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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, John McCain connection.

Oh, I can't help myself: With Republicans lathered up over Barack Obama's very sporadic proximity to Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi, isn't it about time that someone pointed out what Ayers and Khalidi have in common — and the shocking connection that John McCain has as well? Let's see if we can't replicate the kind of silly guilt-by-association linkage that excites the right. Here goes:

Beacon Press has published controversial books by both Ayers and Khalidi. The press, which got into a rather famous fight with Richard Nixon, is owned by the Unitarian Universalist Association, which is an unrepentantly liberal religion. (Its ministers, for example, overwhelmingly cast their ballots to the left of the Republican party.) And Khalidi was the keynote speaker at the Association's annual General Assembly in 2007.

But here's where it gets fun: Who else has cavorted with this far-left, outrageous denomination that has published books by people the McCain campaign deems "terrorists" and "anti-Semites"? Whose best man was a member of that very same nefarious religion? Why, none other than John McCain. How disappointing.

McCain addressed the UUA General Assembly in Phoenix in 1997, the last national officeholder I recall hearing speak at a GA. (John Kerry, notably, did not address the 2003 General Assembly, even though it was in Boston, the UUA's headquarters.) The best man at McCain's 1980 wedding to Cindy Hensley was Senator William S. Cohen, the Unitarian Universalist from Maine who later served as secretary of defense for Bill Clinton. I am shocked, SHOCKED, that McCain's unconscionable fraternization with these known liberals and sympathizers with people like Ayers and Khalidi did not come up during the GOP primaries. Does the man have no shame?

Copyright © 2008 by Philocrites | Posted 30 October 2008 at 10:14 PM

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October 30, 2008 10:33 PM | Permalink for this comment

Colin Bossen has a more serious point to make about McCain's connections with Khalidi. See also Andrew Sullivan and Josh Marshall on McCain's appalling misrepresentation of Khalidi's career and views.

Bill Baar:

November 13, 2008 05:02 PM | Permalink for this comment

Camilla Paglia on Ayers / Dohrn,

Pursuing the truth about Ayers, I recently rented the 2002 documentary “The Weather Underground,” from Netflix. It was riveting. Although the film seems to waver between ominous exposé and blatant whitewash, the full extent of the group’s bombing campaign is dramatically demonstrated…he news footage of the Greenwich Village townhouse destroyed in 1970 by bomb-making gone wrong in the basement still has enormous impact. Standing in the chaotic street, actor Dustin Hoffman, who lived next door, seems like Everyman at the apocalypse.

Ayers comes off in the film as a vapid, slightly dopey, chronic juvenile with stunted powers of ethical reasoning. The real revelation is his wife, Bernardine Dohrn (who evidently worked at the same large Chicago law firm as Michelle Obama in the mid-1990s)…

The mystery of Bernardine Dohrn: How could such a personable, attractive, well-educated young woman end up saying such things at a 1969 political rally as this (omitted in the film) about the Manson murders: “Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild!”

I remember Dorhn making the fork comment pretty vividly at the time. We hard core Marxists around SWP / YSA knew they were rich kid nut cases and they're really never changed.

Obama was using them and how they expected to use Obama is an interesting question. Dohrn clearly has been the brains among the two of them.

That we publish his books is a shame.

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