I've been very wary of assertions that Barack Obama is a socialist, a crypto-commie, or some sort of radical Leftist. While he's very comfortable associating with those kinds of people, it doesn't necessarily mean he believes their garbage. He could, after all, be to them what he is to the rest of his flock, an empty canvas on which they see whatever they want. In other words, a fraud. And I didn't want to lower myself to the same type of McCarthyist tactics Obama has been using.
But a link sent to me by a friend this morning makes me wonder: was Barack Obama a member of the New Party, a party founded by the Democratic Socialists of America? Politically Drunk on Power has the details, but, to summarize:
Obama was endorsed for his Illinois State Senate run in 1996 (the same campaign that was kicked off from former-yet-proud terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn's home, bear in mind) by the New Party. Fair enough: Obama ran as a Democrat, and an endorsement by an organization doesn't mean one belongs to it.
- Except a New Party 1996 update lists Barack Obama as a party member.
- Except an article in Progressive Populist from November, 1996, lists him as a party member.
- Except an article in the Democratic Socialist Party of America's newsletter lists him as a party supporter.
And no evidence has ever come forth that Obama ever denied he was party member or declined membership.
Why do I think the question of Obama's membership in a small radical party 12 years ago is important? Because Obama's actual record –not his words, but his record in the US and Illinois senates– puts him on the far Left of the Democratic Party. It is fair to ask if Obama was then and is still influenced by the ideals and philosophy of the New Party and the DSA. It is fair to ask him why these documents describe him as a member and, if they are wrong, how did they make such a mistake? And it is fair to ask why he ran as a Democrat, apparently concealing his New Party membership.
It is important because it goes to the heart of the kind of foreign, economic and other domestic policies a President Obama would pursue, just as his relationship with former terrorist and current educator William Ayers speaks to the kind of educational policies he might pursue.
And it speaks to his honesty, his candor.
Barack Obama has some explaining to do, and the voting public should demand answers.
LINKS: This has spread around the Rightie blogosphere since I first received the link. Some others talking about this are Ace, Hot Air, Exurban League, Jammie Wearing Fool, Gateway Pundit, The Jawa Report, and Power Line.
UPDATE: Via Ace — Did Obama sign a written contract with the New Party? If so, let's see it!
UPDATE 2: Kevin from Exurban League makes an excellent point in the comments section:
If McCain was a member of The John Birch Society in 1978, it would kill his campaign.
If McCain was pals with Eric Rudolph, it would kill his campaign.
If McCain went to Fred Phelps' church for twenty years, it would kill his campaign.
But yet none of the hardcore left-wing equivalents of these actions has killed Obama's campaign.
No, I don't get that, either.
UPDATE 3: Ed Morrissey and Rick Moran both express concerns about the sloppy use of words like "socialist" that mirror my own at the start of this post.