« My question that I wish Bob Schieffer would ask Barack Obama tomorrow night | Main | McLaughlin series on "The Integrity Gap" between McCain and Obama will arm you for water-cooler debates »

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bill Ayers, Eagle Scout from Hell

My family history in Scouting may have caused me to over-react in my late-night guest-post about an op-ed about Bill Ayers at HughHewitt.com. But I can't think of any rank or position that's more inappropriate to use as a comparison for that twisted dollop of evil scum than "Eagle Scout."


[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]

(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)

Thomas Frank's op-ed in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, entitled My Friend Bill Ayers, is the latest effort to "mainstream" Ayers by minimizing his past, misleading as to his purported (and actually non-existent) contrition, and ignoring the radical nature of his current professional efforts.

Mr. Frank's byline reveals that he has a PhD in history, and that he writes about American culture (most recently in a vile book called "What's the Matter With Kansas," in which he savages the "red state mentality" of the same American heartland state whose values Barack Obama's grandparents supposedly imparted unto The One as a child). But Mr. Frank's essay quickly casts doubts about the depth and accuracy of his knowledge of either American history or American culture: Mr. Frank claims that Ayers "may once have been wanted by the FBI, but in the intervening years the man has become such a good citizen he ought to be an honorary Eagle Scout."


My family's roots in scouting date back to the early 1920s, when my grandfather founded "Troop 1," the first troop in west Texas. My father and older brother were both Eagle Scouts, and all three of us were proud members of the Order of the Arrow. When I first read his op-ed, I wondered if Mr. Frank had confused the Boy Scouts with the Young Pioneers of Soviet Russia. But I think even they gave demerits for chanting slogans like the one Ayers made famous: "Kill your parents!"

I hate to break it to Mr. Frank, but I'm very, very sure that in American scouting, there is no merit badge for bomb-building. There is no merit badge for revolutionary indoctrination of teachers and students. There is no merit badge for snagging millions of dollars of grant money to pay salaries for leftist radicals and their pet educational projects, nor a scouts summer camp called "Camp Graft." Neither Che Guevara nor Hugo Chavez is considered a Boy Scout hero. Scouts learn to survive in the wild, but not in order to escape FBI dragnets. Scouts learn to tie knots for many purposes, but never for tying up hostages. The Scout Motto, "Be Prepared," does not refer to having a revolver close at hand in case you're stopped by the police while driving the get-away car after a bank robbery.

The Scout's Oath begins with the phrase "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country ...." But Bill Ayers forfeited his honor long ago, and cannot possibly reclaim it until he genuinely and unreservedly repents. The Scout's Oath ends with a commitment that the Scout will keep himself "morally straight," but Bill Ayers was, and still is, a twisted dollop of evil scum.

Boy Scouts salute the American flag, and learn how to raise and lower and fold it with proper reverence. I was my scout troop's bugler. As a junior high and high school student, I played "Taps" at many military funerals during the Vietnam War. I watched many an American flag — indistinguishable from the one Bill Ayers proudly trampled in 2001 while posing for magazine cameras — carefully folded and handed to grieving family members. During those years when I was a Boy Scout bugler in the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, Bill Ayers was trying his best to create more military funerals.

Eagle Scout Bugler Robert Morgan at a military funeral

Eagle Scout Bugler Robert Morgan at a military funeral (copyrighted
photo reprinted with his permission from eaglescoutbugler.com)


To show you just how well thought out Mr. Frank's piece is, consider the following paragraph:

I do not defend the things Mr. Ayers did in his Weatherman days. Nor will I quibble with those who find Mr. Ayers wanting in contrition. His 2001 memoir is shot through with regret, but it lacks the abject style our culture prefers.

"Shot through"? Is that just monumental insensitivity, or a deliberate, tasteless joke intended to mock the actual and intended victims of the Weathermen's violence? I honestly can't tell, and frankly I don't care. It's shameful either way.

