Radical Left

"To be honest, the most socialist candidate in the 2008 election was Sarah Palin."

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Commenter bait.

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  1. I’d have liked to have seen him expand on that thought.

    1. My guess is it’s due to the state of Alaska writing checks to each of their residents due to fees paid from mineral extraction. It’s not all that different from the Norwegian model.

  2. Apparently that’s because the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America views President Obama as more of a corporatist or fascist.

    It’s not any more unusual than white supremacists for Obama.

    1. That was an amazingly interesting link

      1. You want fascinating — you should check out the stormfront message board; they more white pride in my opinion. But, to my surprise, they’re quite libertarian. Very big on Ron Paul. They don’t use the n-word. And they actually seem to hate Jews more than Blacks.

        (Not endorsing them, just to be clear. Just saying it’s an interesting read if you’re bored. Some of them are surprisingly informed about economics. Surprising to me)

        1. The reason for that’s probably that they hate and don’t trust the government.

          Put a white supremacist in charge of it and most of them would probably flip in a second.

          1. Put a white supremacistanyone in charge of it and most of them would probably flip in a second.

            At least that’s how I perceive the evidence.

            1. Based on prior evidence, I’d guess you’re right. Both the German National Socialists pre 1932 and the Italian Fascists pre 1920 hated “The State” and “The Government” since they were just tools of Jewish control, etc.

        2. “But, to my surprise, they’re quite libertarian”

          Depends upon the group. National Socialists prefer more total social and economic control than other groups. Race laws are, by definition, regulatory and usually require a more or less police state to enforce.

          And quite a few of them hate the government because they see it as tools of Jews or corporations (which are controlled by Jews).

          The libertarian streak you see is, I think, more of an expression to repeal the CRA and other laws that prohibit discrimination than a desire for more personal freedom.

          “And they actually seem to hate Jews more than Blacks.”

          Because in their view, blacks are stupid and blacks in positions of power are tools of white or, more often, Jewish puppet masters.

    2. Ron Paul called Obama a Corporatist too.

  3. From the article..”Not all socialists, though, want to confiscate personal property. Democratic Socialists are more interested in protecting ordinary people from unregulated capitalism through regulation and progressive taxation.

    Then they aren’t socialists.

    The insanity spewing from the article is infinite.

    1. It good that we have learned arbiters such as yourself around to insist that socialism requires wide scale property confiscation.

      1. So arbiters such as yourself get to determine what does and does not constitute “wide scale” property confiscation?

        Your papers please. Show them to me.

      2. Be fair. This isn’t Tman’s pet interpretation or something. Dictionary definitions all explicitly mention state control of the means of production, which implies “wide scale property confiscation”.

        If you insist on some other definition, nobody is obligated to take it up, although they may well do so if it classifies political systems according to some more essential distinction.

      3. Socialism requires the means of production to be owned by the state. Thats the fucking definition. So, yes, it does require property confiscation.

        Capitalism/Socialism is a scale, with 100% of means of production owned by capital on one end, and 100% means of production owned by the state on the other.

        The further you push it towards the latter, the more socialist you are.

        1. No its not:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
          “Socialism refers to the various theories of economic organization which advocate either public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources” see the either?

          http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/socialism
          a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
          2.
          procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
          3.
          (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

          1. You’re still ignoring my question. What constitutes “wide scale” and what does not?

            And who the fuck are you to decide?

            1. You said:
              Not all socialists, though, want to confiscate personal property. Democratic Socialists are more interested in protecting ordinary people from unregulated capitalism through regulation and progressive taxation.”

              Then they aren’t socialists.

              If the definition of socialism is as above, it does not require seizure of property. ‘Worker’s control’ could, hypothetically, come about by ‘workers’ pooling their resource and purchasing the means of production. If I were to advocate that route I would still be a socialist. What I wouldn’t be is a communist. The two are constantly conflated (not without reason).

              1. You can’t go from “not requiring seizure of property” to then allow “administration of the means of production and allocation of resources”.

                How else do you administer and allocate resources in a “collective pool” without seizing all of the resources in to a single entity?

                The bullshit happy face fascists and collectivists/socialists/communists try and put on their respective ideals never covers up the fact that they all want to destroy private ownership of resources.

                “Workers Party” my ass.

                1. Would you say that a business that has two or more owner (all corporations) has destroyed private property, since it is collectively held? Would you say that co-ops and employee owned companies are ‘bullshit happy face fascists’.

                  Who said anything about a single entity? Again, you’re conflating communism and socialism.

                  1. Would you say that a business that has two or more owner (all corporations) has destroyed private property, since it is collectively held?

                    No, because it is not collectively held. It is a group of individuals who decide to OWN the company. PRIVATELY. Do you enjoy murdering the English language or is it more of a hobby than anything?

