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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Obama: The Socialist Connections

I have been thinking about old 1960s songs lately. Today's political climate seems to have a similar revolutionary feel to it. One song in particular seems to be playing over and over in my head, "For what it's worth" by Buffalo Springfield.

"There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear."

There is most definitely something happening, and under the threat of being accused of 'McCarthyism', the mainstream media will not be spending much, if any, time clarifying exactly what it is. Under the cover afforded by the 'threat', Democrats are beginning to 'come out of the closet' and be more open about their true ideological connections. One of the most straightforward of these is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who openly admits to being a socialist and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The DSA is the largest socialist organization in America.

In the early 1990s House Democrats established the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). ‘Progressive’, as any student of political history should know, is a form of socialism, and the CPC certainly has socialist ties. Up until 1999, the DSA hosted a website for the CPC. Of the 72 members of the CPC, 58 are also members of the DSA.

Howard Dean, the Democrat National Committee chairman, was honored at a dinner sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the DSA in 2000. In 2006, Dean spoke on the Global Challenges for Progressive Politics before the Party of European Socialists (PES). Additionally, PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen reported in 2007 that European Socialist had met with Democrat members of Congress in Washington. Some of these Democrats were Howard Dean, Bernie Sanders, and Ben Cardin. According to Rasmussen’s report, an agreement was made at this meeting that Democrats and PES activist groups in various US cities would begin to work together.

The man who would be President of these United States and the current standard bearer of the Democratic Party, Barack Hussein Obama has verifiable ties to socialists as well. Obama was influenced by socialist ideology from his childhood. Obama’s father, a Harvard-educated economics professor, wrote an academic paper in 1965 for the East Africa Journal entitled, Problems Facing Our Socialism. In it he expressed Marxist and anti-western ideals. In Barack Obama’s book, Dreams of my Father: a Story of Race and Inheritance, Obama wrote of the admiration he feels for the ideals of his father. He also mentions his boyhood mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. Davis was a poet-activist who was also a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

Obama admits to having attended the annual Socialist Scholars Conferences at The Cooper Union in Manhattan while he was a student at Columbia University in the 1980s.

Beginning in 1995, (at least that is the earliest confirmable connection between Obama and the DSA), the Chicago chapter of the DSA began grooming, sponsoring, and in 1996, endorsed Obama for the 13th Illinois Senate district. In addition to the DSA endorsement, Obama actively sought and received the endorsement of the New Party (NP). The New Party is a Marxist ‘fusion’ group. The NP’s Chicago chapter includes a large contingent from the Committees of Correspondence, a Marxist coalition of Maoist, Trotskyist, and the Communist Party USA members. Also, in 1996, Obama was a panelist at New Ground 45: A Town Meeting on Economic Insecurity at the University of Chicago. These meetings were sponsored by the U of C DSA Youth Section and the Chicago DSA.

If Barack Obama’s connection to socialist organizations is insufficient to convince one that Obama is a socialist, there is the fact that he has socialists working for him inside his campaign. At his Houston HQ, a campaign worker displayed a Cuban flag with the image of radical icon and mass murderer Che Guevara printed on it. There are two socialists working on Obama’s staff. One is Cornel West, an african-american studies professor at Princeton University, who serves on the Obama presidential campaign’s black advisory council. West denounces America as racist and patriarchal and describes himself as a “progressive socialist”. The other is Cass Sunstein, a professor at University of Chicago’s Law School. In his book The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need it More Than Ever, Sunstein argues that the government should grant rights to citizens on a discretionary basis.

And then there is William Ayers. In the early 1970s Ayers was a leader in the Marxist terror group ‘The Weather Underground’. Ayers, along with his current wife Bernadine Dohrn bombed the Pentagon, the Capital Building, and the NYPD HQ. In a New York Times interview which was published on Sept. 11, 2001, Ayers is quoted as saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs,….I feel we didn’t do enough.” When asked if he would do it again, Ayers said, “I don’t discount the possibility.”

In 1995 Ayers and Dohrn hosted a fundraising event in their home for Obama’s Illinois Senate run. Obama and Ayers have also worked together on various community organizing projects in Chicago. They have an ongoing relationship which David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist, describes as “certainly friendly.”
While Barack Obama does not claim to be a socialist and his supporters are laboring diligently to deny that he is a socialist, it is difficult to believe that he has been ideologically unaffected by the groups and individuals that he has associated himself with. A man is known by the company he keeps.

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