Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Day after day, day after day,
They're stuck on a meme, not truth, but devotion
As dumb as a misspelled sign
Upon a misguided notion.
Socialists! Socialists! Everywhere!
And all who speak--forsooth--
Yell Socialists! Socialists! Everywhere!
But not any drop of truth.*

*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.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I've seen way too many videos of these tea-baggers being interviewed and they don't know their asses from their elbows; you'll never convince me they're better educated. No way in hell.

Joe "Truth 101" Kelly said...

The better educated ones are calling the shots. They want their Bush tax breaks for the wealthy but they know some idiot shout "keep tax breaks for the wealthy!" wouldn't play well. So they trick the dupes, you know, the bigots, homophobes and idiots, to shout nonsense about socialism and government taking our guns to hide what they're really all about. Government welfare for the rich.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Judge Truth 101,

The nonsense over the gun issue? What's that all about?

Mr. Obama has actually EXPANDED gun rights--isn't that Liberal of him--and what happens? A rumor gets started and sent around the intertubes saying he's going to take aways all the guns in America.

The highly educated members of the Tea Party and the rightwing, instead of verifying this stupid, baseless rumor, promote it.

Listen to everything they and the GOP say, then believe the opposite.

If they had some serious issues to debate about this administration, they've lost credibility to do so because of their lying about the gun issue and their constant repetition that Mr. Obama is a Socialist.

The REAL Socialists, who know more than the Tea Partiers do, guarantee that Mr. Obama is not even a Liberal!

IMO, the Tea Party is 95% about humiliating and hating the president and about 5% about legitimate complaints about his foreign and domestic policies.

Teeluck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teeluck said...

See Sister Sarah, See Sister Sarah's Socialist Spending, So Socialist Snowdwellers Somewhere Santa's South, Should See Serious Smack...Such simpleminded Sorry Socialist Satire...Sad...So Sad.

Infidel753 said...

Oh course these twits don't know what socialism is. If they did, they'd know that their precious Social Security, medicare, and unemployment insurance qualify.

That's true of Americans in general. People love the substance of socialism when they can get it, but they've been trained to hate the word.

Sue said...

well done Shaw! Great comments too. The baggers haven't a clue what they are protesting, don't let Fox noise convince you the baggers have high IQ's. When asked about their protesting, they quote Glenn Beck, that's it, that's all they have to offer. They are an embarrassment to real American patriots!

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

Judge said: "hey want their Bush tax breaks for the wealthy but they know some idiot shout "keep tax breaks for the wealthy!" wouldn't play well."

No one wants or believes that. The tax cuts were for all taxpayers, mostly for the middle class. And they think it's a good idea to keep them all.

Infidel said: "People love the substance of socialism when they can get it, but they've been trained to hate the word."

The real substance of socialism is evident in the policies of Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Castro.

No one has convinced me yet that Obama is one. The closest thing I've heard about to a radical government power-grab is the elimination of the private student loan service. But I have not yet fact checked to see if that claim is even true, so I don't count it yet.

Arthurstone said...

Some would argue 'the real substance of socialism' is found in the Scandinavian countries, and nations such as the Netherlands, Germany, Japan and France where the quality of medical care, education, workplace safety and worker rights and general level of satisfaction are the highest on the planet.

dmarks said...

Interesting point, Arthur. Those countries are only a little more "socialist" than the US, with most property still controlled by the people instead of the State.

Not sure how well it works in riot-ridden France, however.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Not sure how well it works in riot-ridden France, however."

Here's how it works. The French people, like Americans, are free to demonstrate against their government, and they do. It's messy, but no more "riot ridden" than America has been in the past (think of the race riots and student demonstrations, the riots during the fight for unions where Americans were shot and killed by law enforcement) and is now in the present.

As for the student loan legislation--it was definitely a good thing, since the Obama administration cut out the middle man--the banks and saved the government lots of money:

"WASHINGTON — Ending one of the fiercest lobbying fights in Washington, Congress voted Thursday to force commercial banks out of the federal student loan market, cutting off billions of dollars in profits in a sweeping restructuring of financial-aid programs and redirecting most of the money to new education initiatives.


Since the bank-based loan program began in 1965, commercial banks like Sallie Mae and Nelnet have received guaranteed federal subsidies to lend money to students, with the government assuming nearly all the risk. Democrats have long denounced the program, saying it fattened the bottom line for banks at the expense of students and taxpayers.

“Why are we paying people to lend the government’s money and then the government guarantees the loan and the government takes back the loan?” said Representative George Miller, Democrat of California and chairman of the Education and Labor Committee.

