I suppose if you want to spin Obama’s relationships with radicals like Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, and Bernadine Dohrn, you could say that a man shouldn’t be called out for the friends he keeps, that guilt by association has no place in American politics and we should just leave the messiah alone because, after all, he doesn’t share their radical beliefs.
Or does he?
Every time the issue of Obama’s radical associations seems to die down, more revelations come to light that calls into question the founding philosophy of Obama’s “post partisan” politics. And these most recent shockers do not fall into the category of casual associations from the candidate’s past. Instead, information has come to light that shows the likely nominee for president from the Democratic party actually made common cause with radicals – formed political alliances with them to further his career.
Furthermore, it is evident that in return for their support, Obama used his position as state senator and board member for the Woods Foundation to funnel public and private money into the coffers of these radical groups thus cementing a relationship that is still paying dividends for Obama to this day.
The New Party, ACORN, and the Arab American Action Network are not by any stretch of the imagination mainstream political or social organizations. They are radical anti-capitalist, pro-Marxist, and in the case of the AAAN a group supporting the terrorist activities of the Palestinians.
The New Party is an unabashed Marxist “fusion” party from which Barack Obama actively sought out and received an endorsement for his state senate candidacy. Never heard this story before? It’s not surprising Obama wouldn’t include it in his official bio:
Co-founded in 1992 by Daniel Cantor (a former staffer for Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign) and Joel Rogers (a sociology and law professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), the New Party was a Marxist political coalition whose objective was to endorse and elect leftist public officials—most often Democrats. The New Party’s short-term objective was to move the Democratic Party leftward, thereby setting the stage for the eventual rise of new Marxist third party.
Most New Party members hailed from the Democratic Socialists of America and the militant organization ACORN. The party’s Chicago chapter also included a large contingent from the Committees of Correspondence, a Marxist coalition of former Maoists, Trotskyists, and Communist Party USA members.
The New Party’s modus operandi included the political strategy of “electoral fusion,” where it would nominate, for various political offices, candidates from other parties (usually Democrats), thereby enabling each of those candidates to occupy more than one ballot line in the voting booth. By so doing, the New Party often was able to influence candidates’ platforms.
Obama enthusiastically approached the Marxists, seeking their help in his senate campaign, This from the NP’s own website:
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. There are 300 members in Chicago. In order to build an organizational and financial base the NP is sponsoring house parties. Locally it has been successful both fiscally and in building a grassroots base. Nationwide it has resulted in 1000 people committed to monthly contributions. The NP’s political strategy is to support progressive candidates in elections only if they have a concrete chance to “win”. This has resulted in a winning ratio of 77 of 110 elections. Candidates must be approved via a NP political committee. Once approved, candidates must sign a contract with the NP. The contract mandates that they must have a visible and active relationship with the NP.
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.
Into this blatantly radical organization, Obama placed his political fortunes. It paid off handsomely. This also from the NP’s website:
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.
Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration…
Just what was this support worth? According to Stanley Kurtz’s article in NRO yesterday, Obama was able to use ACORN volunteers for his campaign – volunteers almost certainly procured through the good auspices of the Marxist New Party:
At least a few news reports have briefly mentioned Obama’s role in training Acorn’s leaders, but none that I know of have said what Foulkes reports next: that Obama’s long service with Acorn led many members to serve as the volunteer shock troops of Obama’s early political campaigns — his initial 1996 State Senate campaign, and his failed bid for Congress in 2000 (Foulkes confuses the dates of these two campaigns.) With Obama having personally helped train a new cadre of Chicago Acorn leaders, by the time of Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, Obama and Acorn were “old friends,” says Foulkes.
So along with the reservoir of political support that came to Obama through his close ties with Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, and other Chicago black churches, Chicago Acorn appears to have played a major role in Obama’s political advance. Sure enough, a bit of digging into Obama’s years in the Illinois State Senate indicates strong concern with Acorn’s signature issues, as well as meetings with Acorn and the introduction by Obama of Acorn-friendly legislation on the living wage and banking practices. You begin to wonder whether, in his Springfield days, Obama might have best been characterized as “the Senator from Acorn.”
It would seem that the “New Party” may very well have been the political action arm of the “non-partisan” ACORN if Obama was able to secure the political shock troops for his state senate campaign from their ranks.
This, my friends, is not “guilt by association.” The probable next president of the United States actively sought the support and made an alliance with a dyed in the wool, unashamed, unabashed Marxist group dedicated, among other things, to bringing down the capitalist system in America.
Does this make Obama a communist? Absolutely not. But it reveals a radical streak in his politics that cannot be overlooked. One must either posit he is the most cynical of political opportunists or he agrees with at least some of what the New Party stands for.
If Obama were to claim that he eschews New Party ideology, how can he explain his long, close association with ACORN? I quoted earlier from Stanley Kurtz’s eye opening NRO article on Obama being the “Senator from ACORN.” Kurtz explains ACORN’s radical ideology:
Sol Stern explains that Acorn is the key modern successor of the radical 1960’s “New Left,” with a “1960’s-bred agenda of anti-capitalism” to match. Acorn, says Stern, grew out of “one of the New Left’s silliest and most destructive groups, the National Welfare Rights Organization.” In the 1960’s, NWRO launched a campaign of sit-ins and disruptions at welfare offices. The goal was to remove eligibility restrictions, and thus effectively flood welfare rolls with so many clients that the system would burst. The theory, explains Stern, was that an impossibly overburdened welfare system would force “a radical reconstruction of America’s unjust capitalist economy.” Instead of a socialist utopia, however, we got the culture of dependency and family breakdown that ate away at America’s inner cities — until welfare reform began to turn the tide.
