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Birds of a feather Barack together
By Michael M. Bates
An ABC News/Washington Post poll shows more than half the respondents don't think Barack Obama's association with unrepentant 60s terrorist William Ayers is a legitimate issue. It's old news. Such reasoning suggests that in about 30 years Obama can serve on boards with bin Laden, visit Osama's home and take political contributions from him, just as he's done with Ayers. After all, that 9/11 stuff will be old news by then.
Offering no basis for his assumption, Obama says he "assumed that (Ayers) had been rehabilitated." Yet in Ayers's 2001 book he wrote that he can't quite imagine bombing a building today, "but I can't imagine entirely dismissing the possibility either."
Then there's the lovely Mrs. Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn. It was, let it not be overlooked, also in her living room that candidate Obama had his political coming out in 1995. Dohrn saluted Charles Manson after a 1969 killing spree in which pregnant actress Sharon Tate was one of the victims:
"First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, they even shoved a fork into a victim's [Leno LaBianca - ed] stomach! Wild!"
Obviously not too wild for Barack Obama. Perhaps he assumed the delicate flower Dohrn had also been rehabilitated at the time he attended her and her husband's reception for him. Or maybe they just kept the forks out of view.
Certainly it wasn't the first time Obama had been exposed to people who hold the United States in contempt. Influencing Obama as a young man was Frank Marshall Davis. Although identified (by first name only) in Obama's 1995 book, the candidate's connection to Davis hasn't received much attention from the mainstream media. An August Associated Press account began:
"At key moments in his adolescence, Barack Obama could not turn to a father he hardly knew. Instead, he looked to a left-leaning black journalist and poet for advice on living in a world of black and white.
"Frank Marshall Davis had his opinions. He once argued that the public schools of his youth prepared neither blacks nor whites for ‘life in a multiracial, democratic nation.' He called hypocrisy ‘a national trait of American whites.' Advocating civil rights amid segregation, Davis wrote in 1949: ‘I refuse to settle for anything less than all the rights which are due me under the Constitution.'"
The AP prefers "left-leaning," but Davis, at a minimum, belonged to multiple Communist Party front organizations. Davis's son maintains a blog on Obama's official web site and writes: "Davis deeply loved the United States, despite his occasional flirtation with radical ideology." Another blog entry, this one from an editor of Davis's books, states that "my research indicates that Davis joined the CPUSA as a ‘closet member' during World War II."
An Obama cohort who keeps little in the closet is the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Barack's pastor for 20 years. From a 2003 sermon:
"The government gives them (African-Americans) the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America! That's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human."
The Sunday after 9/11, the minister told his congregation, ". . . and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."
Earlier this year, Obama said, "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial." Maybe that's why he gave Wright $22,500 in 2006.
To be fair, Barack wasn't so generous by himself. Michelle Obama probably agreed to that munificence. Her vision of America isn't a pretty one. Like Ayers, Dorhn, Davis and Wright, Michelle has problems with the country that likely will place her and her spouse in the White House.
The United States, according to Mrs. Obama, is "downright mean." We're "guided by fear." Moreover, "We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day," Yes, I can see where a woman who only earned $273,618 in 2006 at the University of Chicago Hospitals would feel life's a terrible struggle.
Despite barely making it, Mrs. Obama is willing to give America another chance. She said earlier this year, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback." Forty-four years old and finally, at long last, for the first time as an adult, she's proud of her country. And it only took the probability of becoming First Lady to do it.
I don't know about you, but I don't have many bomb throwers, Charles Manson fans, Communists, America-condemning preachers, or women expressing ardent scorn for the United States among my acquaintances or loved ones. Barack Obama does. That fact offers considerable insight into his vision of our country.
Obama's chosen to surround himself with such people. And now he expects Americans to close their eyes and pretend he hasn't.
This Mike Bates column appeared in the October 23, 2008 Reporter Newspapers.