Michael Gaynor
Call a socialist a socialist, Laura Ingraham
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By Michael Gaynor
February 16, 2010

Obama is MUCH more than "a politician in community organizers' clothing." He is the radical, highly polished and presentable instrument of the likes of ACORN, SEIU and La Raza skillfuly put in the White House by them to "fundamentally change" America.

With respect to President Obama's socialist history, "Allahpundit," in "Was Obama a member of the 'New Party'?" (http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/08/was-obama-a-member-of-the-new-party/), sarcastically wrote:

"Doubtless Obama will claim that it was the union aspect that drew him to it or, failing that, that it was a brief youthful flirtation (he was, er, 35 at the time) with a fringier party than he ultimately felt comfortable with. Needless to say, I know I speak for all of us in denouncing this very racist attempt to question him on his party affiliations the way Sarah Palin was questioned on hers. After all, it's not like any of The One's other political associations have been worrisomely fringe.

"The best part of this, assuming that it trickles up the media food chain and gets put to one of Obama's spokesmen, will be trying to reconcile the inevitable profession of ignorance about the New Party's agenda with David Brooks's assertions about how 'socially perceptive' Obama is. Truly, except for Ayers's terrorist background, Wright's sermons, Pfleger's race-baiting, and the NP, his awareness of what's going on around him is laser sharp."

Likewise, Michelle Malkin dealt with Obama's socialist bent with wit, in "Obama: I'm not a socialist, I just play one on TV" (March 9, 2009) (http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/09/obama-im-not-a-socialist-i-just-play-one-on-tv/): "Comedy gold to kick off a new week of market turmoil and Treasury Department incompetence: Barack Obama phoned up the New York Times to clarify, uh, that he's not really a socialist because an unnamed former administration (here, Barry, let me help you: Bush the pre-socializer) poured billions of tax dollars into failing business, so, uh, he didn't start it. He's not a socialist. He just plays one on TV."

In contrast, Laura Ingraham does not want to say whether she believes Obama is a socialist.

The phrase "call a spade a spade" seems to have become a victim of political correctness, but calling President Obama a socialist is simply telling it like it is (which currently is not on the political correct police's verbal crimes list).

Wikipedia:

"To 'call a spade a spade' is to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature....

"The phrase predates the use of the word 'spade' as an ethnic slur against African-Americans, which was not recorded until 1928; however, in contemporary U.S. society, the idiom is often avoided due to potential confusion with the slur."

Ms. Ingraham, Power to the People, p. 261: "All of this genetic engineering should remind us of Winston Churchill's warning of 'a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.' It should sound eerily similar to the ugliest parts of our recent past. But apparently we're rapidly forgetting what we should have learned from the terrible 'scientific' atrocities of the last century, when Communism ('scientific socialism') tried to make a new man on 'pro-choice' grounds."

Ms. Ingraham was right about that, but she's hesitant to call adamantly "pro choice" Obama a socialist (scientific or otherwise).

When Bill O'Reilly asked Ms. Ingraham on "The O'Reilly Factor" whether she thinks President Obama is a socialist, the normally plain spoken Ms. Ingraham did not answer yes, no or I don't know. Instead, she explained (repeatedly as O'Reilly pressed his question) that it was a better strategy to fight Obama policies without giving Obama the opportunity to rail against name-calling and "meanness."

That approach didn't work out well in 2008 and won't work now. The truth about Obama needs to be exposed and failing to show that Obama fooled the voters (with the help of the liberal media establishment) about himself helps Obama. Even as Obama's presidential approval rating plummeted, his personal popularity rating has remained high. If Americans knew the whole story, it would not.

Ms. Ingraham should have pointed out that there is one acknowledged socialist in the United States Senate (Bernard Sanders of Vermont) and non-partisan National Journal ranked Obama the most "liberal" United States Senator. That's right: Obama ranked as even more "liberal" than Senator Sanders the Socialist.

