By Joseph Kellard
A New York Times reporter asked Barack Obama if he is a socialist. The president dismissed the question, but later called the reporter back to elaborate on his position. Here is part of what he told the reporter:
"I did think it might be useful to point out that it wasn’t under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks. It wasn’t on my watch. And it wasn’t on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement -- the prescription drug plan -- without a source of funding. And so I think it’s important just to note when you start hearing folks throw these words around that *we’ve actually been operating in a way that has been entirely consistent with free-market principles* and that some of the same folks who are throwing the word 'socialist' around can’t say the same." (Emphasis mine.)
So Obama promotes his administration as operating “entriely consistent with free-market principles.” Yeah, right, and slavery is freedom.
Yet, even for a leftist, Obama is treading no new deceptive ground here. I remember when Howard Dean was making a run for the presidency, he called himself a capitalist, or a believer in the free-market system, or something to that dishonest effect. Perhaps more leftists do it than I have witnessed.
What’s interesting, thought, is that Obama is on the defensive, trying to paint himself as a capitalist (although I don’t think he would use that particular dirty word -- not yet). So to put it more accurately, he’s trying to downplay his heavy socialist leanings. The president understands the negatives associated with the socialist label. Sadly, while many American voters do understand it (why else would he be so defensive about it?), still not enough grasp it deeply enough. If they did, they wouldn’t allow him to get away with the wrecking ball that is his economic policies.
Meanwhile, he’s doing his darndest to keep that ball swining under cover of capitalism.