When I saw this at Ace’s, it sounded so familiar that I spent 20 minutes checking our archives for the post I was sure Ed or Bryan had written about it. I was wrong; it wasn’t HA that blogged it, it was Erick Erickson at Red State in early June. Read his background, then see this post at Politically Drunk for evidence that The One was a member. I can’t tell definitively from either just how far left the NP was at the time; it may be that, like a lot of new third parties, they hadn’t quite hammered out a fixed identity yet. Erickson writes that “The New Party was designed as a loose confederation of unions, socialists, communists, and black activists who shared common values, but often had different goals,” although the party’s Wikipedia page suggests that they weren’t as far left as the Greens, which criticized them for being Democratic Party hangers-on. Doubtless Obama will claim that it was the union aspect that drew him to it or, failing that, that it was a brief youthful flirtation (he was, er, 35 at the time) with a fringier party than he ultimately felt comfortable with. Needless to say, I know I speak for all of us in denouncing this very racist attempt to question him on his party affiliations the way Sarah Palin was questioned on hers. After all, it’s not like any of The One’s other political associations have been worrisomely fringe.

The best part of this, assuming that it trickles up the media food chain and gets put to one of Obama’s spokesmen, will be trying to reconcile the inevitable profession of ignorance about the New Party’s agenda with David Brooks’s assertions about how “socially perceptive” Obama is. Truly, except for Ayers’s terrorist background, Wright’s sermons, Pfleger’s race-baiting, and the NP, his awareness of what’s going on around him is laser sharp.