Obama’s Socialist Endorsements and Support
In my last post I showed that Obama was a member of the Socialist “New Party” in the 1990’s. That membership came with privileges.
During his Presidential Campaign Obama had no shortage of aid from Socialist organizations. I have their support and aid to him below, in their own words.
September 17, 2008 The Endorsement of Candidates for Political Office
This is directed to anyone interested in the process by which we, the Committee to Revive the Social Democrats, USA-Socialist Party of America, endorse candidates for public office. We do not formally endorse candidates nationally. We have made no filings with the Federal Election Committee or the Secretary of State of any state other than the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We have voted to allow local parties to endorse candidates for local public office and to allow them, if they choose, to use a Social Democratic Party or Socialist Party ballot line. We currently have no provision for formally endorsing the candidacies of any minor political party.
Our endorsement of the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama is aimed solely at our own members and supporters. We hope that our members can work locally to support the Obama campaign by filling in the gaps that the Democratic Party is leaving open. Obama’s platform calls for re-industrialization but is vague as to specifics. In coalition with trade unions and community groups we hope to draft local plans on re-industrialization and publicize them through the League for Industrial Democracy.
The Democratic Socialists of America actively promoted Obama and were proud to state every way they helped him get elected throughout the campaign. The DSA even reprinted an article by Francis Fox Piven hoping for an Obama victory. Francis Fox Piven is the mother of the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” of manufactured crisis and also an Honorary Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.
From: Democratic Left “The magazine of the Democratic Socialists of America” Vol XXXVI, No. 1 Summer 2008 Excerpts from:
Resolution on the 2008 Presidential Election
Thus, DSA has no illusion that a Democratic presidential victory, combined with bulked-up Democratic majorities in both houses of the Congress, will in itself bring about significant democratic reform. We do believe that such a political landscape would provide the most favorable terrain upon which mobilized, assertive social movements can pressure the government to appoint decent federal judges and agency administrators and enact desperately needed universal health care legislation, labor law reform, and a federally funded Mar-shall Plan to develop green technologies and green jobs.
An Obama presidency will not on its own force legislation facilitating single-payer health care (at least at the federal level) or truly progressive taxation and major cuts in wasteful and unneeded defense spending. But if DSA and other democratic forces can work in the fall elections to increase the ranks of the Congressional Progressive and Black and La-tino caucuses, progressive legislation (backed by strong social movement mobilization) might well pass the next Congress.Senator Barack Obama has attracted considerable support as a presidential candidate who promises to end “politics as usual.” He has invigorated a significant youthful, multiracial cadre of supporters, as well as gained considerable support from liberal activists. The massive outpouring of small contributions in support of his campaign signals the potential power of his message, and his recent call for a windfall profits tax on the oil companies is encouraging.
In this issue you see the Democratic Socialists of America somewhat backing Obama, not for who he is, but for the agenda they can make him stick to. One key word you see is “Progressive.” Socialists work with Progressives continously because “Socialist” was a dirty word and we had forgotten the meaning of Progressive. You’ll see this word alot through the next 2 issues of “The Left.”
From: Democratic Left “The magazine of the Democratic Socialists of America” Vol XXXVI,No. 2 Fall 2008 Excerpts from:
“What’s Happening to America”
by Francis Fox Piven (emphasis mine)
But wait! A glow of light is on the horizon. It is, of course, the approach of the 2008 election. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not making fun; in fact, I’m desperate for the 2008 election. I think the sheer scale of public disillusion with the Bush administration guarantees large margins of victory for the Democrats in the congressional contests. Of course, the Democratic majorities yielded by the 2006 election led to only feeble efforts to control the bellicose and delusional team in the White House. But larger majorities, especially a veto-proof majority in the Senate, would surely help. So, at the very least, the head-long rush over the cliffs of financial breakdown, spreading war, and ecological disaster may be cushioned and slowed. But our problems are truly serious, and we need a president to lead in reversing course and setting new directions, a strong president with good sense and democratic inclinations. Even more urgently, we need to get rid of the Bush administration, and as soon as possible before yet more harm is done. But public dismay with current policy directions notwithstanding, I don’t think Obama’s victory is by any means assured. I hope, of course, but I am worried about stolen votes and rigged computers, the right-wing rumor network, the formidable propaganda machine, and also the residual racism and xenophobia of lots of Americans that this apparatus will tap.
If turnout remains high, an Obama victory could mean a realignment of American electoral politics around a majority coalition similar to the one forged in the New Deal era, with African Americans and Latinos replacing the white South as the reliable core of the coalition. The composition of this new coalition would encourage presidential rhetoric that in turn could spur movement activism. It would simultaneously generate the hope that is always the fuel of movements from the bottom of society, and it would put in place a regime that is vulnerable to those movements. If there is political salvation in the American future, it can only be forged through the dynamic interplay between progressive social movements and elected politicians.
