Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama on Bill O'Reilly

Actually I think this is a pretty brave interview for Obama...Lion's den and all that. He deserves praise for that. All too many on the left argue that liberal politicians should boycott FOX on the mistaken premise that there are no swing votes to be won there.

At the end of the day though O'Reilly makes the killer point: Barack Obama has a LOT of friends that that most Americans find repulsive. His claim that somehow he was blissfully unaware of the content of Rev. Wright's sermons suggests that he's either a liar or was listening to the Bears game during the sermons (which suggests he's something of a masochist).

His relationship with Bill Ayres is so inexplicable Obama limply tries the argument that since he was eight when Ayers was busy being a terrorist, he shouldn't be held responsible for making friends with him as an adult. Pardon me but...Huh? The people you voluntarily associate with as an adult reflect on you and your decision making abilities. If you consort with evil you're frankly unfit for public office. Can anyone seriously argue that it's ok for a politician to be friends with someone who bombed abortion clinics or was a member of the Klu Klux Klan (well maybe not the Klansman since the senior member of the United States Senate is a former member-something that seems to only outrage Republicans. Go figure.)?

Now in the course of our lives we meet lots of people, some of whom may not be very nice. This is especially true of politicians. I'm sure we can all remember the photos of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussain or of Jimmy Carter kissing Leonid Brezhnev. That doesn't mean those men actually liked one another. Still the evidence seems to be that Ayers and Obama were more than just casual acquaintances and the relationship with Wright was quite close (read Obama's autobiography if you doubt me).

Full disclosure: When I was ten my father took me to a store selling Japanese imports in Chicago. We weren't looking for kimonos or plastic samurai swords (though I got one after a little whining). We were looking for Iva Toguri D'Aquino, better known as Tokyo Rose. She was a very pleasant elderly Japanese lady. She shook my hand and welcomed me to her family's store. I was a little afraid and asked her if she really was Tokyo Rose. She smiled and said yes, though the truth was a bit more complicated. After a bit of chit chat she complemented me on my interest in history and told us she had to get back to work. It was just as well. My eyes were already being drawn to those plastic samurai swords and it was getting harder to stay interested now that that I realized she wasn't going to shout "Banzai" and try to kill me.

So for what its worth I've actually met someone who was convicted of Treason (though President Ford would later pardon her). I think that gives Obama something to shoot for.

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