Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bush the Socialist, Obama the Fascist

Sometime in the early 1980s the colors used to represent the two primary political parties swapped. For many years the Republicans were represented by the color Blue and the Democrats were represented by the color Red. In a way that made sense, as the Republicans were portrayed as the Blue Bloods, the "aristocracy", while the Democrats were portrayed as the ones soft on Communism.

For reasons unknown the parties switched colors, to the point where few remember that they had the other colors as recently as 1980. Now saying a state is a "Red State" is a way to indicate that it is strongly Republican or conservative.

But events since the year 2000 would lead one to conclude that perhaps the switch in colors is accurate to some extent. Bush is clearly more socialist than Obama, and Obama is clearly more fascist than Bush. It should be noted at this point that there are many purists who insist that "Socialism" can only and ever refer to ownership of the means of production, and that wealth redistribution through other means - such as welfare - doesn't count as socialism. For the sake of argument, wealth redistribution will be referred to as "welfare socialism", and from this point on any reference to "socialism" will actually refer to "welfare socialism."

More than once during the Bush presidency efforts were made to avoid economic problems through bailouts. The interesting point is that more than once Bush had checks made out directly to the people. They were not large checks, about $300 per person, but he ordered them issued directly from the treasury to the public. Keynesian advisors warned against this on the grounds that the money might be wasted on foolish expenditures such as paying off credit cards or paying other bills. That did not deter Bush in his effort to strengthen the ailing economy through efforts aimed at the common man.

While both Bush and Obama gave money directly to failing banks, Obama has only given money to the failing banks and automobile companies. A common Republican quip has been "Where's my bailout?" to show that Obama is only giving money to the wealthiest of the public, not to the common person.

On healthcare the same pattern holds. Bush authorized the largest expansion of Medicare ever, with Perscription Drug Coverage for Seniors. Obama appears ready to jettison the "public option" in favor of mandating that everyone purchase health insurance.

Little wonder there is such discontent between the base and the party leadership in the Republican Party today, that a third party candidate may win the 23rd Congressional District in New York. Likewise the anti-war movement has little to be happy about with Obama, and Fascists are well known for their militancy.

1 comment:

Thomas M. Sipos said...

I recall the GOP was symbolized by Blue as recently as the 1988 election.

I also have vague memories of the colors being switched every election cycle, but I could be wrong on that.

It's not the parties that pick the colors; it's the news media.

I think the media eventually stuck Red on the GOP for good, no more taking turns, to tar the GOP with Communism. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was after the fall of Communism, when Communism was finally completely discredited, that the media stuck Red on the GOP.

My theory, that this color scheme is intentional on the part of the news media, is not groundless. I heard some Air America hosts gloating (a year or so ago) on the "genius" of the TV media person who'd first used Red for the GOP. I wish I could remember his name.

I think the fair thing would be to go back to taking turns on the colors. However, I never expect most liberals, progressives, conservatives, Republicans, or Democrats to "play fair."

Of course, I don't expect most Libertarians to "play fair" either.