Thursday, October 16, 2008

Barack "Spread the Wealth" Obama

All along conservatives have hammered the point that Barack Obama is fundamentally a socialist radical.

Now, with last night's debate, the question which had long seemed forgotten in the mainstream media, is back in play. Indeed, James Pethokoukis asks, "
Did Barack 'Spread the Wealth' Obama Just Blow the Election?"

A while back I chatted with a University of Chicago professor who was a frequent lunch companion of Obama's. This professor said that Obama was as close to a full-out Marxist as anyone who has ever run for president of the United States. Now, I tend to quickly dismiss that kind of talk as way over the top. My working assumption is that Obama is firmly within the mainstream of Democratic politics. But if he is as free with that sort of redistributive philosophy in private as he was on the campaign trail this week, I have no doubt that U of C professor really does figure him as a radical. And after last night's debate, a few more Americans might think that way, too. McCain's best line: "Now, of all times in America, we need to cut people's taxes. We need to encourage business, create jobs, not spread the wealth around."

And by the way, I just noticed that the IBD/TIPP poll, the most accurate in 2004, has McCain down by just 3 points. If the contest is perceived by the voters as a contest between a wealth redistributor and a wealth creator, then it could be a long night come Nov. 4. This is still a center-right country, gang. Note this Gallup poll from June:

When given a choice about how government should address the numerous economic difficulties facing today's consumer, Americans overwhelmingly—by 84% to 13%—prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans.

There you go.

I personally have no doubts at all the Barack Obama is socialist - perhaps not a full-blown Marxist Leninist, as I've written - but he's definitely socialist in his basic orientation on the relationship between economic class and state power.

What's amazing is how so many on the Democratic Party-left refuse to identify with that ideological label, preferring the amorphous "progressive" instead. It's six in one hand and a half-dozen in the other, for practical purposes.

Obama has yet to close the sale, so American tradition and values still may see the light of day after November 4.