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Beware the Red Menace!
April 24, 2009 5:34 PM   Subscribe

Rasmussen Reports published a poll recently which showed that 20% of respondants believe socialism is better than capitalism. Among those under 30, the percentage goes up to 33%. And apparently, some Republicans believe that percentage is actually much higher, as the Republican National Committee has called upon RNC chairman Mike Steele to start calling Democrats "Democrat Socialists". Steele, for his part, told Fox News, "We don't see this president so much as a socialist as we see him as a collectivist".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing (105 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw this on Maddow last night.
posted by Flex1970 at 5:39 PM on April 24, 2009


The alternative to socialism is toll roads. Nobody wants that.
posted by DU at 5:47 PM on April 24, 2009 [11 favorites]


How much does it cost to pave a cul-de-sac, anyway? I've always wondered how much people would be paying out of pocket if they were getting "tolled" on every street they turned on to.
posted by Decimask at 5:52 PM on April 24, 2009


What a buncha maroons.
posted by brundlefly at 5:55 PM on April 24, 2009


Christ. Does the RNC want to bury the Republican Party, or are they just morons?

I'm not terribly fond of socialism myself, but surely there's a better way to quell the socialist menace than doing the McCarthy shuffle. I think the Republican party needs to finally die, so that something non-laughable can take its place.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 5:58 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Socialism? I don't think that word means what you think it means.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:00 PM on April 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


Prediction: Republicans calling Democrats "socialists" and labelling their policies "socialist" will increase support for "socialism", because a lot of people like those policies and will start thinking "hey, this socialism shit sounds pretty good."
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:00 PM on April 24, 2009 [24 favorites]


I think the Republican party needs to finally die, so that something non-laughable can take its place.

I'm hoping the Democrats emerge as the right wing party I refuse to even consider voting for.
posted by DU at 6:01 PM on April 24, 2009 [36 favorites]


Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) recently declared that there are 17 socialists in the House.
posted by Poolio at 6:01 PM on April 24, 2009


The GOP is ringing its own death toll.
posted by kldickson at 6:10 PM on April 24, 2009


Quick, someone compose a song about the McCarthy shuffle a la 'Churlish Pule'
posted by kldickson at 6:11 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apparently the Republican Party has been murdered and its place taken by a pseudonymous troll from sci.math.
posted by facetious at 6:11 PM on April 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


The RNC added, "during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for Democrats: that of a giant Slor. Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you."
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 6:11 PM on April 24, 2009 [12 favorites]


Who can even name an actual American socialist that ever did anybody any good.

Besides Helen Keller. And, um, Mark Twain, basically. And Martin Luther King at the end of his life. Einstein. Obviously Woody Guthrie. Jack London. Kurt Vonnegut.

I guess Ed Asner too. Hm. And Lewis Black says he's a socialist. Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner.

Seriously, though, fuck those guys. Nobody likes them and everybody would be better off without them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:12 PM on April 24, 2009 [14 favorites]


Einstein is not an American socialist.

See? I COMPLETELY disproved your point. Socialism sucks!
posted by qvantamon at 6:15 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Speaking as one of MeFi's socialists (of the Trotskyist persuation), I think it's good that some people have gotten over fear of the "S-word." However, it is somewhere between idiocy and lunacy to call 95% of the Democratic Party "socialist." Obama isn't trying to replace capitalism, he's trying – desperately – to save it. FDR did so before him. The whole Democratic agenda is one of class collaboration (which always works out in favor of the capitalists) rather than the one-sided class war preferred by the modern Republicans, but it's not connected to the historical goals, aims or ideals of the socialist movement. Obama may need to loot the treasury to restore finance capital to viability, but he's not going to overthrow it and replace it with working class rule. Period.

