue. In September I'd hoped that Stanley Kurtz's writings on the topic would allow a crack of light into the MSM coverage of the Ayers issue. But no, all Kurtz's excellent research did for the game of blind man's bluff was cause the players to grope nearer to the door of knowledge before wandering away.
I suddenly recalled an incident described decades ago by a famous author of children's stories. She was watching a local TV show host ask another famous author of children's stories how he could so wonderfully think from the viewpoint of a child.
The author stumbled around for a moment, which caused the other author to shout at the TV, "Tell him you were once a child yourself!"
The author halted in his stumblings, frowned in concentration, then said to the host, "I was once a child myself, you know."
It's worth a try, I thought, so I shouted at the TV, "You stupid lazy idiots why don't you tell Colmes to Google 'Steve Diamond William Ayers'?"
Nothing happened; the game of blind man's bluff lurched on. Lanny Davis, a centrist Democrat who has more reasons to hate William Ayers than Sean Hannity ever will, tried to put a stop to the bloodbath. He said that Obama's associations were not the point as far as voters were concerned and that McCain had to focus on the economy.
Davis, a veteran of America's anti-war and civil rights movements in the 1960s, believes that Ayers and his Weatherman group did more to set back the movements than any other factor -- a belief shared by many. Yet Davis also believes that an attempt to discredit Obama because he associated with a former terrorist is a lost cause. This tack completely ignores Ayers' education ideas and Obama's involvement with them.
Sean Hannity was not moved by Lanny's argument; he returned to the charge he has led for many months, which is that Ayers' time as a terrorist, and his lack of repentance about his terrorist activities, should make association with him off limits for any American politician, and that Obama did associate with him reveals bad judgment.
It is a charge that the McCain campaign had picked up on in recent days, which unleashed criticism from both the left and right that he's making a desperation move by focusing on Obama's questionable associations. As one observer put it: Americans recognize that politics, by its very nature, means skeletons in a politician's closet; while voters do consider the character issue they are more concerned about a presidential candidate's policies once in the White House.
Barack Obama and his many friends in the U.S. media have done their best to push that viewpoint. They've carefully promoted the idea that Obama's association with William Ayers is a merely a "guilt by association" issue that is not significant to the vital issues of the 2008 presidential election. Yet that idea is red herring. Ayers' education ideas and plan for American public schools are vital for the public to understand at this juncture.
It's occurred to me that attempting mind control through the medium of a TV set might work better if you:
(a) Don't shout instructions with a blanket over your head
(b) Refrain from insults
(c) Shout at a guest on a live show rather than a taped one
But I've going to give Fox, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS another chance to get the story straight before election day arrives.(MSNBC, otherwise known as Obama Cable Channel, is beyond hope.)
It so happens that on October 6, the same day as the Hannity & Colmes bloodbath, Steve Diamond finally got down on his tummy and drew little stick figures; this to explain in the simplest English possible to the dizzy New York Times editorial board exactly what Ayers' education plan is about, and how Barack Obama is connected with it.
It doesn't get clearer and simpler than the way Diamond put it; he even provided bullet points.
For readers who've never heard of Diamond before now: More than anyone, he has driven the story of the real relationship between Obama and Ayers (and anyone who believes that the MSM are ignorant of his work is misled). Diamond is an American law professor, political scientist, union activist, and a leftist -- and, it is important to note, someone who was born and raised in Chicago and who is very knowledgeable about the Chicago political machine.
So while Mr Obama has easily gotten past the press, he has not gotten past Diamond.
Here is the link to Diamond's October 6, 2008 post, Ayers/Obama Update: The David Blaine Award Goes to The New York Times Magic Act. The post, published at Diamond's Global Labor blog, has the best summary he's provided so far of Ayers' educational theories and how Obama has served to promote them.
The catch is that the summary is presented as part of Diamond's ongoing discussion of how The New York Times has continued to suppress and distort his investigation -- even though three reporters from the paper have interviewed him.
(I note with sarcasm that Diamond watchers know that this state of affairs represents an improvement since May, when the Times ignored his letter to them about his research on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the work that Ayers and Obama did for it.)
The negligence of the U.S. press in reporting on Ayers' theories and Obama's relationship with them is a story unto itself; it's perhaps the strongest indictment to date of the present state of American journalism. But if you want to go straight to the summary scroll down to the 14th paragraph of the October 6 report:
So what is the evidence of the influence of Ayers' world view on Obama and his presidential candidacy?And read from there.
If you want to delve further into the story, you can start where Diamond began: with his April 22, 2008 post, Who "Sent" Obama? and read forward from there. Not all his posts since that time are about the Ayers-Obama relationship and related matters but the majority are.
If you get stuck at the discussion in the summary about reparations on account of refusing to believe your eyes, Diamond's May 24, 2008 post Apparently Obama does, indeed, support reparations will assure you that you read right the first time.
The posts at Global Labor are the very best background on all the issues touching upon the Ayers-Obama relationship. As far as I know only one other person, Sol Stern, is both knowledgeable enough to discuss Ayers' ideas in authoritative fashion and willing to speak up very frankly in public about them.
For more on Stern and links to his writings on the Ayers topic, see my May 20, 2008 post, The William Ayers plan to turn America's schoolchildren into Maoists and how Barack Obama helped him.
Stanley Kurtz, the Conservative commentator who studied Diamond's research and undertook his own on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and the Obama-Ayers relationship, provided a helpful introduction in a September 23, 2008 report for the Wall Street Journal. Yet Kurtz (who holds a PhD from Harvard in social anthropology) started his journey of discovery from outside the teaching profession and without a thorough background in the education ideas promoted by Ayer's and his colleagues.
One glance through Diamond's summary tells that Kurtz is still on a learning curve. He is not alone. The news media are so far behind Diamond that at this rate it will be 2015 before they catch up. The same could be said for John McCain's researchers.
Barack Obama has banked on this great Cloud of Unknowing. And yet a reading of Diamond's latest summary reveals that this is not rocket science he's talking about; it's just that for years the mainstream media have avoided examining the education topics that Diamond and Stern discuss.
Given Dr Diamond's October 6 summary, readers might ask whether I have considered changing "Maoist" to "neo-Stalinist" in the title I cited above. The answer is no.
I will let political scientists such as Diamond parse the differences between neo-Stalinism and Maoism and argue whether Ayers' political views are actually "leftist." In the end what does it matter if you refer to a death camp by a number, or name it the 'Bluebird School of Reeducation?' Stalinists, Maoists, Fidelistas, etc. -- they all boil down to a military-backed gang of thugs.
And my view is that William Ayers and Barack Obama are not ideologues of any stripe; I see them as totalitarians behind their word screens. They want unquestioning obedience to their commands; they want everyone to think and act in unison to obey, and they know this can only be achieved through indoctrinating children.
Any doubts I had that Obama is a totalitarian were resolved a few days ago when I studied the “Positive Behavior for Effective Schools Act,” otherwise known as education bill S.2111, which was introduced by Obama.
The bill has not passed, as yet, but the wording is a clear indication that Obama's idea of child education is using the public school system to effect massive state intervention in every area of a child's life.
As to what exactly Obama means by "positive behavior" -- the bill does not spell it out. But study Steve Diamond's writings, and Sol Stern's, if you want to see behind Obama's screen of words about making American public school graduates better candidates for higher education and leveling the playing field for the nation's poorest children.
For Diamond's latest post on the Ayers-Obama education issue, see here.
With regard to the issue of Obama's judgment about Ayers, see The Daily Beast (H/T Global Labor) for a roundup of articles on topic, including a Diamond post on the brain dead reporting from The New York Times' on Ayers.