Obama a Socialist? Clearly based on comparisons between Obama and French Socialist Hollande

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    May 06, 2012 9:56 PM GMT
    Hollande's positions via Guardian, direct comparisons in Forbes

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/29/francoise-hollande-manifesto-france
    Hollande promised to boost state spending by €20bn by 2017, create 60,000 teaching posts and 150,000 subsidised jobs for young people. That is to be paid for by higher taxes for the wealthy, a tax on financial transactions and a 15% rise in taxes on bank profits, a ban on stock options and trading in "toxic" financial instruments, plus caps on bonuses.

    Hollande is on record as saying that he does not like rich people and that "my real adversary in this campaign is the world of finance". That will go down well in a country that has fallen decidedly out of love with its president and has never been comfortable with the world of finance.

    He wants EU taxpayers to fund "great projects", an integrated energy policy and an "ambitious agricultural budget" plus measures to counter unfair trade competition.

    Do you see general differences in ideology between Hollande and Obama? Now for more specific comparisons:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2012/04/22/french-socialists-test-ride-obama-platform/
    French Socialists Test Ride Obama Platform - Both Obama and Hollande offer almost identical leftist platforms (details on this below).

    In a side-by-side comparison, it is difficult to differentiate Obama’s from Hollande’s electoral platform. Specifically, they both favor:

    1) Sacrificing debt reduction in favor of stimulus to promote economic recovery.

    2) Dealing with deficits through tax increases rather than spending cuts. Both believe the “rich” are under-taxed. Hollande’s tax increases on the rich are higher than Obama’s. Hollande wants a 75 percent rate on those earning over 1 million Euros (about $1.3 million) and 45 percent on those earning over 150,000 Euros ($200,000). Notably, both define the “rich” at similar levels of income ($200,000 -$250,000). Obama might like to “soak the rich” more but knows that Hollande-like rates cannot fly politically in the United States.

    3) Eliminating lower tax rates on investment income like capital gains and dividends. Both view lower tax rates for investment and risk taking, not as pro-growth measures, but as allowing the rich to escape paying their “fair share.”

    4) Hiring more public workers. Hollande calls for hiring 60,000 more educators, one thousand more police every year, and creating 150,000 state-aided jobs. Obama’s campaign warns against cuts in public service jobs, forced by Republican cutting-to-the-bone  budgets.

    5) Protecting the welfare state. Hollande proposes to keep the French retirement age at sixty and otherwise make no changes in France’s generous entitlement programs. Obama opposes Republican proposals to rationalize Medicare by turning it into insurance grants. Both fail to explain how they plan to pay for current entitlements other than to suggest taxing the rich.

    6) Creating a public infrastructure bank to finance new infrastructure projects from state funds. They both would like to use infrastructure spending as a politically-saleable stimulus program, irrespective of the budget deficits it causes.

    7) Fighting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, or race. In France’s case, the race to be protected is Muslim minorities, who are French citizens or legal residents. In the US,  it is Hispanics, who have entered the country illegally.

    8 )  Cutting taxes on small businesses and provide  preferences for businesses that return jobs to the home country. For both, small businesses are good, big businesses are bad.

    9) Reducing the use of out-of-favor sources of energy. In France it is nuclear energy; in the US it is coal or, more broadly, carbon-based energy.

    10) Campaigning against big finance. In the U.S., it is Wall Street. In France, it is big banks.

    11) Cutting executive pay of the greedy captains of industry and finance. Hollande proposes to limit executive pay to twenty times the average wage, which would equal about $400,000 per year. Hollande’s figure is close to the $500,000  executive pay cap that Obama proposed for companies receiving federal assistance.

    ----------------------
    A victory of France’s socialist candidate Hollande will not translate into electoral success for his American soul mate, Obama, for three reasons:

    First, Hollande’s socialist platform will not be the factor that pushes him across the winner’s line. Rather Sarkozy bears the intolerable burden of a disastrous economy. In the U.S., incumbent Obama is similarly saddled with blame for the  miserable economic performance of the last three years.

