National Review article here.
On first read, I got all excited. Being a socialist myself, I would be overjoyed if my representative in Congress (yay OH-15) was a real socialist. Not a lot of those in politics for us to look up to these days. But then I turned on the critical reading (something the average National Review reader doesn't have any idea how to do) and gave it another look. After reading it again, I was very disappointed. Some things, pretty much all things, that I'd thought indicated that Kilroy was a Democratic Socialist, really don't indicate any such thing.
There is already documentary evidence of Kilroy’s having had sympathies with socialist and radical left-wing groups in the past. In 2008, Kilroy’s opponent, Steve Stivers, criticized Kilroy for having been the editor of a socialist newspa...per. Kilroy gave the limpest of defenses, offering only that she’d won an award for journalism for her work. Inexplicably, the line of inquiry was never followed up.
Because there was smoke but no fire. You don't think that in as close an election as the 2008 OH-15 election, Stivers would have jumped on anything he could have jumped on? Nothing there, and going after it just makes Mytheos Holt of the National Review look like an ass. At least he's in good company around the office there.
And as it turns out, Stivers didn’t give Kilroy enough credit. Not only was the freshman Democrat the editor of a socialist newspaper, she was also eventually its publisher, a frequent reporter and columnist for it, and a partner with non...e other than the head of the Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio, himself an unsuccessful candidate against then-representative John Kasich in 1992.
Well that sounds promising. She was a partner with a Democratic Socialist. By the transitive property of political affiliation, that makes her a socialist!
The paper in question is the Columbus Free Press, which was started in 1971 and continues to print today. Those seeking a sampling of the paper’s politics might have a gander at this excerpt from the late Nineties, shortly after Kilroy st...epped down as publisher:
Capitalism is the enemy. . . . We need decent housing and food, good health care and child care, jobs, education, mass transit. Things we won’t get from capitalism because there’s no profit in serving the people. We need a new organization of society — socialism . . . and only through revolution will we get socialism. . . . In future issues the Free Press will develop and clarify the analysis and strategy necessary for socialist revolution.
If you're looking for the Columbus Free Press, check the paper stand inside the Gypsy Cafe. It is nicely leftist. But for proof of Kilroy's status as a revolutionary socialist, just check out that excerpt from the paper. Did Kilroy write it? What was the context? Who wrote it? Who knows! Of course, the excerpt in question was after Kilroy had left the paper, and after a different non-profit had taken over the paper, and it reads like a mission statement for future issues and not an indicator of current or past issues, like the ones Kilroy would have been involved with. But again, by the transitive property of politics, it makes Mary Jo Kilroy a revolutionary Marxist eager to burn down Wall Street. And these madmen want decent housing, decent food, good health care, good child care, jobs, education, mass transit, OH GOD THE HORROR!
Kilroy’s association with the paper is undeniable. In a 1993 French documentary, Kilroy is shown discussing the necessity of left-wing action in the paper’s offices next to Bob Fitrakis, the aforementioned head of the Democratic Socialist...s of Central Ohio. By that time, the relationship was years long: Kilroy in fact began her career writing for the Free Press in 1987. She was an editor through 1990, at which point she suspended her association with the paper and entered politics, getting herself elected to the Columbus school board.
A liberal talked about left-wing action with a more left-leaning liberal? More than 20 years ago? Watch out!
In fact, the issue announcing her return was something of a blockbuster, containing an editorial on a subject dear to the newspaper’s heart: Communism, and all the good it did for the world. An excerpt:
'Capitalism has won. Communism has ...lost. We were right all along. They were wrong. Whatever the Soviets did between 1917 and 1991 was a bad mistake, and finally they have seen the error of their ways. All this self-congratulation ignores just a bit of history. . . . The Soviet protection of worker rights frightened Western leaders. . . . They were afraid that if they did not do something fast, they might go the way of the Russian tsar. The considerable sympathy for the Bolshevik Revolution among workers in Western Europe put pressure on Western governments to institute reform. . . . It was the Soviet Union that brought much of what is today considered progressive in government policy.'
One suspects that the people of Ohio have a rather different idea of workers’ rights than did the Soviets, who murdered many millions like them.
Again, who wrote the editorial? How many loony and controversial editorials can be found in right-leaning papers? Did Kilroy write the editorial?
On top of that, it states the truth. Democratic Western governments, particularly the US, made some pretty significant concessions to the labor movement, concessions that the aristocratic monarch-run governments of Europe refused to make. This acted as a relief valve, and effectively neutered the western labor movement, resulting in the 40 hour workweek (look up the history of 8-8-8), child labor laws, minimum wage, fucking Labor Day, and several decades of largely ineffective labor unions. If western governments hadn't been terrified of what happened in the Soviet Union, terrible as it was, you would never have seen those reforms in the US.