But seriously, this isn't new. FDR was viciously assaulted as a "communist" during the 1930s, when what he objectively did was keep the labor upsurge of the era within certain boundaries. With labor flat on its back as it is today, it's hard to imagine that Obama will be called upon to do anything even remotely as far-reaching. For me, I'm just glad that "socialism" is no longer a hard taboo.
posted by graymouser at 6:15 PM on April 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


This is not surprising. Republicans call every single thing that the Democrats propose "socialism," with almost no regard to what it is. Improving schools? "Socialism." Fixing roads? "Socialism." The very programs that built this country's vast infrastructure? "Socialism." Tax breaks for the middle class? "Socialism." Opposition to torture? "Socialism." Every time a Democrat wants to spend money on anything at all, the Republicans loudly proclaim that this is "Socialism."

Meanwhile, the grand and terrible global examples of actual socialism that Republicans are actually afraid of (e.g. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) have begun to fade into memory. Young people simply have no way of really being afraid of SOCIALISM! the way that people were during the cold war. The Berlin Wall is something that they see, maybe, occasionally, in a textbook, if they're paying attention, and not something that they see on the news all the time or where they meet people who actually lived in the "great" socialist nations of the 20th century. And, to the extent that China might be an example of socialism, that is diluted in so many different ways that it just doesn't ring true (whether it really is or not).

It used to be that the word Socialsim (as well as the word Communism) conjured images of gulags, of secret prisons for political dissidents, bread lines, and oppression.

But now, the Republican party and its supporters in the media have taught and are continuing to teach Americans a new meaning for the term "Socialism." And what they're teaching us is that "Socialism" means any time the government actually spends money to help people rather than spending money to blow people up or torture a confession out of them.

Do I support actual socialism? No. Do I support the things that Republicans and Fox News spend all of their time screaming about and calling "Socialism?" You bet I do. If a Republican in the news or from a political soap box calls something "Socialism," you can bet it's a) not actually socialism, and b) probably a good idea.
posted by The World Famous at 6:16 PM on April 24, 2009 [23 favorites]


Hey Republican assholes: RAISING TAXES DOES *NOT* EQUAL SOCIALISM.
posted by mike3k at 6:19 PM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Every time a Democrat wants to spend money on anything at all, the Republicans loudly proclaim that this is "Socialism."

To be fair, that's not quite true. If a Democrat wants to spend LESS money on war, then that's also "socialism".
posted by DU at 6:20 PM on April 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


...the Republican National Committee has called upon RNC chairman Mike Steele to start calling Democrats "Democrat Socialists".

From their 'declaration':

WHEREAS, the American Heritage Dictionary defines socialism as a system of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy; and

Which fucking political party starts a declaration like that? Only ten year olds writing a paper for class refer to a damn dictionary in order to kick off what they're writing. These are grown up people with university degrees, hopefully a gram or two of political understanding, and maybe even have read The Communist Manifesto.

If these people were artists putting on an exhibition, even Henri Rousseau would be staring at their paintings, tut-tutting with the crudeness of their tableaux. Politique brut: Surprise! Elephant in a Tropical Storm.
posted by Sova at 6:21 PM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Point of accuracy: It is not the entire RNC behind this resolution, just the 23 signatories on the RNC resolution in the second link. They still need to convince the other 145, but it only takes 16 apparently to able to "convene an extraordinary meeting of the full committee" under RNC rules.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:22 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there any way that I can flag a whole political party and move on? Cuz really, these guys need to be taken to the gray.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:24 PM on April 24, 2009 [12 favorites]


Socialism? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

It seems to have become a very flexible word of late.
posted by Artw at 6:25 PM on April 24, 2009


These are grown up people with university degrees...

I was going to snarkily refute that with a link to Michele Bachmann, who no sane person would suspect of having attended anything but Conservative Talking Point Indoctrination Camp, but surprisingly she is degreed. One from Oral Roberts (cf Conservative Talking Point Indoctrination Camps), but two others not.
posted by DU at 6:29 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe now we can have the word "liberal" back.
posted by briank at 6:29 PM on April 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


The American Heritage Dictionary? You mean the same American Heritage Dictionary that I can search online for free?

