No, this is not about her plans to burn women at the stake. I’m talking about the way she breezily (and at the same time vaguely) talked about how Barack Obama can’t love America because he was “palling around with a terrorist” in the Nineties,  playing up his association with William Ayers. This attack has parallels with another great witch hunt of American politics of the last century – Senator Joe McCarthy’s anti-communist committee of the late forties and fifties. 

In the movie The Majestic, Jim Carrey’s generally apolitical screenwriter character gets hauled before the House Un-American Affairs Committee in the fifties, on the basis that he attended a left-wing meeting at college in the thirties, which he only did because he liked one of the girls attending. This is what happened to many people of a progressive political persuasion. They were brought before the committee on the grounds that they had either been more radically left-wing themselves or had associated with those who were decades earlier, at a desperate time when many Americans were willing to give socialism a second look.

And now Barack Obama gets similar treatment. Because he wanted to get involved at a grassroots level, it was inevitable he would come into contact with people more radical than himself, because that’s where radical left-wing politicos often are – dealing with grassroots urban issues. His association with William Ayers, which according to the New York Times, he did play down, was found by the same paper to be not that significant and really only came about because of a common interest in education. And by the way, since 1987, William Ayers has been, no not a jailbird or a fugitive, but an education professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Does this automatically rule anyone who has attended this school over the last 21 years out of high political office?

The reality of politics is that those of with progressive views do often, at some point or another, do often come into contact with people more radical than themselves or even espouse radical views themselves. Nelson Mandela’s ANC did have an armed wing, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been a great leader and statesman. Martin Luther King did meet Malcolm X on a couple of occasions and it’s likely he also met with other factions of the Black Nationalist movement. John Lennon hung out with the Black Panthers. And having watched the first two episodes of HBO’s brilliant John Adams, it appears the Founding Fathers were pretty radical in their beliefs.

And on the other side of the aisle, Donald Rumsfeld sold weapons to Saddam Hussein. I’m sure if you look at John McCain’s record in the eighties that you’ll probably find votes authorizing taxpayer support for certain revolutionary groups in Afghanistan. As for Sarah Palin herself, if she loves America so wholeheartedly, why has she been known to “pal around” (and possibly do more) with the secessionists of the Alaska Independence Party? And if she is so offended to those who espouse political violence, why does she admiringly quote Westbrook Pegler, who called for the assassination of Bobby Kennedy? (see my post “The Small Town Values of Sarah Palin” for more on that.

I guess this indicates that the next 28 days are going to be rough because the gloves are officially off. 

  1. fifthdecade says:

    Nice post. I guess we’re getting used to Sarah Palin’s putting her foot in it over and over again. It seems whatever attack she uses, is something she or her running mate does or did too. Talk about being a hypocritical user of the good nature of the average person!

  2. Paul says:

    Hello, how are you? I saw your blog name in your reply to a piece written by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., about the hypocrosy of Gov. Liar and the AIP. This is an issue that needs to be covered by the media. How can we as average citizens get the word out to newspapers, TV and radio stations, etc.? Also, thanks for your blog!

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