    Second, the difference in French and American electorates works to Obama’s disadvantage. Whereas Hollande’s socialism appeals to France’s significant left-wing constituency, Obama’s  leftist program will turn off American voters, who dislike socialism, no matter how well it is disguised or attention diverted from it by peripheral issues.

    Third, Hollande and Obama both appeal to disaffected voters, ethnic minorities, welfare recipients, union members, public employees, and low skilled workers. In France, there may be enough of them. In America, there are probably not enough for an electoral victory.

    -------------------
    Want More "Fairness?" Look to Europe's Basket Cases
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2012/02/26/want-more-fairness-look-to-europes-basket-cases/
    Excerpts:

    Obama apparently does not know that the European countries that have become “fairer” over the past two decades are now basket cases of debt, social unrest, and an unaffordable welfare state.  Those European countries that have had the discipline to become “less fair,” are, in the words of a sympathetic liberal columnist (The GOP scrambles for a bogeyman) “doing well economically, both in absolute terms and in contrast to us.”

    We should be like Germany or Sweden but not like Greece, I guess. But Germany and Sweden are recovering from too much of the social justice that Obama wishes to impose on us, while Greece is falling apart in a sea of equality and justice.
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    May 07, 2012 2:30 PM GMT
    Observation - The victory of a Socialist at this time in a major country will increase the scrutiny as to whether Obama is a Socialist. Up to this point, the term was mostly thought of in the context of Marx and Engles from the 1800s. Although the point had been made that comparisons should really be with the modern, European Socialists, that argument probably did not hold enough sway because a specific, famous person had not been identified. Thanks to the French voters, we have such a person now.
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    May 09, 2012 8:20 AM GMT
    Some of the guys who say I'm nuts for suggesting that Obama is a socialist won't touch this thread, so a bump and a more pointed title. If you claim he is not, then you should be able to clearly show differences between Obama and Hollande.
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    May 09, 2012 10:31 AM GMT
    Logical fallacies on parade.

    The claim(s): Obama is a socialist because he supports some policies that are similar to Hollande (a socialist) in France, ergo Obama is a socialist.

    First, let's note that the claim is made by a right-winger.

    Second, if the Saudi royal family proposed policies similar to Obama's would that make him royalty?

    Third, the author compares raising taxes from 36% to 39% to Hollande's proposal to increase it to 75%. We'll let that one just sit there.

    Fourth, Keynsian economic theory isn't "socialist", its "liberal" in the classical sense of the word, so that takes care of points 1, 2, 4 and 6, revealing the absurdity of this claim.

    Fifth, equal protections for minorities are not "socialist", unless the Founding Fathers were red diaper babies, so that's including to suck in the anti-Muslim/anti-Latino crowd, despite it having no relationship to economics.

    Sixth, protecting Medicare from proposals like Paul Ryan's is broadly popular among Americans so apparently we're all socialists.

    Seven, "cap and trade' was a right-wing market based solution to environmental problems, so apparently Milton Friedman is also a socialist.

    Etc. Etc.

    I will now go right an op-ed making thin allegations that conservaposse members are actually fascists by comparing their beliefs to Mussolini... icon_rolleyes.gif
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    May 09, 2012 12:25 PM GMT
    I wouldnt bother, Christian. Socalfitness is obsessed with "socialism" which in his mind seems to be a label for anything he dislikes.

    It's like talking to a paint can: you're not going to change its color.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 09, 2012 12:57 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidI wouldnt bother, Christian. Socalfitness is obsessed with "socialism" which in his mind seems to be a label for anything he dislikes.

    It's like talking to a paint can: you're not going to change its color.



    I have great respect for those individuals who are aturned enough (on both sides of the aisle) to argue a point based on long held views... or just a "thrown out topic", but are open and flexible enough to
    see the points the other side makes. When that flexibility is lost, one becomes a fanatic........I tend to lose respect and attention for those people. Kind of sad.
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    May 09, 2012 1:22 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    TigerTim saidI wouldnt bother, Christian. Socalfitness is obsessed with "socialism" which in his mind seems to be a label for anything he dislikes.

