Skip to comments.Obama File 36 How Socialist Was Obama's "New Party"?
Posted on 10/11/2008 8:52:38 AM PDT by Interesting Times
There has been a big buzz on the blogospere since US mega-blog Powerline picked up on evidence proving that Barack Obama was, in the mid '90s, a member of a short-lived socialist organisation, the Chicago New Party.
Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which also endorsed Obama that year and to which the Senator has longstanding and ongoing ties, has also been dragged into the fray.
The Obama camp has countered in two ways.
Firstly-claiming that while Obama was endorsed by the New Party he was never a member.
That lie is easily disposed of.
Here is a photo of Obama and other New Party members, including Danny K Davis (centre) from the front page of New Party News, Spring 1996.
Page 2 includes this paragraph;
"New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary)..."these victories prove that small 'd' democracy can work' said Obama".
Secondly-supporters claim that the New Party was not actually socialist.
Long time Obama associate and former Chicago New Party activist Carl Davidson has posted this statement on several blogs.
The New Party in Chicago was never a socialist party. DSA in Chicago had little to do with it in any practical way. It was a pragmatic party of small d democracy mainly promoting economic reforms like the living wage and testing the fusion tactic, common in many countries but only operational in New York in the US. The main trend within it was ACORN, an Alinskyist outfit, which is hardly Marxist. Most socialist left groups either ignored it or opposed it, even if a few of their members took part in it. Thats the truth of the matter.
This is so far from the truth.
The New Party was the creation of DSA and the radical community organisation ACORN-which was in itself something of a DSA front. In some areas the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) was involved, but in Chicago the CPUSA splinter group Committees of Correspondence (CoC)was more prominent. Carl Davidson is well aware that Marxists set up the Chicago New Party because he was one of them.
From Chicago DSA's New Ground of March/April 1995
On January 27th approximately 45 people attended the Chicago DSA and Chicago CoC organized public form at the ACTWU hall on Ashland Ave... Chicago DSA was represented by Co-Chair, Kurt Anderson and Political Education Officer, Bob Roman. CoC was represented by Carl Davidson, who is a member of CoC's National Coordinating Committee and Ronelle Mustin, an activist from the 22nd ward. The event was chaired by Sandi Patrinos, chair of Chicago CoC...
Carl Davidson wanted to focus on "voting patterns." ...To win elections, Davidson emphasized that there are two necessary coinciding factors. First, a passive majority... Secondly, a militant minority...
Davidson emphasized that in this historical period the Left's strategy must be electoral politics not revolution. Consequently the Left must galvanize the "majority" - the working class and poor... Moreover the democratic left needs get active in the New Party which has won 20 of 30 local elections. Thus a short-term strategy of working with the Democratic Party and in the long-term work with the New Party.
If that's not clear enough I quote from Chicago DSA's New Ground of September/October 1995
The political entourage included Alderman Michael Chandler, William Delgado, chief of staff for State Rep Miguel del Valle, and spokespersons for State Sen. Alice Palmer, Sonya Sanchez, chief of staff for State Sen. Jesse Garcia, who is running for State Rep in Garcia's District; and Barack Obama, chief of staff for State Sen. Alice Palmer. Obama is running for Palmer's vacant seat...Although ACORN and SEIU Local 880 were the harbingers of the NP there was a strong presence of CoC and DSA (15% DSA)... Four political candidates were "there" seeking NP support."
Obama's 1996 New Party running mate, Danny K Davis was elected to the US Congress as a Democrat-the highest office won by a New Party candidate.
Not only an NPer and a Democrat, Davis was and is a DSA member. The politically promiscuous Congressman was also linked to both CoC and CPUSA.
According to Chicago DSAs New Ground of September 1994;
"Over 500 delegates and observers (including 140 from Chicago) attended the founding convention of the Committees of Correspondence (CoC) held here in Chicago in July.
Speakers included Charles Nqukula, General Secretary of the South African Communist Party; Dulce Maria Pereira, a senatorial candidate of the Workers Party of Brazil; Angela Davis of CoC; and Andre Brie of the Party of Democratic Socialism of Germany (a revamp of the old East German Communist Party) Other guests during the Convention included Cook County Commissioner Danny Davis, Alderman Helen Schiller and Rick Munoz, a representative of the Green Left Weekly of Australia, and a representative of the Cuban Interest Section."
The Chicago Communist Party has for many years held an annual fund raising banquet for its paper, the Peoples Weekly World (formerly the Peoples "Daily" World).
According to the PDW of July 28th 1990, Chicago alderman Danny K Davis attended that years banquet on July 15th.