Democrats celebrated the legislation, a centerpiece of President Obama’s education agenda, as a far-reaching overhaul of federal financial aid, providing a huge infusion of money to the Pell grant program and offering new help to lower-income graduates in getting out from under crushing student debt. Still, the final bill is less ambitious than the original proposal."


Shaw Kenawe said...

"No one wants or believes that. The tax cuts were for all taxpayers, mostly for the middle class. And they think it's a good idea to keep them all."--dmarks

Could you direct us to where you found the information that Bush's tax cuts were "mostly" for the middle class.

The New York Times differs with what you posted here. This is what it reported in 2007:

"WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 — Families earning more than $1 million a year saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the country as a result of President Bush’s tax cuts, according to a new Congressional study.

The study, by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, also shows that tax rates for middle-income earners edged up in 2004, the most recent year for which data was available, while rates for people at the very top continued to decline.


The study estimates that the effective federal income tax rate, which excludes payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, declined modestly for people in the middle- and lower-income categories.

Families in the middle fifth of annual earnings, who had average incomes of $56,200 in 2004, saw their average effective tax rate edge down to 2.9 percent in 2004 from 5 percent in 2000. That translated to an average tax cut of $1,180 per household, but the tax rate actually increased slightly from 2003.

Tax cuts were much deeper, and affected far more money, for families in the highest income categories. Households in the top 1percent of earnings, which had an average income of $1.25 million, saw their effective individual tax rates drop to 19.6 percent in 2004 from 24.2 percent in 2000. The rate cut was twice as deep as for middle-income families, and it translated to an average tax cut of almost $58,000.


If you have different data that show the middle class got a better deal in tax cuts from GWB than did the very wealthy, I'd like to see it, please. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

dmarks prefers his own version of reality.

Infidel753 said...

The real substance of socialism is evident in the policies of Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Castro.

Those people were Communists, not socialists (except Hitler, who was neither). If you don't know the difference between Communism and socialism, you don't know what you're talking about.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

Infidel: Communism is a subset of sociialism. They're the ones that take socialism to its logical extreme. Hitler was a socialist but not a communist (i.e. he believed in strong heirarchical government control, but not for Marxist reasons). Not on the precious list but worth mentioning are Saddam Hussein and Hafez al Assad, who were Ba'ath Socialists (an Arab racial supremacist branch of the socialist movement).

If you don't know that, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you have no idea, read the writings on socialism by Fidel Castro. Or check out what the 2nd "S" in the USSR stood for.

You can't just go willy-nilly dropping the socialist leaders from the list of socialists just because they make the list look bad.

Anon; Not surprised you use an anonymous account make false accusations.

Shaw: Is/are the data complete? As in, the total amount of the tax cuts for each group? That is what I checked a while ago to find out that the middle class saved (had less swiped) more total money than the rich.

Arthurstone said...

The far bigger problem is people identifying anyone left of center with Pol Pot, Mao and Uncle Joe.

There is a wonderful biography of Arthur Koestler recently published and what a life it describes.

Author of arguably the best novel on Stalinism/Communism ever, Darkness at Noon, Koestler was once a CPU member who dropped out, denounced the party and maintained his bona fides as a genuine anti-Communist socialist. He was absolutely flummoxed to visit the US in the 1950's and encounter what he considered (quite rightly) as fearsomely ignorant politicians and celebrities such as Joe McCarthy and Ronald Reagan who were, in his view, given far too much credence for their reactionary views. After having been present at the Spanish Civil War and WWII he was astonished at the American right-wing obsession with Communist 'subversion' in the US while managing to lump every leftist in Europe and America with Stalin.

And things have changed almost not at all. The level of sophistication Americans display in national and global politics remains alarmingly low.

Laughable actually.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ignorance, I'm afraid, isn't laughable.

Oh, wait...

There's Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

Anonymous said...

windows 7 registry cleaner , A computer program application that scans the Pc registry and looks for obsolete and invalid entries.
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]
registry cleaner , [url=]registry cleaner[/url]

Applications frequently create Registry entries for momentary data and pointers with other files, but never erase them. Furthermore, if folders are by hand deleted by the user.
Registry entries may indicate files that won't exist. A Registry scanner can ahtvniwxnjnjnjnnjaw participate a offer of program utilities or even a stand-alone, registry cleaner package

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Anonymous said...

Cool site, I hadn't noticed previously during my searches!
Continue the excellent work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at could post it.


Anonymous said...

Have you considered the fact that this might work another way? I am wondering if anyone else has come across something
like this in the past? Let me know your thoughts...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
[url=]как описано здесь [/url]

Anonymous said...
[url=]сайт здесь [/url]