Revisiting the Obama-Ayers connection

Many of you probably watched portions, if not all of, Megyn Kelly’s interviews with Bill Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist of yesteryear. Kelly did her usual excellent job of pressing Ayers on his violent past.

But Stanley Kurtz wishes she had pressed Ayers more about his relationship with Barack Obama. For, as Kurtz points out, Ayers and Obama had a much tighter political alliance than Ayers admitted to on Kelly’s show.

Kelly focused on Ayers’ fundraiser for Obama’s first political campaign, rather than their time together on several left-leaning Chicago foundation boards. This is understandable — anyone can sit beside someone else on this or that board.

But Kurtz demonstrated in his book Radical-in-Chief that Ayers and Obama weren’t just fellow board members; they were left-wing soul mates who used their power to place each other in positions where they could radically affect the education received by children in Chicago.

Here is how the relationship worked:

Obama was effectively funding Ayers’ radical education projects, as well as the work of Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn, and the work of Ayers’ closest political allies. Substantial evidence also indicates that it was Ayers who brought Obama onto the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. More shocking, it was almost certainly Obama himself who brought Ayers onto the Woods Fund Board.

What did the two accomplish through their mutual back-scratching. Here is how, relying on Kurtz’s work, I described their legacy:

The plan was to attack the prestigious citywide system of magnet schools that had been set up for students with high test scores. They would be replaced by Afrocentric “small schools” under the influence, if not the control, of ACORN.

To try to implement this vision, Ayers used the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). Obama was the chairman of CAC’s board — placed in that position by Ayers according to David Remnick, Obama’s friendly biographer. . . .

CAC was, predictably, a failure by any usual measure. Obama and Ayers spent $100 million with no discernible improvement in the test scores of low-performing schools.

The “small schools” didn’t help improve test scores, but one of them was a “peace school” where students celebrated United Nations-themed events instead of traditional American holidays. Another school was Aztec-themed and focused on Mexican culture.

Ayers’ goal was to make schools “sites of resistance” to an oppressive system. Obama supplied the money to try and make this happen. And the money tended to flow to leftist outfits like ACORN and Obama’s own Developing Communities Project.

There is a straight line from Bill Ayers the domestic terrorist of the late 1960s, to Ayers the subversive education “reformer” of the 1990s’s, to Ayers the defiant, bitterly anti-American interviewee of today.

There is also, I fear, a straight line from Obama the Marxist-Leninist student of the 1980s, to Obama the ally of Ayers in his subversive educational agenda of the 1990s, to Obama the lawless Radical-In-Chief of today.

Ayers, presumably, is no longer violent and Obama, presumably, is no longer a Marxist. But for both, the deep hostility towards America as we have known it remains.

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