While Acorn holds to NWRO’s radical economic framework and its confrontational 1960’s-style tactics, the targets and strategy have changed. Acorn prefers to fly under the national radar, organizing locally in liberal urban areas — where, Stern observes, local legislators and reporters are often “slow to grasp how radical Acorn’s positions really are.” Acorn’s new goals are municipal “living wage” laws targeting “big-box” stores like Wal-Mart, rolling back welfare reform, and regulating banks — efforts styled as combating “predatory lending.” Unfortunately, instead of helping workers, Acorn’s living-wage campaigns drive businesses out of the very neighborhoods where jobs are needed most. Acorn’s opposition to welfare reform only threatens to worsen the self-reinforcing cycle of urban poverty and family breakdown. Perhaps most mischievously, says Stern, Acorn uses banking regulations to pressure financial institutions into massive “donations” that it uses to finance supposedly non-partisan voter turn-out drives.
According to Stern, Acorn’s radical agenda sometimes shifts toward “undisguised authoritarian socialism.” Fully aware of its living-wage campaign’s tendency to drive businesses out of cities, Acorn hopes to force companies that want to move to obtain “exit visas.” “How much longer before Acorn calls for exit visas for wealthy or middle-class individuals before they can leave a city?” asks Stern, adding, “This is the road to serfdom indeed.”
It is inexplicable how this group operates so freely in places like Chicago. They are about as non-partisan as a Baath party convention in that if they have ever supported a Republican for anything, it was probably an accident. The bureaucrats whose job it is to see that the law is followed by groups like ACORN are intimidated by their tactics as well as how much stink they could raise with local politicians. Ergo, they skate.
Just what did the potential next president of the United States do for these thugs? He trained their leadership cadres in organizing techniques. Also, through his position as a board member of the Woods Foundation, Obama funnelled money to his friends on a regular basis:
Although it’s been noted in an important story by John Fund, and in a long Obama background piece in the New York Times, more attention needs to be paid to possible links between Obama and Acorn during the period of Obama’s service on the boards of two charitable foundations, the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation.
According to the New York Times, Obama’s memberships on those foundation boards, “allowed him to help direct tens of millions of dollars in grants” to various liberal organizations, including Chicago Acorn, “whose endorsement Obama sought and won in his State Senate race.” As best as I can tell (and this needs to be checked out more fully), Acorn maintains both political and “non-partisan” arms. Obama not only sought and received the endorsement of Acorn’s political arm in his local campaigns, he recently accepted Acorn’s endorsement for the presidency, in pursuit of which he reminded Acorn officials of his long-standing ties to the group.
Supposedly, Acorn’s political arm is segregated from its “non-partisan” registration and get-out-the-vote efforts, but after reading Foulkes’ case study, this non-partisanship is exceedingly difficult to discern. As I understand, it would be illegal for Obama to sit on a foundation board and direct money to an organization that openly served as his key get-out-the-vote volunteers on Election Day. I’m not saying Obama crossed a legal line here: Based on Foulkes’ account, Acorn’s get-out-the-vote drive most likely observed the technicalities of “non-partisanship.”
Nevertheless, the possibilities suggested by a combined reading of the New York Times piece and the Foulkes article are disturbing. While keeping within the technicalities of the law, Obama may have been able to direct substantial foundation money to his organized political supporters. I offer no settled conclusion, but the matter certainly warrants further investigation and discussion. Obama is supposed to be the man who transcends partisanship. Has he instead used his post at an allegedly non-partisan foundation to direct money to a supposedly non-partisan group, in pursuit of what are in fact nakedly partisan and personal ends? I have no final answer, but the question needs to be pursued further.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those of us who have watched Obama preach about the “new politics” and his idea of post-partisan governing while playing the same old games with the Chicago political machine that any hack alderman plays to get ahead. It is absolutely shameless and he gets away with it because the press corps is, frankly, lazy. You don’t have to dig very deeply to find this stuff. It’s all over the internet.
Is it relevant to the campaign? Let’s ask the American people if they think it is “relevant” that a candidate for president made a political alliance with Marxists? Let’s ask the voter if they think it “relevant” that a future president carried on a close relationship for many years with an organization with a horrible reputation for vote fraud as well as promoting an agenda so at odds with what America is all about that the candidate feels it necessary to hide his activities on behalf of the group. I daresay the voters would have a much different answer about “relevancy” as those in the press who turn up their nose at these revelations.
It has been the game plan of the radical left for 40 years to worm their way into power by obscuring their true agenda of socialism, isolationism, and multi-cultural dogma with platitudes and nebulous concepts like “change” and “hope.” The trick is to sound as inoffensive and “safe” as possible without arousing suspicions of their true intent.
Does this mean that Obama is a stalking horse for the radical left and that once in office we will see his true colors? I doubt it. More likely, Obama has used the radicals as he uses the corrupt Chicago Machine; if they can help him advance his career, so be it. He will make these deals with the devil because perhaps he believes he is above the sort of quid pro quo politics that ordinary politicians are beholden to. But if he is elected, what’s the payoff for these people? They are going to want something for their support you can be sure of that. Just what is Obama prepared to give them?
I don’t think there’s any doubt now that Obama has spent a good part of his political career dabbling in radical leftist politics. When did he change his mind and come back to the mainstream? It appears his candidacy for the US Senate convinced him he could get farther without the radicals as he could with them. It is there that he dropped associations with Woods Foundation, ACORN, and probably said goodbye to Ayers, Dohrn and that other radical friend, Rashid Khalidi whose wife’s Arab American Action Network received $70,000 in grants from Woods.
Obama can’t run from his past. And maybe its time the press held his fee to the fire and demanded an explanation for these alliances and associations.