Der Wacht Am Doof

It’s the oldest, most manipulative game in the world of rhetoric.

  1. Find something an opponent of yours said, wrote or did that, taken by itself, could be seen as embarassing.
  2. Carefully pare away anything that’d give the casual consumer any idea of the context of the original saying.
  3. Splash it out there as big and bad as you can.
  4. Make sure it splatters all over anyone or anything associated with your victim.

It’s a good way to get people who already agree with you to really really agree with you; boy, are your opponents icky!

Of course, it’s not all that honest.  But then, it’s rarely about presenting an honest appraisal of something or someone one disagrees with.

Oh, it happened again; a local leftyblogger made a really, really ugly insinuation about one of the local conservative ‘sphere’s stalwarts.

Let’s walk through it from the top.

Find Something Embarassing

Jeff Fecke, writing at his own blog and at lefty coagublog “Alas A Blog”, writes:

On July 1, over at Minnesota righty superblog True North (”Pointing Minnesota in the Right Direction”), Kevin Ecker decided to use his time to highlight an anti-immigration rally in Austin, Minnesota:

Political activism at it’s [sic] best is honest grassroots efforts by people finally fed up with lying politicians who decide to do something about an issue rather than just complain.

Kevin, like a lot of conservatives, is opposed to illegal immigration.  Unlike most liberals, he distinguishes between legal and illegal immigration – which is a lot more nuance than a lot of the left will credit, as they need to keep the bloody shirt aloft.

Now, remember – in the graf above, Ecker notes that “political activism at its best” is the stuff of the grassroots activist, the one who does it for the love of his/her cause.

Kevin found one of them, and quoted him:

Basically Austin is a town that the residents feel has been devastated by illegal immigration, and a lone resident, Sam Johnson, finally got fed up. He organized the first rally despite being up against professionally organized counter protests by the likes of La Raza, Centro Campesino and various Marxist organizations bussed in from the cities.

And if that’s where we stop – if that’s all you know – then so far so good!

But it’s there that the problems begin.  Sam Johnson was surely out-front on the immigration issue; unfortunately, he’s out-front on something else.  Something Fecke apparently learned about (albeit four months after the fact):

Sam Johnson, honest American, just doing the best he can to make our country free of “illegal immigration.” Or, you know, any immigration. Because this is Sam Johnson:

samjohnson

In case you’re wondering — and I doubt you are, but some people might not be able to view the picture — yes, that’s a guy wearing a neo-Nazi uniform. Because Sam Johnson isn’t just a hard-working white American who’s fed-up with illegal immigration. He’s a neo-Nazi, the head of the National Socialist Movement Southeast Minnesota. He is one of the most vile individuals in my state, and he’s a guy who the world will be better off without.

I’m not personally as ready to demand anyone’s death as Fecke seems to be – but the fact remains, Johnson is an unsavory character – or is at least a guy with some beliefs most people actively shun.

Strip Away All Context

And Johnson deserves some shunning:

Sally Jo Sorensen of the outstanding (sic) Bluestem Prairie blog actually interviewed Johnson (one hopes she took a long, hot shower afterward) [Stop objectifying women!  - Ed.]; you should really read all of part one and bookmark the site for the next two installments, but here’s a brief excerpt:

“Minorities should not be citizens,” Johnson said, “only 100 percent true white Americans.” He outlined his vision of a nation in which all people of color would be stripped of their citizenship, no matter how long their families had lived in the United States, and moved to communities that would be strictly delineated according to race.

People of African descent would live with other people of African descent, Latinos with Latinos, Asians with Asians, American Indians with American Indians, and “real Americans” with other “real Americans. “Real American” and non-citizen status would be determined be having had family living in the country for five generations or 50-70 years.

And it goes on.  It’s pretty putrid stuff.  (And some liberal will no doubt chime in “Putrid?  That’s the most you can say about Nazis?” Look – my anscestors, most likely like yours, spent the best years of their lives bombing, shelling, shooting and bayonetting the Nazis back into their caves.  I’ve gotten anti-semitic death threats; I’ve interviewed, and shredded, Holocaust revisionists.  Question my Nazi-slagging pedigree at your own risk – preferably to my face).  Read it if you want; Fecke and “Blue Stem Prairie” list it at some length.

But what actually happened?