So here we have Francis Fox Piven “hoping” for an Obama win. This article was originally published in a different paper (The Advocate) but the Democratic Socialists of America felt the need to reprint it into their magazine. Mrs Piven is an Honorary Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. Also you see her advocating for “Progressive” Social Movements to work with Politicians.
From the same issue of “Democratic Left” magazine
DSA Locals: from the Convention to the election ’08
SACRAMENTO DSASacramento DSA worked intensely on the Obama campaign through Super Tuesday and continues electoral work with the Sacramento Progressive Alliance. The local held a Democratic Party platform event in July, highlighting DSA’s Renegotiate NAFTA campaign, fair trade, and immigration.
“What We Did in the Election”compiled by Barbara JoyeAs “the left wing of the possible,” DSA pursues a two-pronged strategy: building an independent progressive movement while encouraging our members to participate in electoral campaigns for candidates who will fight for policies that strengthen popular forces and weaken the grip of capital.For the past year, especially following the nomination of Barack Obama, many DSA members worked energetically on the presidential campaign, especially in swing states, as well as in behalf of an array of candidates for U.S. House and Senate, and state and local offices. Together with Democratic Party campaign staff or independent community groups, we registered voters, phone banked, knocked on doors, and helped organize other volunteers. We are now reflecting on that experience while gearing up for what we always knew would be the next, harder, step: working in coalitions to push the new administration to enact a progressive agenda.I asked several DSA and YDS leaders to report on their electoral work this year and its significance for our organization. The response was quite positive, as most people had tasted victory, perhaps for the first time in a while. Even in Alaska, which went for McCain/Palin and barely managed to elect Democrat Mark Begich to the Senate, DSA Local Secretary/Treasurer Dick Ferris says that “overall,…progressive Democrats made gains” they can build on. They helped elect some members of the state legislature, and DSA members will be meeting with state representatives “to promote a progressive agenda for Alaska.”
Duane Campbell of Sacramento DSA points out that Obama’s victory resulted from an unprecedented mobilization of progressive sectors of the electorate – blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos, union members, antiwar and youth voters, many voting for the first time. “Sacramento DSA is proud to have played an active role in this campaign, working through the Sacramento Progressive Alliance…in cooperation with Progressives for Obama.” At Sacramento State University, DSA members tabled and conducted voter registration, raised funds, rallied. and sponsored a progressive forum with candidates for a variety of offices. One of the candidates for state Assembly won by a narrow margin. What’s more, says Campbell, “Because we were already up and tabling, we became a center for the ‘No on 8’ campaign [Proposition 8 prohibits gay marriage] on campus, distributing literature, bumper stickers, and signs when no one else had them.”By contrast, DSA members in Atlanta worked separately with a variety of organizations on various aspects of the presidential and senatorial elections: canvassing with the Democratic Party, phone banking with the North Georgia Labor Council and True Majority, registering voters with Women’s Action for New Directions, dropping banners on expressway overpasses, and helping the NAACP monitor the voting process.“The experience was good,” says Carol Coney, a poll monitor. “If I hadn’t been there when polls opened at 7 a.m. to report that the computers were all down, who knows how long it would have taken to get them on line? I had Election Protection at that precinct within 20 minutes. It was good teamwork, and I felt good that the computers were only down for the first hour.” Unfortunately, even with our help, neither Obama nor the liberal senatorial candidate Jim Martin – who could have helped the Democrats achieve a filibuster-proof majority – were able to overcome the superior Republican organization in the state. Jorge traveled twice to North Carolina during the primaries to organize Latino voter registration in Winston Salem and Charlotte and help deliver votes that proved key to the Obama campaign and later the governor’s and senatorial races in that state.
