Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Socialists: Obama no socialist

From the Chicago Tribune courtesy of the Huffington Post News Wire:

John Bachtell, the Illinois organizer for Communist Party USA, sees attempts by Sen. John McCain's campaign to label Obama a socialist as both offensive to socialists and a desperate ploy to tap into fears of voters who haven't forgotten their Cold War rhetoric.


So, how do you know if you're a socailist?

Generally, it involves espousing government control over a country's basic industries, like transportation, communication and energy, while also allowing some government regulation of private industries.

"Obama is about as far from being a socialist as Joe The Plumber is from being a rocket scientist," said Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution. "I think it's hard for McCain to call Obama a socialist when George Bush is nationalizing banks."

And this from Bruce Carruthers, a sociology professor at Northwestern University: "Obama is like a center-liberal Democrat, and he is certainly not looking to overthrow capitalism. My goodness, he wouldn't have the support of someone like The Wizard of Omaha, Warren Buffet, if he truly was going to overthrow capitalism.

More here.

Okay, this is pretty damned funny.

I posted back in April about how the right wing was already in full red baiting mode over Obama even before it was entirely clear that he would have the primary votes to beat Hillary. Obviously, Democrats in good standing, who conservatives have pounded with the commie accusation for decades, are offended by this baseless bullshit. And now actual commies are offended, too. Ain't this country great?

Really, true communists and socialists ought to be offended. Obama is utterly entrenched in mainstream American power politics: he could have never risen to the position he now holds if he, at any point in his life, even as a teenager, ever entertained any far-left ideological positions. Far-leftist types, such as myself, are effectively banned from bigtime national politics. And such a ban should be worn as a badge of honor: it means you understand how US democracy is a ruse which allows the rich to control and exploit everybody else. Calling Obama, who seeks to repair and stabilize the American plutocracy, rather than change it into a more equitable and just system of governance, a socialist is a slap in the face to all American commie bastards.

What's fascinating about all this is that it appears most Americans simply don't give a shit about communism anymore. With the Soviet Union nothing but a memory, and with China now controlled by a business-friendly totalitarian regime which is communist in name only, it's really starting to look like red baiting is no longer effective. And that's a good thing: it means that in the long run American discourse can now go in directions it never could during the days of the Evil Red Menace.

Just for the record: I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the Communist Party. But I will name names. Just email me and ask. Here's a little taste. Vladimir Lenin was a Communist. I've got lots more names. Indeed, I have a list.