                    Would you say that co-ops and employee owned companies are ‘bullshit happy face fascists’.

                    No, because these folks aren’t collectivists. They take private property and pool it together without being coerced by anyone to do so.

                    Seriously, you can’t redefine what these things mean just to make your point, you just keep digging a deeper hole.

                    Stop digging dude.

                    1. So, now we’re talking collectivist not socialist? Who said anything about coercing anyone? Who are you talking too?

                    2. Read the thread again. You are a self admitted socialist. Socialism requires that the ruling class confiscate the resources and redistribute as they see fit. This is the coercion part, which is sometimes at the point of a gun. You cannot admit to being for the “redistribution of wealth/resources/capital” without a means to force people to have their own private capital redistributed.

                      Seriously, that hole is fucking deep dude. Get me some wontons while you’re down there.

                    3. Christ you must be kidding, I ‘admitted’ to being an Anarchist, which I maintain is a type of socialism (its also a type of libertarianism). I’ve heard people say a lot of things about Anarchism, but never that it ” requires that the ruling class confiscate the resources and redistribute as they see fit” (since socialism is all about whats good for the ruling class after all). I guess I need to re-read the thread, in order to understand my own beliefs and positions, I’m sure you put them in there somewhere. Probably, between me redefining words digging holes I missed them. Whats your next move? Quoting Orwell, to prove just how bad socialism is (that alway gives me a good tickle).

                    4. Sorry, but your statement below sounded like you were admitting that you were a socialist.

                      I’m told) was used almost exclusive as a reference to Anarchist (they still bitch about), which are after all a type of socialist (I am one if it not obvious).

                      One what? Socialist? Anarchist?

                      Honestly I don’t care what the fuck you are since you want to quibble about definitions of failed ideals. You might as well be a Raelian for all I care.

                      You started this by arguing that socialism doesn’t require forced confiscation of private property/resources/capital etc., which is of course, ridiculous.

                    5. Of course most socialist do advocate the seizure of property. My point was A) there have been socialist who did not advocate property seizures (such as the Individualist Anarchist and Tolstoyans), B) socialism is a vague, imagined economic system that doesn’t take an inherent position on how to get there or really what ‘worker control’ means, and C) its funny that a (presumed) Libertarians would think its his place to decide who is and is not a socialist. Especially one who doesn’t seem to know much about socialism outside of cold-war propaganda (which went through great pains to make socialist = communist = Bolshevik = dictatorship).

                      At least you didn’t come out with an Orwell quote. 🙂

                      Have a good weekend, brother!

                    6. Of course most socialist do advocate the seizure of property

                      Nice of you to admit that your entire argument was pointless.

                      Have a good night yourself!

              2. The Wikipedia definition is, for whatever reason, nonstandard. I’m no expert here, but it sounds like it’s conflating syndicalism and socialism.

                ‘Worker’s control’ could, hypothetically, come about by ‘workers’ pooling their resource and purchasing the means of production. If I were to advocate that route I would still be a socialist.

                An interesting claim, since one could consistently advocate that while being the hardest-of-core libertarians. One might even sincerely believe that approach to be a superior form of capitalism, which case one would be both a capitalist and a socialist.

                1. PS That means it’s not a good definition.

                2. The word ‘libertarian’ before the 1970s (and still in parts of Europe, I’m told) was used almost exclusive as a reference to Anarchist (they still bitch about), which are after all a type of socialist (I am one if it not obvious). American had/has its own Anarchist tradition, generally refereed to as individualist Anarchist, most of whom have been appropriated by Libertarians (they deny that they were socialist), and advocated something similar (from none to a lot of property seizure).

                  1. Anarchist… which are after all a type of socialist

                    True, but there is a big difference between Anarchocapitalism which is much like libertarianism and Anarchosocialism which requires equality and opposes the free market.

                    Anarchism is not mutually exclusive with either socialism or libertarianism, while socialism and libertarianism are mutually exclusive.

              3. ‘Worker’s control’ could, hypothetically, come about by ‘workers’ pooling their resource and purchasing the means of production.

                Giving 60% of a auto company to a union might work to.

                1. Except they’re not voting shares, so they’re not in control of the company in anyway (well, they have the government, the actual majority of votes).
                  I feel that this is a blind spot in Libertarian thought. When they come out with 46% of the country not paying taxes (half of which is the elderly and teenagers, pass and future tax payers), Libertarians, rightfully, say, ” How terrible, they have no skin in the game, so what do they care about the tax rate”.
                  I don’t see why the same reasoning doesn’t apply to the economic system. What do I care if my co-working is a slack-off do nothing, no skin off my teeth. Now, if we had some sort of workers ownership, I think I would care, I would want that guy fired.

