SOMEDAY, THE DEMOCRATS will be back in charge again. Do we want a Democratic Party that's in charge of everything? Well, you know, I suppose it's my job to say yes. But the truth is, as an American, it's better when parties share power. It's better when even those people who didn't win an election have something to say.
OBAMA BECAME more than casually acquainted with Bill Ayers, the Weather Underground bomber with whom he served on the boards of two Chicago philanthropic groups. In 1995, Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn -- the same Dohrn who in a blood-curdling 1969 speech had cited the Charles Manson gang of murderers as role models for the Weather Underground -- co-hosted a political fundraiser for Obama in their home. By then, the still-unrepentant Ayers had become a respected member of the academic establishment in which far-left views are fashionable.
I dwell on these much-debated associations not because I think that Obama sympathizes with what he has called Ayers's "destestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8" or identifies with Wright's wild ravings. But I do think that Obama has understated (at best) his involvement with Wright and Ayers. And I wonder about the worldview of a man who was so comfortable with such far-left extremists and whose wife, Michelle, asserted earlier this year that American is "just downright mean" and "guided by fear" and that most Americans' lives have "gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl."
A READER chuckles about these lines in the Chronicle's endorsement of Chris Bell in Texas Senate District 17:
He served five years on Houston City Council where he chaired the council's ethics committee. It produced recommendations that tightened up the city's campaign finance rules and mandated financial disclosure measures for elected officials.
. . . . Bell filed ethics complaints against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the first shots in a fight that led to DeLay's resignation.
Push past the historic candidacy, however, and one sees something even larger at stake . . . . The real "change" being put to a vote for the American people in 2008 is not simply a break from the economic policies of "the past eight years" but with the American economic philosophy of the last 200 years. This election is about long-term change in America's idea of itself.
. . . . With this election, the U.S. [read United States] is at a philosophical tipping point.
Daniel Henninger, "Wonder Land: The True Meaning of 'Historic Vote,' Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2008, Page A17