By Mr. Curmudgeon
“He spent trillions of dollars on that,” Fox’s Bill O’Reilly said of Obama’s attempts to spend America out of an economic depression, “Listen, the guy’s a socialist – it’s class warfare that’s what he’s gonna wage against you if you get the nomination: You’re a rich guy, you’re out of touch. Is he a socialist?” O’Reilly’s question was aimed at the establishment GOP’s presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
“Uh, you know,” stammered Romney, “I consider him a big-government liberal Democrat. I think as you look at his policies, you conclude that he thinks Europe got it right and we got it wrong. I think Europe got it wrong. I think Europe is not working in Europe. And I’ll battle him on that day in and day out. But I’m probably not going to be calling him names so much as calling him a failure.”
And there you have it. Romney believes the problem with Obama’s economic prescription for America – a larger version than was put into practice by the GOP establishmentarian George W. Bush (stimulus and bailouts) – is geographical and not political in nature. Wealth redistribution is not what is killing America, according to Romney, but Obama’s attempt to remake Washington into Paris. It’s understandable why Romney shies away from calling Obama a socialist: Romney, more than any establishment Republican before him, is socialism’s most adept practitioner.
As Doctor Donald Berwick, the Obama administration’s former Medicare administrator once said, “Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must – must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.” Romney most certainly believed as much when he worked alongside Massachusetts’ Democrats to devise a state medical plan that forces Bay State citizens, through an individual mandate, to redistribute their incomes in the service of Romneycare.
Romney can’t condemn Obama’s socialism without condemning himself. This is why Obama prays the Blue State Republican faces him in the general election. Republican primary voters would hand the president a last minute reprieve by effectively taking the central political question of the 2012 campaign off the table: “Will America continue down socialism’s destructive road or abandon redistributive Progressivism?”
Unfortunately, if polls are to be believed, at least 23 percent of Republican voters favor Romney’s socialism over Obama’s. Romney says his brand is as native as the Blue Ridge Mountains and is good for the country. Obama’s brand, insists Romney, hales from Europe and is bad for the country.
Oddly, the word “redistribution” is spelled the same whether written in American English or haughty Parisian French. Republicans – whether they wish to admit it or not – are becoming decidedly more French … with a thick American accent.