                  People get handouts from the gov. and its, ” Oh their dependent, how will they ever make their own way. How terrible.” Again low/mid-level employees don’t have to make any decision, live with the consequences of bad decision (short of getting laid off). How are they not dependent? How can they hope to make their own way?

          2. ‘Worker’s control’ could, hypothetically, come about by ‘workers’ pooling their resource and purchasing the means of production.

            Actually, that sounds like capitalism to me. How are the “workers” who “purchased” the means of production not owners/investors/capitalists?

            1. In management practices, essentially. In that ‘capitalism’ has become synonymous with ‘economics’, any economic theory that has a chance of working is going to ‘sound like capitalism’. But yes, Individualist Anarchist schemes were/are also called ‘market socialism’, the main difference being in the internal organization of economic units. Basically, they wanted work place democracy (AKA direct workers control which makes it a type of socialism).

          3. No, that agrees with what I said. “community as a whole” == state. I guess you can have some sort of anarcho-socialist system without a “state”, but realistically, it means the state owning the means of production.

            1. As above I would contend that anarchist are socialist (excepting anarcho-capitalism, which is Libertarianism with the courage of their convictions – no state to maintain their preferred economic order). As a historical manner this is certainly true. They were a faction in the 1st and 2nd International, until Marx got them kicked out for saying that Marxism would lead to a tyranny worst then republican-capitalism, and that the workers state would eventually turn capitalistic in order to enrich the new ‘administrative class’ it would span.

              If you refuse to accept that anarchist are socialist ( I think a strange position, like me denying that Libertarians are capitalist) then sure.

              1. Also, Marxism contends that the state-socialism (I guess this is a redundant term?) that would follow the revolution would eventually wither away leaving a perfect freedom for all.

                span=spawn

        2. No. That’s Marxist-Leninism. That falsely claimed a monopoly on socialism for almost a century.

    2. There were numerous socialist movements in 19th century Europe. Some did mandate state control over the means of production, others didn’t. Eduard Bernstein’s “Evolutionary Socialism” written in the 1890s basically laid the groundwork for Fabianism and it described a system more or less similar to what exists in the Western World now. Hell, while I’m ranting I’ll point out that the Pledge of Allegiance was actually socialist propaganda.

    3. You’ve got to be blooming barmy. The only real type of government should be democratic socialist because otherwise we’d have the unregulated exposition of greed on an unimaginable scale. In fact, what is likely to happen if the Conservative Party win the UK election today.

  4. “Oh, and we don’t want your personal property, just your money.”

    1. That seems like a silly statement, but I have a socialist leaning friend that thinks that very thing. That money doesn’t count as property.

      1. I have friends like that too. We pretty much avoid these conversations now because they get frustrated when I explain to them how historically inept socialism/communism has been at raising people out of poverty and increasing prosperity.

      2. That seems like a silly statement, but I have a socialist leaning friend that thinks that very thing. That money doesn’t count as property

        Isn’t that the current position of the US legal system?

        Isn’t that how they justify many of the seizures and asset forfeitures?

        Isn’t there a pretty big case before the Courts to try and set a precedent that money is property?

        1. How in the world can it be argued that the medium of economic exchange not be property?

  5. 500 comments, easy.

    The pinko’s right. Obama’s not a socialist, he’s a fascist. Of course, the economic system Wharton thinks of as “capitalism” is really also fascism, so it’s kind of silly for him to complain about not being understood by his opponents.

    1. Is he a fascist, or just an indirect kleptocrat?

      1. There is nothing indirect about kleptocracy. It depends on how brazen kleptocrats are willing to be.

        You have your Roman Polanski kleptocrats using the fancy champagne and quaalude route, finding the public “not unresponsive”.

        Then there is Nationlism, favorite tool of the Fascist, but tweaked ever so slightly can be a useful tool of the kleptocrat.

        The flat out gun-to-the-head style of the Mafia, using fear as the coercive tool.

        Then we have Obama, using the favorite method of any disenfranchised group, spoiled princess, and “poor me” type, guilt.

        1. You have your Roman Polanski kleptocrats using the fancy champagne and quaalude route, finding the public “not unresponsive”.

          I have to say…that’s one of the best statements I’ve ever read on HnR.

          Well said, sir.

    2. 500 comments, easy.

      Not.

  6. Wake me up when CNN also runs a story on what actual free market thinkers have to say about W, the tea parties, etc.

    1. +1

      Or what libertarians have to say about social conservative issue.

      1. Certainly they don’t have any Libertarian reports. And they surely don’t always have Libertarians on the channel as the ‘third point of view’.

        Why do they continue to ignore the Libertarians?

