Riddle Me This

By Jesse Taylor
Tuesday, October 7, 2008 0:49 EDT
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Confederate Yankee Bob Owens is one of my favorite conservative bloggers of this election. He manages to write in a way that’s so chock full of things being said, without actually managing to clue you in on why he’s saying any of the things that he’s writing, like a piece of ready to assemble furniture with fourteen extra bolts and a plank of wood that doesn’t go anywhere.

CYBO takes on the hilariously overwrought Bill Ayers association scandal, and leads me to make an oath: if I read another post, article or column that reveals that Barack Obama had secret terror-sex with Ayers and his wife at a 1995 coffee or that Obama served on a board with Ayers and it was called the Annenberg Project as if it’s either new or damning, I will donate $25 to Barack Obama. My apologies that this isn’t either funnier or more cartoonishly violent, but I want to win and then make outlandish threats against my political enemies. If that’s okay with you.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has consistently tried to discount the depth of his relationship with Bill Ayers, one of the founding members of the Weather Underground, a radical left-wing terrorist-

Blah blah blah, get to the good stuff already.

By 1995, Barack Obama had known Bill Ayers at least eight years since their shared involvement in the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools, if not longer.

Whoa. WHOA. This is huge. Bigger than huge. If we can prove that Barack Obama had a cursory relationship with Bill Ayers eight years earlier than we previously thought, then that puts the complete pointlessness of this in a whole new – yet equally pointless night. Let’s delve in to this new and exciting fact!

Bernardine Dohrn, once labeled “the most dangerous woman in America” by none other than J. Edgar Hoover, was also well known as the inspiration for the 1988 movie Running on Empty. Subtle terrorists they were not.

You see? You see?

No, wait, you don’t see. What? Running on Empty was also released on September 9, 1988, which pretty much, you know. Yeah. Exactly.

Axelrod also tried to excuse the extent of Obama’s involvement with Ayers, stating, “Bill Ayers lives in his neighborhood. Their kids attend the same school. … They’re certainly friendly, they know each other, as anyone whose kids go to school together.”

It’s an obvious fiction pitched by Axelrod, since the Obama children are presently in elementary school, while Ayers’ children are all grown adults, but the Ayers-Obama family connection doesn’t stop at the imaginary connections between the children.

You dare doubt that Bill Ayers and Barack Obama are BFFs? Their kids don’t even go to the same school. If that doesn’t prove my point, then maybe this does: did you know that Bernadette Dohrn was the inspiration for…oh, yes, I went over that. Moving on…

Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers’ wife, has largely escaped recent scrutiny, but that lack of attention doesn’t reduce her role as either a leader — and some may argue, the leader — of the Weathermen. Nor can it mask her ties to both Barack and Michelle Obama. It’s now a family affair.

According to a reputable Pajamas Media source that wishes to remain anonymous and knew the Dohrn family, Bernardine Dohrn “always believes the ends justify the means” and is the head of the Ayers-Dohrn household. Dohrn was the violent, arguably pathological Leninist core of the Revolutionary Youth Movement, which led her and allied militants to fight for control of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The SDS split as a result of the Dohrn-led revolt and the Revolutionary Youth Movement split again, with Dohrn’s faction becoming the Weather Underground.

So, basically, in order to prove that the Obamas were terrorists, CYBO went and talked to someone who is, by his definition, a terrorist. Brilliant.

Notice the subtle way that we move from “Bernadette Dohrn is proof that the Obamas and the Terror Squad were having sexy Hyde Park orgies” to “the Bernadette Dohrn-inspired Running on Empty is available through our Amazon affiliate link”. So smooth, so clever.

After another three paragraphs of stuff about things Dohrn did before Barack’s balls dropped, we finally get to the meat of the matter:

Once her days as an active terrorist were over, Bernardine Dohrn was employed by prestigious law firm Sidley & Austin from 1984 to 1988. Dohrn had been hired by Howard Trienens, the head of the firm and an associate of Thomas G. Ayers, Bill Ayers’ father. It is unclear whether Obama knew the former fugitive Dohrn through Sidley & Austin but there is no doubt that, by the time Obama joined Sidley & Austin as a summer associate, Obama had known Bill Ayers for two years through their involvement in Alliance for Better Chicago Schools.

I’m sensing a theme here – based on the fact that the Obamas’ kids didn’t go to school with Ayers’ kids, they were closer than if they had. And based on the fact that the Obamas never ran into Bernadette Dohrn at the law firm she worked at years before either of them started there, Barack Obama and William Ayers’ unspecified connection that has yet to be described is even stronger.

Having never met Bill Ayers, I can confidently say that he’s my godfather based on this airtight argument. God damn bless America.

Ayers and Dohrn infamously played host and hostess to Barack Obama’s political “coming out” with a meeting at their home, where outgoing State Senator Alice Palmer tapped Barack Obama to be her handpicked successor.

Other direct connections between the Obamas and the Ayers are much harder to discern and have never been thoroughly investigated.

For instance, the one you’ve referenced twice in this article.

Do you know how Obama and Ayers were linked through ABC Schools? Neither does CYBO.

In reading Saturday’s New York Times article noted above, a reader might be left with the impression that the terrorist organization headed by Ayers and Dohrn was engaged in little more than pranks, with a deprecating, “Most of the bombs the Weathermen were blamed for had been placed to do only property damage,” starting the solitary paragraph that mentions just three of the group’s specific attacks.