SOCIALISM!!!
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:30 PM on April 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Let's not forget Saul Anuzis, Chair of the Republican Party of Michigan, third-runner up to be the Chair of the national RNC, who recently explained that since calling Democrats "socialists" is no longer effective, Republicans should call Democrats "fascists". Not because it's true or accurate, or anything, but because "fascist" is still frightening and thus effective.

In Anuzis's own words:
“We’ve so overused the word ‘socialism’ that it no longer has the negative connotation it had 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Fascism — everybody still thinks that’s a bad thing.”
Which just underscores a theme I've been peddling the last couple of months: the Republican Party is no longer a Party of serious people; its most prominent "leaders" consistently act like clowns, spewing over-heated and obviously untrue rhetoric ("The Democrats want the terrorists to win" being only the most ridiculous) in an attempt to keep their ever-shrinking base too distracted to see the failure on every front of the Republican Party.
posted by orthogonality at 6:34 PM on April 24, 2009 [14 favorites]


what's a collectivist? someone who likes collecting?
posted by geos at 6:37 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Related thread.
posted by homunculus at 6:37 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish I knew what the fuck socialism was, so I could be for or against it.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:38 PM on April 24, 2009


*head explodes in sheer disbelief*
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:39 PM on April 24, 2009


Ahh, if only it were that simple, DU. A Democrat who commences military action is a meddler, or a puppet of the UN and its New World Order (which term was popularized, entertainingly, by GHW Bush), or, uhh, Bill Clinton, infamous plo-chop recipient.
posted by Mister_A at 6:39 PM on April 24, 2009


Hey Republican assholes: RAISING TAXES DOES *NOT* EQUAL SOCIALISM.

True, the vast majority of the folks out having "tea parties" to protest higher taxes will be getting a lower tax bill under Obama. They can't even protest something that's actually happening.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:49 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love the term that I learned here recently: Imaginary Taxes on Daydreams. That's what these dupes are protesting! That and the fact that a black guy is President of the United States.
posted by Mister_A at 6:51 PM on April 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


yeah, the general tenor from the Sadly No blog is please please Republicans, start calling us names instead of offering an alternative.

Let's see how low your approval ratings -- and Senate membership -- can go.
posted by mrt at 6:52 PM on April 24, 2009


I'm convinced that the way to save this country from the idiocy of the republican party is to begin to boycott the advertisers of the crazy right wing media idiots (you know who I mean)... stop listening to Rush and Sean, stop buying from their advertisers, this will all disappear....
posted by HuronBob at 6:55 PM on April 24, 2009


Huh. Maybe they want people to waste energy on the refutation. I doubt that will happen much, because, well, ignoring that noise worked for Obama. Turnabout would be petty, but hilarious, & far more likely to get a response.

Who's the current lead for the Republican-Fucktard ticket in 2012 now?
posted by Pronoiac at 6:58 PM on April 24, 2009


The problem with your idea, HuronBob, is that then I would have nothing to talk about other than the NY Mets, and they are only good one day out of five. Still, your proposal merits consideration.
posted by Mister_A at 6:58 PM on April 24, 2009


So, "Maverick" is no-longer the drinking game then?
posted by -harlequin- at 7:04 PM on April 24, 2009


Actually, no republic that has called itself 'socialist' so far has ever actually been socialist. They've more properly been fascist.
posted by kldickson at 7:04 PM on April 24, 2009


The problem with socialism is that it is horrifically abusable.
posted by kldickson at 7:04 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was going to snarkily refute that with a link to Michele Bachmann, who no sane person would suspect of having attended anything but Conservative Talking Point Indoctrination Camp, but surprisingly she is degreed.

Oddly, I was reading a story in the IHT today, and it also involved Michele Bachmann. It seems as though flourescent lightbulbs also get her goat. So much so she feels the need to oppose them with a bill, cavorting in your legislative hallways under the glorious-prentious title of The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act. I rest your case.
posted by Sova at 7:06 PM on April 24, 2009


I'm Canadian. Canada is (by American standards) a socialist country. I guess that makes me a socialist.