This is the guy that True North — a blog that has included Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; PowerLine’s Scott Johnson; and David Strom, the head of the Minnesota Taxpayers League as contributors — decided to back. A neo-Nazi.

It’s a a lie.  Quoting someone on an issue, even approvingly, without knowing anything about his background, is not an “endorsement”. 

Kevin Ecker, by way of endorsing grassroots activism on an issue that matters to him, latched onto the actions of Sam Johnson, of whose political affiliations he had no knowledge.

No, I mean  no knowledge.  Because I did what Fecke should have done before accusing someone of being in cahoots with Nazis; gotten his side of it.

Here’s what Ecker said, in an email to me shortly after this “story” “broke”:

No I did not know he was a Neo-Nazi and if I had I wouldn’t have run it. I thought he was a small time illegal immigration activist.  I’m not inclined to assume the worst in people, so the thought that he was a Neo-Nazi never occurred.  And googling a name like “Sam Johnson” seemed an act of futility.  My posting was NOT an endorsement, but rather simply a notification of a illegal immigration rally, something I’ve posted dozens of times before, for BOTH sides of the issue.

Of course, if you’ve written a blog for any length of time, you’ve probably done this – quoted someone without knowing the deeper context.

But if you’re smart, you haven’t take that factoid – a mistaken compliment paid to someone who doens’t deserve it – and expanded it into a group smear of everyone you disagree with.

What Fecke has done (to deafening, echoing applause in his comment section) is taken that error, stripped it of context, and…

Splash It Out There, Big And Bad And Far And Wide

…applied it willy-nilly to a shopping list of Big Bad People Jeff Fecke disagrees with.  True North?  Michele Bachmann?  Scott Johnson (who, I should point out, is Jewish, not that the Minnesota left considers bad taste especially declasse when referring to Big Bad Conservatives)?

Of course, the conclusion was written long ago – long before Kevin Ecker started his blog:

But that shouldn’t be surprising — the Republican party has deliberately chosen to throw its lot in with the most extreme elements of the hard-core, fascist-and-no-that’s-not-hyperbole, racist right. It is disgusting. It is despicable.

Well, no.  It’d be charitable to call it “hyperbole”; indeed, it’s worse; it’s the kind of dehumanizing, stereotyped approach to all dissent that managed to find six degrees of separation between anyone you disagree with and the ugliest depravities you can imagine.  It’d be like holding every Democrat today accountable for the Holodomor because of the historic links between the DFL and the Comintern.  At the very least it’s an attempt to make it virtually impossible to stay with an argument on a run-of-the-mill domestic issue; to discuss illegal immigration, you have to not only carry on the argument, but also fight against the whole “Nazi” thing.

Which may strike one as the perfect argument, in an Alinskiite sense, but doesn’t help much when it comes to running a civil society.

Stupid, right?

Someone tell Fecke.

Make Sure It Splatters

Of course, Fecke – and the mass of demented bobbleheads in both of his comment sections – couldn’t let it go at defaming Kevin Ecker.  He had to apply it like rhetorical birdshot, splotching it all over every target of opportunity in the regional right; he tries to infer that every workadaddy, hugamommy conservative that has problems with unfettered illegal immigration is part and party to the  Nuremberg Laws, the Warsaw Ghetto and Majdanek.

We’ve been through this before, of course; it was two years ago the local leftysphere hopped up and down and vented their outrage on cue over the “Dirt Worshipping Heathens” “scandal”.  Of course, that episode was a little different – there was actual intent involved, although not the intent that Karl Bremer imputed to Tracy Eberly’s piece.  But with context carefully and misleadingly excised, Bremer went on to slag the entire “Minnesota Organization of Bloggers” (notwithstanding the fact that the MOB has no, none, zero, zip editorial input, much less control, over any of its member blogs.  We drink.  That’s it).  But that doesn’t matter; in the Alinskiite world of the leftyblogger, actual meaning is of no value.

Anyway – unless…

  1. …Ecker actually meant to endorse a Nazi.  Any Nazi.  And…
  2. …if Rep. Bachmann, Scott Johnson, the editors and contributors to True North and/or anyone involved with the project endorsed any part of Naziism, and…
  3. …any part of current mainstream Republican thought shares anything (beyond the level of the “Hyperbolic Rant”) with actual Naziism, as opposed to the “everyone we disagree with is a Nazi whether they actually goosestep or not” sense of the term…

…then it’s really just defamation, guilt by association, and group slander.