Instead, Ms. Ingraham seemed to follow the unsuccessful strategy advocated by S.E. Cupp in "Is Obama A Socialist? Not if You Ask One" (September 23, 2008) (www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=28645).

Ms. Cupp:

"Barack Obama, the pious, messianic hero of the Left, is thrice denied by the socialist movement itself. Some say his proposals are in fact bad for working America, and others suggest he is just as much a dirty capitalist as the rest of us.

"Rea Hederman, assistant director at the Heritage Foundation's center for data analysis, adroitly draws our attention to the real problem with Obama's proposals, specifically his tax plan:

'I wouldn't call the plan socialist. I have concerns anytime that the tax code is made more complex or used as a tool for social policy. Ideally, the tax code should be made as efficient as possible to maximize economic growth and minimize the distortions that arise from taxation.'

"We may want to switch gears as the final weeks of this election tick on. Socialism is just a red herring...we don't have to go nearly that far to criticize the senator's many flawed proposals, which are anemic, impractical, naοve, and pure, unadulterated politics. But not socialist.

"Indeed, let's forget about the S-word. The hope and change promises of the Obama campaign are the real weak spots, as once again he reveals himself to be nothing more than a politician in community organizers' clothing."

That's untrue AND bad strategy.

Obama is MUCH more than "a politician in community organizers' clothing." He is the radical, highly polished and presentable instrument of the likes of ACORN, SEIU and La Raza skillfuly put in the White House by them to "fundamentally change" America.

Obama's encounter with "Joe the Plumber" on October 12, 2008 and the subsequent attempts to discredit "Joe" showed how scared of being tarred with the S word (socialist) Obama is.

On October 21, 2008 (fittingly, the day The New York Times killed an Obama/ACORN expose, fearing it could be an election game changer), then Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was told by CNN reporter Drew Griffin noted that "socialism" has "come up on the campaign trail" and asked, "is Barack Obama a socialist?."

Mrs. Palin responded: "I'm not going to call him a socialist but as Joe the plumber has suggested, in fact, he came right out and said it, it sounds like socialism to him and he speaks for so many Americans who are quite concerned now after hearing finally what Barack Obama's true intentions are with his tax and economic plan."

Ms. Ingraham did not even say that much.

ThinkProgress commented (thinkprogress.org/2008/10/21/palin-obama-socialist/): "Palin is trying to have it both ways — trying to take the high road in saying she won't call Obama a 'socialist' and at the same time, calling his policies 'socialism,' all while hiding behind 'Joe the plumber.' Indeed, just hours before her CNN interview, Palin told Glenn Beck, referring to Obama's tax policy, 'We cannot flirt with this and now is not the time to experiment with, as Joe the plumber calls it, socialism.'"

"Call a spade a spade" "Joe" was right, and conservatives should not be reluctant to say so as well as refer to "Joe."

ThinkProgress:

"In fact, by definition, a 'socialist' is 'one who advocates or practices socialism,' which is exactly what Palin has been accusing Obama of for the last week:

— October 17: 'Sen. Obama said that he wants to spread the wealth and he wants government to take your money and decide how to best to redistribute it according to his priorities...Joe [the plumber] suggested that sounded a little bit like socialism.'

— October 19: 'Friends, now is no time to experiment with socialism. To me our opponent's plan sounds more like big government, which is the problem."

— October 20: 'There are socialist principles to [Obama's tax plan], yes.'"

Even though Ms. Cupp warned against calling Obama a socialist, her article strongly suggests that her reason was based on strategy, not reality.

Ms. Cupp:

"There are all kinds of anecdotal ties between Barack Obama and socialism, and some are fairly compelling. Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media pointed out that, for example, Obama was endorsed in 1996 by the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America for Illinois state senate. He eulogized Saul Mendelson, a well-known socialist activist. And he campaigned for socialist senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

"And then there are the suggestions that his versions of universal health care and other nationalizing projects are essentially socialist projects. While speaking recently at Columbia University, he spoke of a national volunteer program that many have called socialist in nature.

