The Socialist Democrats: An Election Primer


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.

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  • posse101

    yes, you're correct. this is the same Black Caucus that brought you the huge bubble in the housing market which eventually burst causing the economy to go in the dumps. you can also add B. Hussein Obama to that list too. ah democrats… so little time, so much of the country to destroy.

    • mlcblog

      That's right! How soon we forget our past. This history is just recent!! That's right. The black caucus was stomping on this issue forever, until the whack job and their fellow traveler, Barney Frank, took up the cause and relentlessly pressed it and pushed it and never let it drop and kept bringing it up over and over and over until — voila! housing for the poor, who couldn't pay for it, resulting in financial disaster for so many and a blight upon our prosperity.

      • posse 101

        i wonder what percentage of Americans will either know that or even remember that. i'm afraid we'll find out on election day. keep fighting the good fight brother. cheers.

    • tyler

      You couldnt be more wrong.

  • owen

    Romney Ryan 2012.to restore sanity, to our America

    • waldemar

      Only we The People can restore sanity to America, not the politicians. The CPC/CBC cabal is only a symptom of the cancer that's destroying our country. The tumors are in our universities, media and schools from which the sick cells affect the rest of the society. And we sill do not know how to fight cancer – surgery, radiation, chemotherapy?

      • mlcblog

        I do agree that we, the people, can restore sanity to our nation. God and the people. Yes.

      • Sunbeam

        How utterly right you are. But we still have to fight no matter what the cost. Are we giving up hope? NO, of course not. It takes you and me and like the rest of the people who knows what truth is and what lie is all about that they detest every single cell in the body to rid of this phenomenon that is taking place at the expense of the liberty America is enjoying. This will soon be over if we're not wary and fight as we ought to fight as a soldier who goes to war to fight and defend. We're not powerless, are we? We're not light minded, are we? So be brave and fight till the last drop. We should have guts to go against which is wrong. We've better be prepared now than we ever had.

  • pierce

    More to come if BO is reelected. Elect Romney/Ryan as the next team to lead the USA. As Owen says "restore sanity to our America".

  • Indio Viejo

    This is exactly what Congressman Allen West was denouncing when he said they were Communist in Congress. He was excoriated by the for it, and is being targeted by George Soros in his bid for reelection in south Florida. Go West!

    • posse 101

      Indio,

      you are exactly right! keep up the good fight. cheers.

  • Omar

    Actually, the radical group MEChA doesn't call for Mexico to retake the Southwest (a process called "reconquista"). MEChA calls for the Southwest to secede from the U.S. in order to form a mystical country called "Aztlan" (supposedly an Aztec "homeland", even though the Aztecs resided in central Mexico), a fabrication invented by some radicals living in the Southwest during the 1960s. Don't confuse Aztlan for "reconquista" (the two are actually separate). Anyway, we all know that many members of the contemporary Democrats are corrupt, given the fact that some of them are pushing for a radical agenda. The American people need to be aware about the dangerous agenda that some of the contemporary Democrats are pushing for.

    • Mary Sue

      oh yeah, MEChA. They're a bunch of supremacists. Sort of like the Latino version of Stormfront.

      • Schlomotion

        If they were pro-Israel then you would all be obligated to support them, but since they also hate Israel… under the bus they go.

        • Mary Sue

          If they were pro-Israel they wouldn't be a bunch of supremacist losers.

  • http://iamiranaware.wordpress.com/ IranAware

    Keith Ellison (pictured) is a Muslim pushing Islam in the schools there as well.Teachers thee just had a 2 day workshop on it..also more from his state =http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/10/minnesota-jihad-recruiters-using-quran-to-convince-young-muslims-to-go-fight-in-somalia-muslim-commu.html

    • Mary Sue

      Keith Ellison is a curious study in the cognitive dissonance held by a single person, given his muslim faith and his support for, among other things, gay rights/gay marriage. I have no doubt he'd be one of the first to go under the axe if the Jihadists ever got a hold of him.

