Stanley Kurtz is reasonably young, so he’s going to be an extremely strong competitor for some kind of lifetime achievement award in wingnuttery one of these days. I really enjoyed this debate analysis:
Bill Ayers? As McCain noted, Ayers and Obama together gave hundreds of thousands of foundation dollars to ACORN. That needs to be unpacked, but McCain’s point begins to get at the real issue. This is not about what happened when Obama was eight years old. Ayers and Obama both believe in a redistributionist economic policies. Together Ayers and Obama backed radical community organizers like ACORN, a key player in the mortgage crisis. ACORN’s assault on credit-standards was driven by its redistributionist philosophy. So Obama’s radical associations reveal the truth of his economic policies. It’s all of a piece. But this critical point has not been made.
People still speak as though the “associations” issue and the economic issue are two different things. They’re not. ACORN wants to spread Joe’s wealth around. So does Bill Ayers. That’s why Obama worked with both ACORN and Ayers. Someone needs to explain all this to Joe.
Inadvertently, Kurtz is revealing here how hollow all these accusations of radicalism are against Barack Obama. He wants to tax Joe the Plumber in order to finance broadly beneficial programs. He wants to spread the wealth around. So does Hillary Clinton and Chris Dodd and Jim Webb and Debbie Stabenow and all kinds of other unremarkable Democratic Party figures. Some people don’t like this whole progressive taxation thing, but it’s a pretty banal opinion. The idea that Obama is a “radical” has to be, if it means anything, something other than “Obama’s a normal progressive and I don’t approve of normal progressives.” If I were to say “Norm Coleman is a member of the far right with ties to fringe extremists” and it turns out I mean that he’s a conventional Republican with ties to the Chamber of Commerce, then nobody would take that very seriously.