My banks are strong, my house is worth what it was a few years ago, I'm workin', ...what the hell. It's good to be a socialist.
posted by Aetius Romulous at 7:07 PM on April 24, 2009 [6 favorites]


Republican National Committee has called upon RNC chairman Mike Steele to start calling Democrats "Democrat Socialists".

Does this mean Mike Steele will tear up his Social Security checks and MediCare card? It's funny how Repubs talk out of both sides of their mouth when it comes to Socialism.
posted by stbalbach at 7:08 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ha! That's their money!
posted by Mister_A at 7:11 PM on April 24, 2009


Major American political party reduced to name calling.

Just get out of the way!
posted by cogneuro at 7:12 PM on April 24, 2009


The problem with socialism is that it is horrifically abusable.
Thankfully, capitalism does not suffer from that flaw.
posted by verb at 7:18 PM on April 24, 2009 [28 favorites]


Socialism for public goods and capitalism for everything else. What's so hard about that? Canadians figured this out decades ago.
posted by ceribus peribus at 7:21 PM on April 24, 2009 [7 favorites]


This is what happens when you try labeling someone an Arab and/or a terrorist sympathizer and you get laughed off the stage. You call him a socialist, and get laughed out of the theater.

In the words of Kodos, or maybe it was Kang: The politics of failure have failed–it's time to make them work again!
posted by Mister_A at 7:21 PM on April 24, 2009


Canadians figured this out decades ago.

The rest of the industrialized world figured this out decades ago.
posted by enn at 7:22 PM on April 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Republican party has no aspirations of becoming the party of government (unless Obama implodes and it becomes theirs by default). They are appealing to their base, a man who loves his country so much he will secede from it, and who will torture anyone who disagrees with him to prevent us losing our democratic freedoms and becoming a banana republic ran by some Indokenyaesian communist fascist who took the christian white man's jerbs.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:27 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


The rest of the industrialized world figured this out decades ago.

Agreed; I stand corrected.
posted by ceribus peribus at 7:29 PM on April 24, 2009


You say that like it's a bad thing, East Manitoba Canadian Communiss!
posted by Mister_A at 7:30 PM on April 24, 2009


Canadians figured this out decades ago.

They're busily forgetting it as we speak.... some of us aren't so smug.
posted by klanawa at 7:31 PM on April 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think there are many republican who learned the wrong lesson from Katrina. They cast Obama to be who they believe was the real villain of that episode: the looter. They live in a world of haves and have-nots so they see the current Democratic leadership as the third leg of their artificial world-view, the gimme-what-you-gots.
posted by peeedro at 7:32 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


My crappy rhymez.

Eugene McCarthy, he hated Commies
Told everyone 'Turn in your mommies
If they've been sending information
To the Eastern Soviet nation
So don't be quiet and don't be scared
Just rat 'em out, 'cause we're prepared
To run a current through their head
Better dead than red!'

Doing the McCarthy shuffle
Is unproductive, but no one cares
Communism, Socialism
What's the difference? Don't split hairs -
Kill the Commies, kill 'em good!
Clean out every neighborhood!
HUAC to the rescue, don't you fear
Nothing but capitalism here!

Marx is rolling, six feet under
Watch America with wonder
As Michelle Bachmann, on TV
Says 'Some Congressmen are rather sketchy
Bet they're commies, tee hee hee!'
Her ignorance, it baffles me
The rightists voice their baseless dread:
'Better dead than red!'

Doing the McCarthy shuffle
Is unproductive, but no one cares
Communism, Socialism
What's the difference? Splitting hairs!
Put the Socialists in their place
For the good of the corporate race
Wall Street, Main Street, they're the same
'Cause good government's just a money game

The RNC is going nuts
Now they fear taxation cuts
Or at least that's what it seems to me
From viewing their recent Tea Party
Bloggers aptly and with snark
Tell the 'Net they've jumped the shark
The Rightists say, hanging by a thread:
'Better dead than red!'