That the Weathermen — and specifically Obama fundraising hostess Bernardine Dohrn — were accused of killing an officer in a police station bombing in San Francisco was downplayed, as too was the extent of the carnage planned for the Fort Dix dance terror plot in 1970. That the Weathermen tried to murder a judge and his family with fire bombs was somehow not mentioned at all, nor were later Weathermen-related bombings that occurred through Barack Obama’s continuing political radicalization during the early 1980s.

And just where was Barack Obama during the early 1980s?

Nowhere near any of this and therefore right in the middle of it?

Though the mainstream media has been curiously uninterested in Barack Obama’s undergraduate years, Obama spent two years at Occidental College developing into an activist and then transferred to Columbia University, graduating in 1983.

Running on Empty received two Oscar nods. The Academy could have murdered your babies.

Little more is known about Obama’s time at Columbia and he seems to avoid mentioning it as much as possible. The Columbia University wiki reports that Obama “repeatedly turned down requests to be the Class Day speaker in recent years, as well as general requests to appear from the College Democrats.” Obama finally gave a speech at Columbia on September 11, 2008, but did not take questions from the media. Obama has also turned down repeated requests to release his academic transcripts. What happened during his time at Columbia that caused Barack Obama to be so secretive and hold the school conspicuously at arm’s length?

I’m going to venture two guesses: the first is that CYBO has no idea whatsoever, the second is that whatever he’s about to say has about as much to do with Obama knowing Ayers as a plot synopsis for this week’s episode of Prison Break does.

Obama’s Columbia roommate Sohale Siddiqi — called “Sadek” in Dreams from My Father, and whose real name the Obama campaign sought to hide — revealed nothing damaging in an interview he did in May with the Associated Press, furthering the mystery. Two of Obama’s and Siddiqi’s other friends, Mohammed Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, have contributed the maximum individual amount allowed by law to the Obama campaign and the men have become bundlers for the Obama campaign, raising between $100,000 and $200,000 each.

What will Michael Scofield break into this week? Check it out this week on Fox at 8/7 CST!

The big question unasked by the media is if Barack Obama met Bill Ayers during the time both were in the Columbia University community at the same time that a splinter group of the Weathermen was still actively planting bombs. While the possibility has been suggested in blogs, there does not appear to be any record of any media directly asking Obama if he met Ayers in New York and if such a relationship spurred Obama to travel to Chicago to begin his career as a community organizer.

So, what we need to figure out is whether or not a series of events that neither of these men were directly involved in could have spurred a secret relationship because they were in the same several-million-person city at around the same time. Why Bill Ayers would be randomly hopping around New York City looking for a young multiracial transfer student to spur into helping inner-city Chicago churches and civic groups get new fire hydrants I do not know, but then again, I’m not a terrorist mastermind.

Barack Obama’s first known meetings with Bill Ayers would occur three years after Obama graduated from Columbia, in Chicago in 1987. Ayers was an activist in the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools. Community organizer Barack Obama’s Developing Communities Project was a member of that Alliance.

Okay, but did they meet? Or was one group simply allied with another? Actually, if they didn’t meet, then by this standard, it’s like they super-met and plotted cute little terrorist attacks on American soil. It was the inspiration for You’ve Got Mail…or so I’ve heard. (Also available through our Amazon affiliate.)

Barack Obama was not eight, but a 24-year-old community organizer in Chicago at the time of the Weathermen’s last attacks, and 29 when many of the last remnants of the Underground in the offshoot May 19th Communist Organization were sentenced to prison in 1990. (Former Weatherman Elizabeth Ann Duke is still a fugitive and wanted by the FBI.)

None of which Bill Ayers actually committed. So…huh?

BarackObama.com, the campaign’s official website, offers up a “fact check” that Obama was just eight years old when the Weathermen were active in 1969. The Obama campaign has tried to use the founding date of the Weathermen as a touchstone, claiming that the acts of the group were something that happened “40 years ago” when Obama was a child. Far closer to the truth is the December 6, 1990, sentencing date of Weathermen Susan Rosenberg and Linda Sue Evans, when the last of the Weathermen were sentenced for their role in a string of bombings in the mid-1980s, including bombs that detonated at the National War College, the Washington Navy Yard Computing Center, the Washington Navy Yard Officers’ Club, New York City’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the Israeli Aircraft Industries Building, New York City’s South African Consulate, and the United States Capitol Building.

Unfortunately, the fact check is about Ayers’ acts, not the Weathermen as a whole. However, given the general level of relevance and connection here, the fact that this is seemingly a list of things that actual Weathermen did rather than a top-ten list of the Hamburglar’s most audacious thefts gives CYBO a pass.

Barack Obama’s ties to the Weathermen aren’t ties that were 40 years removed from a child’s experiences, but the conscious decision of a young radical to establish a relationship to an infamous terrorist because of shared ideology and interests.

Right, because the actual first meeting between Obama and anyone connected to the Weathermen was a decade after the group was defunct, and even longer since either of the people he met were in any way involved with the group. I realize the risk I run in assaulting such an ironclad body of logical argumentation but…no, wait, I don’t. I don’t at all. I’m in more danger of ripping out my own heart with packaged safety scissors.

Barack Obama never set any bombs. But he’s never had problems with associating with those who did.

Or not doing it. And therefore doing it even harder. Like Die Hard 2: Die Harder, which still didn’t feature Bruce Willis ever dying. Just like Bernadette Dohrn.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
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