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Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain’s Closing Argument

posted by on October 27 at 14:40 PM

I linked Obama’s below. McCain doesn’t have a closing argument (yet), but to the extent that he’s offering a new argument today, it is that Obama, based on a 2001 radio interview, wants to be the great redistributor.

Setting aside the merits of the argument (which is picked apart here, among other places), I wonder: is being tagged a potential redistributor of wealth such a bad thing at a time when the economy is, in McCain’s words, “cratering”?

I think most Americans get that Obama’s economic policies would attempt to be the reverse of the Bush economic policies, in that Obama’s policies would generally “redistribute” wealth downward rather than upward. So if this new Obama label enters the general consciousness—and I’m not sure it will—it seems entirely possible that a lot of struggling Americans would say: great.

(Unless McCain starts calling it socialism. In which case, of course, they’ll probably hate it.)

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How dare Senator Obama agree with the original works outlining how capitalism must needs redistribute wealth from those who profit the most to the deserving poor?

I mean, if only Adam Smith hadn't said that, we would have a perfect world of Big Socialism under the Red Bushie party!

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 27, 2008 2:41 PM

It's so weird that 2001 was *7 years ago*

Posted by Non | October 27, 2008 2:46 PM

McCain tried to magically manifest a narrative in the days surrounding the bailout's initial failure that stated americans were angry they weren't getting helped.


Posted by AJ | October 27, 2008 2:47 PM

The only people who are afraid of socialism probably never witnessed the ineptness of campus socialist groups.

Posted by asteria | October 27, 2008 2:47 PM

@4 Indeed.

Posted by Hernandez | October 27, 2008 2:53 PM

Choice quote from McCain during his 2000 campaign, courtesy of The New Yorker:

YOUNG WOMAN: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?. . .

MCCAIN: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

I Nixon you not.

Posted by Jeff Stevens | October 27, 2008 3:18 PM

@6: "I nixon you not" is now my new favorite saying. Thank you.

Posted by Original Monique | October 27, 2008 3:41 PM

@4 for the very very true win.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 27, 2008 3:45 PM

My question when I hear McCain and his minions accuse Obama of wanting to "redistribute the wealth" is what fucking wealth?

Posted by skweetis | October 27, 2008 4:20 PM

Clearly, they are concerned that somebody might wish to redistribute their wealth. The GOP has long been extremely comfortable with systematically redistributing your wealth. To them and their friends.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 27, 2008 4:30 PM

I think you mean their comrades, fb @10.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 27, 2008 4:37 PM

@11: I'll be honest, Will. I've never understood exactly what you mean by "red bushies" or "comrades" or all this Cold-War speak you employ to describe neo-cons. I've always thought neo-cons were more right-wing style totalitarians (fascists) than left-wing style (communists.)

I guess the idea of cronyism is more or less universal, though.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 27, 2008 4:56 PM

@4: FTW

Posted by Demolator | October 27, 2008 5:08 PM

Leave it up to a ding-dong like Obama to "redistribute" the wealth that has all but EVAPORATED in the last two years?! Does he read the news? DOW down, real estate down, commodities down...there AIN'T no wealth to redistribute. The New Rich are indeed Joe the Plumber...who is the type of small businessman who will employ the rest of our sorry asses so long as the Democrats don't tax him to nil!

Vote McCain.

Vote your wallet.

I am.

Posted by John Bailo | October 27, 2008 5:09 PM

It might not be socialism, but here's a list of Europeanization depravity you can expect from an Obama administration, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:

So where is the new Obama administration likely to take us? Seven things seem certain:

  1. The U.S. military will withdraw from Iraq quickly and substantially, regardless of conditions on the ground or the obvious consequence of emboldening terrorists there and around the globe.

  2. Protectionism will become our national trade policy; free trade agreements with other nations will be reduced and limited.

  3. Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses, and individuals will pay much higher Social Security taxes, all to carry out the new president's goals of "spreading the wealth around."

  4. Federal government spending will substantially increase. The new Obama proposals come to more than $300 billion annually, for education, health care, energy, environmental and many other programs, in addition to whatever is needed to meet our economic challenges. Mr. Obama proposes more than a 10% annual spending growth increase, considerably higher than under the first President Bush (6.7%), Bill Clinton (3.3%) or George W. Bush (6.4%).

  5. Federal regulation of the economy will expand, on everything from financial management companies to electricity generation and personal energy use.

  6. The power of labor unions will substantially increase, beginning with repeal of secret ballot voting to decide on union representation.

  7. Free speech will be curtailed through the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine to limit the conservative talk radio that so irritates the liberal establishment.

Posted by raindrop | October 27, 2008 5:26 PM

The Republican Party has a hell of a nerve calling Obama or any Democratic candidate a "socialist" when, in fact, they themselves have presided during the last eight years over the greatest re-distribution of wealth this country has seen since the days of Herbert Hoover. Homeless encampments all across the country should by rights be referred to as Bushvilles in recognition of the Republicans' selfless efforts at wealth re-distribution, a program which was supported over 90% of the time by John S. McCain III and which is currently being carried out on a smaller scale in Alaska by Sarah H. Palin. "Vote your wallet"? The hell you say. Only if you're a multimillionaire. Otherwise, run from the Republicans like the devil's after your last dime.

Posted by Calpete | October 27, 2008 8:59 PM

LOL @ raindrop
That flyer is crazy, like the pamphlets pased around by religious nuts warning you of the flames of hell...

Look, as a European who honestly believes the social democratic model is a significant improvement over the strictly free market capitalist US model, it baffles me the way some Americans wave it like a pestulant disease. Really, I've lived through both and contrary to what raindrop may think, old world "Europanization" may just be what this country needs to survive.

Posted by Canaria | October 27, 2008 11:37 PM

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