14 thoughts on “Obama, Socialist – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. From the west European perspective it’s always amusing to see right wing Americans calling everyone and their cousins “socialist” (or alternatively “liberal”), not unlike some on the extreme left for whom everyone else is a “fascist”. As laughable as McCain’s suggestion is, there’s still the danger of Obama drifting further to the right out of fear. It has worked before, most disappointingly just recently in his 180°-turn on retroactive immunity for telecommunication companies.

  2. fiddler, re: Obama’s vote on immunity for telecoms.

    Glenn Greenwald explains why so many democrats were voting for the bill. In short, they are implicated:
    "In light of this sordid history of active complicity, is it really any wonder that these leading Democrats are desperate to quash any investigations or judicial adjudications of Bush administration actions that they knew about and did nothing to stop, in some cases even actively supporting?"

    And in the comments section, a take on the Obama’s vote:
    "Too many democratic senators had been drawn into the illegal acts. They had to vote for this travesty to save their own skins. Other democrats had to worry about the larger damage to the party that would occur when it became known the levels of complicity that existed between the dems and repubs in allowing these illegal actions. Obama was forced to hold his nose and vote for this for the good of the party as well as to buy/keep the full throated support of the senators who he will need to bring in votes in the fall. This was the calculation, not some calculation regarding repubs hitting him later on security, though that may well have been a secondary thought (suppose there is a terrorist attack before the election – imagine the hay that might be made out of a vote against this then)."

  3. Surely Ron Paul was the only candidate to really offer an alternative.
    People on the web say it is legal to write his name on the ballot.
    Whatever Obama once stood for, or hopes to achieve will be drowned out by his corporate backers.
    How many decades has it been since we really heard an opposing debate in the Congress or in the UK parliament? Or in the mainstream press!

  4. don’t – please never – let the facts get in the way mr. mccain.

    Barack is heavily into the Friedman school of economics, perhaps because of his connections to the UCHI as a faculty member over the years.

    Facts worth noting: Milton Friedman’s son David has endorsed Barack! Austan Goolsbee and Cass Sunstein of the UCHI business school are key advisers to the man and have helped the campaign develop an economic platform that is “orthogonal to the traditional liberal-conservative axis” and called by some “left-libertarianism.”

    But again, why resort to fact when you can just PULL THINGS OUT OF YOUR EAR MCCAIN?

  5. I agree wholeheartedly on the issue at hand, and with Richard’s post, but just a correction on a minor matter of fact in tzvee’s reply. Cass Sunstein is not at the University of Chicago Business School, and never was. He was at the Law School, where Obama also taught (and is now at Harvard).

    It took me a minute to recognize what the abbreviation “UCHI” was meant to refer to. The University of Chicago is known to its faculty and students (I was a graduate student there) as U of C; I’ve never seen it abbreviated as UCHI.

  6. I think fiddler is on to something here. In the 2004 presidential election, given the choice between Bush and Bush-lite (Kerry), Americans unsurprisingly chose Bush. If McCain can, by whatever means necessary, get Obama to shift rightward to the extent that this year’s election becomes a choice between McCain and McCain-lite, why wouldn’t voters choose McCain?

    I don’t want to see a McCain presidency any more than you do, Richard, but I think you underestimate him, and the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’, at your peril. I don’t see a cakewalk in November at all.

  7. I do not understand what is the big deal about being a socialist. Is it a crime? If our government can combine some socialist policies with entrepreneureal capitalistic system, our country and the citizenry would be in a better shape now than we are in.

  8. I agree with Andy. I stated before that I don’t believe Obama will win, and Richrad quite quite agitated when I said that, as if my saying will make it so. I base my projection on the fact that as Obama got closer to the magic number to clinch the nomination he got WEAKER, not stronger as one would think. He lost 9 of the last 16 primaries and Hillary polled 600,000 votes more than him. He has a lot of negative factors, including his very liberal voting record, his close association with Wright and that fellow from the Weathermen, and what I think is most important, his lack of experience. And let’s be honest, race is a factor….I believe that the first woman and black to be President will be conservatives, not liberals, because they will be able to pull votes from people who are not otherwise comfortable with their backgrounds (e.g. Margaret Thatcher in Britain, Merkel in Germany).
    I attribute his current lead in the polls (which is not that large considering the unpopularity of the Bush Administration) to people expressing their unhappiness with the current situation by saying they are for the person who most opposes the current President. I believe enough will change their opinion when they enter the voting booth to push the election McCain’s way….I do believe though, that the Democrats will increase their majority in Congress, which will be how the voters express their desire for change (recall Nixon beat Obama-like George McGovern by a huge majority, yet the Democrats did well in the Congressionaly elections).

  9. @bar_kochba132:

    Andy said it wouldn’t be a cakewalk (w. which I agree). He didn’t say your bud would win. What, btw are yr credentials for being such an expert on American presidential politics?

  10. Richard

    I explained my reasoning quite clearly, I don’t see why you find it so difficult to understand. My primary source of information is the New York Times where I got the statistics I quoted. What “credentials” does anyone need to express an opinion on anything?

  11. @bar_kochba132:

    My primary source of information is the New York Times

    So the NYT told you that Obama was going to lose the race to McCain? Interesting.

    What “credentials” does anyone need to express an opinion on anything?

    Well, you don’t NEED to have credentials. But it helps when you can point to any level of expertise you might have that should make us trust yr opinion more than say, that of my local bookie. Since you’ve made clear you don’t have any special expertise on the subject, we’ll all just ignore yr prognostication. On Nov. 5th I’ll write a post that begins…”Bar Kochba, I told you so.” And I’ll be delighted to do so.

  12. If the mainstream media weren’t so corrupt and deeply right-wing in its outlook (they trip over themselves in their slavering, sycophantic worship of McCain), this election would be a cake-walk for Obama–who can run circles around senile old warmonger McCain. There’s just no comparison in terms of competence and intellectual ability. McCain couldn’t string together a coherent sentence if he were bombing poor Vietnamese villages and his life depended on it. He makes Bush look like Cicero. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit.

  13. Richard, I lived for a while in Vermont when Bernie Sanders was Mayor of Burlington, and at that point he called himself an “Independent Socialist”. (See, for example, W. Conroy, “Challenging the Boundaries of Reform: Socialism in Burlington” (Temple University Press, 1985), or this sympathetic piece from the Burlington Free Press that Sen.
    Sanders reproduces on his own website –
    http://www.sanders.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=293115.) I am aware that since moving to the Senate he normally just calls himself “Independent”, but as far as I am aware that is a matter of form: he has never abandoned his socialist beliefs (gun control is no part of socialism), and it is perfectly reasonable for McCain to continue to refer to him in those terms.

    For McCain to call Obama a “socialist”, on the other hand, is merely outrageous and sleazy …

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