"We Are All Socialists Now."
That is not some RNC talking point. Rather, it was the title of a recent Newsweek magazine cover story.
If there is anyone who knows socialism when they see it, it's Newsweek and other such old media outlets run by second-generation Red Diaper babies.
And so what was ridiculed by old media high priests jealously guarding the Oracle at Hyde Park is now embraced.
Free market conservatives were laughed at when they argued that then-candidate Obama was little more than an old school socialist in a fancy new wrapper. Such accusations were treated as little more than schoolyard name-calling.
Now that federal government spending is approaching 40% of our country's gross domestic product (GDP), the Left's argument has shifted to, what else, schoolyard rationalizations: "Bush started it with his $700 billion bailout last year." And so he did. But, children, two wrongs don't make a right. They make America into a stagnant, Euro-socialist land of mediocrity.
We have predictions of economic Armageddon with a 7.6% unemployment rate in America. That rate would be a 15-year low in trendy western European countries that Obama would have us emulate like France and Germany.
With the confirmation that Obama's "Yes We Can" really meant "Yes, the Federal Government Can," Republicans have the re-branding opportunity they need.
Republicans must stand up for what works (including those who work) and stand against what we know does not work.
Let the Obama Democrats make the case that socialism will now work because finally the "right people" are in charge. Let them contend, as they do implicitly, that the intellectual candlepower of Team Obama is more than enough to overcome such trivialities as innate human behavior. Republicans must make Team Obama own their neo-socialism.
Republicans and traditional Republican constituents must resist the temptation to be bought off by the neo-socialists. Who wouldn't want to live in a world without consequences financed by other people's money? It is an attractive proposition until you play out the implications writ large.
The good news/bad news is that socialism does not work, no matter the academic pedigrees of its practitioners. Thus, the Democrats' economic stimulus gambit will fail to live up to its stated purpose. If Obama lets the Bush tax cuts expire and if he gives in to his protectionist tendencies, things will get significantly worse for greater numbers of Americans who played by the rules only to have their government use their money to bail out those who did not.
On the other side of this there will be the 60 percent of Americans who pay the freight in this country; there will be the job-creating small businesses who don't have Wall Street friends or politicians in their pockets and thus don't get bailed out of their bad decisions or bad luck; and there will be the people that budgeted for the home they bought who will not be enjoying the benefit of the federal government's intervention to renegotiate their mortgage.
Who speaks for these Americans? The Republican Party can again if they recognize the opportunity before them.