Obama and Ayers: More than "just friends"
The disturbing thing about Barack Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers is not the fact that Ayers was a guy who lived in Obama's neighborhood or that they became fast friends - or at least friendly acquaintances. It's not even that Ayers was one of the first people Obama turned to in order to launch his Chicago political career. The thing that really bugs me is that Obama and Ayers are ideological soulmates. NRO's Stanley Kurtz explains here and here.
Like most of you, I've never had the opportunity to become friendly with an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers. Perhaps that's because I've never been a community organizer or a college professor - possibly the only two professions in which men like Ayers are hailed as heroes.
I'm sure that Ayers has his good qualities and that his views are held to be respectable and mainstream among the community organizers and college professors who have served as Barack Obama's peers throughout his adult life. Still, I see Bill Ayers as a modern-day Guy Fawkes. He's the man who bombed the U.S. Capitol, but - unlike his terrorist forerunner - not only did he live to brag about it, he has seen his reputation enhanced through his association with "respectable, mainstream" politicians like Barack Obama.
It's been over four hundred years since Guy Fawkes plotted to blow up Parliament. To this day, the British recall that day each year by burning him in effigy. But, then again, no one ever had the audacity to call him respectable.