Friday, July 30, 2010

Whipping post partisan

Why indeed?

What explains Mr. Obama’s consistent snubbing of those who made him what he is? Does he fear that his enemies would use any support for progressive people or ideas as an excuse to denounce him as a left-wing extremist? Well, as you may have noticed, they don’t need such excuses: He’s been portrayed as a socialist because he enacted Mitt Romney’s health-care plan, as a virulent foe of business because he’s been known to mention that corporations sometimes behave badly.

The point is that Mr. Obama’s attempts to avoid confrontation have been counterproductive. His opponents remain filled with a passionate intensity, while his supporters, having received no respect, lack all conviction.

By the way, Krugman alludes to Yeats:


daniel noe said...

Romney is also a socialist.

lovable liberal said...

Romney is only a socialist in some alternate universe where words don't mean the same thing they mean in this world. This ridiculous claim casts doubt on all your other claims.

daniel noe said...

This is exactly what I talk about on my blog. When it comes to politics, we are all speaking different languages.
In the way I have heard the word used repeatedly between 1999 and 2008, socialism is power over the economic system concentrated in the hands of the government. In this sense, Romney is a socialist - as is Obama - and to a lesser degree - Bush.
It has only been since 2008 that I have become exposed to some like yourself that use a different definition.

lovable liberal said...

There's this quaint old book called a dictionary that literate people once used to resolve the accepted meanings of words. Ever seen one?

In fact, my favorite is now on line. Its three senses of socialism pretty plainly do not include the spittle-flecked insult used by uneducated conservatives.

Of course, it's true that dictionaries have changed from prescriptive to descriptive lexicography, so they will need to include the inchoate Teapublican redefinition of socialist in new editions. Who needs Minitru?

But Mitt Romney is clearly a capitalist. Do you claim that he's both? Do words have meaning?

daniel noe said...

You just can't take yes for an answer, can you? Alright, even though I think this is silly, from the American Heritage Dictionary (1983):

socialism: a system or theory of social organization in which the producers possess both political power and production and distribution means

socialize: to place under public ownership or control

socialized medicine: the provision of medical and hospital care for the people at nominal cost through government regulation of health services and tax subsidies

And you mean to tell me that Romney isn't a socialist? I didn't just hear the word for the first time when the tea parties started using it; I've been using it the same way since 1998. I've read about it in books. I've heard tv pundits discuss it. It has only been since 2008 that I have heard some people split hairs by making a distinction between full-blown socialism and the watered-down, gradual socialism of Obama, Romney, and Bush.

I don't mean to fight with you over words, I just wanted you to realize that not everyone who accuses Obama of socialism is misinformed.

lovable liberal said...

Where's the 'yes'? Look, it's not credible to call Romney a socialist. It strips the word of its meaning.

The American Heritage definition, which looks much more like a definition of fascism, isn't actually dispositive.

What Romney got passed in Massachusetts also doesn't match your definition of socialized medicine. Like Obama's very similar plan, the cost is by no means nominal. It's an insurance plan under which everyone is obliged to purchase health insurance (or to get a waiver for reasons such as religious belief). Try to learn what is real instead of the bullshit published by right-wing media.

daniel noe said...

I'm beggining to think we are using a different definition of the word "definition."

In any case, this is going nowhere and this site is a poor format for long discussions. I'm going to move on.

lovable liberal said...

Was that a joke? If so, not very funny...