"And his tax plan, whereby he'd raise taxes for the richest 5% and redistribute that income to the rest of the country, has also earned focused allegations of socialism. Bill O'Reilly told Obama to his face it was socialist during their much-discussed interview.

"Indeed, 'socialist' has become one of the many dirty words of this exceedingly loquacious campaign season, and it's an arguably useful one, inciting the kind of fear we saw during the McCarthy hearings and imaginably back in a little town called Salem a couple centuries earlier.

"But if we look more closely at Barack Obama's proposals, do they really make him a socialist? Well, not if you ask one. Hold on, though — this shouldn't be reassuring to the moderate left, undecideds or independents. He's much, much worse."

Three admitted socialists invoked by Ms. Cupp tried to provide some political cover for Obama, but failed to show that Obama's political philosophy is not socialist.

Greg Pason, National Secretary of the Socialist Party USA:

"Barack Obama's programs are not socialist. The vast majority of his proposals are anti-worker (or he might say 'pro-business'). His health care proposals are more to save the for-profit insurance industry and do not have the goal of ending for-profit insurance. He has refused to support a Senate version of HR676, which would create a single-payer program (not socialist but much better than we have, and [which has] the support of labor and community organizations across the US). Many of his other economic proposals are pro-corporate.

"A socialist program (even a reformist one) would not be a program that props up capitalism when it fails, but one that transforms the economy. None of Senator Obama's proposals do that. Senator Obama's tax plan is regressive and even less 'progressive' than programs put forward under such conservative administrations like the one of Richard Nixon."

Obama is a politically astute and ambitious Far Left politician, not an ideologue. That does NOT mean that socialism is not his ideology. The video of a younger Obama declaring his preference for a single-payer program shows where his heart is — with socialism. His refusal to support a Senate version of HR676 reflects his recognition of the reality that supporting it could have killed his presidential ambition.

F.N. Brill, National Secretary of the World Socialist Party (US): "Obama is as much a socialist as the Pope is an atheist. Income redistribution isn't a socialist act. It might aid in ameliorating income disparities within a capitalist economy for a limited time. But the logic of capitalism demands the rich grow richer (more capitalization is needed) and the poor grow poorer (their work creates the needed capital used by the rich)."

Income redistribution IS socialist, as the phrase "for each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" indicates.

Wikipedia:

"The complete paragraph containing Marx's statement of the creed in the 'Critique of the Gotha Program' is as follows:

In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly — only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!

"Although Marx is popularly thought of as the originator of the phrase, the slogan was common to the socialist movement and was first used by Louis Blanc in 1840, in 'The organization of work,' as a revision of a quote by the utopian socialist Henri de Saint Simon, who claimed that each should be rewarded according to how much he works...."

David Schaich, Socialist Party Campaign Clearinghouse Coordinator: "The idea that Barack Obama is socialist, or quasi-socialist, or semi-socialist, or socialist-light, or anything of the sort, is far-right nonsense. Barack Obama, like John McCain, is very much a 'politician as usual,' fully committed to the continuation of the capitalist system and the expansion of its empire."

Wittily worded nonsense! Obama's actions since the Massachusetts Miracle (Scott Brown's election to the United States Senate as the 41st Republican Senator) show that Obama is intent upon doing what SEIU boss and most frequent White House visitor Andy Stern expects him to do — implement Obamacare — if politically possible.

An Internet search can find the following quotes attributed to Louisiana "Kingfish" Huey Long:

"If fascism ever came to the United States, it would be wrapped in an American flag."

"If fascism comes to America, it would be on a program of Americanism."

