It has been interesting to observe the public debate over Barack Obama’s associations with individuals whose personal histories can only be categorized as radical. Bill Ayers is a former terrorist. Jeremiah Wright preaches race adversarialism. For the most part, Obama’s friendships with these men has been water off a duck’s back for the electorate.
Imagine a different scenario. There is an evangelical candidate. He is the best evangelical candidate ever. A Rhodes Scholar, a distinguished lawyer who has argued before the Supreme Court, astoundingly eloquent, you get the idea. This candidate is a conservative, but answers all questions in such a way as to avoid making anyone uncomfortable. He hits all the right chords.
Further imagine that the record shows this man was once heavily involved with Christian reconstructionists who believe stoning should be re-instituted for adultery. He went to a church for two decades where a Christian reconstructionist preached each Sunday. One of his mentors was part of a group that bombed abortion clinics.
Where would that candidate be right now? And how different would that candidate be in terms of associations from one Barack Obama?