by Andrew Walden
Neil Abercrombie’s campaign is responding to reports that Abercrombie has been a secret member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
An Abercrombie campaign website posting July 14 reads:
The latest wave of rumors and attacks are lame attempts to link Neil Abercrombie to a socialist group. See the facts below.
QUESTION: Was Neil a member of the Democratic Socialists of America or any other socialist or communist organization?
ANSWER: NO. Neil has never been part of any socialist or communist organization. These rumors are being spread by Neil’s political opponents and conspiracy theorists including those behind the so-called “birther” movement who continually claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S.
This comes in response to an article by New Zealand-based investigator Trevor Loudon, cross-posted July 12 in Hawai`i Free Press, titled: Neil Abercrombie: Secret member of Democratic Socialists of America?.
Abercrombie’s response employs a standard deny-and-smear tactic consisting of three parts:
1) Abercrombie flatly denies ever being a member of the DSA.
The DSA’s own paper called Abercrombie a “DSA-er Democrat.” As everybody on the left knows, “DSA-er” is what members of the DSA refer to themselves as, just as members of the Communist Party are “CP-ers”, and members of the now-defunct Social Democrats, USA were “SDUS-ers”.
The DSA’s Democratic Left in 1990 described Sanders—then not a DSA member--as an “independent socialist” as distinct from Abercrombie the “DSA-er Democrat.” This supports a conclusion that the DSA's Democratic Left was not using the term “DSA-er” casually. Unlike Abercrombie, Sanders, who is now a Senator from Vermont, has always publicly referred to himself as a socialist.
Loudon’s article posted on Hawai`i Free Press includes a pdf of Democratic Left newspaper from November-December 1990 describing Abercrombie as a “DSA-er”. Will Abercrombie explain how it is that the DSA “smeared” him in this way 20 years ago? Has Abercrombie now doubled-down on dishonesty? Loudon pointed out:
To my knowledge Neil Abercrombie has never declared his affiliation with the D.S.A. Marxists to the voters of Hawaii. Perhaps he was concerned they might unnecessarily worry as to where his true allegiances lay?
Democratic Left Nov./Dec. 1990, page 4
2) Abercrombie’s denial makes no response to evidence regarding the affiliation of his wife, Nancie Caraway.
Is this tacit admission that the putative First Lady of Hawaii is also a DSAer? From the article, here is what they left unchallenged:
Abercrombie's wife Nancie Caraway, an academic, noted for her far left views, has also been a D.S.A. member. In 1985, Dr. Nancie Caraway of Hawaii was listed as a member of the Feminist Commission of the Democratic Socialists of America.
DSA Feminist Commission Directory, 1985
As everybody knows, Democratic Socialists of America was formed in 1982 from a merger of the left social democrats of DSOC (Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee) and the Gramscian NAM (New American Movement). NAM descended from the ‘praxis’ wing of the disintegrating SDS--which Abercrombie was close to at UH Manoa during the 1960s. Were Abercrombie and Caraway members of DSOC or NAM before the merger? Enquiring minds want to know.
3) Abercrombie then turns around and attacks the messenger, writing: “These rumors are being spread by Neil’s political opponents and conspiracy theorists including those behind the so-called “birther” movement who continually claim that President Obama was not born in the U.S.”
First of all, this does noting to answer the question about Abercrombie’s affiliations or his dishonesty.
Secondly, Hawai`i Free Press has been on the cutting edge of debunking birtherism since its invention in 2008 by Phil Berg and Orly Taitz--Clinton supporters associated with the “9-11 Truther” movement. Those who are unfamiliar with HFP’s record may peruse the following:
Abercrombie’s deny-and-smear routine also fails to address either of these secondary points which buttress the primary evidence:
- George (Skip) Roberts, who has long served as a D.S.A. rep to the Socialist International has also worked as an aide to Congressman Abercrombie. In recent years Roberts has been active in the Republican Party representing his boss, then SEIU president, Andy Stern.
- Neil Abercrombie was also a member of the radical Congressional Progressive Caucus, which was founded by Bernie Sanders, with the help of D.S.A.
Representing the DSA to the Socialist International, headquartered in London, is an assignment of great importance to the DSA. This implies that Roberts is very influential within the organization. Yet to Abercrombie, he was an underling.
I’m sure that any day now the newshounds of Hawaii’s so-called media will come running to investigate Abercrombie’s honesty. He is not made of the stuff Bernie Sanders is, that’s for sure.
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