    • mlcblog

      Yeah, he is focused and pereverant. People need to pay attention, lest the vocal minority bring sharia law into our public schools, first in K Ellison's state, then spreading like a cancer.

  • Steve Chavez

    "SOCIALIST" is the P.C. term really meaning COMMUNIST! The CPUSA logo: "Socialism USA." This is the Socialism/Communism these people mentioned are really a part of."SOCIALIST" is the P.C. term really meaning COMMUNIST! The CPUSA logo: "Socialism USA." This is the Socialism/Communism these people mentioned are really a part of.

    Longtime admirers and members left the CPUSA with the fall of the Soviet Union, a country they loved more than their own. They then went to Democratic Socialists of America. GREAT SOUNDING NAME HUH! It sounds like Communist-light and then they try to equate themselves as the same as European Socialists who rule many of our allies and NATO members. BUT, THEY ARE MORE LIKE SOVIET SOCIALISTS and that's why they align themselves with the positions of KGB PUTIN and Obama's off mic comment to Medvedev.

    THE OUT OF IRAQ CAUCUS/Maxine Waters/60 Congress members met several times with the CPUSA's United for Peace and Justice to organize strategy AGAINST U.S. POLICY that many of them voted for but only to use it against Bush in the long run. CPUSA fronts also organized the Crawford protests and Cindy Sheehan.

    THE CPUSA DECLARED OFFICIAL "SOLIDARITY WITH THE IRAQ COMMUNIST PARTY" and both called us the "invaders and occupiers." QUESTION: Was the Iraq Communist Party involved in the insurgency and therefore KILLING AMERICANS? YOU BET THEY WERE so that means our CPUSA AIDED AND ABETTED THE ENEMY AND THE CBC, CPUSA, UNITED, AND THOUSANDS OF OTHERS SHOULD BE TRIED AND HUNG FOR TREASON!

    These groups are now doing the same with Afghanistan since the U.S. aided in the their Soviet defeat in Afghanistan so now they want REVENGE and want us out of the Middle East, AS OBAMA IS AIDING IN, and aiding in the destruction of ISRAEL!

    YOU KNOW THESE GROUPS ARE LEARNING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY SECRETS AND PASSING THEM ON TO THEIR RUSSIAN AND CHINESE COMRADES! AND THEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE LIKE HUMA ABIDEN AS HILLARY'S ADVISOR!

    VOTE OUT EVERY DEMOCRAT AND START OVER!

    • Jim_C

      Who are two of the twentieth century's most effective and critical anti-communists? George Orwell and Christopher Hitchens. And what political ideology did they espouse?

      The dreaded "S" word (that mysteriously continues to ignite the FPM comment moderation)!

      • Chris Nichols

        Really, Hitchens and Orwell, not Reagan, Thatcher or Pope John Paul II. I know they read Lenin, who said the goal of socialism is communism. They were just delusional utopians who believed their brand of socialism would work.

        • Jim_C

          They were not utopians by any stretch.

          I wasn't making a claim for "the MOST anti-communist." I was showing that two strident anti-coms were dyed in the wool s-l-ists. Orwell, especially, probably did more than any single person to dramatize/popularize awareness of the totalitarianism lurking behind communism.

          Why is the "s"-word a censor-tripper, here, out of all the "-isms?"

    • tyler

      you conservatives are hilarious

  • BS77

    The Democrat socialists live in a world of total hypocrisy…as did the pigs in Animal Farm. They are the ine liberal elites….they preach income redistribution whiile they jet around first class, stay in the top hotels, go on junkets to the Caribbean and Europe, get the best cuisine and champagne while giving us the endless drivel about the "downtrodden and exploited masses". They are millionaires and live in gated communities while they spew their Marxist clap trap. How could anyone vote for them?

