Are the Republicans so bereft of ideas that this is the best they can come up with? Linking Obama to someone who did some crazy stuff when the country was in upheaval in the late 1960s, and Obama was eight? Wait, don’t answer that. Apparently, if you are considering running for office, you need to vet every person you ever meet or work with before you talk to them.
The University of Illinois at Chicago on Tuesday released more than 1,000 files detailing the activities of an education reform group in which both Barack Obama and former 1960s radical William Ayers played key roles.
The release of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge documents turned the sterile special collections room at the university’s Daley library into a media frenzy. Television crews hovered at the room’s entrance. Librarians scurried to copying machines to fulfill the requests of a roomful of reporters. Two security officers stood guard.
On a typical day, one or two scholars may conduct research there. The library director laughed when asked whether it has had security before.
A partial examination of the documents did not reveal anything startling about the link between Obama, the Democratic presidential contender, and Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground, a Vietnam-era anti-war group that claimed responsibility for several bombings. Ayers, who spent years in hiding, is now a UIC education professor
The Republicans whined that Obama responding to the false smears is harassment. They would much rather Obama just ignored the mindless allegations, and let them be repeated on endless loop.
With threats of legal action, boycotts and a response ad launched quietly to avoid publicity, the Obama campaign has put conservative donors and television stations on notice that 2008 will not be 2004, when Sen. John F. Kerry, the Democratic nominee, waited weeks to respond to attacks on his Vietnam War record and ultimately did so ineffectively. Christian Pinkston, a spokesman for the American Issues Project, which is airing the anti-Obama ad, called the response intimidation and harassment.
Obama campaign lawyer Robert F. Bauer replied: “If someone rides up to a convenience store with a sawed-off shotgun and a prior record, I’m not intimidating anybody by calling the cops. . . . If this [Republican] campaign is going to be run in McCarthyite fashion by lawbreakers in an illegal way, they are going to pay a price.”
and the Republican operatives again have a problem with using copyrighted material:
Efforts to stop the Ayers ad have not come only from the Obama campaign. A film company in Berkeley, Calif., that made an Oscar-nominated documentary in 2004 [sic, 2002, per IMDb] on the Weather Underground group has issued a cease-and-desist letter to the American Issues Project, saying that it illegally appropriated copyright images from the film for the ad. Brook Dooley, an attorney for the Free History Project, said shots of Ayers speaking into a camera in an interview and the aftermath of a Weather Underground bombing were copyrighted. The group has informed about 150 stations in Ohio and Michigan of its objection, but Dooley said no decisions have been made about legal action.
Just such a stupid line of attack: it wouldn’t be difficult to find somebody who McCain met with who was somehow linked to some nasty act. Not difficult at all, but would it be relevant? No, of course not. And yet, there was a media frenzy at the UIC anyway. Can’t they look into the Keating Five documents? Those are more recent, and more relevant to the person John McCain is than any tenuous Ayers-Obama connection. Or how about having a media frenzy about McCain’s mobbed-up father-in-law?