A well funded network of right-wing extremists wants to make it socially and politically impossible to express the ideals that made this country great. One of those extremists appeared on their billionaire-funded network this week to attack Elizabeth Warren, and anyone else who isn't on the far right, as a Communist.
How retro, you may be saying to yourself. They haven't pulled that trick since the Eisenhower era.
That's the strangest part of all this: They seem to think "Eisenhower era" is a euphemism for "Bolshevik control."
Mainstream vs. Extreme
Displaying her customary gravitas, here's what Sarah Palin had to say on the FOX News channel this week:
"I will tell you, though. It's cracking me up watching what the Democrats, this idiotic strategy of theirs, to have Elizabeth Warren, who has almost confessed to her Marxist views. These views that replicate failed European countries about redistribution of wealth, you know, and all these failed policies and she is going to be the face of that message in the convention. I think it's very risky ..."
(If those sentences don't seem right to you, if it seems as if something's missing, don't worry: It's not you. As always, Palin's locutions are hypnotizing to contemplate; they're the verbal equivalent of M.C. Escher drawings.)
What is the Demi-Governor talking about? Why is the Person Who Single-Handedly Doomed the GOP Ticket saying that Elizabeth Warren is a "Marxist"? Because Palin, like the rest of the Robotic Right, is harping on some comments Warren made about taxation and "class warfare" rhetoric in a very popular online video:
"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid for. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything ...
"Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."
The Massachusetts Senatorial candidate was referring to the equally moderate and centrist comments President Obama made on the same subject:
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business. you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet."
For all their hollerin', the radicals on the right can't point to a single statement by Warren and Obama that isn't objectively and literally true. Has any factory owner ever transported his goods to market on roads the rest of us didn't pay for? Hired workers the rest of us didn't educate? Did any of them not have a great teacher, not take advantage of our American system, or (if they're in the Silicon Valley) not get rich off an Internet created with public funds?
Of course not. But when that's pointed out they pivot to their next gambit: Obama and Warren are "Marxists." It's Standard Operating Procedure to suggest, as Washington Post blogger Ed Rogers does, that they're engaging in the "disparagement of private business." Never mind the fact that Obama often praises successful entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Warren's so-called "disparagement" included the words "Good for you," "God bless" and, for good measure, "Keep a big hunk of it."
"Both the Obama and Warren campaigns are anchored by the belief in offering punitive tax hikes," writes Rogers, "diminishing the role of the private sector and building government dependency in America." He then concludes: "Please show me otherwise if I am wrong."