Everything Republicans say or do this election cycle turns to shit. It's amazing to watch. So now, besides being the Muslim "Manchurian Candidate" who seeks to create a Caliphate based in Washington, DC, Obama is a "Socialist." As I've written before, this isn't necessarily the insult the GOP thinks it is, nor is it accurate. But Hendrick Hertzberg boils down the Republican argument to a deligtful distilate.
The Republican argument of the moment seems to be that the difference between capitalism and socialism corresponds to the difference between a top marginal income-tax rate of 35 per cent and a top marginal income-tax rate of 39.6 per cent.Got that? Socialism = 4.6% change in the top marginal income-tax rate. But like most Republicans, the lies hide the truth of their own culpability in the exact same behavior they accuse Democrats of pursuing. In this case, Sarah Palin's Socialist Alaska.
For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face. The state that she governs has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual check to every man, woman, and child in the state. One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269.Holy "Redistribution of Wealth" Batman! Comrade Governor Palin is way better at this Socialism stuff than Obama. Remember the Simpson's Episode in Season 5, Cape Feare where Sideshow Bob steps on all those rakes? It's a perfect metaphor for the McCain / Palin campaign.
A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist.Onward and Upward to a bright Socialist Alaskan Future Comrades!