The struggles of a catholic progressive

by wmtriallawyer

Geez, Senator McCain, when the wheels come off the Straight Talk Express, they really come off, don’t they?

Word comes today, after your campaign essentially said that you wouldn’t “go there” with respect to Obama-Ayers, that you decide to go there with a 90 second web ad. Not unexpected, given the lying and hypocrisy of your campaign.

But what really jumps the shark is this segment of the ad:

Ayers and Obama ran a radical “education” foundation, together.
They wrote the foundation’s by-laws, together.
Obama was the foundation’s first chairman.

Radical? Really? President Reagan on line one for you, Senator.

I have a feeling President Reagan would probably take you task pretty harshly.  The picture below, as they say, is worth 1,000 words, and explains why:


That photo is from 1981, and it shows President Reagan with Walter and Leonore Annenberg. Walter Annenberg was a billionaire, philanthropist, and a pretty well known Republican, friend of both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Why is this significant? Because the so-called “radical education foundation” that Obama and Ayers served on was actually the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an initative started by the Annenberg Foundation to promote public school reform that was the brainchild of Annenberg himself.

Here’s another delicious nugget, Sen. McCain, if you consider the program “radical.” The program was actually a pretty unique hybrid that in many ways espoused the conservative viewpoint of using private money, rather than public funds, to reform education.  Indeed, this was one of those “private-public” collaborations that Republicans were fond of promoting (or least used to be fond of promoting until you came along, Sen. McCain).  The Annenberg Foundation matched 2-to-1 every public dollar spent on the project.

Annenberg, that pesky radical, started the program with this goal in mind:

“Everybody around the world wants to send their kids to our universities. South America, Asia, Europe, all of them. But nobody wants to send their kids here to public school. Who would, especially in a big city? Nobody. So we’ve got to do something. If we don’t, our civilization will collapse.”

So Annenberg ponied up the dough, and the Annenberg Foundation solicited grant applications from around the country.  Guess who’s grant application won? That’s right, William Ayers

I mean, my God, Senator McCain…Walter Annenberg, friend of the Reagans, gave nearly $50 million dollars to a well known terrorist? To improve public schools?  Did the Reagans know about this? What could the implications possibly be???

And this is where you, Senator McCain, have become the radical in this debate.  You try to spin “public-private” partnership, established by one of the pillars of the Republican Party, as “radical.”  You attempt so much guilt by association that you ignore that by your logic, Annenberg and by extension Reagan, associated with terrorists.  You have become a disgrace to your party, and your country, with this incidiary rhetoric and lies.

You, Senator. Not Barack Obama.

So I have no doubt that given the personal friendship President Reagan had with the Annenbergs, he would tell you to stop using his name as a primary example of whose legacy you really want to follow.

And while were on the subject, Teddy Roosevelt is on line two.  He wants a cease-and-desist order as well…

because your radical rhetoric is the furthest thing from speaking softly Teddy has seen in years.

UPDATE: Oh, Sen. McCain? Leonore Annenberg on line three.  As has been pointed out by several commenters, she is a donor to your campaign.  Given that you’ve now called the Annenberg Foundation “radical,” does that mean you are associating yourself with radicals, too? Just checking…


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