Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Red(coat)s are Coming!

(((More accusations of "socialism;" if you don't actually say who you mean, you don't have to explain why your use of the term is accurate or appropriate, or maybe not even what you mean by it.)))

Politico.com has a note on Spencer Bachus' ominous hinting that the Soviet Union left behind plants in the US Congress to turn us commie long after the Old Girl bit the dust. They were so clever that way.

Unfortunately, Politico actually takes this somewhat seriously.

“Socialism” is one of the more elastic nouns in the political lexicon. In the broadest sense, it defines a system that provides for state ownership of some private industries and governmental commitments to providing direct housing, health care, education and income supports.

To many on the left, it’s a relatively benign — if outdated — term, representing an activist, interventionist government that prioritizes economic security over the unfettered freedom of the marketplace.

To many on the right, it’s practically an epithet — suggesting a return to Soviet-style Communism or a leap toward a hyper-regulated European brand of capitalism that stifles innovation and hikes taxes.
But this is already to cede too much ground to Bachus's rationality and integrity. It's not "practically an epithet;" it is an epithet. Calling someone a socialist in the US is roughly equivalent to standing up in church and saying that some people sitting in nearby pews worship the devil; or in this case, like someone in the choir saying there are some unnamed choir members who worship the devil. Everyone agrees devil worship is bad, or at least no one is going to go standing up for the devil, so instead of defending devil worship, everyone trips over themselves to prove they don't worship the devil. The accusation is already the damning evidence, so the burden of proof is on the accused.

Enter the godless [sic] commie.

But socialism is not devil worship. Unless maybe poverty, unemployment, illness, and the desire for a meaningful life outside of wage slavery are sins. In that case, sign me up with whoever calls bullshit.

Anyway, I don't think Bachus pulled that number out of his behind. I expect him to name his names. That's why he came out with a number. He knows who he's prepared to make some kind of case about. So let's have 'em.

1 comment:

Jeffrey said...

i suppose i ought to say that i don't think that devil worship would entail indulging in poverty or unemployment, which is ridiculous. although clearly lots of commie-hating americans believe that socialism is about subsidizing the lazy and otherwise immoral by stealing from the hard-working well-off.

the point is that these things shouldn't be considered moral failings, or signs of moral failings, and the "religion" that counts them that way is either a bad religion or no religion at all.

i got carried away with the image. sue me. :)