Red-Staters, Red-Baiting, and their Enablers in the Press
STEPHANOPOULOS: Speaker Gingrich, you just heard Governor Romney...That exchange from the Republican primary debate last night (WAPO transcript here) captures another instance of red-baiting the President. Why did Stephanopolis not ask Gingrich what he means by the criticism? Why not ask what reason or evidence might he provide for the assertion? How about Diane Sawyer the other moderator? After all, Newt is - as we continually hear - a real live intellectual!
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- make his case. He’s...
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve made the case on several occasions that he’s not the man to carry that message for the Republican Party.
GINGRICH: Well, look, I think that’s a good message and I agree with him. A -- a little bit harsh on President Obama, who, I’m sure in his desperate efforts to create a radical European socialist model, is sincere.
Let's be clear. As I've repeatedly noted here I think the U.S. is worse off - politically and economically - for lacking a more robust socialist presence in politics. I hardly think the term is an epithet. Nor do I find socialist policies and ideals anathema. But red-staters do. Why allow them to get away with name calling?
Over at The Nation John Nichols indicates just how vigorously and explicitly Obama disavows socialist policies. But he also points out that as Newt the "historian" must surely know (even if he does not like it) there has been a persistent socialist tradition in the U.S.. There is nothing anti-American about that and the press ought to do its job in calling out the Republicans when they suggest otherwise.