Apparently John McCain is now using the "S" word to describe Barack Obama's social policies:
"At least in Europe, the socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are upfront about their objectives," the Arizona senator said in his radio address. "They use real numbers and honest language. And we should demand equal candor from Sen. Obama. Raising taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it's just another government giveaway."
Obama a socialist? I wish! More specifically, I'd be thrilled with some version of the "European socialism" that McCain is comparing Obama's policies to -- Universal health care, a strong social safety net, universal and quality public education. Socialism? Yes, please!
I had the same reaction the other night at the debate when McCain and Obama were arguing healthcare. McCain said something along the lines of: "If you like Canada and Great Britian's health care, you'll love Obama!" At which point I literally shouted at the screen: "I would love a Canadian or British system! Please let me have one!" I don't understand how these kinds of things are successful as attacks.
Of course, the way this works is that we get free association mash-ups like this: Liberalism=> Socialism=> Marxism=> Communism, THEREFORE Barack Obama's a Communist! Oh my God! Get the torches and pitchforks! That fact that this is nonsense doesn't ever enter the picture.
Bear in mind, if you will, that these attacks are taking place at the same time as, under a Republican administraiton, with the support of the very candidate throwing around the word "socialism" as an epithet, we are engaged in a massive, if probably temporary, nationalization of the means of production (in the sense that the Banking industry is one of the major engines of our economy), the main beneficiaries of which are likely to be the extremely wealthy and, if we're lucky a few over-extended homeowners.
Socialism, it seems, is ok with McCain as long as it's welfare for the rich. The rest of us should just have faith in the Power Of The Market. Socialism? I wish!