Doing the McCarthy shuffle
Is unproductive, but who cares
Communism, Socialism
What's the difference? Splitting hairs!
Left-of-right-of-right-of-middle
Scares Republicans just a little
Any Dem that gets 'em pissed
They up and call a Socialist

Communism? Not so great
Let's be honest, much of the hate
Is justified - but Socialism
Isn't much like Communism
Stalin, Lenin, Ceausescu
Didn't get it - nor do you
If you smiled when McCarthy said
'Better dead than red!'

Doing the McCarthy shuffle
Is unproductive, but they don't care
Communism, Socialism
Just another baseless scare
History, philosophy
Have been forgotten, or so I see
Such lapse of knowledge and precision
Must be noted with derision.
posted by kldickson at 7:32 PM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


kldickson: The problem with socialism is that it is horrifically abusable.

The problem with capitalism is that it is horrifically abusable.
The problem with democracy is that it is horrifically abusable.
The problem with justice is that it is horrifically abusable.
The problem with freedom is that it is horrifically abusable.

Black is white, true is false, wrong is right, ignorance is strength.
posted by XMLicious at 7:34 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Definition. - Socialism is that policy or theory which aims at securing by the action of the central democratic authority a better distribution, and in due subordination thereunto a better production, of wealth than now prevails.
The Republicans are heading for a breakdown, they should pull themselves to pieces.
posted by hortense at 7:35 PM on April 24, 2009


American Heritage dictionary? Isn't that the one that leans descriptivist? I'd've guessed the Repubs would prefer Merriam-Webster. Maybe they're confusing AH-the-dictionary with AH-the-magazine.
posted by box at 7:37 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, yeah, everything's pretty abusable. You have a point.
posted by kldickson at 7:38 PM on April 24, 2009


"We don't see this president so much as a socialist as we see him as a collectivist".

I'm a fan of letting them keep saying "socialist socialist socialist" because nobody defines it anyway, and its value as a vague slur has already become seriously watered down from so many years of pouring it down our throats. (Keep it up, brainiacs.)

But really, "collectivist?"

That almost sounds like praise. Good luck with that.
posted by rokusan at 7:41 PM on April 24, 2009


Who's the current lead for the Republican-Fucktard ticket in 2012 now?

Still the Smiler chick. Nobody else has a base.
posted by rokusan at 7:42 PM on April 24, 2009


I even abuse myself.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:44 PM on April 24, 2009


American Heritage dictionary? Isn't that the one that leans descriptivist?
No, absolutely not. Just the opposite. The AHD was created because its founder was "appalled by the permissiveness of Webster's Third".

It's really no surprise that the Republican National Committee uses the American Heritage Dictionary. Well, except to the extent that it is a surprise that the Republican National Committee uses a dictionary.
posted by Flunkie at 7:48 PM on April 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


I have learned, sadly that even Peeps are abusable.
posted by oddman at 7:48 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nobody else has a base.

Huckabee was #2 at 20% and 270 delegates.

Palin of course is Huckabee + great appeal to Romney's support base which was largely the mountain and desert west.

I guess the 2012 ticket really is Palin's for the taking.
posted by mrt at 7:54 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Flunkie--I can never remember which one is which.
posted by box at 7:56 PM on April 24, 2009


Nobody else has a base.

You're right: they are on the way to destruction.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:56 PM on April 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


Republican Party: SOCIALISM!
Lisa: That's the cat, Grandpa.
Republican Party: SOCIALISM!
Lisa: That's Maggie, Grandpa.
Republican Party: SOCIALISM!
Lisa: That's the cat again, Grandpa.
posted by emjaybee at 7:58 PM on April 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


All your base are not privately owned but belong to the public trust.
posted by XMLicious at 7:58 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a proud owner of the means of production, I am shocked and horrified by these findings. Who'd think that as I've been sitting in my office high above the factory floor, watching my drones make washers and bolts as I listen to Liszt, that the Red Menace has begun to mobilize once more? It sends a chill through me, a powerful chill.

What world is this? What dastardly fate awaits me at the hands of the socialists? What hath cruel, cruel Fate wrought? Still, Fortuna's wheel turns, and he who is at top shall fall to the bottom. Yes, I know my catechism well. But mercy! Mercy! Would a John Galt come and save us -- lead us all unto that Gulch, that blessed Gulch -- stop Fortuna's wheel from its final turn!