    It's like talking to a paint can: you're not going to change its color.


    I have great respect for those individuals who are aturned enough (on both sides of the aisle) to argue a point based on long held views... or just a "thrown out topic", but are open and flexible enough to
    see the points the other side makes. When that flexibility is lost, one becomes a fanatic........I tend to lose respect and attention for those people. Kind of sad.

    I will respond to Christian's points a bit later when I have time, but briefly to comment on your comment. Obviously you detest the notion of labeling Obama a socialist, but it is a fair point for discussion when points are made in the context of specific policies or viewpoints. In my case, I have long viewed Obama as a socialist based on his speeches and policies. I have clearly differentiated the type of socialism from that described by Marx and Engels and noted that I found little fundamental differences between Obama and the modern day European socialists, specifically the politicians and political parties who are labeled and call themselves socialists. My view is shared by many people I know who are responsible and not given to demagoguery.

    The only difference now is there is a perfect, obvious example of a European Socialist given the events in France. It is a fair point for discussion without demagoguery. Your distress might be heightened given the recent events might give this discussion traction. Might also note there are certain people on RJ who have the intellectual capability and knowledge to justify their positions, but prefer, themselves, to make only derogatory comments about Republicans and positive comments about Democrats without ever providing a justification. Makes me wonder if their views are fundamental, or if they are motivated to hold a particular viewpoint because of some cultural or family tradition versus a clear, analytical perspective.

    Nevertheless, I don't believe this topic should in any way be off limits. If it gets into national discourse and further damages Obama, all the better for the country, in my view.
  • DalTX

    Posts: 612

    May 09, 2012 1:29 PM GMT
    In addition to being a Socialist, dont forget...
    he's also a Muslim that was born in Kenya. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    May 09, 2012 5:15 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidLogical fallacies on parade.

    Quoted text
    Responses

    The claim(s): Obama is a socialist because he supports some policies that are similar to Hollande (a socialist) in France, ergo Obama is a socialist.
    These are not just "some policies". The general outlook per the paragraphs and the eleven points from Forbes, collectively, are a fundamental, material, and broad-scoped manifestation of a person's economic position.

    First, let's note that the claim is made by a right-winger.
    Irrelevant. The points stand by themselves and are not based on the expertise or viewpoint of the author.

    Second, if the Saudi royal family proposed policies similar to Obama's would that make him royalty?
    Irrelevant analogy. We are comparing the similarity of two peoples' economic positions. If I had made the claim that I am a good basketball player because Kobe Bryant and I like the same foods, your counter example would have made sense.

    Third, the author compares raising taxes from 36% to 39% to Hollande's proposal to increase it to 75%. We'll let that one just sit there.
    This is the only point that has any relevance to the discussion. It is clear to me that the differences in stated, desired tax do not result from any fundamental ideological differences, but from different political realities between France and the US. Specifically in the US there would be no chance of a 75% tax rate, and Obama knows it. Additionally, two points support the notion that the tax rate differences do not result from ideological differences. First, all of Obama's arguments for a "fair" rate do not provide a ceiling as an inherent part of his rationale. They could easily apply to 39% to 45%, to 50%, and so on. Second, when asked if Obama would continue to insist on higher tax rates for the wealthy job-producers even if the net revenue were reduced, and a specific historical example was presented, Obama answered "yes, because of fairness". Even though the entire purpose of taxation is raising revenue for the Government, that Obama would still sacrifice revenue for "fairness" shows how ideologically driven he is.

    Fourth, Keynsian economic theory isn't "socialist", its "liberal" in the classical sense of the word, so that takes care of points 1, 2, 4 and 6, revealing the absurdity of this claim.
    The Keynsian issue is red herring. First of all, as stated above, the areas of agreement between Obama and Hollande are broad-scoped. If you were to successfully allege that some of the areas of agreement resulted from a common view of Keynsian economics, but there were also fundamental differences because Hollande is a Socialist and Obama is not, then you would have to identify fundamental, material, and broad-scoped differences between the two, and associate these differences due to one being a Socialist and the other not. I have not seen such differences identified, and I do not think they exist.

