By the Editors | National Review | August 28, 2008
While the Obama coronation proceeds apace in Denver, it is in Chicago that Americans are getting a disturbing demonstration of his thuggish methods of stifling criticism.
Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a Harvard-educated social anthropologist and frequent contributor to National Review, among other publications. He is widely respected for his meticulous research and measured commentary. For months, he has been doing the job the mainstream media refuses to do: examining the background and public record of Barack Obama, the first-term senator Democrats are about to make their nominee for president despite the shallowness of his experience and achievement.
Kurtz has written extensively, and with characteristic attention to factual detail, about Obama’s early career as a “community organizer,” his cultivation of benefactors in the most radical cauldrons of Chicago politics, his long-time pastor’s immersion in Black Liberation Theology, his ties to anti-American zealots, and the years in the Illinois state legislature this self-styled agent of change spent practicing the by-the-numbers left-wing politics of redistribution and race-consciousness, remaining soft on crime and extreme on abortion.
This has led Kurtz, naturally, to scrutinize the relationship between Obama and one of his early political sponsors, William Ayers. Ayers, as we have previously detailed, is a confessed terrorist who, having escaped prosecution due to surveillance violations that came to light during his decade on the lam after a bombing spree, landed an influential professorship in education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). As he has made clear several times before and after helping to launch Obama’s political career, Ayers remains defiantly proud of bombing the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, and other targets. He expresses regret only that he didn’t do more. Far from abandoning his radical politics, he has simply changed methods: the classroom, rather than the detonator, is now his instrument for campaigning against an America he portrays as racist and imperialist.
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