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Marc Cooper/Huffington Post pretends Obama/Ayers similar to McCain/David Ifshin

Marc Cooper is an ultra-lightweight Huffington Post "reporter"; I used to leave comments at his site completely eviscerating what little immigration-related argument he could provide. After a while he had a mini-meltdown and stopped being able to present even a slightly cogent argument. He never once was able to respond to any of my points [1].

Now, the "reporter" offers "McCain's Own 60's Radical Pal" (link). John McCain apparently forged a friendship with Vietnam-era radical David Ifshin, and Cooper tries to pretend that there's some equivalence between that friendship and the Barack Obama/William Ayers collaboration.

However, even Cooper is forced to admit that Ifshin moved to the center, eventually becoming Bill Clinton's general counsel. Cooper is also forced to admit that, unlike Bill Ayers, Ifshin didn't get involved with any bombings. Obviously, Ifshin was never as radical as Ayers and became part of the establishment years later. And, just as McCain was able to forge a friendship with John Kerry, he forged one with Ifshin and presumably forgave him for his actions during Vietnam.

On the other hand, all indications are that Ayers is almost as radical now as he was then, albeit without the bombs. He's part of the leftwing Chicago establishment, but it's extremely doubtful whether Bill Clinton would hire him as he did Ifshin.

Cooper also doesn't understand what "guilt-by-association" means. It refers to "A believes a something, B believes the same thing, A is a bad person, therefore B is a bad person also." That's a logical fallacy: just because Stalin might have liked strawberries doesn't mean that everyone who likes strawberries is like Stalin.

The association at the heart of the Ayers matter is that Barack Obama worked with Ayers - an unrepentant terrorist - for several years, and Ayers was to a certain extent his patron. Bringing up that association is not a logical fallacy.

[1] See the comments from "TLB" and other names pointing to this site's previous domain name:

Politics · Sun, 10/05/2008 - 20:27 · Importance: 1

Mon, 10/06/2008 - 08:00
John S. Bolton

Another way to look at his 'guilt-by-association' story, is to interpret it as a demand for a 'presumption of innocence' to be given to Obama, as if he were charged with a crime. Actually, though, Obama is an applicant for the nation's highest security clearance, that the electorate may give him, if he wins their trust. That is what he is, an applicant, not an accused criminal, especially since associating with known terrorists is not itself a crime, if they are not thought to be active and dangerous. It shows instead a sympathy and comfort with a type that should cause the voters to consider whether they may trust him with the command-in-chief of the armed forces. Loyal, brave and wonderful young people are trusting the voters to be responsible on this, let's not forget.