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Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

In his February 14, 2008 article (titled “Obama’s International Socialist Connections”) for Accuracy in Media, Cliff Kincaid writes:

“Obama's socialist backing goes back at least to 1996, when he received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America [which describes itself as the largest socialist organization in the United States and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International] for an Illinois state senate seat.  Later, the Chicago DSA newsletter reported that Obama, as a state senator, showed up to eulogize Saul Mendelson, one of the ‘champions’ of ‘Chicago's democratic left’ and a long-time socialist activist. Obama's stint as a ‘community organizer’ in Chicago has gotten some attention, but his relationship with the DSA socialists, who groomed and backed him, has been generally ignored.

Blogger Steve Bartin, who has been following Obama's career and involvement with the Chicago socialists, has uncovered a fascinating video showing Obama campaigning for openly socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Interestingly, Sanders, who won his seat in 2006, called Obama ‘one of the great leaders of the United States Senate,’ even though Obama had only been in the body for about two years. In 2007, the National Journal said that Obama had established himself as ‘the most liberal Senator.’”

In his 1995 autobiography Dreams From My Father, Obama makes an apparent reference to DSA, revealing that during his student years at New York’s Columbia University he “went to socialist conferences at Cooper Union,” a privately funded college for the advancement of science and art. From the early 1980s until 2004, Cooper Union had served as the usual venue of the annual Socialist Scholars Conference. According to the libertarian writer Trevor Loudon, guest speakers at these conferences included “members of the Communist Party USA and its offshoot, the Committees of Correspondence, as well as Maoists, Trotsyists, black radicals, gay activists and radical feminists.”  Mr. London observes that “Obama speaks of ‘conferences’ plural, indicating [that] his attendance was not the result of accident or youthful curiosity.”

To view a comprehensive profile and numerous supplemental resources about DSA, click here.

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