Even after three and a half years of President Obama using government money to try to buy control over automobile, alternative energy and other companies; of trying to run the country by executive order instead of constitutional processes; and of using every tool available to try to tax the wealthy and expand the ranks of the government-dependent -- even after all of this, the mainstream media are still trying to deny a link between Obama and socialism.
The Associated Press recently sent out a story titled "Is Obama a Socialist?" designed to head off that sort of crazy talk from us wild-eyed fringe conservatives.
There have been other stories recently, as well, denying any connections, in addition to unknown numbers of such articles over the past several years and before Obama was elected.
The fact that such stories even appear in supposedly "serious" publications and websites is remarkable. During the Bush years, nobody seriously considered whether President Bush was a fascist, despite the bazillion or so times he was called that by liberals. That's because the accusation was patently false.
But calling Obama a socialist has more traction, hence the media efforts to deny such a link.
The stories read like they're written from the same script. First, denial that he's a socialist. Second, even the idea puts you in the fringe. Third, even registered Socialist Party members deny Obama's one of them. Therefore, if you still think Obama's a socialist, you're crazy.
Call me crazy, then. It won't be the first time.
One of our modern weaknesses is not seeing things for what they are. The media magnify this problem, probably due to some lingering devotion to a twisted version of "objectivity." Journalists tend to say, "Well, so-and-so says he's ABC, therefore he is." A duck can call itself a tiger, and in the real world it's still a duck. But according to the media, it's a tiger.
Obama denies he's a socialist. Therefore, he's not a socialist, according to the media.
This despite nearly everything he's done in office fitting the socialist mold.
Then there's the trope about socialists denying Obama is one of them. This backs up the media assertions nicely, especially when they quote people who are clueless enough to try to run for public office under the Socialist Party label and who don't actually know Obama.
But there was at least one time when some of Obama's fellows weren't so shy -- or perhaps I should say sly -- about acknowledging him.
Back in Chicago in the mid-1990s, the New Party was formed by a group of far-left organizations, including the Democratic Socialists of America and ACORN, with support from the SEIU and the Committees of Correspondence, a branch of the Communist Party USA.
Obama attended a 1995 New Party meeting, seeking their endorsement. The meeting included representatives of the Committees for Correspondence and the Democratic Socialists, according to the DSA publication, New Ground. Obama was running for a vacant state Senate seat formerly held by his boss Alice Palmer.
The New Party at the time was actively seeking to turn local, and ultimately national, politics sharply left, mostly by piggybacking on Democratic Party races. Obama won his 1996 race and invited New Party members to join two of his voter task forces.
The New Party News at the time suggests that Obama himself may have joined the New Party. It reported in its Spring 1996 edition, "New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary). ... 'These victories prove that small "d" democracy can work,' said Obama."
A photo in the same edition shows Obama with New Party members. (See the images below this post.)
Going back even further, to 1993, Obama was a signatory on letters from a group called Progressive Chicago, which was founded by New Party members "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," according to a Progressive Chicago pamphlet.
In December 1993, Progressive Chicago sent invitations to its January 1994 meeting to members, including Obama. (See image below.) As a signatory to Progressive Chicago letters, Obama was included with 16 other names, who included several members of the DSA, SEIU and ACORN.
Perhaps it's too subtle for the mainstream media. There is plenty of evidence that Obama was a member of the Chicago socialist inner circle, but dots do need to be connected. The only thing missing is a membership card with Obama's name on it -- although it's doubtful the media would acknowledge even that.
What you've got in Obama is not a non-socialist, but a socialist who's at least smart enough to know you still can't get elected in America by running under the Socialist, capital S, label.
If you are one of the millions of reasonable Americans who can make logical deductions, welcome to the fringe. There are a lot of us here.