My article from the October 30, 2012, issue of Front Page Magazine:
The Socialist Democrats: An Election Primer
By Matthew Vadum
The socialist wing of the national Democratic Party is larger and probably more powerful than it has ever been.
But its numbers depend on how you define the term socialist and how you measure influence.
Labels can be misleading. Since the 1960s and the ascent of the so-called George McGovern/Jimmy Carter/Walter Mondale wing of the Democratic Party, being a socialist, or fairly close to a socialist, has become the norm in the party. The days in which a Democratic elected official could be slightly left-wing (i.e. favoring a mixed economy that was more capitalist than socialist) and at the same time pro-defense, as in the case of President Harry S. Truman and Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, are long gone.
Nowadays it is generally safe to presume that a Democratic lawmaker is a socialist unless evidence suggests otherwise.
But the word socialist still carries with it a certain stigma in U.S. culture, even in the age of Barack Hussein Obama, easily the most radical president the United States has ever seen.
Even former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) resists calling herself a socialist even though she clearly supports that ideology’s planks. And even though Pelosi is not a member of the CPC, like its members she occupies a parallel universe in which the United States is evil, racist, imperialistic, and all the other unpleasant adjectives that Marxists apply to this country.
Only the bolder members of Congress, often those in safe Democratic districts, tend to openly associate themselves with socialism.
Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus are undoubtedly socialists, though most shy away from the label. The CPC has long had ties to the far-left Institute for Policy Studies, Democratic Socialists of America (the largest Marxist group in the country), and the Communist Party USA.
The CPC, which is co-chaired by Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), has 75 members in the U.S. House of Representatives, including two nonvoting delegates, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Donna Christian-Christensen (D-VI). This means that of the 190 Democratic House members with voting privileges, 73, or nearly two-fifths of all House Democrats, are members of the radical caucus.
Even though Democrats no longer control the House, because CPC members comprise a large percentage of the Democratic conference, the socialists within that conference have greater sway over what direction the Democratic leadership takes in Congress. Radical Democrats have fewer moderate Democrats, such as members of the increasingly endangered Blue Dog Caucus, to struggle against in policy fights.
The CPC is a collection of far-left lawmakers in Congress. It includes self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who founded the caucus in 1991 when he was a House member. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), star of a newly uncovered ACORN video, was a member of the CPC when he was a representative but is no longer a member as a senator – but he’s still a socialist, by any reasonable definition of the term.
CPC members support President Obama’s goal of fundamentally transforming America, turning it into a socialist nation like France or Greece, regardless of the limitations on governmental reach specified in the U.S. Constitution.
While some CPC members like Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) criticize Israel, the CPC generally avoids taking stands on issues that involve Israel. Even ultraleftist Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) is careful when criticizing Israel. On the House floor Lee has praised that nation for producing “eight Nobel Prize winners,” providing “sanctuary for millions of Jews throughout the world,” and for “its commitment to many of the democratic principles we cherish here in the United States.”
Ellison complains that the CPC often avoids taking positions on Israel because support for Israel is so strong on Capitol Hill. “We don’t take them on because we can’t come to a clear consensus on the question,” he said last year.
While even Ellison often tiptoes around Israel, he doesn’t hesitate to push the Islamist agenda in Congress. He is, after all, a Muslim who condemns opposition to Sharia law and who supported Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam before running for Congress. He’s a supporter of the terrorist-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and has spoken favorably of cop-killers Mumia Abu Jamal and Assata Shakur. Ellison is also a former steering committee member of the neo-communist National Lawyers Guild’s Minnesota chapter.
CPC co-chairman Grijalva is a former member of MECha, a radical group that seeks to facilitate Mexico’s reconquest of the Southwestern U.S. He condemns current immigration laws as “cruel” and “unjust,” and wants an amnesty granted for illegal aliens already present in the country. Grijalva has strong ties to organized labor and the environmentalist movement.
The CPC’s whip is Hank Johnson (D-GA). During a congressional hearing Johnson said that stationing 8,000 Marines on Guam would cause the island to “become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.”