    Fifth, equal protections for minorities are not "socialist", unless the Founding Fathers were red diaper babies, so that's including to suck in the anti-Muslim/anti-Latino crowd, despite it having no relationship to conomics.
    Irrelevant, not pertaining to the comparison in economic positions between Obama and Hollande.

    Sixth, protecting Medicare from proposals like Paul Ryan's is broadly popular among Americans so apparently we're all socialists.
    Irrelevant, not pertaining to the comparison in economic positions between Obama and Hollande.

    Seven, "cap and trade' was a right-wing market based solution to environmental problems, so apparently Milton Friedman is also a socialist.
    Irrelevant, not pertaining to the comparison in economic positions between Obama and Hollande.

    I will now go right an op-ed making thin allegations that conservaposse members are actually fascists by comparing their beliefs to Mussolini.
    You would succeed if you could identify areas of consistency that are fundamental, material, and broad-scoped, and demonstrate differences of similar magnitude do not exist.
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    May 09, 2012 5:26 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    TigerTim saidI wouldnt bother, Christian. Socalfitness is obsessed with "socialism" which in his mind seems to be a label for anything he dislikes.

    It's like talking to a paint can: you're not going to change its color.



    I have great respect for those individuals who are aturned enough (on both sides of the aisle) to argue a point based on long held views... or just a "thrown out topic", but are open and flexible enough to
    see the points the other side makes. When that flexibility is lost, one becomes a fanatic........I tend to lose respect and attention for those people. Kind of sad.


    There's a scene in Alice through the looking glass about this:

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

    Someone should push socalfitness off the damn wall.
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    May 09, 2012 5:30 PM GMT
    Based on the extensive nature of the French state, Sarkozy was also a socialist by the OP'S standards.

    And don't get me going on American deficit financing.... Both parties are big spenders. It's just that Republicans would rather mortgage their children's futures by giving themselves shiny military hardware and tax cuts to a greater extent than Democrats.

    @Yourname: I think Mitt Romney is eminently comparable to a potato, LOL.
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    May 09, 2012 6:28 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    Christian73 saidLogical fallacies on parade.

    Quoted text
    Responses

    The claim(s): Obama is a socialist because he supports some policies that are similar to Hollande (a socialist) in France, ergo Obama is a socialist.
    These are not just "some policies". The general outlook per the paragraphs and the eleven points from Forbes, collectively, are a fundamental, material, and broad-scoped manifestation of a person's economic position.

    First, let's note that the claim is made by a right-winger.
    Irrelevant. The points stand by themselves and are not based on the expertise or viewpoint of the author.

    Second, if the Saudi royal family proposed policies similar to Obama's would that make him royalty?
    Irrelevant analogy. We are comparing the similarity of two peoples' economic positions. If I had made the claim that I am a good basketball player because Kobe Bryant and I like the same foods, your counter example would have made sense.

    Third, the author compares raising taxes from 36% to 39% to Hollande's proposal to increase it to 75%. We'll let that one just sit there.
    This is the only point that has any relevance to the discussion. It is clear to me that the differences in stated, desired tax do not result from any fundamental ideological differences, but from different political realities between France and the US. Specifically in the US there would be no chance of a 75% tax rate, and Obama knows it. Additionally, two points support the notion that the tax rate differences do not result from ideological differences. First, all of Obama's arguments for a "fair" rate do not provide a ceiling as an inherent part of his rationale. They could easily apply to 39% to 45%, to 50%, and so on. Second, when asked if Obama would continue to insist on higher tax rates for the wealthy job-producers even if the net revenue were reduced, and a specific historical example was presented, Obama answered "yes, because of fairness". Even though the entire purpose of taxation is raising revenue for the Government, that Obama would still sacrifice revenue for "fairness" shows how ideologically driven he is.