Which, thankfully, is wearing thin with real people.

I invite Mr. Fecke’s response.

UPDATE:  From an email:

“It sure would be interesting to comb through Fecke’s archives looking for approving references to people who turned out to be scumbags, wouldn’t it?”

I bet.

I don’t really care for “gotcha” blogging.  But if you do, by all means, have at it!

43 thoughts on “Der Wacht Am Doof

  1. Several thoughts came to my mind while reading this.

    My first was a question, as I have not followed any part of the original story(ies) surrounding this. It would seem a pertinent one. What did Mr. Ecker DO about clarifying what he did or did not know about the Nazi AFTER he found out? If he made it clear that he didn’t know, then…..what’s the fuss? If all he did was make it clear in an email to you, then perhaps more public information about what he knew and didn’t know, along with what he did and didn’t support would have been a good thing.

    My second thought was that you are absolutely correct that all this has worn thin with ‘real people’ (who are the not-real-people? were they real at one time, and lost their ‘realness’?, or are we talking fictional people? just curious as it seems one of those terms that deserves closer examintion).
    What you describe here in microcosm seems to parallel the whole Bill Ayers / Barak Obama guilt by association premise that was repudiated by many voters in the last election. I had a similar gut reaction to a clip of John Boehner complaining about Democrats demonizing their opposition.

    It has been a bad stratagem, regardless of which side uses it.

    I hope you contacted Mr. Fecke – whom I don’t know and don’t read – personally to respond, rather than relying on his reading here. This could be entertaining, ‘cuz it rather does look as if you have him nailed dead to rights, from the information provided so far.

  2. I read about the rally in my local paper and there was none of the radical part of Johnson’s agenda. It said he was protesting against Communism and illegal immigration.
    http://tiny.cc/1kCC7

    But I do like the six degrees of separation bit to Fecke’s post. He should have taken it further-Ecker posts at True North, alongside Bachmann, and Bachmann once hugged Pres Bush, who had Dick Cheney as his VP, therefore Cheney is a racist!

  3. Contributing to True North makes you a Nazi, huh? I’m glad Fecke cleared that up! Reminds me of the old commercial jingle:

    I’m a Nazi, you’re a Nazi, Kerm’s a Nazi, Kev’s a Nazi. Wouldn’t you like to be a Nazi, too? Be a Nazi, drink Dr. Fecke.

  4. “seems to parallel the whole Bill Ayers / Barak Obama guilt by association premise ”

    That might be an apt analogy if you could claim that Obama didn’t know anything about Ayers past association and participation with domestic terrorism, but you can’t. So it’s a stupid analogy.

  5. @Dog Gone, good comments. I don’t read many politically-based blogs but I do see you comment here often. Do you regularly contribute to another public forum (there’s no link associated with your name in the posts here)?

    Thanks.

  6. Dog Gone,

    I never made much of Obama’s association with Ayers – I figured I’d give him the benefit of a doubt. Most of us do things we regret when we were younger. I was a liberal. Heck, Reagan started out as a New Dealer!

    But the analogy fails, in that Obama certainly knew Ayers’ past and beliefs. There is no doubt about this. Whereas to say Ecker knew and endorsed the Naziism of Sam Johnson – someone about whom he knew nothing but what he read in an article about a rally that, by the way, also never checked up on Mr. Johnson’s beliefs – calls for a couple more levels of suspension of disbelief.

  7. Since I also post at True North, can I sue for slander? I think it fair to say that the legal criterion, that Fecke KNEW what he said about True North people was false, has clearly been met. What do you think, $6 million about right?

  8. Great question. Probably not. Would you lose any income, reputation or prestige by being called a “nazi” second-hand.

    Now, Ecker? Does being called a “nazi sympathizer” by someone who calls everyone some kind of nasty name cause Kevin to lose income, reputation or goodwill? And is he enough of a “public figure” where he’d have to prove Fecke acted with malice?

    Again – probably not.

    But every once in a while, one of them comes very, very close.

  9. Jeff Kouba,

    Yeah, if there are any True North staffers descended from Junkers, they might have a libel case…

  10. Dog,

    You have a valid remark, and you’re right that it does reflect upon my own character.

