October 15, 2008

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A KLANSMAN AND A WEATHERMAN:

My Friend Bill Ayers: Once wanted by the FBI, he's since become a model citizen. (THOMAS FRANK, 10/15/08, Wall Street Journal)

[I] am a friend of Mr. Ayers. In fact, I met him in the same way Mr. Obama says he did: 10 years ago, Mr. Ayers was a guy in my neighborhood in Chicago who knew something about fundraising. I knew nothing about it, I needed to learn, and a friend referred me to Bill.

Bill's got lots of friends, and that's because he is today a dedicated servant of those less fortunate than himself; because he is unfailingly generous to people who ask for his help; and because he is kind and affable and even humble. Moral qualities which, by the way, were celebrated boisterously on day one of the GOP convention in September.

Mr. Ayers is a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where his work is esteemed by colleagues of different political viewpoints. Herbert Walberg, an advocate of school vouchers who is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, told me he remembers Mr. Ayers as "a responsible colleague, in the professional sense of the word." Bill Schubert, who served as the chairman of UIC's Department of Curriculum and Instruction for many years, thinks so highly of Mr. Ayers that, in response to the current allegations, he compiled a lengthy résumé of the man's books, journal articles, guest lectures and keynote speeches. Mr. Ayers has been involved with countless foundation efforts and has received various awards. He volunteers for everything. He may once have been wanted by the FBI, but in the intervening years the man has become such a good citizen he ought to be an honorary Eagle Scout.

I do not defend the things Mr. Ayers did in his Weatherman days.


Yet Mr. Ayers does defend them, while someone like Senator Byrd apologizes for his own radical past.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 15, 2008 9:06 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« OCCAM'S SCALPEL: | Main | GAME TWO: »