        1. It makes things too complicated. I’m serious.

          1. If they did that then howls of rage would arise from the perplexed viewership? That would be awesome.

    2. If the Fairness Doctrine comes back, you can use it to get libertarian ideas on the air. 🙂

  7. Everything Obama has done has been towards the single goal of steeling as much as possible for his political supporters. The stimulus was a payoff to the state and local employee unions. TARP was a pay off to the bankers who helped put him into office. Obamacare is a pay off to the insurance companies and the government employee unions. I think you can rightly call that something besides socialism (although steeling for cronies always seems to be the practical result of socialism).

    Is there a word for the economics of third world tin pot populist dictators? Peronism? Chevezism?

    1. It’s a mix of a lot of things: corpratism, influence peddling, outright theft, and of course three fiat card monte.

    2. Yes. It’s political scientists call it Stealerism.

    3. Kleptocracy.

    4. “”Everything Obama has done has been towards the single goal of steeling as much as possible for his political supporters.””

      And this is new to American politics?

      TARP was a Bush era program. Bush sr. bailed out the savings and loans back in the 80s.

      Obama has not seized any company for the state.

      Regulations and social programs have been around for decades. If these makes us a socialist, we’ve been socialist for a long time. Why wait until this President to make it an issue?

      I think people are looking for bad words to throw at the President. The left did it to Bush, now it’s turnabout. But hey, if you listen to those shouting, our last President was a facist.

      Obama is one of the worst Presidents we’ve had. But I see little evidence of actual socialism.

      1. Don’t forget the Iraq War being a sop to Halliburton. A company that was headed by the VP at the time.

        1. Cheney wasn’t the head of Halliburton when he was VP. He resigned when he ran for VP. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t throwing work Halliburton’s way though.

          1. Cheney wasn’t the head of Halliburton when he was VP. He resigned when he ran for VP. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t throwing work Halliburton’s way though.

            True, and I believe he was still receiving a money from them while he was VP via deferred compensation.

        2. What Cabeza said.

          A better arugment is Bush gave us Medicare part D. More of that Medicare Socialism. 😉

        3. And, if I recall correctly, Cheney sold all of his Halliburton stock before taking office.

          1. Did he? The only way I would trust a politician on something like that is if I saw the sell order.

          2. And, if I recall correctly, Cheney sold all of his Halliburton stock before taking office.

            And if I recall correctly he was still receiving Deferred Compensation

            1. Very interesting, I didn’t know that.

      2. Obama has not seized any company for the state

        General Motors ring a bell?

    5. I think you can rightly call that something besides socialism (although steeling for cronies always seems to be the practical result of socialism).

      although steeling for cronies is always the practical result of socialism

      Fixed. Socialism is its results. Not some fancy hand waving they use to get support.

    6. TARP was a pay off to the bankers who helped put him into office.

      You can have an opinion but at least gets your facts straight. Bush was the President when TARP was passed.

      1. Yet McCain and Obama had a meeting to hammer out the details.

        TARP was a bipartisan bill, because the political class believed they had to do something about the potential bank failures. The question is how the Obama admistration has used TARP since they took over.

  8. yep Palin is a socialist pig-dog – we libertarians who despise performance artists like Palin, Beck and the people who like them should get that meme going – can we get Naomi Klein claiming Palin as a Socialist?

  9. They left off Weigel’s byline.

  10. I didn’t know the only two candidates were Palin and Ron Paul.

  11. “They wanted a national “single-payer” health insurance plan with a government option.”

    Why would you need a government option if you had single payer? What “option” would be presented to you? You have no options you are forced into whatever system the government sets up.

    The real question is ho is more moronic, everyone quoted in this article or the reporter that wrote it?

    1. “They” apparently do not realize that the single-payer would be the government and by definition there would be no option.

  12. I tried to rise to the bait, but just got so damn depressed at the utter lack of anything resembling journalism in that article that I gave up.

    1. Ha – same here.

  13. Wharton’s just upset because it’s incremental socialism and not a dramatic change of governance. He’s like the libertarian who hates a candidate because he supports charter schools instead of completely privatizing the system or something.

    1. At least for Wharton everything is heading in his direction, albeit slower than he’d like. Obama is a socialist-pragmatist. He knows he can’t get a single payer through, so he set up a system that will ultimately lead to a single payer because it is so easy to game.

  14. The only thing I’d like to say about Mrs. Palin is that listening to her giving a speech is like a hearing a cat being skinned alive.

    1. I don’t think so. And I hate political speeches. She usually gets off a good quip or two. And she makes a very plain spoken case for small government. I like her speeches. In Boston she said

      “Americans now spend 100 days out of the year working for government before we even start working for ourselves,” she said. “It is time to remind [elected officials] that government should be working for us, we should not have to work for the government. That’s why there are more and more patriots every day standing up and speaking out.”

