“Socialism has become our new scare word,” said Robert Brent Toplin in the Chicago Sun-Times. The latest evil “ism” has yet to become the “major bugaboo” that communism was in the Cold War, or that terrorism became after 9/11, but the expansion of government’s reach in the economic stimulus plan has injected new energy into Republican claims that President Obama is putting America on the path to socialism.
At the very least, said George Will in Newsweek, the stimulus plan, “aka No Social Worker Left Behind,” is a stealthy attempt to repeal welfare reform. Obama told Congress that he is strengthening government "not because I believe in bigger government." But he does, and that's what he's going to deliver.
Conservatives might be seeking fresh spiritual leadership, said Mark Leibovitch in The New York Times, but they're reviving an old "rhetorical ogre." Many liberal politicians before Obama have been attacked by the "socialist bogey-mantra." Conservatives have used it for ages, just as "liberals have bludgeoned conservatives as 'fascists,' 'fundamentalists,' 'plutocrats,' and whatnot for decades."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- Grammar quiz: Do you know the passive voice?
- Why charity can't solve society's deepest problems
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week