Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Since time immemorial, all of us have been judged by the company we keep. And, that’s only fair. Even David, a man after God’s own heart, was judged for the company he kept with Bathsheba. And that judgment lasted for several generations.

So, it certainly isn’t too much to ask Barack Obama - a man whose choice of company includes a racist clergyman, an indicted embezzler, and a disgraced banking executive - to explain whether he embraces or eschews the Marxist teachings of several others he has also taken to his breast.

If he eschews them, fine, case closed. But, he needs to say so. If he embraces them, it is perfectly legitimate for his critics to condemn him as, at least, a “Fellow Traveler,” and question whether his further travels should lead to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Let’s start with the man Mr. Obama affectionately refers to as “Frank” in his memoir, “Dreams from My Father.” “Frank,” according to the author, played a pivotal role in his life in Hawaii just before he went off to college. “Frank” was introduced to the young, impressionable Barack Obama by the youth’s own grandfather, who felt the fatherless child needed a male role model. Which, of course, Mr. Obama tells us “Frank” became - undoubtedly reciting for the lad his infamous poetry defending Soviet hegemony and attacking the United States.

“Frank,” you see, was none other than Frank Marshall Davis - a notorious member of the Communist Party who advised Mr. Obama, not to “start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that [stuff].”

So, that was the message resonating in young Barack Obama’s heart as he attended college and then journeyed off to Chicago to become a strong-arm rent collector preying upon welfare tenets for a wealthy slumlord. Until, that is, he apparently decided to go into politics. At that point, he reversed field and became a strong-arm community activist preying upon wealthy slumlords for welfare tenets (which, admittedly, sounds much more palatable in one’s memoirs).

Still, the fever of politics was now in Mr. Obama’s blood, so he needed a new mentor - preferably someone who could pick up where “Frank” left off, it seems. And he settled upon no less a renowned communist sympathizer than one Alice J. Palmer, the woman whose seat he would take (and “take” is the operative word) in the Illinois State Senate on his short march to the White House.

Perhaps Mr. Obama was attracted by the fact that in the 1980s, Ms. Palmer had served as an executive board member of the U.S. Peace Council, identified by the FBI as a communist front group.

Or perhaps, he was captivated by her remarks, as reported in the Communist Party USA’s newspaper People’s Daily World, upon her return from the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Moscow. Obviously ebullient, Ms. Palmer delivered herself of such bloviations as: “The key word at the congress was ‘acceleration.’ The Soviet plan to provide people with higher wages and better education, health and transportation, while we in our country are hearing that cutbacks are necessary in all of these areas. I think that is a profound contrast.”

In fairness, however, it must be conceded that Ms. Palmer’s influence on the upwardly mobile Barack did not really last all that long. Sensing that her seat in the Illinois Senate might be a good stepping stone to higher office, Mr. Obama quickly had her candidacy for re-election declared illegal by saddling her with a fraud charge. The audacious young man was on his way to fulfilling the dreams of his father, “Frank,” and even Alice - whose political demise he later admitted “was very awkward.”

Still, before her “awkward” departure, Ms. Palmer had done Mr. Obama one last, major favor: she had introduced him to his two favorite communists of all - those who would help launch him on his road to Washington: the dynamic terrorist duo, William Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn.

Wining and dining with Bill and Bernie apparently became an important part of Barack’s life as he eyed the heights of the political edifice. They partied together, sat side by side on the same boards, and strolled the aisles of radical conferences hand in hand (figuratively speaking, one would hope).

Undoubtedly, as Barack told them of his formative years at “Frank’s” knee, they told him of their fugitive years as Marxist terrorists. Who wouldn’t want to reminisce about the glory days of the late 1960s and early 1970s when Bill and Bernie were prominent members of the communist Weather Underground - setting off bombs in more than two-dozen buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon; and conspiring to violently overthrow the U.S. government?

And one has to wonder if the unrepentant terrorists directly told Barack Obama what Bill Ayers boasted of to the New York Times: “I don’t regret setting bombs; I feel we didn’t do enough.”

The truth is, neither has Barack Obama done anywhere near enough to disavow the chilling links to the communists in his past. So one is honestly left to wonder - and it’s high time for the media to ask: Does this man have any good, decent, democratic friends?

Carter L. Clews is the director of communications for Americans for Limited Government in Fairfax, Va.

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