      “We believe in expanding freedom and opportunity for all, not the intrusive reach of government into our lives and businesses,” she said.

      It is not Lincoln’s second inaugural. But, I wouldn’t call it skinning a cat either.

      1. “It is time to remind [elected officials] that government should be working for us…”

        But that mentality is precisely the problem.

        1. No The government does work for us. But that fact doesn’t mean that its job description shouldn’t be pretty limited.

          1. I don’t get the sense that most people are capable of such nuance. Most people hear a line like that and think

            “yeah, the gubmint should be giving me free stuff”

          2. No The government does work for us.

            On paper. In theory.

            In practice, most politicians make us work for them.

        2. This is why quotes out of context stink..

          I don’t think she is the best thing since sliced anything, but you seem to be overlooking the fact that she was criticizing the size of government in the same paragraph.

          Libertarians believe the same thing: work for us by protecting the border, enforcing contracts, then getting out of the way (extremely paraphrased)

          1. “”This is why quotes out of context stink..””

            I agree. But we are talking about an ex-governor who said bringing federal dollars to her state was part of her job. Her state got 5x more federal dollars that it gave. I wonder what her reply would be if she was asked about reducing AK’s take to 1:1.

            1. If all the states get 1:1, why send tax money to Washington in the first place? Alaska is the lower-48 (and like-minded local) Gaiaist’s version of Pandora, whether its people like it or not, so we’ll take all the money we can get from them.

      2. Seriously, when I hear her voice I have to put my fingers in my ears and say “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!” till it stops. I’d rather be subjected to 3-inch-long fingernails being scraped across a blackboard.

        1. The whole Minnesota accent doesn’t bother me. But, I could see where she could drive you up the wall if it did. I can’t stand a fake or an over done Southern Accent. I would rather have needles jammed in my eyes than listen to someone like Paula Dean speak. So, I see what you are saying.

          1. It isn’t the accent so much as the shrill squeakiness.

            1. HAYYYYYYYYYYY! It works fro MEEE!

          2. Agreed John. Have you ever heard a real southerner who injects “y’all” into a sentence as much as Dean does? She will bookend a line. “Y’all ain’t gonna believe how good this is Y’all.” It is almost as bad as all the fake New Orleans accents on TV. Just awful.

            1. I’m just appalled by the creepy relationship she has with her sons. That and all the “meat rubbing” innuendo.

              1. What bothers me is that she takes perfectly good one-syllable words and turns them into two-syllable words. “Shrimp” to “shree-ump,” for instance.

        2. I have to do that with all politicians

      3. “”It is not Lincoln’s second inaugural. But, I wouldn’t call it skinning a cat either.””

        Too bad she didn’t stay in office and help AK be less dependent on the federal money.

      4. Everything you quote is a factless platitude. You have a very low bar for politicians apparently. What does “expanding freedom and opportunity for all” even mean? Who is “all”? It’s so vague even most liberals would agree 100% if you didn’t tell them who said it.

    2. She does have an insanely annoying cadence to her voice.

      (There — I added something to the discussion.)

      1. I’d add that her words are really someone else’s words because she really isn’t very bright, but I’m sure that will be covered in depth later on, once the trolls fully engage.

        1. Well, she’s obviously a lot brighter than the folks who actually think she’s bright.

          1. And getting rich on the scam. I’ll give her that.

          2. Sweet mother I am stealing that quote.

        2. As opposed to our genius President I guess.

          1. He’s wrong, and annoying enough in his way, and he got to the top by being at the right place at the right time and by mastering the Teleprompter speech, but he’s far smarter than Palin, not that that’s saying a whole lot. There’s nothing going on inside Sarah Palin’s head, so she’s the perfect spokesman for the Common American who is frustrated with political realities but cannot vocalize that frustration with any kind of sophistication. Palin speaks in an easy-to-understand, almost childish way, thus appealing more to emotion than intellect.

  15. I don’t really buy the ‘Obama is a Socialist’ line either. A Socialist would not have supported the Healthcare plan that was pushed by Obama and voted for by nearly every Democrat.

    As for Palin being more socialist than Obama, I would have preferred that he expand on that one… any takers?

    1. Its incrementalism. The system they passed and codified into law is so easy to game (pay the penalty, don’t buy insurance, and once you contract something, sign up) that it will over time destroy the insurance industry entirely and become the Trojan Horse for our own nightmarish NHS.

    2. Its incrementalism. The plan they passed and codified into law is so easy to manipulate (don’t buy insurance, pay the small penalty, and when you contract something, signup with no preexisting conditions restrictions) that it will destroy the insurance companies over time. Its a trojan horse for our very own nightmarish (and likely 10x worse) NHS.

    3. A Socialist would not have supported the Healthcare plan that was pushed by Obama and voted for by nearly every Democrat.

