Checkbook Socialism: Why Must You Ignorant, Racist Rubes Perpetuate This Silly Myth That Obama is a Socialist?

Why do all of you rubes think Obama is a socialist?

Well, according to the AP, it is because you are a racist:

This is far from a new phenomenon — the use of “socialist” as a political epithet in the U.S. dates back to pre-Civil War days when abolitionist newspaper editor Horace Greeley was branded a socialist by some pro-slavery adversaries. In the 20th century, many elements of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal — including Social Security — were denounced as socialist. So was Medicare when it was created in the 1960s.

Bernie Sanders, an actual Socialist, thinks so:

“Branding someone as a socialist has become the slur du jour by leading lights of the American right from Newt Gingrich to Rush Limbaugh,” Sanders said in 2009. “If we could get beyond such nonsense, I think this country could use a good debate about what goes on here compared to places with a long social-democratic tradition like Sweden, Norway and Finland, where, by and large, the middle class has a far higher standard of living than we do.”

So does Rutgers professor, Norman Markowitz:

The roots of socialism in America can be traced to the arrival of German immigrants in the 1850s, according to Rutgers University professor Norman Markowitz, who teaches the history of socialism and communism.

After the Cold War’s end, use of “socialist” as a political insult also receded. Markowitz believes its recent revival relates directly to the animosity toward Obama that is shared by a certain segment of Americans.

“There’s this hysterical outbreak of abuse to prove that the president is not American, that he’s a secret Muslim, that policies that past Republican administrations would have adopted are part of a socialist, communist conspiracy,” Markowitz said.

Racists. Birthers. Islamopobes. All of you. Nothing but ignorant rubes, you are. A newspaper reporter, the socialist Senator from Vermont and a Rutgers professor all say so. What else do you want as confirmation, you bunch of racists?

The supporters of Obama who are desperate to prevent acknowledgement of any tie to communism (because they know that Americans won’t vote for a communist at the national level), will claim that Obama does not fit the textbook definition of a socialist. Steven Hayward also notes this tendency:

Steven Hayward, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of a two-volume biography of Ronald Reagan, said Obama is not a socialist under the strict definitions of that term — central economic planning and government control of production.

“However, socialism has a secondary meaning that is harder to explain — government regulations, supervision of the private economy,” Hayward said. “The problem now with Obama is, ‘What does he really think?'”

As with almost everything else, things change and as they do the definitions should change to match them. When this definition of socialism was coined, to own and central plan an economy actually meant that a government had to have ownership of the “means of production” which would have been the physical raw materials, manufacturing facilities and employ the people. Today, as we have shifted away from the need for many of these physical means of “production” and toward more of an electronic society, the “means of production” has come to be more related to capital and fungible currency than a smokestack. If you control the flow of money, it is not necessary to own the physical assets because you can control the asset through money flow. I call this “checkbook socialism”.

Adherents of Keynesian economic theory are nothing but “checkbook socialists” and Obama does fit that definition.

But even if Obama is a “checkbook socialist”, you racists, he’s not a very good one…at least according to Ezra “The Constitution is like 100 years old” Klein:

Ezra Klein, a blogger and columnist for The Washington Post, tackled the issue recently in a posting headlined “Barack Obama: Worst. Socialist. Ever.”

Klein cited data indicating that the government sector of the economy shrank during the past three years.

“If President Obama is truly a socialist,” Klein wrote, “then he’s not a very good one.”

Well, Ezra’s analysis is wrong based on the Washington Post’s own charts. In the linked article, Floyd Norris lumps all government spending together, including state spending to make his case that “government” has shrunk under Obama while admitting that the federal government, the part that Obama has direct responsibility for has actually continued to increase:

Spending by the federal government, adjusted for inflation, has risen at a slow rate under President Obama.

Norris gives Obama credit for the fiscal prudence of state governors like Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Rick Perry. The idea that Obama is a frugal steward, advanced by the Democrats, has been shredded by many, including your humble correspondent, even if it was not – the idea is relegated to the dust bin with the other rubbish by simply looking at the stunning increases in the level of national debt during his administration.

There’s nothing racist about it. There are no “code words” or “dog whistle” allusions about Obama. His policies are centered on government first – private sector second policies, Keynesian economics and socialist intent.

Just a couple of little reminders:

We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.

–          Barack Obama, April 28, 2010

My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

–          Barack Obama speaking to Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher

Is Obama going to come out as a bearded Marxist? Not if he wants to get re-elected – but there can be no doubt that he and the Democratic party are carrying the flag for the socialist revolution dreamed of by Engels and Marx – and unfortunately also by Americans like Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas and Bernie Sanders.

5 thoughts on “Checkbook Socialism: Why Must You Ignorant, Racist Rubes Perpetuate This Silly Myth That Obama is a Socialist?

  1. September 12, 1905

    On this date, in a lost above Peck’s restaurant at 140 Fulton St in lower Manhattan, Upton Sinclair (27 y/o writer and socialist); Jack London (writer); Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Unitarian Minister); J.G. Phelps Stokes (husband of a socialist leader); and Clarance Darrow (lawyer) formed an organization known as the Intercollegiate Socialist Society. It’s stated purpose was to overthrow the predominantly Christian world-view that still pervaded in America at that time. They were heavily influenced by the works of Karl Marx.

    These men chose to employ the methods of Roman general, Quintus Fabius Maximus: a method Maximus called ‘gradualism.’ By using this approach, the ISS set out to gradually infiltrate our college campuses, then the public school system. By 1912, there were 44 college chapters; by 1917, 61 colleges chapters and 12 graduate school chapters; in 1921 they changed their name to the League of Industrial Democracy and entered into the ranks of mainstream America’s ‘educational elite.’ By the min-1930’s, there were 125 chapters/student groups. It was at this time that John Dewey, the father of our modern Progressive education system, became vice-president of the league. By 1941, Dewey had become president.

    Dewey openly advocated using our public schools to teach secular humanism. He even said that the teacher was the prophet of this new religion. Secular Humanism is a religion and was recognized as such in the 1961 Supreme Court case, Torasco vs. Watkins, in which it was included with other religions such as Buddhism, Taoism and Ethical Culture.

    This move away from the Christian foundations of our university and public school system did not begin with Dewey or even the 5 men who founded the ISS. It actually started in 1838 with a man named Horace Mann. But Dewey is the man who managed to get the ideology of Secular Humanism institutionalized in our schools. He also led the way to accepting the notion that it was permissible to use the school system to train kids to be as unlike their parents as possible. Dewey advocated that the State had a duty to form students to be ‘perfect citizens,’ and that this was the path to their true happiness. Everything about Dewey’s idea of education smacks of Socialism.

    So, how does this relate to the topic at hand? Simple: a great majority of the people currently in the Obama Administration and even more of his supporters can be traced directly back through the various organizations and ideological schools of thought that have been spawned by the ISS and the efforts of John Dewey. I’ll leave you to your own conclusions, but I’ll end by reminding you that there is a great measure of truth in the old saying:

    “Birds of a feather flock together.”


    This is related (pay attention to the emphasis on education as a means of achieving the political agenda)

    Special Report — George Soros: Godfather of the Left

  2. Pingback: Learning From The Teacher | The Rio Norte Line

  3. Pingback: Economic Fascism | The Rio Norte Line

  4. Pingback: Finally…Obama Gets an Ideological Label | The Rio Norte Line

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