    So here’s the timeline.

    I got an email from my blog indicating someone left a comment on that article asking :

    “Are you unaware or just unconcerned that Sam Johnson is a proud and unapologetic neo-nazi?”

    In the illegal immigration debate, my side is frequently smeared with labels like Nazi or worst. So at first I wrote it off as just another of those, although why it was being left on a four month old post was a little confusing.

    I then got an email from a couple of the True Northers indicating that Fecke had put up a post about this. After reading through the post and finding the accusation I did some further googling and found sure enough that there was plenty of evidence of Sam Johnson’s Nazi beliefs. Although in my defense, none of them were online at the time I posted my article.

    So add in the fact that I couldn’t have known anyway, but that’s hardly a good defense yeah? Anyway, so knowing what I knew then I editing both the post on my blog and on True North adding a note indicating Sam Johnson’s Nazi beliefs.

    I only added the note because I didn’t want to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened like some journalists do. But I did want to make it very clear to future visitors what Sam’s motivations were and that I did NOT endorse such filth.

    So there you have the aftermath of events from my viewpoint.

    And for the record, no I’m not a Nazi nor do I sympathize with them.

  11. German, especially German from the 20s and 30s, is a gift that keeps on giving. Heck – all Western language from the era is wondrous blog-fodder!

    Someone calls Bogus Doug a Nazi? Respond with Der Wacht Am Wein. And when Leanne Rimes, the former child-prodigy C&W singer turned GOP activist, comes under attack? Well, Wacht Am Rimes is too easy, I suppose.

    And if the white supremacists in Northern Wisconsin pick up steam again, Der Wacht Am St. Croix is a natural.

    Too bad Mr. Johnson was a Nazi rather than a commie. Coulda titled it “Смерть Стукачam”!

    I actually thought of entitling my response to Fecke Kraft Durch Fraud, but figured that would be too inside.

  12. Now, Ecker? Does being called a “nazi sympathizer” by someone who calls everyone some kind of nasty name cause Kevin to lose income, reputation or goodwill? And is he enough of a “public figure” where he’d have to prove Fecke acted with malice?

    ROFL: Kevin’s reputation? That’s rich, just rich.

    But seriously, this is what you have come to suspect from a nose bleed seats blogger who is so successful that even Soros had to let him go, self loathing feminist that he is. He gives liberal gotcha bloggers a bad name for being as diligent in fact checking as Polanski is about checking for legality.

    If we also would like to remember some more of Fecker’s fantabulus journalism.
    http://www.residualforces.com/2007/05/08/punktackular/

    Wait a second, I’m a True North person, Mitch is a True North person, that means all the people that read Mitch’s blog are Nazis!

  13. So add in the fact that I couldn’t have known anyway, but that’s hardly a good defense yeah? Anyway, so knowing what I knew then I editing both the post on my blog and on True North adding a note indicating Sam Johnson’s Nazi beliefs.
    Kevin wrote:
    “I only added the note because I didn’t want to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened like some journalists do. But I did want to make it very clear to future visitors what Sam’s motivations were and that I did NOT endorse such filth.

    So there you have the aftermath of events from my viewpoint.

    And for the record, no I’m not a Nazi nor do I sympathize with them.”

    Kevin, let me be clear that not for a moment did I think that Mitch would write this if in fact you sympathized with anything nazi. But I do think what you have expanded on here contributes important information to the story, and to Mitch’s point – so thank you, and I hope you take the question in the spirit it was asked, which was not condemnatory, only curious.

    I also hope we hear from Mr. Fecke here as well, and that Mitch extends him a personal invitation to respond. Because it would be the fair thing to do, it would add a lot to what he has written. And well, because I am absolutely certain Mitch has the ‘cojones’ to do something like that, and that he would advise me to do the same in a similar situation (inside joke).

    aofaofa, yes, thank you for asking, I do write/blog elsewhere. Locally, at Penigma.blogspot.com, where I am one of team of three writers. The owner of that blog, Penigma, from whom the blog takes its name, also sometimes comments here. Both Pen and I have known Mitch for some 20 years or so, outside of blogging; we’re old friends on sometimes different political sides. But regardless of the politics, still friends. I would be delighted to have you come read our blog, and comment.

