What if Ayers really is mainstream?

That last post leaves me wondering about the "housecleaning" identified by Hot Air, and my question about why the Obama campaign would scrub its characterization of Bill Ayers as "mainstream."

Especially because I enjoy playing Devil's Advocate, it occurs to me that perhaps I should take another look at Barack Obama's position. The question is not whether his Factcheck website said that Bill Ayers is mainstream, for it did say that, and the Obama campaign is by no means alone in maintaining that Bill Ayers is mainstream. Obviously, if he is mainstream, that would appear to help Barack Obama (at least to the Obama campaign), because any associations between them would have been between a mainstream guy and an up-and-coming politician.

So why would the campaign scrub the contention that he was mainstream, and replace it with a quote from someone else saying he's mainstream?

Is Ayers mainstream or is he not?

I think the answer is that experienced and powerful Democrats fear that he may very well be mainstream, and that this makes the Democratic Party look bad.

Think about it. If it is "mainstream" to be an unrepentant terrorist who tramples the American flag and regrets not bombing enough, that is hardly an indictment of "the 1960s" (for the man has not changed his radical views), nor is it merely an indictment of Barack Obama.

It is in fact a horrendous indictment of what is apparently part of the Democratic Party's "mainstream."

So what if the Obama is right, and an extreme radical like Bill Ayers really is part of the "mainstream"?

The implications for the Democratic Party are very ugly.

Political dynamite.

No wonder the quote was scrubbed.

We can't have voters think that unrepetentant terrorism and extreme anti-Americanism might be part and parcel of the Democratic Party mainstream.

UPDATE: Via Glenn Reynolds, Shannon Love hits the nail on the head:

...the real troubling aspect of the Obama-Ayers relationship is that Obama comes from a political subculture in which Ayers is an accepted and unremarkable individual. Looking at Ayers, one is forced to ask exactly what kind of leftist extremism would be considered unacceptable by Obama and his cohorts.
Anything out of the "mainstream," perhaps?

posted by Eric on 08.26.08 at 02:43 PM


I think he's not so far from the mainstream of Democratic primary voters. The problem, as always with the Democrats, is how to take a politician capable of winning with that crowd and make him able to win a general election.

tim maguire   ·  August 26, 2008 4:49 PM

I think it is mainstream among boomer progressives to try and have it both ways about what they did in the 60's and 70's. They don't have to intellectually distance themselves from it with anything but a smile and a wave, but no one is allowed to use it against them. In that sense, Ayers isn't that different than the Clintons.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  August 26, 2008 7:00 PM

Judging by the Democratic Party activists that I know, I would say that yes, Ayers is indeed mainstream for that party. (Besides, why else would Michael Moore have been an honored guest at a prior convention?)

pst314   ·  August 26, 2008 9:16 PM

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