Friday, April 24, 2009

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad S-Word?

File under "Just When You Thought They Couldn't Get Any Nuttier": Some Republican state party leaders are putting pressure on the Republican National Committee to

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 4:31 PM

File under "Just When You Thought They Couldn't Get Any Nuttier": Some Republican state party leaders are putting pressure on the Republican National Committee to officially label the Democrats a "socialist party."

What's more, they want the Democrats to apply the label to themselves.

"Republican state party leaders are rebelling against new Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele for failing to dub President Obama and the Democrats as 'socialists," the conservative Washington Times reports. "Even though Mr. Steele has called his Democratic adversaries 'collectivists,' at least 16 state leaders say the term lacks the pejorative punch needed to sway public opinion and want all 168 members of the Republican National Committee to debate and vote on it."

The Times goes on to report that Indiana RNC member James Bopp Jr. (where DO they get these names?) sent a e-mail his fellow RNC members stating: "The threat to our country from the Obama administration cannot be underestimated. They are proceeding pell-mell to nationalize major industries, to exponentially increase the size, power and intrusiveness of the federal government, to undermine free enterprise and free markets, to raise taxes to a confiscatory level."

Offhand we can't think of any major (or even minor) industries that Obama has nationalized yet, and a top marginal tax rate of 38.6% hardly seems "confiscatory." (It was 92% in 1952 under that notorious socialist, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and 50% under that other notorious socialist, President Ronald Reagan.) But why let the facts get in the way of a good rant?

"Just as President Reagan's identification of the Soviet Union as the 'evil empire' galvanized opposition to communism, we hope that the accurate depiction of the Democrats as a Socialist Party will galvanize opposition to their march to socialism," Bopp continued in his e-mail.

Uh, the United States has been opposed to communism since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1918. But why let trivial historical details get in the way of a good rant either?

Bopp has drafted a resolution calling on the Democrats "to be truthful and honest with the American people by acknowledging that they have evolved from a party of tax and spend to a party of tax and nationalize and, therefore, should agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party."

Jeff Kent of Washington state is named as chief sponsor of the resolution, and two Oregonians - Solomon Yue of Josephine County and Donna Cain - are among the co-sponsors.

What this move clearly shows is that the right-wingers' tired old "tax-and-spend liberal" line has lost its punch and they're desperately seeking something fresh.

But the "socialist" smear - which the Republicans have been throwing at Obama ever since their 2008 national convention - doesn't seem to be sticking either; a poll taken just two days ago showed Obama with a 62% job approval rating.

And incidentally, that was a Fox News poll.

But that's classic Republican strategic thinking: If what you're doing isn't working, just do it twice as hard and you're sure to succeed.

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