Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Part one of this bizarre back-and-forth on facebook here.

Without any further ado, here's the rest of the conversation:

Stephen And Ron, that you, of all people, would call me "deeply ignoran[t] of European politics" smacks of desperation. You might want to peek outside the Texas-Louisiana cocoon you've been wrapped in for decades, to the far flung shores of this federation, and you might learn something to cheer you up: the Bernie Sanders, Barney Franks, Chuck Schumers, Patty Murrays, and Barbara Boxers of this world don't have right-wing bones even in their right arms.

Ronald Universal health care, effective social safety nets, parliamentary democracy (featuring the participation of ACTUAL socialists), fantastic public transportation, robust and active labor unions, great sums of public money for the arts, and on and on and on. That's social democracy. That's Europe. It's not the US Democratic Party. At all. Stephen, I'm not going to rehash high school and college civics courses for you because this is knowledge that all educated Americans are assumed to already have. Go look it up yourself if you want: the Democrats are not Marxist, socialist, or more leftist than all of Europe. This is crazy talk, plain and simple. You insult me by asking that I take it seriously.

Stephen The Framers of our Constitution did not make us a parliamentary democracy, but every other item you listed is an aim of today's Democrat Party, no matter how impractical or crushingly expensive its imposition on the United States would be. That's social democracy. Those are "the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change". It's a simple fact that, if you took the US Democrat Party, and plopped it on a foreign shore with its policies intact, it would have either the word "Socialist" or "Labour" in its name without changing even a line. (Not truly socialist, you object? What do you call a party that strips wealth from bondholders and gives it to the labor unions? Hint: it starts with an "S"....)

Please, Ron, stop pretending. You do believe in evolution, don't you? The creatures bearing the old traits are dead, and new and different creatures have taken their places. Scoop Jackson is dead. Hubert Humphrey is dead. Tip O'Neill is dead. Barack 0bama and Nancy Pelosi are the twin guardians of today's Democrat temple, and they kill heretics.

If you find the truth insulting, so be it. Your problem, not mine.

Ronald Okay, if I am to take you seriously, I have to believe that either you or I, or both of us, come from different universes. In your universe, the "Democrat" Party, headed by a Marxist, racist, anti-colonialist President "0bama," attempts to achieve ends that are commonplace in European social democracies. In my universe the "Democratic" Party, headed by a neoliberal, race-neutral, which means "don't try too hard to help out black people," drone-striking terrorist -killer President "Obama," gives lip service, sometimes, to worker rights and other liberal pet ideas, especially during campaign season, but in reality enacts a policy agenda which profoundly reflects the interests of the multi-national corporations and fabulously wealthy individuals who provide the Party with the vast majority of its campaign money. And that's why I don't support them. I have to believe we come from two different universes because that's much, much less laughable than even entertaining the notion for two seconds that "0bama" or "Obama," whatever you want to call him, is a Marxist.

I mean, if Obama's a Marxist, and I consciously position myself well to the left of him, what does that make me? What's to the left of communism in your Bizarro universe? It makes no sense in my universe, where, on the traditional political spectrum, Marxism is the extreme leftward boundary, and fascism is the extreme rightward boundary. Your universe seems to have no location for me on its political spectrum. How can you possibly expect me to take this seriously?

Stephen Well, Ron, depending on which "universe" you're viewing him from: you're either merely more sincere than the Dear Leader, or you're a "give them the wealth" Communist, à la erstwhile "green jobs czar" Van Jones. Come to think of it, like the quantum Marxist, you could be both.

Stephen And it's not "Bizarro": it just makes you more honest than 0bama. You would act like a Marxist and call yourself such. He would act like a Marxist, but only in increments, and he could never confess the sin because he must operate on a stage where doing so earns you the hook. But what would this lawless man do by executive orders if he had another four years during which he no longer had to face, and therefore fear, the electorate? We on the Right never want to find out: let that forever be the subject of speculation.
It is my intention to give my deluded conservative friend the last word. I mean, after all, I'm pretty sure I mopped the floor with him. But coming back with a response will be difficult to resist: he appears to be telling me that the President is a Marxist because he might act like a Marxist in his second term, which pushes the absurdity to yet a new level. Obama's a socialist because we think he is, not because of anything he's actually said or done.

Only in America.