One Dumb Socialist

That old 1998 Obama clip, the one where he says, “I actually believe in redistribution,” was pushed into the spotlight by Romney friend and media ally Matt Drudge, then endlessly promoted by Romney friend and media ally Fox “News,” and then, of course, exploited by Romney and Ryan on the stump.

Romney said on Wednesday that what Obama is proposing is unlike anything Americans have seen:

He really believes in what I’ll call a government-centered society. I know there are some who believe that if you simply take from some and give to others, then we’ll all be better off. It’s known as redistribution. It’s never been a characteristic of America. … I believe the way to lift people and help people have higher incomes is not to take from some and give to others, but to create wealth for all of us.

Now, obviously Romney is wrong about America in this case (and in nearly every case). Income redistribution is theoretically present in our federal tax code, in which higher income folks are supposed to be required to pay at higher rates than the middle class and poor (this is not the place to argue why that mostly isn’t true, however).

And our system of entitlements, our hole-ridden safety net, is also an example of how we as a people—except for Tea Party extremists—have agreed that it is better for all of us if we means-test benefits like food stamps and health care—paid for by all taxpayers—and give them only to folks who need them.

But a larger point needs to be made—again and again—about the dishonesty of right-wingers, including right-wing media like Fox, whose “fair and balanced” brand is the butt of many jokes, but whose dishonesty is quite lucrative and thus quite resistant to criticism.

That dishonesty is manifest in the fact that today I finally saw on television—MSNBC, this morning, for instance—the entire context of Obama’s remark. And no surprise, far from sounding like a European socialist, Obama comes off sounding like a, well, like a moderate Republican of old, the kind teapartiers have hunted into extinction:

I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.  How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities.

“Marketplace”? “Innovation at the local level”? “Tailored to particular communities”? Wow! Obama may be one of the dumbest socialists who ever lived.

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6 Comments

  1. Yellow Dog

     /  September 20, 2012

    Not to worry. They are selfish pricks and they’re losing.

    As they should. Romney cannot recover from Romney. You know, my dad’s been dead for 25 years, he was a Democrat and he used to say, “if you want to beat the Republicans, just let ’em talk. Like a bad horse, just give them “their head” and they’ll beat themselves.” He was right.

    One girl at work told me yesterday (and I don’t consider her political at all…..which makes her opinion valuable to me because she’s one of those people who just does not pay attention to the day in and day out of politics)….she said, “You know what? Obama ought to be paying this Romney guy for helping him in this election…”.

    Like I said, just let ’em talk. Woof!!

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  2. Being a chronic worrier, I will worry until all votes have been counted in Florida. I suffered through that long night as one still sympathetic to Republicans and won’t sleep comfortably until Mittens has packed up his shit and headed to San Diego to oversee construction of his retirement mansion on the beach.

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  3. ansonburlingame

     /  September 20, 2012

    Some proposed in the midst of the debt ceiling crisis to use means testing as a way to attempt to limit Medicard expenses in the further. The Democratic leadership rejected it out of hand WHY??????

    I would suggest that some folks do NOT need Medicare, at least for the usual old age matters. I would also suggest that NO ONE should have a right to life extension regardless of the cost.

    Anson

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  4. IF the United States of America were in a fighting war now, a war in which the sons and daughters of both Democrats AND Republicans were fighting and dying for the nation, this political contest would have a whole different flavor, a whole different cast to it. Because then, you see, we would gut-sense that we are all fighting for our survival as one tribe against an outside enemy. That’s the way it was in WW II. The poor man’s son fought alongside the rich man’s son, John F. Kennedy, the millionaire’s son, captained a PT boat in the Pacific.

    What has changed? Our tribal identity has changed. The all-volunteer force is, in effect, a mercenary force and the more-wealthy class, yes class, has no more skin in that game. We are in political class warfare, a class warfare that is not of the Democrats’ making. It is class warfare derived from the rebellion of the moneyed-class from collective responsibility as a nation for the common good. They reject responsibility for the less-intelligent among us, for the less-healthy and for the less-lucky. They are bent on exploiting for all it’s worth the head-start that fortune, genes and providence has given them, and their leader, silver spoon firmly in mouth, is leading them on against the enemy, “redistribution”. Fine. If Mitt Romney wins this election, picture Gilligan’s Island populated entirely by Thurston Howells and Loveys, no Gilligan, no Mary-Ann, no Professor, no Skipper. Redistribution? Watching the millionaires taking care of themselves won’t last out the season. Get the hook!

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  5. I agree with you that really not so long ago, most Republicans and Democrats agreed that some management of the income and wealth distribution was appropriate. I think they disagreed on degree of any redistribution, but not the concept.

    Today, most of the GOP seems to suggest that the distribution of income and wealth, that has become increasingly skewed is God given and not to be managed.

    It’s unfortunate.

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