From Lincoln Mitchell in Huffpost: “Bobby Jindal has “seen enough” and Dan Quayle thinks President Obama needs to “tame the left wing of his party.” Perhaps it is time to give the Republican Party some credit for consistency, if not exactly relevancy or accuracy. Dan Quayle, who has gracefully made the transition from boy wonder vice president to elder statesman of his party without pausing along the way to actually accomplish anything, and Bobby Jindal, who seems to have succeeded in combining the politics of Ronald Reagan with the earnestness and credibility of Ronald McDonald, seem to agree that the biggest threat to the country is that President Obama will pass health care reform and lead the country irrevocably down the road to socialism.”
(N.B.: I found it amusing last fall to hear ‘socialism’ used as a pejorative when capitalism was collapsing around our ears. )
“Fear, not surprisingly, has remained one of the key tenets of the Republican message during Obama’s presidency.
Labeling any program seeking to use public resources to help poor people or provide opportunity to more Americans as socialist has been a tactic employed by many Republicans and no small number of conservative Democrats over the years. It has at times been quite effective. In this regard, Quayle, Jindal and others in the Republican leadership are not employing a new strategy. To the contrary, they are relying on a the same tactic conservatives used more than 40 years ago to fight against Medicare, and more than 70 years ago to fight against Social Security. Labeling any progressive program socialist remains a tried and true conservative tactic, but in the 21st century it feels almost quaint and seems to have little power to move voters outside of the Republican base. One cannot help but wonder if this message, and these messengers, are the best the Republicans can find…