And it's a flat-out lie to suggest that Ayers is contrite. To the contrary, in an attempt to explain his "we didn't do enough" remark from 2001, he posted a comic strip on his blog in September of this very year which ended with the following present-tense sentence: "I don't think violent resistance is necessarily the answer, but I do think opposition and refusal is imperative." (Boldface mine.) I suppose that means that only the enlightened souls, the real "Eagle Scouts" like him, get to decide which policemen to kill, which soldiers and their dates to blow apart with nail bombs, and which judges and their children to assassinate.

Ultimately Mr. Frank only demonstrates that he's as poor a judge of friends and colleagues as Barack Obama himself. Mr. Frank argues that Ayers is "a man who poses no conceivable threat to the country, who has nothing to do with this year's issues." That pronouncement could only be made by someone who has deliberately blinded himself to Ayers' radical agenda as an educator, or someone who wants your children and mine to learn to be agents of revolutionary action rather than to learn reading, math, or science.

I do wish Sen. Obama would wrap his arms around Bill Ayers just as tightly and publicly as their common friends like Mr. Frank are doing. But Sen. Obama at least has the decency or the political sensitivity to recognize that anyone close to and supportive of Bill Ayers ought to be ashamed — which, of course, is why Sen. Obama has consistently prevaricated about the length, depth, and quality of his own relationship with Ayers.

Maybe, if Ayers comes up in tomorrow night's debate, Sen. Obama will come up with yet another story: "Why, I read just today in the Wall Street Journal that Bill Ayers was an Eagle Scout!"

— Beldar

Posted by Beldar at 11:22 PM in 2008 Election, Family, Obama, Politics (2008) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Bill Ayers, Eagle Scout from Hell and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) sulla made the following comment | Oct 15, 2008 1:53:40 AM | Permalink

As the oldest of four Eagle Scout brothers, I concur.

(2) Truth First made the following comment | Oct 15, 2008 2:06:59 AM | Permalink

Make no mistake: It is Barack Obama's destiny to be President of the United States. Justice demands it. The Truth demands it. The World demands it.

Oppressed peoples throughout the world are looking to Obama for hope. For Justice. For an to war. For America to stop attacking the world and for it to start being a just and peaceful member of the community of nations.

If for some reason he is not elected then there will be a cry of outrage so great that America and all its racist institutions will shake and collapse. It will be the end of America and God will damn it for its final and most terrible sin.


(3) tmac made the following comment | Oct 15, 2008 2:36:34 PM | Permalink

Before I read Truth's comment and visited his web site, I wasn't fully aware of why the Democrats chose a braying ass as their poliical symbol.

(4) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Oct 15, 2008 3:18:59 PM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: You aren't overreacting at all, and I say this as one who relationship with the Boy Scouts (Cub Scouts in my case) was akin to an alley cat's with the local dog pack...Frank is showing the blue half of the red-blue divide very well. I attribute this to malice and disingenuousness, not ignorance, as the title of his book WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS? dealt with a modern version of "waving the bloody shirt." He knows what "wtbs" means, and is lying about it in his WALL STREET JOURNAL op-ed. For those who aren't familiar with this term, it referred to the GOP's tendency in 1868-1896 political campaigns to dwell on the blood sacrifices of the Civil War and how the Democrats were going to throw them away, thereby reestablishing slavery, free immigration, drunkenness, free trade, and Ku Kluxry in general. Every successful GOP Presidential candidate in this era had served in the Army and all but McKinley were generals. If you'd like to see an example of GOP bloody-shirt-waving of 1896, here's a very funny example. Still apt to this campaign too:


Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(5) Dick Stanley made the following comment | Oct 16, 2008 2:18:41 PM | Permalink

Ah, contraire, truth first. It is Barry's destiny to lose the presidency, to whine about all the hidden racists who told the pollsters they would vote for him and then didn't, and to vacillate between asking the subsequent Dem rioters to calm down and egging them on.

The comments to this entry are closed.