      Sure he would, as the biggest incremental step available toward single-payer and, likely, true nationalized healthcare.

      IOW, Obama did exactly what a smart socialist would do – he took the incremental gains available to him, rather than sulking in his basement because he couldn’t go directly from the status quo to full socialized medicine.

      1. “”IOW, Obama did exactly what a smart socialist would do – he took the incremental gains available to him, rather than sulking in his basement because he couldn’t go directly from the status quo to full socialized medicine.””

        Spare me, Obamacare will get sliced and diced and hardly look like it’s current form after the next couple of Presidents and Congress have their way with it.

        The next republican President will be salivating over how to fix the wrongs and make it right.

        1. Spare me, Obamacare will get sliced and diced and hardly look like it’s current form after the next couple of Presidents and Congress have their way with it.

          The next republican President will be salivating over how to fix the wrongs and make it right.

          And your problem with that is what?

          1. I would prefer they repeal it altogether.

          2. “”And your problem with that is what?””

            The health care law will still exist.

            1. That would mean electing politicians with virtues and principles Tricky. Ones who don’t care about getting re-elected, just like the Dems, we need Repubs willing to fall on the sword for liberty and freedom. People like that rarely go into politics.

              1. Clarification: I meant just like the Dems fell on the sword for liberty reduction, we need repubs to fall on the sword to give it back to the people.

      2. If he really supported Socialized Medicine, there would have been a greater push to simply increase the number and scope of who qualifies for Medicare/Medicaid. That would have easily solved the uninsured problem and been much easier to get support for and more in line with a Socialist value system. The article actually does a half-way decent job of explaining why it is not a socialist-inspired plan…

        1. “”If he really supported Socialized Medicine, there would have been a greater push to simply increase the number and scope of who qualifies for Medicare/Medicaid.””

          Or perhaps a new drug plan.

          While many republicans didn’t support Medicare Part D, I didn’t hear a one call Bush a socialist.

    4. Its incrementalism. The plan they passed and codified into law is so easy to manipulate (don’t buy insurance, pay the small penalty, and when you contract something, signup with no preexisting conditions restrictions) that it will destroy the insurance companies over time. Its a trojan horse for our very own nightmarish (and likely 10x worse) NHS.

    5. As for Palin being more socialist than Obama, I would have preferred that he expand on that one… any takers?

      Look at her governance of Alaska. Very economically liberal (Alaska has the highest dept to GDP ratio (and debt per citizen) in the country, thanks to her (its not so bad as it looks since oil prices will rise and that’s the states cash cow, but still). She’s the worst of both world, fiscal recklessness plus evangelical moral grandstanding.

      The Palin phenomenon is entirely cultural and has zero to do with her governing record.

      1. I agree she is the worst of both worlds, very often so-called ‘conservatives’ are… but I still don’t quite see the Socialist angle with her. Perhaps I am not smart enough to know exactly what, ‘economically liberal’ really means, but how does high debt to GDP translate as socialist philosophy? Don’t get me wrong, I would love to shove in my conservatives friends who she is a socialist, but either I am too slow today or just too slow in general to see it.

        1. The deficit is mostly a result of sending checks to state residents from resource (oil) extraction, a fairly socialist idea.

  16. Hey man, the comment thread on that story has like 900 comments. How come reason can’t put up numbers like that?

    1. Not enough fools here?

      1. +1, even though by doing so I weaken the Cajun’s argument. I keed, I keed.

  17. Too many Republicans in the tea party for my taste.

    1. So despite the fact that it is probably the best chance within 15 years (past or future) of rolling back some of governments excesses*, you are going to opt out and exacerbate the problem you complain about (not enough other voices)?

      * just because you may find it depressing, that does not make it untrue.

      1. Were you asleep from 2000-2008?

        1. Since the Democrats controlled the house from ’06 to ’08 it appears you must have been.

          1. And Bush vetoed how many bills during that time?

            1. Several in ’06-08. The Farm Bill, SCHIP…

        2. Sorry I was not available to reply.

          As long as we are making broad strokes of the brush, I would point out that the politicians are different from the voters, especially in winner takes all elections.
          In all of those elections, you have loose groups of people making choices between two parties. So, trying to gauge the beliefs of the voters for the politicians they voted for is imperfect at best.

          And, as I said, just because it might be depressing, doesn’t make it untrue.

  18. Have I mentioned, today, how much I despise CNN? I should have known better than to read that mush.

    Thanks, Jesse.

    (I think Peronism is a pretty good descriptive term for what has been happening for the last ten years.)

