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"Socialist?" You've Got To Be Kidding Me

Today's post is actually a reply to a comment I posted on my WordPress blog today.  I had gotten comments from a couple of people who weren't going to vote for Obama because his policy proposals were too "Socialist."  I got pretty ticked and wrote this:

I always welcome divergent (from my own) opinions on my blog.  I learn from  people who think differently from how I do, and I hope they learn from me.  But frankly I have to say that I'm deeply disappointed in these two comments.  Calling Barack Obama's positions "Socialist" is as misleading as it is ridiculous.  People on the right always get their panties in a twist whenever people on the left call them fascists.  This is no different.  Barack Obama's policy recommendations are no more "Socialist" than John McCain's are "Fascist".  You disagree with them?  Fine.  Disagree on the merits.  But that kind of incendiary rhetoric is just the sort of thing that has made political discourse in this country so divisive over the past generation.

The fact of the matter is Obama is not "far left."  He is right in the mainstream of the Democratic Party.  Yeah, I know, the National Journal rankings had him listed as "the most liberal member of the Senate" for its most recent ranking period.  Bogus ranking.  It is based upon a limited number of votes and it doesn't take into account missed votes.  So Obama missed a bunch of votes while campaigning, voted on the liberal side of a couple of key issues, and wound up with the highest ranking on that measure.  And before you go there, guys:  the non-partisan Congressional Quarterly just did a similar study of GOP Senators and their support of Bush Administration policies.  McCain had the highest possible rating this year -- 100% -- for voting with the Bush Administration.  Also a bogus rating, for the same reason.  Selected issues, and he missed a bunch of votes.  Obama cited the Congressional Quarterly study in his speech last night, but he didn't use the 100% figure -- he's a class act and he knew the number was bogus.  He used McCain's 2007 number instead, because McCain made all the votes for that one.  (The number was still high:  95%.)  Anyway, back to Obama.  The fact is that in the two previous years, when he had a full voting record, Obama was right in the middle of the pack among Democrats and to the right of Clinton.  If you look at his health care plan, it is far less gov't oriented than Hillary's (I'd actually like it better if he was more aggressive on this issue).  The point is, he's not into any kind of state sponsored economics.  Does he have a plan that will help ease the mortgage crisis?  Damn right he does.  Too bad McCain doesn't.  Does he actually have a health care plan that might help the uninsured?  Damn right he does.  Too bad McCain doesn't.  Does he want to eliminate Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy and have a middle class tax cut instead?  Damn right he does.  Too bad McCain doesn't.  But he ain't no Socialist, and both of you should know better.  And by the way, why is it that folks on the right call everything that Democrats want the government to do "Socialist" but then have no problem when the government steps into our bedrooms and tells us how to love or steps into a doctor's office and tells a woman what she can and can't do with her body?

I hope that the GOP spends this campaign attacking Obama for being a -- gasp -- liberal.  'Cause Obama will kick the crap out of them if they do.  Thanks to liberals we have Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act.  Thanks to liberals, we got out of Vietnam.  Hopefully liberals will have us out of Iraq before long.  Bill Clinton never liked to call himself a liberal, but he was one.  He gave us budget surpluses which our "compassionate conservative" President squandered in less than a year.  If it wasn't for liberals this country would be in even more of a mess than it is today.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
Jun. 5th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks. The saga continues. If you're interested in seeing the back and forth, check out http://davidbcoe.wordpress.com. It's amazing how effectively the right has twisted Obama's positions and made him out to be something he's not.
Jun. 5th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
Good post, David, but trying to educate people like that is a waste of time. They simply aren't interested in facing the truth; they're happy in their ignorance.

And I agree with you it's time we take back the world Liberal and not let repubs define us. Instead...we should start defining THEM.

I think the repubs are worried. Let's face it. Obama took down Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton, for heaven's sake. No small feat, and they know it.

I'm willing to be on Tuesday night their guts turned to water. They see what's coming, they know the deep anger Americans have toward their party. November is not going to be pretty for them.

And as far as I'm concerned that balancing of the scales is long overdue....

Jun. 5th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
I think that the contrast between Obama's speech on Tuesday and McCain's had to scare the you-know-what out of Republicans. If it didn't it should have. Thanks for the comment, Mark. I do think it's worth discussing these issues with folks on the right, and that discussion at my other blog has continued to be very active in the last few days. It's kind of fun, really.
Jun. 6th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
Lol, it's always fun to tweak their noses.

BTW, where was last week's BOW award? I live for that. You let me down.

*bursts into tears*
Jun. 6th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
Sorry about the BOW Award. It was a casualty of my vacation -- we're at the beach this week in North Carolina. This coming week's BOW Award might not be posted until Sunday. But the BOW will be back. I promise.
Jun. 6th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
Nice reply.

My dad is sort of like them. Not that he is conservative and an idiot who believes every label that Hannity puts on someone should stick, but that Obama can't be real, that he's just a big picture guy without any substance underneath.

These are the people who haven't actually watched his speeches but get their information about him from soundbites on the news. Of course, the news plays the more inspirational or controverial comments of the candidates and completely misses the 'meat' of these speeches.

Well, maybe idiot was too strong of a word. Ignoramus fits better. The problem is: They don't care to find out about what Obama would do as President. They have already made up their minds because of some email Uncle Bubba sent them about his middle name or some other nonsense.

It's one thing to debate people who have knowledge of what each candidate has promised on different issues and whether they believe that is right for the future of the country. Calling him a Socialist just makes it easier for them than actually having to do the leg work in a democracy...and that's how we got 8 years of Dubya...

The 95% figure is telling. If they truly believe that GWB has been good for America, then they should vote for McCain. Seriously. Saves them the trouble of doing any work at all. Otherwise, they may want to take the effort to learn something.

Tweety (Chris Matthews) did have one good line on primary night (Tuesday): "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line." Those two proved his point...
Jun. 6th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
I pretty much agree with everything you've said here. I love the fact that Matthews is known as "Tweety" -- you go to CrooksandLiars.com too? That's where I first heard it....
Jun. 6th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
Daily Kos...you know...the real socialists!!! LOL
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


Australia, Ghost Gum
David B. Coe

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