    • Choi

      You completely UNDERSTAND

    • tyler

      actually sir republicans would be the conservatives that stockpile their wealth and dont redistribute it to the countries. "socialist democrats" prefer to use our extra resources to help our economy instead of raging wars with every middle eatern country. trust me people will vote obama and biden in because mitt romney cant keep his views straight. one week he believes in one thing and then the next week he believes another thing. you guys are ridiculous

    • Jim_C

      People call that limousine liberalism "hypocrisy."

      But what is hypocritical about saying "Yes, I should be taxed more?"

      And how is your portrayal of them as champagne-swilling jet setters not class warfare?

  • BS77

    Only idiots would vote for these elite hypocrits……..

  • Western Spirit

    I've been getting phone calls from Jewish groups urging me to vote for Romney. So maybe this effort will shake enough of them loose of their Democratic prejudice, and it is a form of prejudice and just as intractable, to elect Romney.

    • Mary Sue

      Good, these groups finally see the forest for the trees and stopped being single-issue.

  • Schlomotion

    Mr. Vadum's most wingnutted statement in this article was

    "Nowadays it is generally safe to presume that a Democratic lawmaker is a soc.ialist unless evidence suggests otherwise."

    Just how wingnutted all of Mr. Vadum's statements are and why is now widely documented. Here is one good example:
    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8634

    • Neils60

      I read that moonbats column on Vadum, and it didn't refute one word regarding the facts that Vadum presented here. Why don't you do so, since you take issue with Vadum's ability to present fact vs. opinion.

      • Schlomotion

        Mr. Vadum's "facts" are all of the sort: "Democrats have not stopped beating their wives lately, so it's safe to assume that they are still beating their wives." You don't refute such an argument, you merely identify it and throw it in the trash bin.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

          Don't get mad at us if they beat their wives regularly.

          Schlo, do you really think you're making any progress here with thinking readers?

          You might be able to sell this stuff over on anti-war, but here it's just not working.

        • Mary Sue

          if you don't refute arguments you lose credibility to infinity. Period.

    • Omar

      Typical propaganda coming from you, Flipside. You propaganda is ridiculous considering the fact that you export nonsense all the time. You keep claiming that the GOP is "racist" and "bigoted" without any evidence at all. This article explains how some contemporary Democrats have connections to socialists groups (which there is evidence of).

      • Schlomotion

        Matt Vadum is the whole GOP now?

        • Omar

          That's not what I said. What I said what that you accuse conservatives and the GOP of "racism" and "bigotry" without any evidence. You keep saying that voter ID laws are "discriminatory" despite the fact that all they do is try to prevent voter fraud.

          • Schlomotion

            You have me confused with someone else. I said voter ID laws are paranoid corporatist fascism, not bigotry.

          • Omar

            How is fascism corporatist? Fascism opposed the free market and advocated for government ownership of everything.

          • Schlomotion

            Think about it for a while.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            Why, you aren't thinking or showing the least bit of logic.

            ID laws are not fascist, forcing real voters to tolerate their elections being stolen is fascist.

            Corporatist? Corporations are people, who volunteered and wanted to work together with pooled resources. Why would people not be a legitimate vote like other people?

            You have so many talking points they clash with each other.

          • Schlomotion

            Your collectivism stinks to high heaven. And you call yourself a Republican.

          • Drakken

            Comming from a commi like you that is hilarious!!!

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

            I know! I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read that one!

        • Matthew Vadum

          I'm the whole GOP. Yes!

    • Choi

      It's also SAFE to assume that you're a PAID TROLL!

    • Drakken

      It is rather laughable that a commi/muslim lover like you would side with the very sobs that would put you in chains, but then a puzzy like you will always grovel at the feet of your betters.

    • Mary Sue

      Earth to Slowmoshun: Paper won't refuse ink, and keyboards generally don't refuse type (unless you spilled coke on them). Just because some crackpot leftist claims something doesn't meant it's automatically The Gospel From On High.

  • Ar'nun

    Is it me or do there seem to be a disproportionate amount of femals on that list?

    • mlcblog

      How in America would that matter?

