How much should we make of Barack Obama passing association with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. Would we care if a Republican candidate had sought support from David Duke, had a fundraiser hosted by Timothy McVeigh and had served on a board with Byron de la Beckwith.
What would we think if he described Bull Connor as just a "retired politician" who lived in the neighborhood" who did some bad things when the candidate was a child?
You make your own judgment on that. What I find - have always found - amazing is the way in which these two were welcomed into elite - much less polite - society. Ayers is an unrepentant bomber rewarded with tenure at a state university. Although Ayers has claimed to be misunderstood, he has yet to call himself the terrorist that he was. Dohrn, his partner in crime, once said the following about the Charles 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!"
Now she says it was a joke. Now she is a clinical professor of law at Northwestern. Now. in a fit of displacement, she calls America the monster. Asked whether he would do it again, Ayers recites poetry and wistfully describes his youth as a time when hope and history rhymed.
One would like a President - and an academy - that recognizes that vile behavior is redeemed by repentance and not by the ability to rationalize monstrous acts through pretty talk.