Document exposes what the RNC really thinks of its donors, admits to using "fear."


The presentation also included a slide show featuring that stupid Obama-as-the-Joker picture (and what the hell is that evensupposed to mean, exactly? I’ve never been able to figure that out), as well as Nancy Pelosi as Cruella DeVille and Harry Reid as Scooby Doo.

The RNC has been sending out panicked emails to big donors, and Michael Steele is now denouncing it and saying he had no knowldege of it.

To me, the most significant thing is that the RNC is basically admitting that its base is a bunch of reactionary morons who are easily manipulated by fear, and by words like “Socialism” I wonder if they’ll be smart enough to even know that they’ve been insulted, though.

Because, of course, Obama is not socialist, and therefore this accusation is ridiculous.

OK, it’s time to beat the shit out of this notion, so often repeated around here that it’s gospel.

  1. It’s true: Obama is not a socialist.
  2. It’s true, nonetheless: many of his program proposals, especially UHC, are socialist.

On the SDMB, I obviously don’t need to defend point #1.

Point #2: it’s fair in summary terms to describe a proposed program as “socialist” if it moves a given activity in a “socialist” direction. Socialism: where use-values are more determinative than exchange-values.

So no, Obama is not a socialist. But, yes, UHC is a socialist concept.

What’s wrong with socialism?

Yes, it’s as socialist as public education, public roads, public fire-fighting services, and a publicly-owned post office.

Medicare part D is socialist. No Child Left Behind is socialist. The military is socialist. The interstates are socialist. What does the government do that isn’t socialist?

It is an argument for and by stupid people.

Strange that you cite a document from my party, the Socialist Party of Great Britain, whose definition of socialism is nothing like what you seem to be referring to. We do not advocate or endorse Obama’s plans for Universal Health Care, nor any other government-sponsored health care system.

It’s unAmerican.

So are public highways, schools, police departments, fire departments, state and national parks, public transport, and the military.

I’ve never had a problem with describing UHC as a socialist program. Its aim is to socialize wealth in such a way that people who cannot afford health insurance under the current system would be provided with health care.

The biggest problem i have with the opposition rhetoric about Obama is that they trumpet the term “socialist” as if it were “child molester,” and conveniently ignore the multitude of policies and programs and institutions in the United States that are already determined more by use-values than exchange-values.

Hell, in the last election we had a vice-presidential candidate screeching about Obama’s socialism while her won state actually cut large checks to each of its inhabitants in order to distribute revenue from mineral resources.
ETA: Well, i was a bit slow, wasn’t i?

Wow - thanks for clearing that up!

Bricker, even if what you are saying is mostly technically correct, this is a debate that’s included people saying, in total seriousness, “Get your government hands off my Medicare.” Discussing whether or not the program is socialist-y kind of misses the point by a longshot. And this is not universal health care. I think it falls short by about 15 million people.

Just trying to save the Sean Hannity crowd some time. Much pleasure.

How do you feel about the admission that the RNC is using “fear” as a tactic and that it views its own base as “reactionary?”

Yes, like social security, public libraries, public roads, fire depts, police depts, the rural electrification association, the Tennessee Valley Association, the County Extension agents, public schools, the Center for Disease Control, NASA, the Veterans Administration, the FDA, …

Good to know that Republicans oppose all that. Should make it easier to get rid of the deficits they’ve piled up.

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) have long been the best means of marketing in America. This surprises me only in that someone was dumb enough to both write it down, but to also leave it where it could be found.

Coupla things. First, as you’re well aware, Obama is not proposing government-run health care. He is not proposing single payer. He is not proposing a public option. He is not proposing to eliminate, or even compete with, the private insurance industry. To my knowledge, he has not even signaled concrete or particularized support for any of these things as an attainable policy goal in the short-, medium-, or even long-term. He is proposing, in essence, individual mandates coupled with a benefits floor. This is moving in a “socialist” direction in the same way that my walking east on K Street is taking me towards the Chesapeake.

Second, it is disingenuous or blindered to propose your system of rhetorical equivalency (implementing x takes us one step closer to y than not implementing x; therefore, it is acceptable to call x y) without considering the effect of institutional inertia on even incremental change. Simply put, systemic change does not scale linearly. Each step is harder than the last. The further you get from the status quo, the more push back you encounter from, among other things, entrenched institutional interests, popular resistance to change of any sort, and the weight of history. Far from being a slippery slope, the incline gets steeper (or the slope stickier, if you want to stay with the same metaphor) the further off the established track you get. Thus, even assuming that Obama’s health care plan would make us more socialist (for whatever values of “make,” “us,” “more,” and “socialist” you may be using) than we are now, it is fundamentally misleading to suggest that this in any way presages some massive and imminent shift towards actual socialism. That is simply not the way the world works.

Third, congratulations: you’ve just eradicated any but the most rudimentary distinctions between ideologies, political systems, and theories of governance. Any change to the status quo can legitimately be labeled according to whatever “extreme” set of beliefs lies at the end of the road, however distant or disassociated from the proposed change it may be. Does something place incrementally more weight on “use-values”? Perfectly fine to call it socialist to rile up all those impressionable masses! More weight on “exchange-values”? Nothing wrong with calling it anarcho-capitalist! Does it restrict freedom, in whatever direction? It’s fascist! Who needs lots of different words for different concepts when one overarching, fearmongering label will do just fine? Yay!

You’re a fucking idiot, Bricker. Words have meaning for a reason.

(That being said, I don’t see anything particularly shocking in the OP. Institutional elites view public opinion as something to be manipulated and look at party members as little more than donation and vote delivery devices. Dog bites man. I’d be shocked if the DNC didn’t see it basically the same way, even if they don’t go yammering on about it quite so baldly.)

Edit: Also, what DanBlather said. And Lobohan. Centralized government is, by any measure, more “socialist” than no government at all.

Think it’s gonna be a big hit.

C’mon, it’s not like the Republicans made any sort of issue of Obama calling rural Pennsylvanians bitter. I’m sure Bricker applauds his party’s clear-eyed ability to tell it like it is.

Yes, UHC is a socialist concept, along with progressive income tax, most public infrastructure, social services, and most things provided to the public out of the public purse.

(On edit, wow, a lot of folks beat me to the punch.)

More importantly, is Bricker a Reactionary, or is he an Egotist?
Or don’t you give to your party? :smiley:
Were it my party talking trash like that about me, I’d be at least a little miffed.
Matter of fact, as a member of the ‘hard left’, I am a little pissed at party leadership just now.

As far as the OP goes- I think if a document like this from the DNC was leaked, it wouldn’t look very good either. (Contrary to all evidence I’m assuming the Democrats have some kind of plan for pitching their ideas to the public.) I doubt it would look this bad, but the Tea Party people are the audience the RNC thinks it can get money from. It’s politics, so I assume few of them are going to curl up into a ball and start crying out of shame. Which is too bad.