Sunday, April 27, 2008

"The Politics of Personal Destruction"

Barack Obama and his Obama-maniacs like to complain about "gotcha" politics and "distractions," as if Obama's relationships with whitey-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright and unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers have nothing to do with Obama's fitness for the presidency. What Obama and his idolizers fear, of course, is the revelation of Obama's political agenda, which he has succeeded in masking behind his "nice guy" persona, -- in spite of his wife's over-explained, anti-American slur, and his having (in 2007) the Left-most voting record among U.S. Senators.

Wolf Howling does an excellent job of piercing Obama's defenses. WH also points to a similar analysis by the estimable Charles Krauthammer. I will not try to redo what WH and Krauthammer have done so well. My aim here is to address a charge that lurks in the background, if it hasn't yet been raised by Obama, his camp, and his camp followers.

That charge? Raising the issue of Obama's associations with Wright and Ayers is the kind of gutter politics that is sometimes called the politics of personal destruction, if it isn't plain old racism. (My rule of thumb: The charge of racism in twenty-first century America is a first and last refuge of any politician or public figure who wants to shift the focus of debate from his own views, accomplishments, or agenda.)

It ain't "personal destruction" if (a) it's true and (b) it's relevant to a person's fitness to hold office (whether elected or appointed). Bill Clinton wasn't a "victim" of the politics of personal destruction when he was impeached by the House of Representatives; he was a "victim" of his own perjury and deliberate failure to honor his oath of office.

As Wolf Howling and Charles Krauthammer explain so well, Barack Obama's associations with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers are a legitimate focus of attention. And those associations will remain a legitimate focus of attention for as long as Obama feeds at the public trough or seeks to do so.