OHHHH, I tear my clothing -- I weep, I weep -- I slash myself with the earthen pot like Job of old, withering in the ashes of my former glory. "Where is John Galt?" I cry! "WHERE IS JOHN GALT?"

Thither! They come! The Communists! Bolsheviks by the millions! Wicked men with wicked eyes; lusty women with throbbing gypsy thighs! See how they spit on our culture! See how they take our means of production! Ah, no! No! And their filthy-handed children!

Wait...wait, what's that? Say that again, please.

Mmmhmm. Oh, I see. So, you mean to say that by socialism, they mean a watered-down Keynesian compromise to placate labor and curry my favor?

Oh, well, that's a whole other story. Carry on, then, lads! Onwards: to "socialism"!
posted by ford and the prefects at 8:22 PM on April 24, 2009 [25 favorites]


Michele Bachmann is an object lesson in the dangers of gerrymandering. Democrats in Minnesota gerrymandered the state and created a seriously conservative district in order to keep other districts relatively safe.
posted by delmoi at 8:40 PM on April 24, 2009


If Palin loses even 1% of her porn-librarian cred to the ravages of time she's more fucked than her current status would suggest. Don't think for a second that shit didn't bring in more eyeballs than any of the aphasic blather she managed to regurgitate on the podium.
posted by docpops at 8:51 PM on April 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


Michele Bachmann is an object lesson in the dangers of gerrymandering.

Based on the makeup and darting eyes, I think you mean salamandering.
posted by rokusan at 9:03 PM on April 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey! Bachmann is doing more good for Democratic Farm-Labor than a hundred Paul Wellstones.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:11 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't help thinking how this "socialist" rhetoric by the GOP is just completely tone deaf to the youth vote, who are too young to have any visceral feelings about the Cold War/McCarthyite/Nixonian worldview that still pervades the culture of the Republican leadership. On some level, the GOP is not just losing the youth vote because they are so far right, but because they speak in a political lingo that might as well be Middle English or late-period Sumerian. When the GOP denounced Obama because he knew a member of the Weathermen, lots of youth voters quizzically wondered why the GOP wanted to make an issue of Obama's friendship with Al Roker. When the GOP just recently denounced President Obama for aspiring to lead a "banana republic," kids scratched their heads and puzzled why the GOP wanted to compare the President to a clothing store.
posted by jonp72 at 9:14 PM on April 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Rich uncle Pennybags weighs in on the discussion.
posted by nudar at 9:28 PM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Black is white, true is false, wrong is right, ignorance is strength.

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
it's a mixed up muddled up shook up world
except for Lola


Lola 2012!
posted by Sailormom at 9:32 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess the 2012 ticket really is Palin's for the taking.

Beware of populists like Palin, Huckabee and Ron Paul. They spring up like Hitlers when times are tough.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:35 PM on April 24, 2009


> I can't help thinking how this "socialist" rhetoric by the GOP is just completely tone deaf to the youth vote, who are too young to have any visceral feelings about the Cold War/McCarthyite/Nixonian worldview that still pervades the culture of the Republican leadership.
No kidding. "Soviet Russia" ceased to exist in 1991. In a couple of years (well, honestly, right now), the list of worldview items profs will be using to relate to their fresh undergrads will include: "There has never been a USSR," which goes along with "The Simpsons has always been on TV."

The demographic Michael Steele was trying to play to months ago with his hippity-hoppity schtick has no idea what the f*** communism and socialism are, at least not in the same way. Communists have never been a credible threat in their lifetimes--the single biggest instance they know of is a trading partner that makes all their tech gadgets.

Seriously, the visible faces of the "Communist threat" are three things right now: a (dying) guy on an island who likes cigars and has a bigass beard, a guy in South America with oil who shaves and gives the president weird books*, and the dude on my Gap T-Shirt.

* Hugo Chavez is the reason I put "Communist Threat" in quotes.

