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Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the likely new minority leader in the House of Representatives, serves on the executive committee of the socialist-leaning Progressive Caucus, a bloc of about 60 votes or nearly 30 percent of the minority vote in the lower chamber.
Until 1999, the website of the Progressive Caucus was hosted by the Democratic Socialists of America. Following an expose of the link between the two organizations in WorldNetDaily, the Progressive Caucus established its own website under the auspices of Congress. Another officer of the Progressive Caucus, and one of its guiding lights, is avowed socialist Rep. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent.
The Democratic Socialists of America’s chief organizing goal is to work within the Democratic Party and remove the stigma attached to “socialism” in the eyes of most Americans.
“Stress our Democratic Party strategy and electoral work,” explains an organizing document of the DSA. “The Democratic Party is something the public understands, and association with it takes the edge off. Stressing our Democratic Party work will establish some distance from the radical subculture and help integrate you to the milieu of the young liberals.”
Nevertheless, the goal of the Democratic Socialists of America has never been deeply hidden. Prior to the cleanup of its website in 1999, the DSA included a song list featuring “The Internationale,” the worldwide anthem of communism and socialism. Another song on the site was “Red Revolution” sung to the tune of “Red Robin.” The lyrics went: “When the Red Revolution brings its solution along, along, there’ll be no more lootin’ when we start shootin’ that Wall Street throng. …” Another song removed after WorldNetDaily’s expose was “Are You Sleeping, Bourgeoisie?” The lyrics went: “Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping? Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie. And when the revolution comes, We’ll kill you all with knives and guns, Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie.”
In the last three years, the Progressive Caucus has been careful to moderate its image for mainstream consumption.
“The members of the Progressive Caucus share a common belief in the principles of social and economic justice, non-discrimination and tolerance in America and in our relationships with other countries,” the group’s statement of purpose explains.
Most of the members of the Progressive Caucus, including Pelosi, opposed authorizing the war on Iraq. In fact, most Democrats in the House opposed the war resolution. House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt and 81 other House Democrats supported the move.
“I have seen no evidence or intelligence that suggests that Iraq indeed poses an imminent threat to our nation.” Pelosi said in voting against the resolution. “If the administration has that information, they have not shared it with the Congress.”
The latest issue of the liberal New Republic bemoans Pelosi’s ascendancy to top leadership in her party because of her extreme left positions, calling the Democrat’s position “dangerous.”
“The ideological vacuum atop the post-Sept. 11 Democratic Party will inevitably be filled,” the New Republic said in its trademark TRB column. “And, if it is filled by Nancy Pelosi and Dennis Kucinich, the United States will no longer be a 50-50 nation; it will be a 40-60 nation for a generation.”
Pelosi, 62, last year was elected by her Democratic colleagues to be the House Democratic Whip – making her the highest-ranking woman in the U.S. Congress even before her expected rise to the role of House minority leader. She also serves on the House Intelligence Committee.
Pelosi represents a liberal congressional district, taking in most of San Francisco. Her votes against the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq and in support of such domestic initiatives as needle exchange programs for AIDS sufferers may not be far out of step with her district constituency. But some suggest the nation’s pulse may be another matter.
Pelosi was 47 before she won her first election, after raising five children with her businessman husband, Paul. But she has been involved in politics all her life. Her father was a New Deal congressman from Maryland and later the mayor of Baltimore. Her brother also served as Baltimore’s mayor. She was hand-picked to run for Congress by the dying Rep. Sala Burton, whose seat Pelosi won in a special election in 1987.
She has never lost an election.
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