    Fourth, Keynsian economic theory isn't "socialist", its "liberal" in the classical sense of the word, so that takes care of points 1, 2, 4 and 6, revealing the absurdity of this claim.
    The Keynsian issue is red herring. First of all, as stated above, the areas of agreement between Obama and Hollande are broad-scoped. If you were to successfully allege that some of the areas of agreement resulted from a common view of Keynsian economics, but there were also fundamental differences because Hollande is a Socialist and Obama is not, then you would have to identify fundamental, material, and broad-scoped differences between the two, and associate these differences due to one being a Socialist and the other not. I have not seen such differences identified, and I do not think they exist.

    Fifth, equal protections for minorities are not "socialist", unless the Founding Fathers were red diaper babies, so that's including to suck in the anti-Muslim/anti-Latino crowd, despite it having no relationship to conomics.
    Irrelevant, not pertaining to the comparison in economic positions between Obama and Hollande.

    Sixth, protecting Medicare from proposals like Paul Ryan's is broadly popular among Americans so apparently we're all socialists.
    Irrelevant, not pertaining to the comparison in economic positions between Obama and Hollande.

    Seven, "cap and trade' was a right-wing market based solution to environmental problems, so apparently Milton Friedman is also a socialist.
    Irrelevant, not pertaining to the comparison in economic positions between Obama and Hollande.

    I will now go right an op-ed making thin allegations that conservaposse members are actually fascists by comparing their beliefs to Mussolini.
    You would succeed if you could identify areas of consistency that are fundamental, material, and broad-scoped, and demonstrate differences of similar magnitude do not exist.


    Wow. Socal. You spilled a lot of blue text without making a single coherent argument that proves your point.

    I realize that claiming Obama is a socialist is a transparent cover for racism, but you're not fooling anyone.

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    May 13, 2012 1:07 AM GMT
    I'll contend that Mr. Obama would *like* to steer the nation closer to his school of thinking (very heavily influenced by socialism/Marxism of his father, and his mentors in the Working Families Party and Democratic Socialists of America, and the European welfare state model)...

    BUT he is heavily constrained by his own party, and more so by the GOP which governs toward the centre-right.

    In practice, Obama is actually quite conservative by Canadian and European standards of measure.
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    May 13, 2012 1:11 AM GMT
    AlphaTrigger saidI'll contend that Mr. Obama would *like* to steer the nation closer to his school of thinking (very heavily influenced by socialism/Marxism of his father, and his mentors in the Working Families Party and Democratic Socialists of America, and the European welfare state model)...

    BUT he is heavily constrained by his own party, and more so by the GOP which governs toward the centre-right.

    In practice, Obama is actually quite conservative by Canadian and European standards of measure.

    He is constrained by the realities in the US, even though his ideology is influenced as you say. For example, he would have preferred a single-payer health system, but had to compromise, though many believe the goal is to force employees out of providing health, ultimately leading to a single payer system.

    The uncertainty if he should be reelected is his strong ideology and indicated penchant to go around the Congress, as we have seen in his "We can't wait" mantra.
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    May 13, 2012 1:27 AM GMT
    I think the congressional re-elections/elections will play a major factor in how far leftward Obama will trend after his re-election, and specifically how much he will be able to get away with.

    Even so, as a "lame duck" not beholden to a centrist wing of his party (much less anything the GOP has to say) I expect all bets will be off, and he *will* work much harder to push his agenda.
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    May 13, 2012 1:30 AM GMT
    AlphaTrigger saidI think the congressional re-elections/elections will play a major factor in how far leftward Obama will trend after his re-election, and specifically how much he will be able to get away with.

    Even so, as a "lame duck" not beholden to a centrist wing of his party (much less anything the GOP has to say) I expect all bets will be off, and he *will* work much harder to push his agenda.

    I know you think he will be reelected, but it is far from certain. Likely voter polls are starting to show a Romney lead, and the national polls often lead the state polls and the electoral math.
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    May 29, 2012 9:45 PM GMT
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/05/socialism_by_any_other_name_is_still_socialism.html

    Socialism, by Any Other Name, Is Still Socialism By William Sullivan

    The Washington Post heralded the election of François Hollande in France as the dawn of a new era, and the birth of a new breed of socialism. It is described as "free-market social democracy -- a pragmatic ideology in which nationalizations, clenched fists, and hammer and sickle are things of the past."

