- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 19, 2008

We interrupt regular column writing to… imagine John McCain ahead in the polls.

Imagine that Mr. McCain had spent the last 20 years in the pews of a white supremacist church that supported an apartheid-like separationism from black people, and also that, until a few months ago, Mr. McCain had proudly claimed the church’s white racist pastor as his “friend, mentor and pastor,” even taking the title of his best-selling 2006 memoir from one of this man’s sermons. Imagine further that, in the 1990s, Mr. McCain had directed foundation funding toward a white-separatist educational program supported by this same pastor.

Now imagine Mr. McCain this same imaginary Mr. McCain whose polls indicate imminent victory had only lately left this church, brushing off his relationship with the racist pastor by pleading ignorance of the man’s vile views.

All of these McCain hypotheticals, of course, are mirrored in Barack Obama realities related to his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah “God d– America” Wright. The foundation funding I refer to, detailed in a recent scoop by Stanley Kurtz, is the $200,000 that Mr. Obama, as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge foundation, approved for a local organization that promoted black separationism as taught by such Afrocentric theorists as Jacob Carruthers, who, Mr. Kurtz writes at National Review Online, sought to use “African-centered education to recreate a separatist universe within America, a kind of state-within-a-state.” Mr. Carruthers, and many others from his organization, the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC), which, Mr. Kurtz writes, “takes as its mission the need to `dismantle the European intellectual campaign to commit historicide against African peoples,’” were featured speakers at Wright’s church.

Interesting, no? Worth a question or two into Mr. Obama’s more or less political relationship with Mr. Wright, no? Or views on Afrocentrism, no? Or into his media-honed reputation as the candidate of post-racial integration, no? No.

Let me demonstrate why not by harkening back to our McCainian world of pretend for an unreality-check.

Imagine and this may be the hardest thing to swallow that the press corps (panting adjunct to this imaginary McCain campaign), assorted pundits, politicians and practically anyone else with a microphone or blog, say none of this matters. Or say it is “racist” to discuss these shocking facts. Weirder still, imagine that Mr. Obama, imaginary McCain’s trailing opponent, says the very same thing more than passing strange given the happenstance that Mr. Obama is black and thus a key symbol of the imaginary pastor’s vicious animus.

It is mind games like these that we need to play on ourselves to puncture the bubble of complacency and conditioning that has swathed and protected Mr. Obama, not merely from the consequences (as in voter-rejection) from his Jeremiah Wright relationship, but from his relationships with a veritable pantheon of anti-American extremists. A partial list includes the racist Mr. Wright, the radical William Ayers, the former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi, the redistributionist and voter-fraud-perpetrating ACORN, and the out-and-out socialist New Party. These are the people and groups, from the farthest reaches of the anti-American left, that have shaped and driven this man who would be president.

Mr. Obama’s association with the New Party is probably new to most readers. Despite person or persons unknown having engaged in the Stalinist technique of “scrubbing” (erasing) online New Party records that claim Mr. Obama as a New Party member, the blog politicallydrunk.blogspot.com has recently located documentation indicating Mr. Obama was indeed a member of the Chicago branch of this socialist party.

This may come as a big yawn to big media, but it is, as our little game of pretend shows, outrageous. Just imagine if McCain had once belonged to a far-right extremist party, and, naturally enough, had had his 1995 political coming-out party in the living room of the likes of Timothy McVeigh. Imagine, like ex-Weatherman William Ayers, that Mr. McVeigh’s treasonous goals to destroy the U.S. government hadn’t diminished over the years indeed, that he called himself a “radical, rightist, small “f” fascist” the same year Mr. McCain’s political career was launched in his home but that he had merely abandoned violent means to revolution in favor of “educational reform.” (Mr. Ayers, of course, in real life, called himself a “radical, leftist, small `c’ communist” in 1995, the same year Mr. Obama debuted as a political candidate in Mr. Ayers’ home. In 2006, with Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez looking on, he declared, “La educacion es revolucion.”) Now imagine that Mr. McCain had also served as the first chairman of Mr. McVeigh’s foundation, distributing money to radical, rightist, small “f” fascist causes. (Again, this mirrors Mr. Obama’s real-life gig as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge foundation that Mr. Ayers co-founded.) Would the media and political consensus insist none of this mattered to voters? That it was “racist” or “negative” even to bring it up? And, further, that such a candidate’s comfort with and receptivity to anti-American extremists was not an automatic disqualifier for the presidency? The answer to all of these questions is “no.” Indeed, it’s a sure thing that a reflexive, righteous and widespread consensus against my imaginary candidate would have formed among the media and political establishment, thus disqualifying him from becoming his party’s presidential nominee, let alone the next president of the United States….

We now return to regular programming.

Diana West is a syndicated columnist.