13 October 2008

Back in the saddle!

Right-winger Patrick Ruffini sez (via)
President Barack Obama with 60 votes in the Senate means a socialist America.
Now don't get excited, my friends. I've noticed wingnuts reaching for the red-bait more frequently in recent days as the inevitability of an Obama victory starts to come down for them. Apparently the "liberal" menace isn't good enough to scare Americans anymore; these troubled times require a more reliable epithet. In with the new enemy, same as the very old. Of course, Ruffini takes this very seriously, as do many righties who see public libraries as a sign of the creeping socialist menace.

And really, he's not wrong. I'm a big-tent sort of socialist; I don't see why the term shouldn't be used more broadly to encompass the wide spectrum of left-wing politics that have been influenced by socialist ideas. Very Serious people may not agree, because they're afraid people of Ruffini's ilk have successfully convinced the public--if not themselves--that "socialism" is somehow fundamentally anti-American. Or perhaps they're merely hoping to stay on the Decent Dole.

Not to be misleading, I don't believe Obama plus a Democratic congress equals a socialist America, or even a social democratic or New Deal America. At best, it'll be Clintonite neoliberal America with modestly reformist tendencies. But if he were, I'd hope for a more robust defense from the liberals--or whatever they're calling themselves after conceding every other term to the rightists--than a muddled chorus of "of course he is no socialist! Socialists R Bad!"