CPC member and veteran community organizer Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) told supporters in 2009 that the primary purpose of enacting a government-run health-insurance plan was to put private insurers out of business. Obamacare would lead to a complete government takeover of health care, in other words a single-payer system, over time, she said. Schakowsky is married to convicted swindler and tax cheat Robert Creamer, an Obama confidant. In prison he wrote a book widely hailed by leftists that later served as a blueprint for Obamacare. Creamer also used to be a lobbyist for George Soros’s Open Society Institute. Schakowsky also supports FARC, the narco-terrorist guerrilla group that served as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party.
CPC member Jim Moran (D-VA) has been entangled in many scandals yet somehow he always manages to extricate himself and get reelected. His son, Patrick Moran, field director for the Moran reelection campaign, was forced to resign earlier this month. Young Moran was caught on undercover video encouraging document forgery in furtherance of voter fraud. At press time no charges had been laid against him.
As I revealed in my book, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, Jared Polis (D-CO) is a member of George Soros’s Democracy Alliance, a collection of socialist venture capitalists who want to smash the American system. (Billionaire donor Soros, who openly admires Communist China’s system of government, has been mocked by Saturday Night Live as the “owner” of the Democratic Party.) This secretive donors’ collaborative was created to fund a permanent political infrastructure of nonprofit think tanks, media outlets, leadership schools, and activist groups to compete with the conservative movement.
Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) is a former welfare mother who voted against the Clinton era welfare reforms. In 2003 the CPC member wrote a letter on her congressional stationery asking a judge to go easy on a rapist who was the son of one of her assistants. In 2007 she voted against a resolution that would have formally recognized the importance of “Christmas and the Christian faith.” She had recently voted to “recognize the commencement of [the Islamic holy month] Ramadan” and the Hindu religious holiday Diwali.
CPC member Barbara Lee (D-CA) is on a moral plane somewhere between atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Communist poet and Obama mentor Frank Marshall Davis. Lee collaborated with the Marxist dictatorship of Grenada to deceive Congress and voted against using military force against terrorists following the 9/11 attacks.
Charles Rangel (D-NY), a former Ways and Means Committee chairman, is thoroughly corrupt and frequently investigated. He helped to author the largest tax increase in American history and is a longtime admirer of Fidel Castro and Communist Cuba. Rangel labels things he doesn’t like as “racist.” When Republicans proposed tax relief in 1994, Rangel said, “It’s not ‘spic’ or ‘nigger’ anymore … [Instead,] they say, ‘Let’s cut taxes.’”
Maxine Waters (D-CA) is also relentlessly corrupt and scandal-prone. Sounding like Malcolm X, earlier this year she called House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) “demons.” Waters praised the Los Angeles riots of 1992 as a justifiable “rebellion” and said they were caused by Republican tax cuts. A Castro fan like Rangel, Waters has accused the Central Intelligence Agency of selling crack cocaine in black neighborhoods.
CPC member Andre Carson (D-IN), is a Muslim who enjoys inciting racial hysteria. He said without any evidence whatsoever that the Tea Party movement is infested with white racists who “would love to see” black people “hanging on a tree.” Along with CPC member John Lewis (D-GA), a former civil rights hero, in 2010 Carson falsely accused Tea Party supporters of hurling the N-word at Lewis as he walked into the U.S. Capitol to vote on the Obamacare legislation. The late conservative Internet news magnate Andrew Breitbart subsequently offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who could provide audio or video proof to substantiate Carson’s accusations. No one claimed the reward.
There is considerable overlap between the relatively low-profile CPC and the much more high-profile, better-funded, 42-member Congressional Black Caucus. Unlike the CPC, the less ideological, less strident CBC holds glittering public conferences with generous corporate backing.
There are 25 House members who are members of both the CPC and the CBC. They are: Karen Bass (D-CA), Corrine Brown (D-FL), Donna Christian-Christensen (D-VI), Hansen Clarke (D-MI), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), John Conyers (D-MI), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Danny Davis (D-IL), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), John Lewis (D-GA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Mel Watt (D-NC). (Note that freshman lawmaker Allen West from Florida is the only Republican member of the CBC and it’s fair to say he doesn’t share the CBC’s left-wing goals.)
The lawmakers described in this article are the face of the modern Democratic Party.
That’s not likely to change anytime soon.