    The implication is that the Western opinion of socialism has justifiably evolved to one of acceptance. Sure, socialism gets a bad rap for all those times in history when it went horribly wrong and, you know, killed all those millions of people. But the right people weren't in charge, you see, and their ideas were the wrong ones. What is being offered today in France is a newer, smarter socialism. The one that's never been tried before -- the one that works.

    But despite the Western media's warm reception of this "pragmatic socialism" as something new, the disturbing truth is that socialism has always been always presented this way. It has always been offered as a pragmatic solution to the same exact problem -- the disproportionate distribution of wealth in a capitalist society that is deemed unfair by a political faction that claims to be offering a new, revolutionary path. And that solution, presented now as it has always been, is for a nation to put its faith in the revolutionary political faction by giving state administrators the mandate to even the score by taking property from those who have too much and redistributing it to those who have too little. The idea is uniformly that the new government will succeed where individuals, left to their own devices in the past, have failed. This is the very core of socialism in all its forms, and the foundation of all the evils it has wrought.

    And the newly elected socialist François Hollande of France offers nothing more -- and nothing less. He vows to raise taxes on corporations and French citizens that earn more than one million euros annually. His administration will wage war upon the privately operated "world of finance" by implementing strict government regulation upon banks and insurance companies. He looks to arbitrarily set the prices of French labor costs without consideration to supply-and-demand realities that naturally dictate those prices. And he has offered the promise that he will expand the central government's role in education and retirement benefits via public subsidization.

    Now, as an honest and observant critic might point out, not one of those initiatives would conflict with Marx's outline for the deconstruction a capitalist society in preparation for its eventual replacement with a Communist one. That framework is readily found in the Communist Manifesto. And since Hollande is following formulaic socialist doctrine to propose the same solution to the same problem that every other socialist reformer has offered throughout history, it is safe to say that little separates what he offers from what has been offered by socialists past.

    Disturbing as that may be, there is even further revelation.

    Isn't there something conspicuously familiar about Hollande's proposed initiatives? Doesn't his plan to "soak the rich" in France sound like that of Barack Obama? Our president has vilified corporations, alleging that they do not pay their fair share for the collective good, and has suggested that million-dollar-earners be taxed more heavily to finance his platform of "social justice." He has waged his own war against the world of finance, hailed as "the biggest shake-up of the financial industry since the reforms following the Great Depression." And setting wage prices, increasing federal spending on education, and expanding entitlements of all forms are staple ambitions of the Democratic Party as a whole.

    So since "pragmatic socialism" is clearly just socialism, and given that "pragmatic socialism" is uncannily similar to "progressivism," how can one deny that "progressivism," too, is just socialism dressed in what is meant to be a more attractive package?

    It cannot be reasonably denied. It's all just socialism. As such, France under "pragmatic socialism" can expect nothing less than what socialism invariably yields. And a "free market" is not a part of that. Socialism requires that markets be regulated and that business be controlled, so the markets can become only less free, which leads to "nationalizations, clenched fists, and hammer and sickle." For evidence of this, look to America after three years under "progressivism." General Motors has clearly become nationalized, as the administration is directing production and the hiring and firing of company leadership. And the rabble of Occupy Wall Street proudly displays "clenched fists and hammer and sickle," only to be happily supported by this administration that supposedly stands for something entirely different.

    There are those who are hopelessly devoted to Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, however, who will refuse to see this logic. And even if they do see it, they won't care. They'll just stand willing, as they always have, ready to surrender their God-given liberty in hopes of some government-issued happiness. They'll still be ready to place their faith in a charismatic social engineer whose blueprint is the most profoundly malignant political ideology the world has ever known.

    But it is now quite clear, in terms that many independent voters can recognize, that Barack Obama is, in fact, a socialist who espouses nothing short of a socialist's political ambition. And hopefully, there are enough of them still reasonable enough to recognize that this is a very, very bad thing.