    I find alleged nazi beliefs to be an accusation far too frequently thrown at people from both sides, like Obama for example, without anything like valid reason. I would hope that in addition to denouncing guilt by association, there is some denunciation here as well for too freely using that specific accusation.

    Mitch – you haven’t addressed who ‘not real people’ are; I hope you will elaborate. As to the analogy of Ayers, you are absolutely correct when you point out that Obama KNEW or should reasonably have known about his past. What does I think hold up as an analogy is that to have had anything in common with Ayers, such as serving on the Annenberg foundation board, or the very minimal political support from Ayers is FAR from the same thing as supporting Ayers actions when Obama was 8 years old, or holding those same views as Ayers on terrorist activities or on the Viet Nam war. It WAS another instance of guilt by association.

    Both sides do it, and when they do, it is WRONG. That shouldn’t be hard to agree with is it? Because if you are asserting this is only an evil practiced by one side against the other, I must demur.

  14. Wait! Stop the presses!
    Jeff Fecke Calls Right-Wing Bloggers Nazis

    On a serious note, do any of the Feckeless folks and likeminded left-wing bloggers respond to posts (or e-mails) like Mitch just wrote? Ever?

    When was the last time one of these folks quoted out of context and didn’t back up their libel? (I exempt Peev / PB / LeftOut as he does it in at least 5 out of every 8 online comments.)

  15. “Смерть Стукачam”

    [Cringe]. Nonsensical. I can only guess you tried to russify SmerSh? If so, you failed. And if not, I have no clue what it is you were trying to say. I wish you would stop mangling my first language. But hey, it’s your blog.

  16. I was shooting for “Kill Weasels”.

    And while any damage to your first language is purely unintentional and the result of someone who loves playing with language for the sheer fun of it all, remember – my first language gets mangled daily, here. You’re not alone.

  17. my first language gets mangled daily, here

    And I’m one of the main offenders. Point taken.

    It’ll take me a while to come up with the right translation for you. “Weasel” is such a technical word.

  18. “That might be an apt analogy if you could claim that Obama didn’t know anything about Ayers past association and participation with domestic terrorism, but you can’t. So it’s a stupid analogy.”

    Bingo! Very stupid on DG’s part.

    What do Osama and Obama have in common?

    Both had friends that attacked the pentagon.

  19. Dog Gone-
    Johnson is a sad, sick individual.
    Mitch quotes Ecker: “No I did not know he was a Neo-Nazi and if I had I wouldn’t have run it.”
    On the other hand Obama knew Ayer’s past. Didn’t bother him a bit. He has never even made a statement re Ayers as direct as Eckers statement. Johnson is a minor league wannabe thug. Ayers hangs out with the champagne & caviar crowd — including politicians who know that he once conspired to kill American soldiers in a time of war.
    In Obama’s case it isn’t guilt by association. It illustrates a flaw in Obama’s character, if nothing else a cynicism which I imagine is also at the root of his longtime association with Rezko.
    If the True North crowd knew Johnson was an SA type he would not have been quoted with approval. End of story. Obama’s association with Ayers & Rezko is of an entirely different nature.

  20. Terry Says:

    October 28th, 2009 at 2:23 pm
    Dog Gone-
    Johnson is a sad, sick individual.
    Mitch quotes Ecker: “No I did not know he was a Neo-Nazi and if I had I wouldn’t have run it.”
    On the other hand Obama knew Ayer’s past. Didn’t bother him a bit. ”

    Not true Terry. Obama made it clear on a number of occasions that he did not share Ayer’s views on the Viet Nam war, nor did he condone any destructive actions during that time. To claim otherwise would be like……like asserting Mitch is a liberal because he has friends like Penigma and I. Even disagreeing with Mitch on some issues, he would always have my support. I can just as easily believe that Ayers and Obama have had agreements in the area of education, a specialty and interest of both, and that on a similar basis Ayers supported Obama, and Obama accepted that support.

    Terry also says:”including politicians who know that he once conspired to kill American soldiers in a time of war. In Obama’s case it isn’t guilt by association. ” Ayers ‘hangs out’ or associates with more precisely, a number of conservatives and Republicans as well. Further, if you actually look at the details of Ayers efforts to protest the Viet Nam war, he is very clear that he diverged from those who undertook violence against individuals, and that he was only prepared to act destructively against specific property, NEVER against an individual. Nor am I aware of any individual who was injured or who died, much less a member of the military, as a result of any action by Ayers.