Davis applauded those at the banquet, who, he said, are always in the midst of struggle. PDW readers, he said, are "steadfast in the fight fòr justice.".
According to the Peoples Weekly World of October 3rd 1998, congressman Danny K Davis interrupted his campaign work for Senate candidate Carol Mosely Braun to present an award at the Chicago annual Peoples Weekly World banquet.
Obama incidentally helped get the CPUSA/CoC/DSA connected Moseley Braun elected in 1992 and inherited her former Senate seat in 2004.
Danny K Davis remains one of Obama's most loyal supporters.
Carl Davidson is right in that the Chicago New Party was not OPENLY socialist. It was designed a vehicle for socialists to infiltrate leftist candidates into positions of power through the Democratic Party.
So Chicago New Party was socialist dominated, but what about nationally?
I have in my possession an undated New Party document from 1995 or 1996 entitled "Who's Building the New Party?"
It lists approximately one hundred
"community leaders, organizers, unionists, retirees, scholars, artists, parents, students, doctors, writers and other activists who are building the NP."
Those listed include;
Elaine Bernard-A Labour academic and prominent DSA member.
Noam Chomsky-Linguist and activist, member of both DSA and CoC.
Steve Cobble-Political consultant, now a leader of the DSA linked Progressive Democrats of America.
Barbara Ehrenreich-Author, activist and DSA leader.
Bill Fletcher-Former Maoist, a labour activist and leading DSA member.
Maude Hurd-Longtime ACORN president. Awarded for her work by Boston DSA.
Manning Marable-A founder of both DSA and CoC. Regarded as a driving force within the New Party.
Frances Fox Piven-A DSA member. regarded as the brains behind ACORN.
Raphael Pizzaro-New York labour activist and former CPUSA member. An official of both CoC and DSA.
Gloria Steinem-Author and DSA member
Cornel West-Academic and prominent DSA member
Quentin Young-Chicago doctor, prominent DSA member, formerly allegedly involved with CPUSA.
Howard Zinn-Historian. Describes himself as an anarchist/democratic socialist.
Is there a pattern here?
While the New Party helped launch Obama's political career, the connections did not end there.
Quentin Young is a longtime friend, near neighbour and political supporter of Obama. He attended the famous 1995 meeting in the Chicago home of former terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn where Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer introduced Barack Obama as her chosen successor.
Cornel West is now one of the two members of Obamas Black Advisory Council.
In August 2006 several former Weather Underground terrorists, including Ayers and Dohrn, joined leaders of DSA, CPUSA and CoC to form a new organisation-Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS).
Several former New Party leaders joined the MDS board including Noam Chomsky, Carl Davidson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher and since January 2007, chairman Manning Marable.
Unsuccessful board nominees included former NP leaders Cornel West and Howard Zinn.
Early this year MDS board members Davidson, Ehrenreich and Fletcher joined with former Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) leader Tom Hayden and DSA linked actor/activist Danny Glover to form a satellite organisation, Progressives for Obama (PFO)
According to World Net Daily
In its creed, first published in March in the Nation magazine, the Progressives for Obama founders state their organization descended from the "proud tradition of independent social movements that have made America a more just and democratic country."
Is this a reference to the New Party?
Progressives for Obama stated it can help the Illinois senator's ascent to highest office by contributing funds, using the Internet to reach "millions of swing voters;" defending Obama against negative attacks and making its agenda known at the Democratic National Convention.
"Progressives can make a difference in close primary races like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon and Puerto Rico, and in the November general election," the founders state.
The PFO website carries a long list of endorsers, many of whom are from DSA, CoC, SDS or the Weathermen.
They include former New Party leaders Steve Cobble, Frances Fox Piven and Cornel West.
Is this all just coincidence?
Or are the same socialists who supported Obama in his 1996 State Senate race now trying to put their man into the White House?
Vast left-wing conspiracy ping...
Bet the socialists/marxists ain’t liken the light that is slowly being shown upon them.
Davison: "ACORN, an Alinskyist outfit, which is hardly Marxist."
No, he just wanted the same ends and mandated that his comrades work together to destroy "capitalism" (freedom) while operating by the Marxist rule, "the ends justify the means."
And Ms. Piven isn't a Marxist either -- he was too scary looking and she likes a clean shaven face.
Thanks for the ping!
Bumpin’ it up
Thanks for the vast left-wing conspiracy ping.
Thank you I.T., you’ve posted some really good material.
Good post Phil.
Photo of Obama getting Socialist New Party Endorsement.