Friday, October 10, 2008

CNN: "All the Signatures Look Exactly the Same."

"The volume [of fraudulent registrations] is just incredible."

Obama campaign has donated $800,000 to Acorn.

Oh, I almost forgot.  While serving together on the Woods Fund board (notably, not when he was 8 years old!), Obama and Ayers oversaw grants totaling nearly $200,000 to ACORN.


  1. Of course, this apparently obvious fraud ought to be condemned, and investigated. Maybe the organization is corrupt; frankly I know nothing about it. Certainly the perpetrators were either incredibly stupid or lazy, or they wanted to be discovered.

    Vote fraud is a serious matter, and it has become more and more troublesome as our politics has gotten more and more polarized. People seem to think that if your opponent is sufficiently "evil," then everything is permitted in opposing him.

    But on the topic of Bill Ayers, I think a measure of moderation is in order: Palin's attacks notwithstanding, Obama's serving on a non-profit, public-interest board with an educator hardly rises to the level of "palling around with terrorists."

    Ayers was named "Citizen of the Year" in Chicago in 1997 for his work on that board, of which I believe Obama was the chairman. Obama is being pilloried for what was clearly a very respectable activity, as far as the Annenberg Foundation activity is concerned. Its Board, indeed all the people associated with it, seem frankly to be just who you would expect, and to have very little to do with terrorism. (Wikipedia's entry on "Chicago Annenberg Challenge" is very thorough on who was involved.)

    As for Obama's "launching of his career" in the Ayers/Dohrn living room, that appears to be true. So what? Again, if one looks into the circumstances, it appears to be pretty pedestrian. If you've lived in Hyde Park for longer than ten or fifteen years and never been in the room with any of these people, then you are probably a recluse. I would hate to be characterized as "palling around" with many of the people I have talked with or sat next to in neighborhood gatherings. How about "convicted felon" Larry Bloom? And I once attended an anti-HUAC rally, so I must support unAmerican activities, right?

    For a young would-be candidate for the Illinois legislature to have told Alice Palmer that he wouldn't go to Ayers's house --well, that would simply not be believable.

    Obama's Ayers-related activities, in short, are a reach, and for McCain's campaign to be focusing on them is a sign of desperation. It requires a certain chutzpah for McCain to worry about Obama's judgment when it was McCain who was found by a Senate committee to have exercised poor judgment.

    These issues have essentially nothing to do with the campaign. Or rather, they seem to have everything to do with the campaign, but nothing to do with the qualifications of either candidate. To believe the attacks against Obama, viz., that he is not patriotic, one has to believe that he has spent his adult life working for a goal that he does not believe in, or care about (unless you are willing to accuse him of being some sort of fifth-column traitor). It's stupid as well as reprehensible.

    As for Ayers, here is what he (apparently) actually said, that has resulted in his being characterized as an unrepentant terrorist:

    "I'm 56 years old," he begins, speaking in impassioned paragraphs like the college teacher he is today, "so I have a world of regrets to point to. But what I don't regret is throwing myself into this effort to end this one particular war, to bring about some sense of peace and justice, with every fiber of my being. I don't regret that. I think we were restrained, and by 'restrained' I mean we tried very hard not to do the scenario you just imagined. [i.e., injure a person as a result of bombing the Pentagon's computer system] Had we done it, it would've been indefensible. There would be no way to defend the killing of an innocent person, even though our goals were just."

    This is the source for the above quote -I cannot vouch otherwise for its provenance:

    All this makes for an entertaining diversion from the real issues we should be discussing; but, in my opinion, not much else.

    And I must say that the news from the Palin rallies, of increasing ugliness, is very troublesome. Politicians have thought in the past that they could harness the uglier sentiments capable of being expressed by thuggish elements, and use them for their personal or political gain. Sometimes, they find that, once utilized, such sentiments (and such thugs) are difficult to put away again. I predict that the McCain campaign, having let this particular genie out of the bottle, will not be able to put it away again. We will long for the days of Lee Atwater before this is through.

  2. On this new 'ugliness' factor: reasonable Republicans and others want nothing to do with it. It has been bad enough for many of them to fight off the stigma (rightfully or wrongfully earned) as the party of bigots and hate.

    Now, to hear McCain and Palin rallying the troops in this wholly unsavory way is really a frightening thing to see. Reporters have heard "off with his head" referring to Obama in these crowds, "kill him," "terrorist," "traitor" and other frightening escalations of threatening language.

    The McCain campaign is playing with fire here, and this from the side of the ticket that was originally trying to portray itself as the somber, careful, wise, yet 'mavericky' bunch.

    I didn't really ever think I'd call Ray LaHood a 'reasonable Republican.' Yet, here he is denouncing the new 'ugliness:'

    " LaHood supports the McCain ticket, but doesn't like what he sees at some of the McCain-Palin rallies: When Barack Obama's name has been mentioned by Sarah Palin, there are shouts of "terrorist," and LaHood says Palin should put a stop to it.

    "Look it," LaHood said. "This doesn't befit the office that she's running for. And frankly, people don't like it."

    LaHood says it could backfire on the Republican ticket.

    He says the names that Obama is being called, "Certainly don't reflect the character of the man.""

    Lincoln Chaffe said:

    "That's not my kind of Republicanism," said Chafee, who now calls himself an independent. "I saw what Bush and Cheney did. They came in with a (budget) surplus and a stable world, and look what's happened now. In eight short years they've taken one peaceful and prosperous world, and they've torn it into tatters."

    As for McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for his running mate, "there's no question she's totally unqualified," Chafee said.

    He had similar reservations about Obama's lack of experience, but said the Democrat's handling of the campaign convinced him he's ready to lead.

    Chafee said he has spoken with several other moderate Republican leaders, and "there are a whole lot of us deserting."

    David Brooks clearly wants nothing to do with it, as pointed out on this blog. And other conservative commentators are beginning to draw some distance.

    Do moderate conservatives / sane Republicans really want to be providing cover for these groups, these words, or this form of politics? I highly doubt it, but I wonder how many will abstain, or change their vote as a result.

    Who will speak out against it, who will hold McCain and Palin's feet to the proverbial fire to get them to stop inciting the crowds in these particular ways? Is there anyone left in the Republican party with sufficient power over the mob? If so, who, and when will they be speaking out, or why haven't they done so already?

  3. It looks like an answer to some of the earlier questions has arrived here. Let us hope it is not too late.


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