A Reminder

Not socialism:

Welcome to the People’s Republic of Alaska, where every resident this year will get a $3,200 payout, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of Sarah Palin, the state’s Republican governor. That’s $22,400 for a family of seven, like Palin’s. Since 1982, the Alaska Permanent Fund, which invests oil revenues from state lands, has paid out a dividend on invested oil loot to everyone who has been in the state for a year. But Palin upped the ante by joining with Democrats and some recalcitrant Republican state legislators to share in oil company windfall profits, further fattening state tax revenue and permitting an additional payout in tax funds to residents.


Among the more prominent elements of his tax proposal, Senator Obama would end the Bush tax cuts and allow the top two tax rates to return to 36 and 39.6 percent.

I know it is difficult to expect coherence out of a movement whose largest recipient of cheers at a rally is some guy talking out his arse named Joe the Plumber, but we will do our best to keep you up to date on what is and what is not socialism.

Magic Wand Fail

Sarah Palin, yesterday:

If I called all the shots, and if I could wave a magic wand, I would be sitting at a kitchen table with more and more Americans, talking to them about our plan to get the economy back on track and winning the war and not having to rely on the old conventional ways of campaigning that includes those robocalls…

TPM today:

Carol Johnson, a retiree from Spooner, Wisconsin, and a second reader from Nevada, report to us that they received robocalls starring Palin herself.

Palin’s robocall touted both her and McCain as “mavericks” who have a feel for people’s economic suffering, vowed that they would reform Wall Street and Washington, and hit Barack Obama and Joe Biden for not “listening” to the American people.

“They Made Us Do It!!!!!11oneeleven!!”

These guys really do think we are stupid:

John McCain’s campaign manager says he is reconsidering using Barack Obama’s relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright as a campaign issue during the election’s closing weeks.

In an appearance on conservative Hugh Hewitt’s radio program, Davis said that circumstances had changed since John McCain initially and unilaterally took Obama’s former pastor off the table. The Arizona Republican, Davis argued, had been jilted by the remarks of Rep. John Lewis, who compared recent GOP crowds to segregationist George Wallace’s rallies. And, as such, the campaign was going to “rethink” what was in and out of political bounds.

Is there anyone out there who honestly thought these shitbirds were not going to trot Wright out the last two weeks? Anyone? And that the justification for it is what someone else said, not the Obama campaign, is just priceless.

I have said this over and over and over again- the McCain campaign is being run by wingnut bloggers.

By all means, fellows, blow the last bit of your budget in the last two weeks of advertising on Rev. Wright. Please. Thank goodness none of the clowns in the McCain campaign have heard of Diamond and Bates.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Sarah Palin, last night:

“If I called all the shots, and if I could wave a magic wand,” Palin told her traveling press corps as she stood on the tarmac here, “I would be sitting at a kitchen table with more and more Americans, talking to them about our plan to get the economy back on track and winning the war and not having to rely on the old conventional ways of campaigning that includes those robocalls and includes spending so much money on the television ads that, I think, is kind of draining out there in terms of Americans’ attention span.”

Barack Obama, today:

Brutal. Is there anyway we can get Bobby Jindal in on this act so we can take out the entire GOP farm team on November 4th?

It’s Your Credibility, Stupid

Ross Douthat:

For a week or so now, I’ve been listening to smart conservatives suggest that Obama’s “spreading the wealth” remark might really, really hurt him – “talk about playing into the most extreme stereotype of your party, that it is infested with socialists,” writes James Pethokoukis – and I have a question: Hasn’t Obama been promising to spread the wealth throughout the entire race – a race he seems to be winning at the moment? His signal domestic-policy proposals are 1) a series of tax cuts and tax credits aimed at Americans making less than $250,000 a year and 2) a big-ticket health care reform aimed at expanding coverage; both of these plans, he promises, can be paid for with tax hikes on the richest 5 percent of Americans. This agenda isn’t a big socialist secret; it’s more or less the basis of his campaign. I suppose it’s possible that the “spreading the wealth” turn of phrase throws the redistributionist aspect of Obama’s agenda into relief in a way his campaign promises haven’t. But it seems to me like a generic restatement of a message that’s central to the Democratic campaign: Namely, that the rich haven’t paid their fair share under Republican rule, and that people making over $250,000 a year should pay more in taxes so that most Americans can pay less, to the IRS and in health-insurance premiums.

Look, we already mentioned this earlier today, Powell talked about it over the weekend, but I will let Chuck Todd say it one more time:

Has the McCain campaign made a fundamental mistake in attack politics — don’t charge your opponent with something that doesn’t seem to pass the smell test beyond your base? This “socialist” charge is going to be hard for many middle-of-the-road voters to believe, particularly after Powell endorsed his candidacy. Saying Obama’s a “liberal,” well there are facts to back that up. But the socialist charge feels like an over-reach, and it may be falling on deaf ears. Of course, with the government getting so involved with our financial markets right now and McCain wanting to use federal money to buy up bad mortgages, it’s hard for McCain to back up his socialist charge since he wants a similar amount of government intervention.

Exactly. The appropriate response to any Republican who calls Obama a socialist after eight years of Bush and after listening to McCain’s own proposals is outright ridicule. Laugh in their face. Mock them. They have zero credibility, and the word socialism no longer has any meaning, at least not in American politics. That the Republicans still have not realized this on the very day that Ben Bernanke is on the hill advocating more spending in order to stimulate the economy is just extra precious. As a commenter noted:

Socialist: raising the top tax rate from 35% to 39%.

Free-Market: nationalizing the banks, massive investment in insurance agencies, limiting certain types of trades, raising the debt ceiling, and promoting government investment into stocks and bonds. And an emphasis on Red States.

It’s all so clear now!

We are all socialists now, Ross.

*** Update ***

Let’s play list the bailouts- I will start with AIG, the airline industries post 9/11, the 25 billion to the auto industry a few weeks ago, and hell, I think an argument could be made that the SuperFund clean-ups that have been going on for who knows how long constitutes a bailout of sorts- how many of those companies would have gone under had they been forced to pay for the toxic mess they left behind. Add your own.