I thought that a lot of the ire directed at Bill Ayers by conservatives during the campaign was pretty ridiculous. Not only in terms of the transparently ridiculous efforts to “link” him to Barack Obama, but in terms of the level of outrage directed at his misdeeds. When I tally up all the Vietnam-era wrongdoing in this country, Ayers, the Weather Underground, and their absurd terrorist plots don’t come to the top of my list. The architects of the war are responsible for the deaths of many people.
But being the target of unfair criticism does not, on its own, exonerate a person. And Ayers’ odd little New York Times op-ed only re-enforces one’s sense that unfair criticism can certainly be directed at a guy who very much deserves to be the target of criticism. An inability, down to the present day, to see that what the Weather Underground was up to was wrong, counterproductive, and insane is really hard to grasp.