Sticks and Stones

Ken AshfordObama OppositionLeave a Comment

Picture-4 Huckabee called Obama a socialist yesterday.  Sen. DeMint (R-S.C.) called Obama a socialist today.  And of course, calling Obama a "socialist" was S.O.P. during the election season. (Both Palin and McCain invoked the phrase).

Socialism is, of course, a political theory and economic system in which the collective (i.e., the government) owns industry (the means of production) and capital.

Now when Republicans call Obama a "socialist", it is typically at rallies and conventions where conservatives gather.  It's red meat; a crowd-pleaser… for that crowd. 

But it is hyperbolic rhetoric, which is a nice way of saying that it is not literally true.  And in its attempt to "rebrand" the GOP party, how wise is it to cast the Republican Party's message as something which is demonstrably false?. 

It seems like just screaming "socialism!" at every turn probably isn't the best way back to power.  It will fare no better than screaming "unpatriotic" at those who opposed the Iraq War.

There are legitimate complaints to be uttered about Obama's policies.  I myself can think of a few, without resorting to silly breathless sky-is-falling rhetoric. 

Why can't the loyal opposition be more serious?  Why must they be so tone deak to those outside the farthest-right fringe?  And why can't they realize that Obama already won the 2008 populist revolution?

Pictured above: an actual bumper sticker being sold at the CPAC convention this week