Friday, July 02, 2010

Is Obama A Socialist? Part DXXVI

WSJ's James Taranto of Best of the Web fame addresses the timeless question. And fails.

Like anyone who wants to appear moderate to their audience (see Bill O'Reilly), all they have to do is paint the two sides as extreme. Most readers are left with the warm and fuzzy feeling that the writer is measured, mature and fair.

But not all. Some readers will think the writer either stands for nothing, or is choosing to ignore some very obvious facts.

To be that above-it-all moderate, you must not discuss the nationalized automakers or redistributionist policies. A better way to avoid the obvious is to compare the right calling Obama a socialist with the Left who called Bush a fascist. Now you've diluted the credibility of the argument of one with the vacuousness of the other. Now you're just the referee between two opposing forces leading your reader towards your middle-of-the-road conclusion.

We thought Taranto would do the right thing when he referred to the definitions of socialism and fascism, but he fell flat with this conclusion:

Calling Bush a fascist is flatly false; his philosophy and administration met none of the criteria in the definition. Calling Obama a socialist, by contrast, is merely a gross overstatement.

Opportunity missed! We can only hope Taranto is attempting to do what we've recently noticed Rush Limbaugh doing. That is, to run up to the edge of calling this socialist a socialist, then letting the audience make the final leap. For example, from Rush's Wednesday show in a discussion about Kagan:

She's getting away with saying she doesn't know what progressivism is. It's like saying she doesn't know what liberalism is. I'll tell you what, we have so successfully tarnished the terms liberal, progressive, whatever they want to call themselves, they can't afford to identify with them. She's out there claiming to have no clue what progressive legalism is. That's like saying that Marx has no idea what communism is. And I'm not exaggerating.

Rush: Polished and on target.
Us: Zero polish and on target.
Others: Missing the target, so far...

For those new to, we're filtering out the noise and keeping track of the actual actions of this President. Click here to see our Obama Checklist.

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