    1. I was watching CNN this morning while running (I was waiting for the Three Stooges to come on), and I never watch cable news. They are so. Fucking. Stupid. that it makes my head hurt. Their echo chamber/bien pensant/cliche-trope commentary is just moronic beyond anything I can even handle. I quote:

      “When people are working, they pay taxes, and that stimulates the economy.”

      It’s beyond belief.

      1. +1

        And with one assumption (private sector work) and one omission (paying taxes) you have a tautology.

  19. “To be honest, the most socialist candidate in the 2008 election was Sarah Palin.”

    This is obviously true.

    ? As Alaska Governor, she presided over the Alaska Permanent Fund.

    ? She was the only one of the candidates to send her children to government-run schools

    ? Alaska sucks up a tidy profit on every tax dollar sent to Washington.

    1. re: the permanent fund, that’s been around longer than she was governor. I’ve been out of that state fifteen years and I got it back then.

      Your other points, yeah maybe, but I’m thinking the most socialist is the guy in office now.

  20. the comment thread on that story has like 900 comments. How come reason can’t put up numbers like that?

    The stupidity of progressives is infinite.

    1. And one has to look at the quality of said comments, too.

  21. Maybe the socialists are just saying Obama is not a socialist so people aren’t scared of voting for him, which is what they really want? Just a thought.

  22. Is he a fascist, or just an indirect kleptocrat?

    Why can’t he be both?

    1. He’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!

      Oh, and by the way, I admire your dedication to not using threaded comments, but you should give it up.

      1. “””He’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!””

        Classic!

    2. He’a also a racist.

  23. If the head of the Democratic Socialists of America had been named Rockwell Llewellyn, that would have made my day.

  24. “He’s the president whose main goal is to protect the wealth of the richest 5 percent of Americans.”

    Because, of course, central planning doesn’t usually produce a wealthy and powerful ruling class.

  25. sarah palin has a yeast infection. i hate her voice. i fucking hate her face. i hate her jackets.

  26. If one supports an income tax, one is a socialist.

    If one supports a progressive income tax, one is a socialist.

    If one supports a gift tax, one is a socialist.

    If one supports an estate tax, one is a socialist.

    If one supports an alternative minimum income tax, one is a socialist.

    If one supports unemployment taxes, one is a socialist.

    If one supports social security taxes, one is a socialist.

    If one supports medicare taxes, one is a socialist.

    If one supports medicare, one is a socialist.

    If one supports social security, one is a socialist.

    If one supports public education, one is a socialist.

    If one supports collective bargaining, one is a socialist.

    Really, it is not a difficult proposition, defining socialism. The confiscation of any private property, at the threat of incarceration or at gunpoint, i.e., by law, for any purpose, is socialism. Period.

    1. What if I support land value taxation?
      What about corporate value taxation?
      I could make a compelling case those are both user fees (and both are also naturally progressive).

      Or does supporting any government = socialism? If so, your argument is not compelling.

      1. “What if I support land value taxation?”

        That’s more of a Goergist belief, rather than a socialist belief.

    2. Assuming that’s true. How is it that this guy is bringing socialism to the US? According to that list, we’ve been socialist for decades. Something no republican as put an effort to end. Therefore almost all politicians we elect are socialist or socialist supporters.

      1. Yes, that is true. Lost in all of the noise of the Is Obama a Socialist debate is the historical sound of socialism.

        The Republican party was born red. It has always been the party of government, the party of state, the party of crony capitalism, the party of the income tax, the party of high tariffs, the party of “internal improvements”(see crony capitalism, protectionism, high tariffs, rent seeking and infrastructure expenditure) the party of rent seeking from Lincoln to Lincoln Chafee.

    3. By this logic 62% of Tea Party supports are socialist on the basis of support for Medicare and SS alone. Add up all the points and you’re probably in the 90% range.

      http://www.nytimes.com/interac…..html#tab=3

  27. This is the equivalent of CNN Obama damage control — c’mon folks…move along..nothing to see here. Of course, Obama’s a good guy, he’s not trying implement anything crazy like socialism. Look, socialists don’t even like him.

    Whatevah!!

  28. When I saw the dude was named Llewellyn, I first wondered what the fuck Lew Rockwell was doing on there.

  29. So socialists also apply purity tests and try to boot out socialists who don’t make their cut?

    Color me surprised.

    Not to be racist or anything …

  30. Is Obama a socaialist?

    Well let’s see.

    His policiies are based on the idea that government should be in the business of deliberatly redistributing wealth for (allegedly) egalitarian purposes.

    The Health Care bill being exhibit A.

    And that is socialism.

    So yeah – Obama is a socialist.

    1. His policiies are based on the idea that government should be in the business of deliberatly redistributing wealth for (allegedly) egalitarian purposes.

      Don’t forget about the Joe the Plumber conversation.

      Spread it around indeed.

    2. “”The Health Care bill being exhibit A.

