Speaking of the Democrats’ case against Obama, last night a few hundred members of an organization called Democrats for McCain held a meeting in Manhattan. Here’s an excerpt from the speech given by the group’s New York State Chairman, Bartle Bull [all caps in the original]:
AMERICA CANNOT AFFORD CORRUPT WELFARE PROGRAMS LIKE FANNY MAY & THE OBAMA TAX PLAN.
-8 YEARS OF AN OBAMA-PELOSI-ACORN ADMINISTRATION WOULD GIVE AMERICA:
-8 YEARS OF SPREAD-THE-WEALTH SOCIALISM,
-8 YEARS OF CHICAGO-STYLE CORRUPTION, &
-8 YEARS OF UNITED NATIONS-STYLE FOREIGN POLCY
IT WOULD GIVE US A GOVERNMENT THAT IS TOO STRONG AT HOME AND TOO WEAK ABROAD. IT WOULD BE TOO EXPENSIVE & FAR TOO DANGEROUS.
Short, sweet, and to the point. These sound largely like the complaints of Scoop Jackson Democrats, but it’s the kind of cut-to-the-chase case McCain should be making to everyone. Part of the challenge in devoting so much energy to the William Ayers argument is articulating exactly what’s problematic about it. On its face, the relationship is not worrisome to a big portion of the electorate: the juxtaposition between a hippie bomber and the elegant expositor of American unity is too preposterous for many to make sense of. Voters don’t see the line connecting the Weatherman Underground’s agenda of forty years ago to Barack Obama’s present policies. So, the connection is more easily dismissed as the unfortunate price of political success.
The case that never gets made is that the consistent political philosophy of Ayers and his associates continued to warp the mission of the Democratic Party long after the Weather Underground has become nostalgia, and that Obama is the philosophical offspring of the movement birthed by radicals such as Ayers. Of course the Left sees Ayers as a “rehabilitated” member of the community — they’re making that assessment in accordance with rules that he helped to define. And ideas like prostration before the UN and “spread-the-wealth socialism” gained strength in the milieu of Ayers-style leftism. That’s the tangible link, but it involves more political history than can be neatly conveyed in a commercial.
Old-time Democrats such as Bull and Joe Lieberman know the story better than anyone, and they’re not eager to let the party slip away once-and-for-all with the election of Obama. McCain would be wise to hit on the clean, clear points listed above. They also have the benefit of timeliness.