And North Korea notwithstanding.

posted by Decimask at 9:48 PM on April 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dude, kids know what communists are. Where do you think they get their shoes?
posted by oddman at 10:15 PM on April 24, 2009


Beware of populists like Palin, Huckabee and Ron Paul. They spring up like Hitlers when times are tough.

Nonsense! It can't happen here!
posted by dersins at 10:47 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Decimask, realistically, there was no Soviet Union for people who were too young to remember much of it. I don't remember when the Soviet Union dissolved, and I was born in 1988.
posted by kldickson at 11:30 PM on April 24, 2009


Also, I hate the faux patriotism of 'So blah blah blah you're not going to die for our country for the people who died for you who got you freedom from England who get their legs hacked off you commie scum'. Those same assholes are the ones who are bigoted against anything that's not fundie white male.
posted by kldickson at 11:32 PM on April 24, 2009


Bloody military-worshipping idiots.
posted by kldickson at 11:33 PM on April 24, 2009


I wonder if there are more communist politicians amongst America's allies than amongst America's enemies nowadays.
posted by XMLicious at 11:54 PM on April 24, 2009


Who's the current lead for the Republican-Fucktard ticket in 2012 now?


The GOP's version of Anakin Skywalker would be Congressman Aaron Schock(R-Il 18th).
Republicans probably will have nothing to offer in 2010 or 2012, but they're going to invest a lot in this kid, watch.
posted by Flex1970 at 12:18 AM on April 25, 2009


I think the socialism label will fail as a tactic because of the absence of the USSR as its defining characteristic - most people using it grew up when the USSR was a real threat. Many voters didn't. If people are thinking of Europe (even the cartoon sclerotic strike-ridden Europe that Republicans call 'France') when they hear the word socialism they aren't going to have such a negative reaction.

CUT TO: Audrey Tautou on a French high-speed train

TAUTOU: Come on in! The socialism's lovely!
posted by athenian at 1:00 AM on April 25, 2009


No kidding, Astro Zombie. Bachmann's 2008 opponent, El Tinklenberg, just donated $250,000 to the DCCC because he raised so much money thanks to her "un-American" comments at the end of the campaign that he simply didn't have time to spend it all. Had he only gotten that huge influx of cash somewhat earlier, he might have won (he lost 46-43).

Also, delmoi, MN's most recent redistricting plan was actually drawn up by a judge, not by the Democrats.
posted by DavidNYC at 2:17 AM on April 25, 2009


The GOP's version of Anakin Skywalker would be Congressman Aaron Schock(R-Il 18th).
Republicans probably will have nothing to offer in 2010 or 2012, but they're going to invest a lot in this kid, watch.

-Flex1970

Hmm. So you're saying that what we need then is a good Republican Gay Scandal to bring him down?

It'll be a tough job, but I'm willing to take one for the team.
posted by ChutneyFerret at 2:56 AM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Canadians figured this out decades ago.

They're busily forgetting it as we speak.... some of us aren't so smug.


There is a consistent pattern in Canadian politics of the Conservative Reform Alliance Party (CRAP) and the Pro-Cons before them of studying failed American Conservative political experiments and adopting exactly the worst parts of those experiments as party platforms.

I have never been able to figure out why there this is five year lag.
posted by srboisvert at 3:31 AM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Minority Leader John Boehner (from Flex1970's link at the top):

"I think if you look at the first one hundred days, you can sum it up pretty simply. Spending, taxing, borrowing..."

Dude. That's called government. You can sum up every President ever like that.
posted by djgh at 3:33 AM on April 25, 2009


*snigger*. Boner! Ha!
posted by djgh at 3:34 AM on April 25, 2009


Who can even name an actual American socialist that ever did anybody any good.

Nina Hartley -- the American socialist that launched a thousand orgasms.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:38 AM on April 25, 2009


Nina Hartley -- the American socialist that launched a thousand orgasms.

