Making A Socia-List: It’s not hard, Rep. Bachus
By: Daniel Clark
The February 16th edition of Newsweek joyously declared, “We’re All Socialists Now,” demonstrating that it’s perfectly acceptable to acknowledge the existence of socialists, just as long as you’re in favor of them. On the other hand, if you consider that word to be a pejorative, like Alabama Republican congressman Spencer Bachus does, then your very utterance of it will be treated as if it were a virtual obscenity.
Bachus created a controversy recently, when he stated that there are 17 socialists currently serving in the House of Representatives, but then found himself strangely unable to name them. One might have expected someone like Contract With America co-author Grover Norquist, who is now president of Americans for Tax Reform, to refresh the congressman’s memory. Disappointingly, he didn’t.
“We shouldn’t get into a labeling thing with the other side,” Norquist said, sounding like the world’s most tedious talk radio caller. “We shouldn’t call them socialists. We should call them stupid, because they are spending all this money we don’t have.” Oh, that’s much better. Conservatives shouldn’t accurately describe the philosophy of the opposition; we should just call them “stupid.” Al Franken, eat our dust.
If Bachus wants to begin naming names, he can start with the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee on which he serves. Rep. Barney Frank (D, Mass.) has proposed capping all CEO salaries throughout the economy, so that even a company that hadn’t corrupted itself with government bailouts would suffer the same consequences as if it had.
It was Frank who led the obstruction of President Bush’s proposed reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which would have held those government-sponsored enterprises accountable to the Treasury Department for their risk assessments. With no such oversight, proponents of so-called “social and economic justice” were able to continue making subprime loans to people who could never pay them back. This economically masochistic plan was made possible by the understanding that when those institutions failed, the taxpayers would bail them out, thus making “affordable housing” just another act of wealth redistribution.
During last May’s congressional hearings, when liberals scolded oil executives for high gasoline prices which were largely of the government’s making, Rep. Maxine Waters (D, Calif.) declared that “this liberal will be all about socializing — uh, um — would be about basically taking over, and the government running all of your companies.” In other words, she wants the state to control the means of production, which is the textbook definition of socialism.
Former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D, Ohio) campaigned on a platform of “universal” healthcare, “full employment,” and taxpayer provided college tuition. If it sounds like his plans would require a totalitarian government, that might help explain why Kucinich was among those who signed a declaration of support for Marxist dictator Hugo Chavez. “The world knows that you’re achieving something remarkable in Venezuela,” the 2004 letter said, before proceeding to praise his “investments in job training, small business and health care.”
Not to be outdone, the Congressional Black Caucus sent a delegation to Cuba for a meeting with Fidel and Raul Castro, from which it returned predictably smitten with the Communist thugs. “It was almost like visiting an old friend,” blathered Rep. Bobby Rush (D, Ill.). Similarly embarrassing statements were made by Emanuel Cleaver (D, Mo.), Laura Richardson (D, Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D, Calif.).
Rep. John Conyers (D, Mich.) has sponsored a bill to create a “single payer” health care system, celebrated by its oblivious advocates as “Medicare For All.” The “single payer” in this plan is the federal government, which would exercise dictatorial control over American medicine. Conyers’ bill has been co-sponsored by 93 of his fellow Democrats — a list over five times longer than Rep. Bachus needs.
The “creeping socialism” that Ike warned about half a century ago has now broken into a full gallop. Even some European socialists have expressed concern that we’re going too far. If only there were a stigma attached to being a socialist, instead of calling someone a socialist, this wouldn’t be happening. There’s little chance of rectifying the situation, though, as long as conservative leaders like Norquist are being deputized into the liberal speech police.
In A Man For All Seasons, Will Roper objected to Sir Thomas More’s description of him as a “heretic,” to which More wisely retorted, “It’s not a likeable word; it’s not a likeable thing.” Luckily, there were no “pragmatic” Republicans around in those days, to denounce More’s remarks as being “not helpful.”
Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.