Barack Obama: Can We Just Call Him A Socialist Already?
In addition to having given a speech during a function put on by the Democratic Socialists of America, Barack Obama also was also endorsed by the socialist organization, New Party, while running for Senator and as a member of New Party sister organization, Progressive Chicago.
Who were the New Party?
The New Party was an electoral alliance dedicated to electing leftist candidates to office-usually through the Democratic Party. It dissolved in 1998.
Three organizations formed the backbone of the New Party - the Democratic Socialists of America, the U.S.’s largest radical organization, ACORN and radical labor union SEIU.
Also heavily involved were the Communist Party USA breakaway group Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and far left “think tank” the Institute for Policy Studies.
Progressive Chicago was founded in 1993 as as the “sister organization” of the Chicago New Party.
Like the New Party, it was the creation of SEIU, ACORN, Democratic Socialists of America and the Communist Party USA breakaway group Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.
A circa 1993 Progressive Chicago introductory pamphlet stated;
Progressive Chicago was started by members of the New Party who wanted to be able to put together an organization strong enough to win: If that means supporting a candidate running as a Democrat, then fine. If that means running our own candidates in aldermanic or state representative races on whatever line that gives them the best chance of winning, fine.
On July 16, 1993 Progressive Chicago wrote a letter to Jackie Grimshaw of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, inviting her to join the network. A similar letter of September 22 1993, was signed by all the names above, but added six more:
- Danny Davis
- Carol Harwell, United Voter Registration League
- Barack Obama
- Ron Davis
- Carl Davidson, Networking for Democracy
- Philip Jahn, Teamsters local 743
Who is Jackie Grimshaw and why is she important? Jacquelyne D. Grimshaw is an Hyde Park, Chicago activist and neighbor of Barack Obama. Both Jackie and Bill Grimshaw worked for Harold Washington, Chicago’s far left Mayor from 1983 to 1987.
Obama’s neighbor, Jacky Grimshaw, ran Harold Washington’s successful campaign for Mayor. Her husband Bill is a U. of Chicago prof. The Grimshaws sometimes baby sat the Obama girls. Jacky and Michelle Obama are very close.
Jackie Grimshaw served as a senior advisor director of intergovernmental affairs under Harold Washington.
Which asks, who is Harold Washington?
Harold Washington, who was once mayor of Chicago, enjoyed a close relationship to the Chicago Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and to its successor Democratic Socialists of America. In 1981 Washington MC’ed the socialist’s annual Thomas-Debsdinner. In 1983, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America threw its support behind the Harold Washington mayoralty bid. In 2002 Chicago Democratic Socialists of America member Bob Roman wrote:
DSA’s role in the 1983 Washington campaign is one of the more interestingly unreported, unrecorded aspects of that campaign…
Washington’s vacant congessional seat was taken up by Charles Hayes, a Communist Party USA member. Dee Myles, was one many Communist Party USA members who worked on Washington’s campaigns.
According to Washington volunteer and Communist Party USA member Dee Myles;
“It was understood that if stability was going to be produced, and progress and building support was going to be maintained from election to election, an independent operation was needed so that he wouldn’t have to depend on the regular Democratic Party machine,”
The Communist Party USA influenced Coalition of Black Trade Unionists played a big role in Washington’s successful 1983 campaign for the Chicago mayoralty.
During the early ’80s, Washington was convinced to run for mayor by former communist front activist and journalist Vernon Jarrett, father-in-law to Obama advisor, Valerie Jarret.
The following officers and council members were elected at the June 1946 convention of the Communist Party USA youth wing American Youth for Democracy:
Illinois: Iz Cheifetz, Evelyn Fargo, Sam Freidman, Delores Gerrard, Leon Gurley, Pat Hoverder, Vernon Jarrett.
In early 1948 Frank Marshall Davis, Obama’s self-admitted “mentor”, served on the publicity committee of the Citizens’ Committee to Aid Packing-House Workers with Vernon Jarrett.
In 1992 Obama worked for the ACORN offshoot, Project Vote to register black voters in aid of the Senate Campaign of Carol Moseley Braun-who had strong Communist Party USA ties and was Harold Washington’s legislative floor leader.
Obama helped Carol Moseley Braun win her Senate seat, then took it over himself in 2004-backed by the same communist/socialist alliance that had elected Washington and Moseley Braun, with strong support by the New Party and Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CoC).
Democratic Socialists of America and their CoC allies saw the New Party as a vehicle for major political change-to both move the Democratic Party leftward and to eventually prepare the ground for an entirely new third party.
At a meeting attended by Chicago DSA members Kurt Anderson and Bob Roman, plus CoC members Ronelle Mustin and Sandy Patrinos, CoC leader Carl Davidson explained the New Party’s role in first working through the Democratic Party then eventually replacing it.
On January 27th approximately 45 people attended the Chicago DSA and Chicago CoC organized public form at the ACTWU hall on Ashland Ave.
[…]Carl Davidson wanted to focus on “voting patterns.” There were essentially two winners. Naturally the Republicans, but so were the most left in Congress such as the Progressive and Black Caucuses. The latter were re-elected while the neo-liberal and conservative Democrats were voted out. More importantly this election was the de facto defeat of the elitist Democratic Leadership Council who do not care about the poor or Labor.
To win elections, Davidson emphasized that there are two necessary coinciding factors. First, a passive majority… Secondly, a militant minority…
Hence 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.
Barack Obama clearly saw the potential of the New Party, because he was soon seeking their support.
About 50 activists attended the Chicago New Party membership meeting in July. The purpose of the meeting was to update members on local activities and to hear appeals for NP support from four potential political candidates. The NP is being very active in organization building and politics…
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.
Barack Obama won the 1996 election, by using legal technicalities to get all his opponents disqualified-but he still encouraged New Party volunteers to join.
The NP’s ‘96 Political Program has been enormously successful with 3 of 4 endorsed candidates winning electoral primaries. All four candidates attended the NP membership meeting on April 11th to express their gratitude.
Danny Davis, winner in the 7th Congressional District, invited NPers to join his Campaign Steering Committee. Patricia Martin, who won the race for Judge in 7th Subcircuit Court, explained that due to the NP she was able to network and get experienced advice from progressives like Davis.
Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration…
So, really, can we stop sugar-footing it and just call him what he is? A socialist, already.