Saturday, December 06, 2008

So much for redemption

The Vietnam War, Dear Gentle Reader(s), has left an indelible mark, hasn’t it?

Remember the brouhaha over William Ayers, the erstwhile Underground Weatherman which the Republican campaign tried mightily to associate with Mr. Obama?

Well, today in The New York Times  he offers a sort of mea culpa.  If you have the time and inclination, the column is accessible here.

Expect to see the Republican bloviators to respond with found and fury along these lines of one Hilzoy,  in his blog Obsidian Wings.  After going back in history (one year prior to Ayers’ start in his column) and fairly well rebutting some of Ayers’ points, Hilzoy ends with this:

Ayers may think that there's still a debate about the Weather Underground's effectiveness. And he might also think that he "acted appropriately in the context of those times." To me, though, he's just a shallow rich kid who took himself and his revolutionary rhetoric much too seriously, helped inspire people to do things that got them killed, and helped to discredit the anti-war movement and the left as a whole.

He has done enough harm already. Now he should do the decent thing and leave us in peace.

That’s good advice.  One problem with the advice is that Ayers has been trying to leave everyone in peace, especially himself since those days of stupidity.  It was the opposition to Mr. Obama which resurrected Ayers and his wife, Bernadette Dohrn.

And from the tone if Hilzoy’s retort, it’s obvious that there’s no such thing as leaving someone in peace.  Ayers’ subsequent laudable behavior does not seem to have counted for anything among the right wing.  They could take a lesson from G.B. Shaw who wrote:

The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.


Piffle!  Not for those who took to the streets against the Vietnam War.

Do you ever suppose, DGR(s), that we’ll learn to take “measurements anew” anytime soon?

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