Thomas Sowell

Critics of Senator Barack Obama make a strategic mistake when they talk about his "past associations." That just gives his many defenders in the media an opportunity to counter-attack against "guilt by association."

We all have associations, whether at the office, in our neighborhood or in various recreational activities. Most of us neither know nor care what our associates believe or say about politics.

Associations are very different from alliances. Allies are not just people who happen to be where you are or who happen to be doing the same things you do. You choose allies deliberately for a reason. The kind of allies you choose says something about you.

Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, William Ayers and Antoin Rezko are not just people who happened to be at the same place at the same time as Barack Obama. They are people with whom he chose to ally himself for years, and with some of whom some serious money changed hands.

Some gave political support, and some gave financial support, to Obama's election campaigns, and Obama in turn contributed either his own money or the taxpayers' money to some of them. That is a familiar political alliance-- but an alliance is not just an "association" from being at the same place at the same time.

Obama could have allied himself with all sorts of other people. But, time and again, he allied himself with people who openly expressed their hatred of America. No amount of flags on his campaign platforms this election year can change that.

Unfortunately, all that most people know about Barack Obama is his own rhetoric and that of his critics. Moreover, some of his more irresponsible critics have made wild accusations-- that he is not an American citizen or that he is a Muslim, for example.

All that such false charges do is discredit Obama's critics in general. Fortunately, there is a documented, factual account of what Barack Obama has actually been doing over the years, as distinguished from what he has been saying during this election campaign, in a new best-selling book.

That book is titled "The Case Against Barack Obama" by David Freddoso. He starts off in the introduction by repudiating those critics of Obama who "have been content merely to slander him-- to claim falsely that he refuses to salute the U.S. flag or was sworn into office on a Koran, or that he was born in a foreign country."

This is a serious book with 35 pages of documentation in the back to support the things said in the main text. In other words, if you don't believe what the author says, he lets you know where you can go check it out.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate