Obama the Professor
The connection is even more tenuous than the Ayers-Obama link, founded largely on Obama's having attended a farewell dinner for Khalidi when he was leaving U of Chicago for Columbia University. At this dinner, a poem was apparently read by a Palestinian-American girl that criticized the US and accused the Israeli government of terrorism for its treatment of Palestinians. Additionally, the GOP has accused Khalidi of having been a PLO spokesman, an accusation Khalidi denies.
So Obama is linked not only to domestic terrorists but to Palestinian terrorists? Because he happened to be a colleague of a man whose only act of 'terrorism' is to be an outspoken supporter of an oppressed people and a fierce critic of US policy vis-a-vis Israel? God forbid anyone Obama ever met should criticize Israel because clearly that makes him, by association, a terrorist. No doubt Prof. Khalidi's un-American sounding name makes him an even scarier spectre than Ayers, and everyone knows that the one thing you can never ever do in America, freedom of speech be damned, is to criticize Israel, a foreign country that is often treated, particularly on the campaign trail, as our 51st state.
Khalidi's response to this is admirable, not least for his seeming reference to Bob Dylan: "I am not speaking to the media at this time, and certainly not until this idiot wind passes."
The real story in the McCain campaign's accusations is the effect they will have on the individuals 'linked' to Obama. Ayers, admittedly a former domestic terrorist, has turned his life around and is a highly respected professor. Khalidi, not a terrorist of any sort, is also a well-respected professor. Now the whole country knows their names, and not in any good sense. How many threats and piece of hate mail will these men receive for having their names dragged in the mud by the McCain campaign? What the hell did they do to deserve it, particularly Khalidi whose only crime seems to be his name and his stance on Palestine?
It is clear that the Republicans are anti-intellectual. Radicals lurk in our universities, secretly spreading un-American propaganda to our youth. Bastions of elitism, universities are the opposite of the Real America, where leaders are blindly followed and all that is not conservative and Christian is evil. There is no place for debate or for rational thought in today's Republican party. The campaign might as well just come out and accuse Obama directly of being a terrorist for having taught constitutional law (a hippy terrorist subject that the Republicans have done their best to ignore for the last 8 years) at U of Chicago.