*The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
Digby over at Hullabaloo has some interesting quotes relating to the "Socialist/Socialism" meme that has infected the Tea Party movement and that has been used by the propaganda arm of the GOP, FOX News.
Chris Matthews asks:
"Chris Matthews: ... These are sort of middle of the road solutions. Why is everybody calling it socialism?
Richard Wolfe: It has nothing to do with socialism. Any basic study of socialism will tell you this is way far away from that. This idea that the governments taking over everything is kind of a mushball of the auto situation and the banks and the recovery act. And as the president says, a third of that money went in to taxes which these folks ought to be supporting. This had been a very effective caricature, it's been spread, as you know through the right wing echo chamber. But I don't know that this has got anything with what this administration's doing."
But does this paranoia have anything to do with reality? Digby digs out this nugget from the 2008 campaign:
“This campaign in the next couple of weeks is about one thing,” Todd Akin, a Republican congressman from Missouri, told a McCain rally outside St. Louis. “It’s a referendum on socialism.” “With all due respect,” Senator George Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, said, “the man is a socialist.” At an airport rally in Roswell, New Mexico, a well-known landing spot for space aliens, Governor Palin warned against Obama’s tax proposals. “Friends,” she said, “now is no time to experiment with socialism.” And McCain, discussing those proposals, agreed that they sounded “a lot like socialism.”
Digby shares this 'mavericky" quote from John McCain as he siddles up to [GASP!] Socialism!
"During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.” The exchange continued:
Young woman: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?
McCain explained that he thought people had a obligation to give back a little if they did well, but that was in his "maverick" incarnation. He'd be drawn and quartered by the baggers for saying that today. But the question was asked. In fact, they've been throwing around the "s" word on the right for over a century and I would guess not 5% of them have ever had a clue about what it really means."
Digby didn't include this, but it fits in nicely with the McCain quote on "redistribution of wealth/socialism" that both McCain and Palin supported in their political rhetoric and in practice while Palin was governor of Alaska:
Sarah Palin's Alaska is about as close to socialism as America gets. As Yglesias recently noted, "You have collective ownership of valuable natural resources that generates lots of revenue for the state, and then the government makes 'spreading the wealth around' through the Permanent Fund, etc. its main priority."
The point isn't that there's anything especially wrong with Palin-style socialism; there isn't. The point is, if McCain and Palin want to whine incessantly about socialism, redistribution of wealth, and "welfare," they ought to a) learn what they're talking about; and b) take a good look in the mirror.
And from September 2008:
"KBYR talk radio host Eddie Burke admits he is a conservative and a "Palinista."
But on Wednesday Burke resorted to name calling when he found out Alaska Women Reject Palin planned to host a Saturday rally.
"They're a bunch of socialist maggots, that's what I'm going to call them -- socialist maggots, that's what they are, a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots," said Burke."
And this from the 2004 presidential campaign:
"Senator Trent Lott, Governor Haley Barbour and State Treasurer Tate Reeves all delighted in slinging barbs at Kerry. Lott, who has served in the Senate with Kerry since his election in 1998, called Kerry a 'French-speaking socialist.'"
And finally, this link to a real Socialist who actually knows what he's talking about--unlike the dupes who show up at the Tea Parties with their signs calling Mr. Obama a Socialist. Those fools wouldn't know one if they met him/her at their local "socialst" public school, or police and fire departments.
While many of his conservative critics call Barack Obama a socialist, true socialist have a different opinion. Billy Wharton, co-chair of the Socialist Party USA disputes the socialist label on Obama.
“It makes no rational sense. It clearly means that people don’t understand what socialism is,” said Wharton.
Wharton said that the health care bill is not socialized medicine. It simply added 32 million customers for the insurance industry. Socialism would have had a single-payer system, and a government takeover of key medical industries.
According to a recent poll taken by the NYTimes and CBS, a majority of the Tea Party people are better educated than the average American citizen.
Really? You wouldn't know it after listening to them scream "SOCIALIST!" while holding up their silly signs. They need to go back to school to educate themselves on who and what a socialist really is.
HINT: It isn't Barack Hussein Obama.