Who says left wingers have no sense of tradition? Sure they do, at least when it comes to Stalinist revision of history.
Arguably their most ardent practitioner these days is Rachel Maddow, she of Democrat house organ MSNBC, and her most recent example qualifies as textbook. During her program Monday night, Maddow recounted release of White House visitor logs by the Obama administration in 2009, several months after Obama took office.
The records contained thousands of names, mostly of tourists, and were released in a searchable format. Some of the names that came up included Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Michael Moore -- but these were "false positives" and not the infamous celebs who share their names. Unfortunately, a few conservative media outlets ran stories claiming these Obama ideological soulmates had visited the White House when in fact it was actually people with the same names.
With heavy-handed sarcasm, Maddow found this hysterical before providing her own hilarity --
MADDOW: And when that first batch of visitors logs was posted, the conservative media ran through the database the most scandalous names they could think of -- and some of them popped. They discovered the biggest scandal you can possibly imagine about those White House visitors logs! You remember Jeremiah Wright, the controversial preacher President Obama distanced himself from during the 2008 campaign? Turns out he didn't really distance himself from Jeremiah Wright because there is Reverend Jeremiah Wright on the White House visitors' logs! Oh my God! They've been sneaking Jeremiah Wright into the White House. He must be secretly running the country. Oh no actually he's not, because you want to know who is running the country?! Bill Ayers, the '60s bomber guy. Remember when they tried to tie President Obama to Bill Ayers in the 2008 campaign and Barack Obama had nothing to do with Bill Ayers? Well, then, oh, yes, he doesn`t have anything to do with him, why is Bill Ayers coming into the White House? There`s his name right there on the White House visitors logs.
As ABC reported at the time, "Before the logs are released each month, the White House counsel's office will review them and remove those covered by the exemptions being made for national security reasons, and the privacy of the First and Second Families pertaining to personal visits that do not involve any official or political business."
As for Ayers, Maddow's message was clear: These clowns, don't they know Obama tossed Ayers overboard years ago!? They have nothing to do with each other ... anymore!
It's yet another sign of desperation at MSNBC that its marquee evening host would make such a ludicrous claim, fully expecting that even the goo-goo progressives who make up MSNBC's core audience would swallow it.
As Stanley Kurtz writes in "Radical-In-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism" (2010) --
Barack Obama and Bill Ayers -- that famously unrepentant revolutionary terrorist of the sixties -- were longstanding political partners. For eight years, Ayers and Obama worked together at two leftist Chicago foundations. Obama praised Ayers's writings and funneled major financial support to the projects of Ayers and his radical allies. Ayers helped launch Obama's political career and joined with the future president in the battle over an Illinois juvenile crime bill. Ayers played an important role in elevating Obama to the position of board chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an educational foundation Ayers himself helped create. Evidence suggests that Obama was responsible for bringing Ayers onto the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, where the two worked together to increase funding for radical community organizations, including ACORN and the Midwest Academy. Evidence also suggests that despite official denials the Obama-Ayers connection long predates 1995, when the Obama camp claims it began.
The significance of 1995? That's when Ayers co-founded the six-year, $160 million Chicago Annenberg Challenge -- with Obama as its first board chairman -- not that they had anything to do with one another. Later that year, Obama launched his campaign for Illinois state senate in the Hyde Park home of Ayers and his wife, fellow ex-Weather Underground terrorist Bernadine Dohrn. Which again should not be interpreted as evidence that Ayers had anything to do with Obama, who could have launched his political career in any number of Chicago living rooms.
Obama's years of collaboration with Ayers, which mysteriously occurred without the two men ever conversing, became problematic for the ambitious Illinois pol due to a deeply unfortunate coincidence -- a story about Ayers touting his new book, "Fugitive Days" and the glories of bomb-throwing in the New York Times ... with the story running on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
The piece, under the headline "No Regrets for a Love of Explosives," began with this memorable quote from Ayers: "I don't regret setting bombs -- I regret we didn't do enough." A sentiment surely shared by Osama bin Laden to his dying day.
"I can't quite imagine putting a bomb in a building today -- all of that seems so distinctly a part of then," Ayers writes in "Fugitive Days" (page 295). "But I can't imagine entirely dismissing the possibility, either." The book was published in 2001, the same year Obama and Ayers served together on the Woods Fund Board while magically having nothing whatsoever to do with one another.
After the hapless timing of "Fugitive Days" appearance, Ayers became radioactive, even for a committed leftist like Obama intent on transforming America. Whereupon Obama began distancing himself from his collaborator in the battle for the hearts and minds in Chicago's classrooms.
In a twist reminiscent of Al Gore first slamming Michael Dukakis in the 1988 campaign over Willie Horton and the Massachusetts prison furlough scandal, it was closeted Clintonite and "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos who raised the issue of Obama's ties to Ayers during an April 2008 debate with Hillary Clinton (at the start of this clip) --
STEPHANOPOULOS: A gentleman named William Ayers, he was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol and other buildings. He's never apologized for that and in fact on 9/11 he was quoted in the New York Times saying "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough."
An early organizing meeting for your state senate campaign was held at his house and your campaign has said you are friendly. (emphasis added) Can you explain that relationship for the voters and explain to Democrats why it won't be a problem?
OBAMA: George, but this is an example of what I'm talking about. This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood who's a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He's not somebody I exchange ideas from on a regular basis and the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago when I was 8 years old somehow reflects on me and my values doesn't make much sense, George.
This was hardly different, Obama added, from his relationship with GOP senator Tom Coburn, who once advocated capital punishment for abortionists. "Do I need to apologize for Mr. Coburn's statements because I certainly don't agree with those either?" Obama asked.
But Obama served with Ayers on the Woods Foundation board "for a period of time," Clinton pointed out, a collaboration that continued after the 9/11 New York Times story and this was "an issue that people will be asking about" (with the obvious exception of MSNBC) and one that "certainly the Republicans will be raising."
Later that year, GOP nominee John McCain passed on swinging at the big fat pitch of Obama's prior history with Ayers, but running mate Sarah Palin "went rogue" and accused Obama of palling around with terrorists such as Ayers -- with the opening conveniently provided by Stephanopoulos and Clinton.
"Of course, Ayers's terrorism is relevant," wrote Andrew C. McCarthy in National Review at the end of the 2008 campaign. "Americans are right to wonder why Obama would consort with such an execrable figure. But it has never been the main issue. When it comes to Ayers, it's revolutionary Leftism that matters. The ideology that drives Ayers is what drove Obama to him." (emphasis added). It's the same ideology that drives Maddow to scrub Ayers from Obama's past.