Back in 2008 the McCain campaign made a lot of noise about Barack Obama’s nodding acquaintance with William Ayers, a college professor, anti-war activist, and co-founder of the Weather Underground (a name now used — with ironic intent, I’m sure — by a very good on-line weather forecasting service). The campaign’s mouthpiece accused Sen. Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” This caused twitterpation among the Very Serious People who were concerned that the candidate might be associated with unsavory people who had been active in illegal activities forty years before.
Like most campaign memes, the concern about Mr. Ayers and his association with the candidate proved to be about as long-lasting and tenuous as the connection itself, and the people who really cared about it moved on to more important issues such as the missing birth certificate and Mr. Obama’s secret gay Muslim lifestyle.
Stories like that, though, tend to make us indifferent to candidates who do associate themselves with truly unsavory and possibly dangerous people. For example, Rachel Maddow noted last night that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has received the enthusiastic endorsement of Troy Newman, an anti-abortion activist who co-authored a book that speaks approvingly of the murder of doctors who perform abortions.
Mr. Cruz has embraced the endorsement of this man who openly advocates first degree murder, and so far his campaign hasn’t shied away from seeking out like-minded individuals such as Kevin Swanson, who preaches that gay people should be put to death.
The question now before us is why hasn’t Mr. Cruz received the same kind of attention for palling around with people who are, to this day, actively promoting murder and execution as compared to the furor that was raised when it was revealed that Mr. Obama once shook hands with a man whose last days of anti-war activity took place before the Beatles broke up?
Someone ought to look into that.