Saturday, October 11, 2008

The wisdom of crowds

I've noted before, I believe, that the letters page of the NY Times is a fount of wisdom. A couple of gems worth noting appeared in yesterday's paper.

William C Ibershof noted:

As the lead federal prosecutor of the Weathermen in the 1970s (I was then chief of the criminal division in the Eastern District of Michigan and took over the Weathermen prosecution in 1972), I am amazed and outraged that Senator Barack Obama is being linked to William Ayers’s terrorist activities 40 years ago when Mr. Obama was, as he has noted, just a child.

Although I dearly wanted to obtain convictions against all the Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, I am very pleased to learn that he has become a responsible citizen.

Because Senator Obama recently served on a board of a charitable organization with Mr. Ayers cannot possibly link the senator to acts perpetrated by Mr. Ayers so many years ago.

Doyle Stevick wrote in to comment on John McCain's oft-repeated claim to be a maverick:

The debate about whether John McCain is a maverick misses the point.

Senator McCain embraces the image, but what is a maverick? Not a follower, but not a leader either. If people followed him, he would, by definition, be a leader, not a maverick.

The presidency is an executive position. Do we want leadership, or a ticket proud of wandering off on its own?

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