"Sure, only here they'll call it anti-fascism." (when asked if fascism could ever come to America)

Historian T. Harry Wiliams, in his biography titled Huey Long published in 1969, wrote (p. 760): "...Huey...exulted in the use of power, and he had erected in Louisiana a power structure that had no counterpart in any other state. He sometimes took shortcuts to attain his ends and seemed to scorn the slow processes of democracy. He did not have an ideology — unless Share Our Wealth was such — but he was supposed to have uttered various ominous fascistic predictions. Widely and fearfully quoted was one that in fact he never made: "When the United States gets fascism it will call it anti-fascism."

Whether or not Long ever said, in essence, that fascist would camouflage itself as its oppose in order to "fundamentally transform" America, it is sensible thought.

Likewise, it is sensible to wonder whether socialists are surreptitiously seeking to socialize America on a program presented as "Americanism."

President Obama recently said that he is not an ideologue.

I agree. "Ideologue" is defined as "an impractical idealist" and "an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology." Obama is not impractical or blind.

That's DOESN'T mean that Obama isn't an idealist with a particular ideology.

He is.

Obama is a skilled, word-sensitive politician who opted to identify himself as a Christian and longs to be thought of as a pragmatist, not a socialist, and a Christian, not an atheist (or Muslim).

From Promise to Power, by David Mendell, pp. 76-77 (2007):

"[Beginning in Chicago in the 1980s] Obama evolved from a questioner of religion to a practicing Christian. Along his Senate campaign trail, Obama would never fail to carry his Christian Bible. He would place it beside him, in the small compartment in the passenger side door of the SUV, so he could refer to it often. When I first questioned Obama about his religious faith and ever-present Bible in October 2004, he was uncharacteristically short in his responses. Obama, without fail, would mention his church and his Christian faith when he was campaigning in black churches and more socially conservative downstate Illinois communities. "But in speaking to a reporter, it seemed that he referred to his Bible [less often]. 'It's a great book and contains a lot of wisdom,' he said simply. He said he was drawn to Christianity because its main tenet of altruism and selflessness coincided with his own philosophies. His Christianity would be well received among blacks and some rural whites."

Does that call to mind Bill Clinton showing up at a Baptist church carrying a really big bible after losing a gubernatorial re-election race? Clinton's not the only one with savvy political instincts (and he did not turn to Rev. Jeremiah A. ("God damn America") Wright, Jr.).

The "S word" (socialist) is a word that President Obama and ACORN understandably avoid, even though it accurately identified them.

See Obama's Dreams from My Father, pp. 100-01: "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout [at Occidental College],I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.The foreign students.The Chicanos.The Marxist Professors...."

For a look at Obama's socialist relationships after college, go to http://nalert.blogspot.com/2008/02/obamas-socialist-relationships.html. The article, posted by Steve Bartin on February 23, 3008, concluded:

"...the Chicago Democratic Socialists view Obama's views 'well within the mainstream of European social democracy.' Why did Barack Obama earn the affection of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America? How often did Barack Obama meet with Chicago DSA? Is Obama a member of the Chicago DSA? Does Obama want to turn America into a European style socialist democracy?

"When Vermont Congressman, self-described socialist Bernie Sanders, decided he'd run for Senate: Obama came to Vermont to endorse him. Obama could have endorsed the logical candidate the slated Democratic candidate, but he choose socialist Bernie Sanders. Here's some of the quotes from the endorsement: Obama calls Bernie Sanders an 'outstanding candidate,'Obama says 'things can change,'Obama said 'I want to make sure everybody is as enthusiastic as I am' concerning Bernie Sanders and 'only a handful of wrong headed people don't like him.' These amazing quotes are on this video the Obama campaign hopes you don't see.Obama doesn't seem to mind endorsing and hanging out with socialists."

The video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIlIpOkRh2A.

After acknowledged socialist Bernard Sanders joined Obama in the Senate, who had the more "liberal" voting record?

Obama!

Does that tell you something about Obama and socialism?

George Washington: "Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

© Michael Gaynor

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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