  • Questions

    Matt has written another tough-minded piece that exposes the Left. There is, however, one caveat. I don't see the the Congressional Black Caucus as "less strident" than the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Indeed, the most strident CPC member quotes came from those who also are CBC members — Lee, Waters, Rangel, Carson and Lewis.

    As for that rather loose cannon, Allen West, I'm not so keen on the idea of holding him up as a perennial "best black" to prove to the Left that conservatives are really Nice People. The Left will never believe us, and simply will demand that we prove our "anti-racist" credentials by firing, or banning from publication, those who are race realists. To give this meek compliance by the Right a name: Rich Lowry Syndrome. Principle Number One: Always move the debate to OUR terms.

  • Drakken

    Imagine if this cabal of traitors were to be done with in the American version of the night of the long knives of how it would help save this great Republic.

    • Questions

      And people like you say that only the Left is totalitarian? This may be the way politics was done in Nazi Germany or Stalin's Soviet Union; it's not the way it's done here. Your notion of liberty is thoroughly sickening.

      • Drakken

        You seem to under the illusion that leftist/marxist play nice and sing kumbaya in order to get their way, and then whine when folks don't go along with the leftist/marxist program. Well I got news for you, the days of niceties and pleasantries are over, there will be a bloody day of reckoning for those who wish to subvert our way of life. When the left subvert the Constitution the rules go out the window.

        • Schlomotion

          When is the exact day, please? I need to mark the calendar.

  • http://tarandfeathersusa.wordpress.com/ Iratus Vulgas

    The twisted thinking of American Socialists unfortunately still has its appeal. The Left will put blind trust in politicians who take money from private citizens and call it "good for the country." And all the while, they regard people who earn their own money as the "evil rich." I daresay that only a criminal mind could see sense in that.

    • Jim_C

      I think there's a small degree of truth in saying the Left puts "blind trust" in politicians, but I don't think the Left are the only ones who do.

      We have just experienced the private sector gambling with large sums of our money thanks to an environment they created via deregulation, losing it out of greed or hubris or stupidity, all the while claiming "they know best." We can read the emails and phone transcripts of many of these traders expressing open contempt for their clients. And we know this was all done either legally (thanks to lobbying) or without proper enforcement (thanks to the cozy relationship between big banks and gov't).

      Now there are other reasons for the financial meltdown (including gov't meddling and our own greed). But by far the most outrageous has to do with the banking system. I think if the Right were to even acknowledge it, it would not only be miraculous, it would make their party unbeatable. Unfortunately, it's own version of p.c. mandates no ill be spoken of the private sector.

      • http://tarandfeathersusa.wordpress.com/ Iratus Vulgas

        I'm one who doesn't assume that Wall Street wheeler dealers are by default conservatives who tend towards the GOP. In my experience, big time financial moguls are apolitical who can and will dance with any politician they're convinced can keep the music playing. For the big money players it doesn't matter so much who's in office as long as they can keep steppin' on the dance floor. Cynical but true.

        • Jim_C

          I wouldn't assume that about them, either. Their party affiliation is only a horse they bet on. And I'm not interested in portraying them as monolithically villainous, either. They play an important economic role. But their influence on policymaking is huge–and again, it's huge no matter the party in office.

          It's that outsized influence on policy, and its damaging effects (which we used to safeguard against) that I don't see the Right even interested in addressing. More likely, to the Right, they think these guys should actually be given more free reign for purely ideological (non-rational) reasons.

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1278461001 Michael Williams

    I would LOVE to see the White Male Caucus in Congress. Balls anyone???

  • riverboatbill

    Babble headed brown shirts.

  • ThyOracle

    Vadum is clearly one of the great morons of the commentator class. He writes an an entire article saying that the Democratic Party is Socialist without defining socialism. Even a freshman at the worst college in America would not receive a passing grade if he made that mistake in an introductory Political Science class. Since Vadum has received an award for investigative journalism, I assume that he has other skills, but defining political parties and their members is clearly not one of them.