Great, now we've got the fucking Sparts involved...

double entendre intentional
posted by graymouser at 4:06 AM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


The problem that the Republicans have is that they just don't have anything to add to the discussion. They've got about four things in their bag of tricks and those are just not very relevant anymore. Their answer to everything is either cut taxes, cut regulations on businesses, fight a war or start a culture war and for obvious reasons, none of those are selling very well lately.
posted by octothorpe at 4:08 AM on April 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Um, kldickson, I think you mean Joseph McCarthy. Gene was, by current definitions, pretty much a socialist.
posted by nax at 5:07 AM on April 25, 2009


Do Republicans do anything other than be terrified of shit?
posted by Legomancer at 6:30 AM on April 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


They attempt to make others terrified of shit.
posted by gman at 7:04 AM on April 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


re: canada, good governance and the state of play, viz...

akerlof & shiller say: "Every talented player understands the importance of a strong referee... An understanding of animal spirits — the human psychology and culture at the heart of economic activity — confirms the need for restoring the role of regulators as guiding hands in a healthy, productive free-enterprise system. History — including recent history — shows that without regulation, animal spirits will drive economic activity to extremes."

also see...
Using Anti-Trust Law to Break Up Banks that are Too Big to Fail
I have said that there is no single villain in this crisis, no one person, not one change in the law, etc., that caused this. It was a combination of things. But as I think about it more and more, I'm not so sure. The reason? According to the story I've been telling about why the crisis happened, there were incentive failures at just about every step in the process... it could have been stopped at any one of these steps. Had anyone at any one of the steps from the sale of the house to the complex securities traded in the shadow banking system said no, we're not doing that, the money could not have kept flowing through the system and blowing up... instead, the brokers simply passed the contracts along, sliced and diced as necessary, to the next person...

But what should we make of the fact that every single step in the process is compromised? Every market that was supposed to self-regulate failed? ... What are the chances that, on their own, independently, each and every step in the chain would have been subject to a market failure that just happened to let the bubble keep inflating?

So more and more I'm starting to think there may be a single explanation after all, that the regulators of these markets were captured by powerful forces that wanted the game to continue... I've talked about why ideology may have eroded the will of regulators, but their will is partly a function of their power. So long as we allow huge, clearly over-sized financial institutions to exist, this problem will potentially be present. Therefore, if the current anti-trust legislation is adequate to the task, then yes, let's give regulators the power to enforce it, and ensure we have people in place with the will to do so.
and btw...
The Unlikely Revolutionary - "Long-held assumptions about the efficacy of markets and the role of government in economic life have been under intense scrutiny... perhaps most famously in ur-free market guru and former Chair of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan's congressional mea culpa last fall... 'In essence, everything is up for grabs,' Martin Wolf, a former World Bank economist who is now the chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, says. 'It's like asking, in a way, in 1932, two years after the crisis really hit, what was the Great Depression going to mean? The answer, we now know, is that the Great Depression changed everything, it ended us up in a completely different intellectual world, political world, social world.' " [profile of simon johnson; previously 1 2]
posted by kliuless at 7:14 AM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bachmann.

People, I'm sorry. Minnesota isn't really like that. That's not us. The real Minnesota elected Al Franken. It's the fundie colonists who gave us Bachmann and Coleman, and we really wish they'd go back to the southern plains to whither and die with the rest of their kind in southwestern 3rd of the state.

When I was growing up in and around St. Cloud, I NEVER met these people. Now, they're everywhere, sucking the life out of the place.
posted by saysthis at 7:48 AM on April 25, 2009


*snigger*. Boner! Ha!

It's pronounced B-A-Yner.
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM on April 25, 2009


If the Democrats really were "socalist" in the scary, cold-war way that they're trying to evoke, they would have already exiled these dudes for the crime of being satirists.

Or else they would have given them a medal, since they're apparently satirizing Republican bourgeoisie class interests.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:51 AM on April 25, 2009


It's going to be this guy, btw: Jon Huntsman Jr.
posted by thecaddy at 12:00 PM on April 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


American Heritage dictionary?
no. It is the great 1911 Britannica! hat tip to languagehat for the link
posted by hortense at 8:08 PM on May 7, 2009


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