National Review Online: David Frum: “The Chicago Way”

National Review Online: David Frum

“The Chicago Way”

My pals over at the Corner are very excited by the last-minute attempt to transform Bill Ayers into the Willie Horton of 2008. Well, good luck

In 1988, crime was a huge and rising problem – and Democrats still by and large resisted the effective crime control policies being developed at places like the Manhattan Institute and that would achieve such great results in the 1990s. So Willie Horton, the furloughed rapist and murderer, symbolized in very graphic terms something important and significant about Michael Dukakis the candidate.

But Bill Ayers? Does anybody really seriously believe that Barack Obama is a secret left-wing radical? And if not, then what is this fuss and fury supposed to show? It’s like Ronald Reagan’s opponents trying to beat  him by pointing out that Birchers once supported him.

Negative campaigning only works when it offers a new data point to support a convincingly drawn hostile image.

So try this instead: The real problem with Barack Obama is not that he’s a bomb-thrower, but that he’s a product of the “Chicago way.”

[T]he Chicago Way leads through the most politically corrupt city in America, in a politically corrupt state, where muscle trumps reason, where Democratic warlords brazenly promote their offspring into public office, where even souls are offered up for sale. …

How, for example, could change agent Obama endorse the boss of the Chicago machine, Mayor Richard Daley, after Daley’s friends and drinking buddies, white guys with mob connections, received $100 million in city affirmative action contracts, a crime that sent one of them to federal prison?

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