A Few Days Late, a Dollar Short

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 17, 2008 | Go to article overview

A Few Days Late, a Dollar Short


Byline: Wesley Pruden, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

He pressed Mr. Obama hard enough to force him to abuse a few of the facts (we should say lie, but you're supposed to be extra nice to a messiah). This debate attracted the smallest audience of the three, and who's surprised? Mr. Obama, who enjoys so much glassy-eyed adoration he thinks he's cool enough not to get called out on lies by the adoring media. He's right about that.

John McCain is by instinct a puncher, a jabber. He never goes for a knockout. He never even throws the really hard one, even to an inviting glass jaw. Mr. McCain seemed to assume that everyone knows the Obama-Ayers story, and he felt no need to explain who William Ayers is, and was, and why the connection matters.

Except for the junkies with nothing better to do with their lives but inspect the commas, semicolons and clintonclauses in the transcripts, voters rarely pay close attention, relying on hunches, guesses and intuition. If there's something wrong with the several versions that Mr. Obama has told of this story, and there is, it has to be clearly spelled out.

There's plenty wrong with Mr. Obama's nursery-school version of the story of just a guy in my neighborhood. This was not Mr. Rogers' neighborhood. On Wednesday night, Mr. Obama described Bill Ayers as just a education reformer.

Not quite that, either.

Sol Stern, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has studied the man and his mission, such as it is, for years.

His hatred of America is as virulent as when he planted a bomb at the Pentagon, he writes in an op-ed essay in the Wall Street Journal. This hatred informs his education 'reform' efforts. Of course Mr. Obama isn't going to appoint him to run the education department. But the media mainstreaming of a figure like Mr. Ayers could have terrible consequences for the country's politics.

Mr. Stern traces the trajectory of the Ayers career since he gave up bombing and burning and returned to school at Columbia University's Teachers College to get the credentials needed to organize nothing less than inner-city madrassas, not to teach jihad in the name of Islam, but to indoctrinate children in hatred of capitalism, of America and its democratic institutions. …

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