      And that is socialism.””

      How is mandating people buy a commerical product from a non-government business socialism?

      If you really want to point to health care, what isn’t Mitt Romeny a socialist?

      1. He is.

      2. TrickyVic,

        You are wasting your time. You are correct but the idiots aren’t going to admit it. He’s a democrat and therefore anything he does is socialism. Period. Full STOP!

        Obama is nothing but a corporatist. He isn’t really that different than the last 3 presidents we have had.

        Yet something about him makes people lose their minds and say nonsensical shit.

        A socialist wouldn’t be doing everything he can to preserve the status quo on Wall Street. A socialist wouldn’t have bailed out the banks the way he did and not punished or nationalized them.

        But facts just don’t matter to certain people. It’s identity politics at it’s worst.

        1. CT-

          You know you can’t fit me in your strawman.

        2. Nut if Obama had done those things–nationalized banks, not coddled Wall Street–people might have twisted it into all sorts of hyperbolic smears.

          1. But*

            Honestly I believe Obama the person isn’t a corporate whore, at least he doesn’t possess an ideology which justifies and praises corporate whoredom. He just has to get the votes of people who are corporate whores, and has to compete with the real power (which includes advertising monies) that they’ve lavished on corporate America.

  31. From where I stand the differences between Sarah Pallin and Barack Obama are quantitative, not qualitative.

    Indeed the only difference for me is that I’d boff Pallin.

  32. The “S” word, like the “F” word, has been rendered virtually meaningless by overuse, usually by idiots.

    1. Sheeeeeiiiiit, I think “shit” and “fuck” are still pretty fucking useful.

      1. That’s BULLSHIT!

    2. Fuck you, shithead.

  33. I once advocated for the legalization of steroids to a pot smoking buddy of mine. And i even made the point that he wanted pot legal so why shouldn’t steroids be legal as well.

    He called me a socialist even though i was using standard libertarian arguments. I should also note he was a big democrat supporter.

    I think there might be a perception out there from certain segments of the left of what a socialist is vs what everyone else thinks a socialist is

  34. Don’t get me wrong. Palin is a socialist, but to call her a bigger socialist then Obama is a stretch.

    1. If Palin is a “socialist”, then the term really doesn’t mean anything anymore.

      1. You are a socialist for disagreeing with me.

      2. No, John. The Republican party was born red. From Lincoln to Lincoln Chafee (I know I used that line upthread-but I like it, what can I say?

  35. Oh, and by the way, I admire your dedication to not using threaded comments, but you should give it up.

    Fuck off, slaver.

    1. I WILL SELL YOUR CHILDREN TO THE MONGOLS

    2. Come on X everyone is doing it. You want to be cool don’t you?

    3. X, expanding government so that you can be the Balls Swinging Czar is socialist.

  36. “But socialism isn’t a failure! It’s just never been given a fair trial!”
    And it seems the people who claim that really do believe it.

    1. It looks good on paper.

  37. Actually i think Obama is more socialist then the socialist party.

    The ideal of socialism generally follows an end game ethic. it is ok to stomp on individuals so long as the utopia is ultimately achieved. Obama is following this.
    The Socialist party takes offense essentially to his methods he is employing toward that goal. Essentially abandoning the result based ethic and using a motive based ethic to critique Obama.

  38. How’s about we start with an actual definition and take it from there?

    SOCIALISM

    1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

    1. Your wasting your time. It’s like trying to convince the left what a real fascist is back when they were calling Bush jr. one.

  39. Since when did socialism require confiscation of private property? There is no difference in effect between outright taking your property, and regulating it. The only property right that matters is the right to use and control. Actual formal ownership is irrelevant.

    In some cases confiscation would be preferable: taking the benefits of your property for somebody else while leaving you to pay for taxes, upkeep, and tort liability is the worst of all possible worlds. Entities like the California Coastal Commission practice this kind of socialism.

  40. Someone can be a socialist who hasn’t yet succeeded in implementing his or her entire agenda.

    A socialist can be running a partly socialist, partly free market country, and doing their damndest to whittle away at the free market portions. Like GM, Chrysler, banks, etc.

    1. Yup. Just because you’re a failure doesn’t mean you’re not an advocate.

    2. “”Like GM, Chrysler, banks, etc.””

      They didn’t have a problem with the taxpayer bailing them out.

      1. What does that have to do with anything?

        1. After several soul-numbing drinks? Nothing!

  41. Come on X everyone is doing it.

    Not everyone.

  42. There is a volcano erupting in Iceland and all you can talk about is the difference between emos and goths?

  43. None of the politicians mentioned can hold a candle to real socialists like Leon Blum or Clem Attlee.

    If any of them are actually socialists, they’re not very good at being socialists.

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