    So, you are correct, Obama is NOT gulity by association, although that is I’m sure NOT what you meant. But the attempts to portray him so are as flawed as the examples Mitch provided here. It was a tactic, a bad one, in this instance used by Republicans, notably Sarah Palin.

    This is NOT a tactic that anyone should accept, on either side. We should be critical of it WHEREVER it is used.

  21. It’ll take me a while to come up with the right translation for you. “Weasel” is such a technical word.

    Well, I know “Laska” is the literal word for a downmarket Mink, but I was always told “stukach” has a connotation like “stool pigeon” that makes it a little more derogatory.

  22. One would think that the supporters of Obama, who got a complete pass for his far more intimate associations with Revs. Wright and Pfleger, Khalidi, Daley, Blagojevich, Ayers, and a lot more, would have the grace and good sense to abandon guilt by association arguments.

    But since Fecke brings it up….howzabout all of Obama’s appointees starting to praise Mao? You want to talk about obnoxious, admiration for the world’s #1 genocidal dictator of all time puts anything Fecke can deliver to shame.

  23. Dog Gone, most of the people who make the claim that Ayers was somehow non-violent get their info from his memoir. Like a lot of criminal memoirs, the protagonist is there when the felonies are planned and carried out (this sells books), but somehow is just distant enough from the criminal actions to avoid prosecution. Ayers was a founding member of the Weathermen, fer gawd’s sake. Ayers is a psychopath.
    I don’t care what Obama thinks about the Vietnam War or the resistance to it. The only people who seem to think this is important is people who want to make the case that Obama’s relationship with Ayers is ‘guilt by association”. It is not. Obama has no share of Ayers guilt. Obama will collaborate with evil people to advance his career. That is beyond dispute and the guilt is his own.

    Not true Terry. Obama made it clear on a number of occasions that he did not share Ayer’s views on the Viet Nam war, nor did he condone any destructive actions during that time.

    Ecker has effectively disowned Sam Johnson:
    Knowing what I know now, no I would not have posted this and his entire event would have been forgotten, if not actively shunned.
    Obama has done nothing of the sort with Ayers. He can’t; he worked with Ayers for too long, and Ayers is too well known for Obama to say that he didn’t know about his past.

  24. I was always told “stukach” has a connotation like “stool pigeon”

    Nope. It connotes a “rat” – as in somebody who ratted someone out. Rodent family, but still not quite right as a translation for this “weasel”. I still have not been able to come with the right word. I guess I do not associate with the right, I mean wrong, type of people.

    BTW, etymology of “stukach” is translated “to knock”. Connotation: knocking on the door will flush a rat out.

  25. JPA,

    Bear in mind that I’m a total linguistics nerd. So I may be the only one to get a chuckle out of this…:

    It connotes a “rat” – as in somebody who ratted someone out.

    In American criminal slang, “rat” and “stool pigeon” meaning the same thing; to the point where you could say a stool pigeon is someone who rats someone out…

    But I see the problem; the person who explained what “Stukach” meant to me said “it’s like ‘weasel’”; there’s two layers of misdirection!

    Hahahahah…er… (looks around, noticed blank expressions from non-linguistics-geeks)…never mind.

  26. to the point where you could say a stool pigeon is someone who rats someone out

    I always considered a more narrow definition of “stool pigeon” – a decoy. But I can see how it can be used as a synonym for “rat” as well. Bottom line though, I still need to figure out the right word for “weasel” – my homework.

  27. Terry, others – the problem with guilt by association is that it attempts to make one person responsible for the actions or opinions of another.

    Not having knowledge is one explanation for not holding the opinion of another, but ANY attempt to distort a person’s actual views by claiming they hold the views of someone else, because of an association, is just plain WRONG.

    Hold people responsible for what they say, what they do, what they express as opinion and belief. Do NOT hold them responsible for the views of others, including having relationships, even long duration ones, with a variety of people holding different views than their own.

    I don’t really care what someone’s political views are if they have a specific skill and are employed for that skill and only that skill, so long as they do not use that employment to advance their politics or other views. There should be such a thing as personal, private viewpoints from official positions.

  28. including having relationships, even long duration ones, with a variety of people holding different views than their own.

