October 10, 2008

Guilt by association

"Guilt by association" is bad only when it is a matter of some casual association being blown up out of proportion. (Think of the photo of Rumsfeld, on a diplomatic mission, shaking hands with Saddam, which was portrayed as indicating friendly complicity.... Plus as hypocrisy when we opposed him! That was a dirty lie by dirty liars.)

But guilt by association is a good thing, when a person really has chosen that association. Who we chose to associate with tells a lot about us. It is especially true with a chameleon like Obama...

Krauthammer puts it better than I can:

Convicted felon Tony Rezko. Unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. And the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. It is hard to think of any presidential candidate before Barack Obama sporting associations with three more execrable characters. Yet let the McCain campaign raise the issue, and the mainstream media begin fulminating about dirty campaigning tinged with racism and McCarthyite guilt by association.

But associations are important. They provide a significant insight into character. They are particularly relevant in relation to a potential president as new, unknown, opaque and self-contained as Obama. With the economy overshadowing everything, it may be too late politically to be raising this issue. But that does not make it, as conventional wisdom holds, in any way illegitimate.

McCain has only himself to blame for the bad timing. He should months ago have begun challenging Obama's associations, before the economic meltdown allowed the Obama campaign (and the mainstream media, which is to say the same thing) to dismiss the charges as an act of desperation by the trailing candidate....
Actually, more important than the question of how well Obama knew Ayers, was the fact that Obama chose to spend most of his life in circles where Bill Ayers was considered "cool!" That's really sick. Posted by John Weidner at October 10, 2008 8:58 AM
Weblog by John Weidner