While we're at it, nobody got fucked over by the Soviet commies quite as hard as the real socialists, especially the more moderate ones like the democratic socialists. George Orwell was a socialist, and many of his writings and stories were about the betrayal of the revolution by the totalitarian communists. Lenin and Stalin and Mao tried to force the natural course of history along too quickly, artificially "advancing" things using totalitarian state power.
But hey, let's try to scare Ohio voters who may be ignorant of the gritty details of socialist history by raising the specter of the Stalinist purges. And lets not ask how many of those victims were themselves democratic socialists.
Here's the only real meat in the story, and it's pretty lean:
As publisher, Kilroy was not shy about her politics, opining against school-choice programs and other commonsense reforms that did not conform to her far-left agenda. And the left-wingery grew to comi...c proportions when the paper devoted an entire issue to coverage of the annual awards given by the Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio. The list of awardees from 1994 can still be viewed at their website. It can also be viewed in a large, congratulatory advertisement in the February 1994 issue sponsored by Kilroy’s law firm, Handelman and Kilroy, congratulating all the winners of the socialists’ awards.
So the only political opinion they actually list of Kilroy's is that she opposed school-choice programs. And some other unnamed things that the National Review considers "commonsense reforms". Wonder why they didn't list the "other commonsense reforms", were they worried about running out of space on the internet?
Then more free association, a leftist paper devoted an issue to coverage of the annual awards given by a leftist organization! Wow! I bet no conservative publication has ever devoted an issue to covering a conservative event! About the only conclusively pro-socialism thing they can pin on Kilroy is that her law firm took out a congratulatory advertisement, congratulating the award winners. Well shit, that's step one of the pogroms right there!
Kilroy left the paper when the nonprofit Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism took over publishing duties, but she continues her far-left associations, with Democratic Socialist operatives campaigning for her.
Well, this is true. Cause I'm donating to her and I guess you could say I'm campaigning for her, and I'm a Democratic Socialist. I mean, who else are Democratic Socialists going to campaign for? It's like a pro-lifer trying to get a pro-choice Republican into office vs a pro-choice Democrat. Yeah, they may not agree with all your ideas, but they agree with more of them than the other guy does.
In this case, as in the cases of Van Jones and many others, the socialism charge is not paranoia: It’s all there in black and white.
No, sorry, it's fucking paranoia. Wish it wasn't but it is. And unsourced innuendo is not "black and white".
The "socialists" that the National Review keeps tying Kilroy to are domesticated Democratic Socialists. But what is a Democratic Socialist? Who in US politics outside of the long-dead Eugene Debbs is a good example of a Democratic Socialist? Well, how about sitting US Senator Bernie Sanders, himself a proud self-described Democratic Socialist.
And what are his crazy extreme leftist Stalinist crypto-socialfascist positions? Take a look!
Senator Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist.
He is a staunch supporter of a single-payer universal health care system.
Renegotiaton of NAFTA
He is a strong advocate for renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and is a strong opponent of the United States current trade policy towards Latin America and China.
Sanders has opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq from its start and voted against it in the House of Representatives. He has called for a speedy withdrawal and increased veterans benefits.
Sanders—a journalist—has also been a leader in calling for media reform and opposes increased concentration of media outlets. He appeared in "Orwell Rolls in His Grave" and "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism", two documentaries on the subject.
Global warming and the environment
He warns about the dangers of global warming.
US Federal Reserve audit
Sanders has introduced a Senate companion bill to H.R. 1207 which will conduct an audit of the Federal Reserve.
He is a vocal supporter of gay rights, such as marriage, and of pro-choice legislation.
Holy shit! Wow! What a radical! He supports single payer universal health care! What does Wikipedia say about that kind of radicalism?
Between 2003 to 2009, 17 opinion polls showed a simple majority of the public, i.e., nearly 50-60%, supports a single-payer system in the United States. These polls are from sources such as CNN, AP-Yahoo, Quinnipiac, New York Times/CBS News Poll, Washington Post/ABC News Poll, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Civil Society Institute.
Clearly out of touch with the mainstream. He also opposes NAFTA, I'm sure that's an equally unpopular position. He opposed the Iraq War... wish we'd listened. He supports increased veterans benefits! Watch out for the new Leon Trotsky over here! He's opposed to concentration of the media and opposed to Rupert Murdoch, very radical of him. He warns about global warming, something nobody else is edgy enough to try. He backs gay rights, putting him in agreement with Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Probably Bernie Sander's only "radical" position is that he wants to audit the Federal Reserve. Oh no! What a horrible idea!
So yeah, that's how scary and leftist Democratic Socialists are, definitely the most radical of radical socialist revolutionaries.
(cross-posted to my blog Liberally Geeky. Follow me there to encourage my craziness!)
Edit: While I'm at here, here's a donation link for Mary Jo Kilroy. And here in OH-15 we need lots of help this year!