Is Obama's climate czar really a socialist?

Are the Reds really taking over the country? Is it time to reassemble the Wolverines?


Conservatives are sounding the alarm over revelations that Carol Browner, who will serve as Obama's "climate czar," has until very recently been affiliated with the Socialist International, a group that describes itself as a global coalition of "social democratic, socialist and labour parties." Are the Reds really taking over the country? Is it time to reassemble the Wolverines?

Before you decide to grab a gun, grow out your mullet, and head for the mountains, here's  the backstory: On Monday, The Washington Times reported that the former EPA administrator was listed on the Socialist International's website as one of 14 members of the Commission for a Sustainable World Society, a climate change policy group established by the organization in 2007 (her name was removed from many pages of the site last week). The right-tilting daily did not mention that the group's first meeting was hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at his residence and offices at 10 Downing St., London.

The other members of the CSWS include current and former heads of state of Chile, Sweden, Poland, and Panama.

As for the Socialist International itself, the organization, which traces its lineage back to the late-19th-century radical labor movement, was established in 1951 by European leftists who strongly opposed the authoritarian tendencies of communism. This is from the Frankfurt Declaration, the group's founding document:

International Communism is the instrument of a new imperialism. Wherever it has achieved power it has destroyed freedom or the chance of gaining freedom. It is based on a militarist bureaucracy and a terrorist police. By producing glaring contrasts of wealth and privilege it has created a new class society. Forced labour plays an important part in its economic organisation.

Today, the organization has member parties in 55 countries, including the ruling parties of Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Chile, Hungary, Egypt, Mongolia, Nicaragua, and South Africa, to name a few. (In case you were wondering, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Kim Jong-Il are not members.)

So the Socialist International is not exactly the Mao-cap and Kalashnikov crowd, but that didn't stop Fox News from invoking a new Red Scare. Here's anchor Megyn Kelly and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.), the ranking minority member of the Environment and Public Works Committee (hat-tip to the liberal group Think Progress):

Part of the slightly hysterical tone here stems from the failure of many Americans to distinguish between socialism and communism. For many people overseas, the term "socialism" conjures up not goose-stepping hordes, but rather government-subsidized daycare centers.

All that said, it's still pretty surprising to see anybody with the word "socialist" on her résumé being appointed to such a high-level position in the US government. But this may have to do with the international character of this organization. Translate it into American English, and the group would be called the Very Liberal International.

Anyway, if you want to get your anti-communist fix, here's a gratuitous trailer:

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