In Ithaca, New York, Teresa Alt reports that DSA and single-payer activists had first supported Eric Massa when he barely lost his first bid for Congress in 2006. In addition to being an advocate of single payer health care, Massa is a retired career Navy officer who wants to get out of Iraq and supports fair trade. This year a coalition of DSA, single-payer backers, PDA, and the peace movement mobilized early in the campaign, helping raise funds at a key point. “We are delighted to announce that he won by a little over 5,000 votes,” says Alt.Detroit DSA members focused on local and state races in which a progressive Democrat was running for an open seat – a setting where the efforts of a small but disciplined group could provide the margin of victory and also contribute to turnout for the national races. After interviewing candidates to make sure their views on labor issues, health care, the environment, living wage, and progressive taxation ran parallel to ours, they voted to support four candidates for state representative. Their fundraising party that raised $6500 provided critical seed money, as most contributions from progressive sources had already gone to candidates for national office. With steady help from DSA campaign volunteers, all four candidates won, despite redbaiting of one by the Detroit Free Press (which accused her of being funded mainly by radical groups like DSA) and robo-calls accusing another candidate of being a socialist.Detroit DSA also did statewide mailings and e-mail blasts to members, urging them to vote for three lesser-known candidates running for local offices, all three of whom won. Finally, in the last three weeks of the campaign, DSA was approached by a county commission candidate who needed money for one last mailing to the voters in his district. He promised to work for a countywide living wage ordinance if elected, so the chapter conducted an internet fundraiser which collected $500 for him in just one week. He won by a narrow margin.
Dave Anderson played a significant role in Colorado, despite having no functioning local right now. He served as a precinct chair and on the steering committee of the local Progressive Democrats. They defeated two of three anti-labor initiatives that were on the ballot (including the first defeat of a right-to-work law since the 1970s) and expect the third to be struck down in court. “Maybe now we’re headed to a period where being a socialist publicly means more,” he comments. “Those big questions are being raised, like what do you do with the auto industry?”In Columbus, Ohio, DSA members campaigned for both Obama and congressional candidate Mary Jo Kilroy, who, after a suspenseful count of provisional ballots was declared the winner in December, raising the Democrats’ majority in the House to 257. Another candidate supported by a DSA member but not by the national Democratic party lost in a different district.Some YDS members were very active in their home states or elsewhere. In Rhode Island, Will Emmons of Brown University served as the volunteer organizer for a state representative’s re-election campaign. The representative, David Segal, had started his political career by getting elected to the Providence city council at age 22 as a Green Party member and, according to Emmons, “acts as a megaphone for progressive organizations around the state,” helping them accomplish their goals. “I thought working for Dave was a good use of my time because we need folks on the inside of the political system standing up to racist anti-immigrant legislation, fighting for renewable energy and green jobs, advocating for workers’ and union rights, and arguing for a robust public sphere,” says Emmons, although he acknowledges that most Democratic candidates are not as progressive as Segal.New York DSA and YDS members were especially active. Some got up “at the crack of dawn,” says Jeff Gold, to take buses to support Obama in various locations in Pennsylvania, sometimes side by side with experienced trade unionists from Working America and at other times with first-time campaign volunteers. They also worked with the social democratic Working Families Party, which ran much of the New York Democrats’ field operations, to help the Democrats win their first majority in the state legislature since the mid-1960s (although at press time effective Democratic control of the state Senate is in doubt due to threatened defection by a group of conservative Democrats). DSA members living in rent-regulated housing in Queens and Long Island were especially active in behalf of pro-tenant Democrats on the WFP ballot line. Another member traveled all the way to south Florida to help turn out Jewish voters for Obama, especially during early voting, when it was easier to address problems at the polls.Many of the DSA members who reported their experiences said they enjoyed working with a wide variety of people and the opportunity to see the awesome Obama campaign machine in action. They were exhilarated by the unprecedented enthusiasm expressed by newly energized volunteers and voters. “I’m a seasoned volunteer of 25 years…, but it was different this time,” said one. They strengthened ties with local grassroots organizations, and helped to elect some progressives who, we hope, will support DSA’s Economic Justice Agenda. But to paraphrase FDR, now we have to get out and make them do it.
- a Self-identified socialist
- Served in the House of Representatives from 1991 to 2007
- Founded the Progressive Caucus
- Vocal critic of the Patriot Act
- Was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006
- Believes that global warming is caused, in large measure, by human industrial activity
- Favors a single-payer, government run healthcare system
When Vermont Congressman, self-described socialist Bernie Sanders, decided he’d run for Senate: Obama came to Vermont to endorse him. Obama could have endorsed the logical candidate the slated Democratic candidate,but he choose socialist Bernie Sanders. Here’s some of the quotes from the endorsement: Obama calls Bernie Sanders an “outstanding candidate”, Obama says “things can change”, Obama said “I want to make sure everybody is as enthusiastic as I am” concerning Bernie Sanders and “only a handful of wrong headed people don’t like him.” These amazing quotes are on this video the Obama campaign hopes you don’t see. Obama doesn’t seem to mind endorsing and hanging out with socialists.
It is clear to me that Progressives and Socialists are united for the same goals with the same agenda. They are working to together to carry out the “Fundamental Transformation” of our great country. They united behind Obama for the campaign. The Socialists work hand in hand with Progressives. Woe to the Republic.