    Apparently, Dog Gone, you would hang out with Charlie Manson if you had a common goal that did not involve actually murdering people or inciting others to do so.
    Now I know how Obama got elected. His followers are able to blind themselves when they don’t like what they see.

  29. Terry says:
    “Apparently, Dog Gone, you would hang out with Charlie Manson if you had a common goal that did not involve actually murdering people or inciting others to do so.”

    Not at all Terry. A more apt analogy that came to my mind, in response to your Mao references, were those who retained friendships with blacklisted artists, writers, and directors during the McCarthy years. I think you can go too far in requiring conformity from your circle of friends or acquaintances.

    Given the rants against ‘thought police’ from the right, the last thing that I would expect from a consistent conservative was to limit associations to those who strictly conform in every way, including intellectual issues. I pursue a lot of interesting ideas (and a few not so interesting). You could try to make something out of the range of material I have read, for example, yet I can assure you I do not agree with everything I read, or eveyrone with whom I might associate in the course of researching an area of interest.

    I can see where someone might have a legitimate reason for exmaple, to interview or otherwise study Manson in the course of writing a book. It is a very different thing from agreeing with Manson or approving of any or all of his actions.

    This is getting awfuly close to excessively requiring conformity.

    I would point out to you that Ayers for example has never been convicted of a crime, there has been no proven accusations, but a lot of differing claims. In any case, I would still assert that it is wrong through association to promote that one person because of that association is responsible for the actions, thoughts, or politics of another.

  30. Dog,

    You’re all over the map here. Look, if you want to believe Ayers is innocent, go right ahead. And if you want to believe that Obama’s relationship with Ayers is totally cool, knock yourself out.

    We’re not through with the first year of the Obama presidency. Watch and learn. You’ll understand what Terry is talking about eventually.

  31. Dog Gone-
    I haven’t mentioned anything about Ayers’ politics or his beliefs. I accused him of being a psychopath
    I do not think you know much about Ayers or you wouldn’t be pushing this nonsense about it making a difference because he was not convicted of a crime. The feds dropped charges because of FBI misconduct in the cointelpro investigation the weather underground, not because they had no evidence. Ayers has admitted planting bombs in his memoirs. He wants you to believe he only wanted to do property damage. Other Underground & SDS survivors remember things differently.
    He is a despicable psychopath, born to wealth and privilege, who conspired to kill innocent Americans.
    Ecker quoted a guy named Sam Johnson without knowing his background. Comparing that with Obama’s working relationship with a well-known, confessed anti-American terrorist is ludicrous.

  32. Terry, Obama / Ayers was an example.

    If you disagree with that example instead let me direct you back to the underlying idea.

    It is not right to try to hold one person responsible for the actions, thoughts, or opinions of someone else because of an association. Even less so in the course of nasty ‘gotcha’ politics.

    Presumably we ARE in agreement that it was not fair in the instance of Kevin Ecker. I would hope you would agree that it is not fair unless someone actually espouses something like support for the Nazi cause themselves in this instance – which Ecker does not, clearly.

    I will take your suggestion and look more deeply and critically into the actions of Ayers.

  33. “His followers are able to blind themselves when they don’t like what they see.”

    Terry, that is an excellent description of DogGone. Spot on!

    “…there has been no proven accusations, but a lot of differing claims.”

    DogGoneDog, what about Ayers’ own words?
    ”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.”
    Interesting how you blind yourself to Obama’s connections with terrorists.
    Not to mention Obama’s spiritual leader for 20 years the Rev Wright.

    MoN said:
    “GoneDoggyGone

    Don’t listen to K-rod. Keep digging.”

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Looks like GoneDog is taking your “advice”, MoN.

    Bwwwwwaaaaahahahahahahahaha

  34. DG,

    While I agree with you on “gotcha” politics, I have to go with Krod and Terry on this one, to a degree.

    If Obama was not aware of all the things Ayers actually did (and yes, he was never convicted, but Terry did explain that pretty well), then he’s too ignorant to be President; if he was

    …well, as I said, I’ll give him the benefit of a doubt; maybe he spent years being collegial to a colleague; maybe he approved of the ends but not the means; maybe it wasn’t that big an issue to him. It’s irrelevant, really; he’s been elected, baggage and all.

    But there’s no way to compare the two.

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