Monday, April 30, 2007

The right's penchant for red-baiting continues

Conservatives are always quick to attack those who label their policies fascist, but that doesn't stop them from falling back on the tried and true technique of red-baiting Democrats for proposals that advocate any type of social responsibility.

Anyone who has a real understanding of Socialism and Communism will realize how ridiculous these criticisms truly are. For example, it's common among the far right, especially the reactionary media types, to label Hillary Clinton a communist. This probably arises from her healthcare proposals in the '90s. She's also strongly pro-Choice and close to the "Hollywood Elite" that we're told dominates the media and advocates for radically left ideas.

But despite her positions on a couple of the right's favorite hot-button issues, the fact is that Hillary and her husband Bill are actually pretty conservative Democrats whose policies clearly embrace Captialism and side with the corporate oligarchy that has dominated our politics in recent years. Bill Clinton signed into law Welfare Reform that continued the dismantling of the social safety net advocated by the conservative's darling Ronald Reagan. He was also responsible for NAFTA. To my knowledge Hillary has never supported a Single Payer system as the solution to our healthcare crisis. She's also consistently taken very conservative foreign policy positions, including supporting the Iraq War.

The affect of this kind of simplistic, misleading categorization of the Democrats is to skew the political debate further to the right. Democrats have proven quite good at enabling the Republicans in this tactic, usually tripping over themselves to embrace more conservative positions in order to avoid the Socialist characterization.

Below are excerpts from an article on the Guardian Unlimited site describing Rudy Giuliani's attack on the Dems' healthcare proposals. If the health reform Mr. Giuliani advocates (vouchers) is truly the answer to the predicament we find ourselves in, he should tout its merits and let the people decide for themselves if it makes sense. That would serve everyone better than the empty rhetoric and fear-mongering he stoops to by mischaracterizing the Dems' positions as leading to socialized medicine.

Giuliani Assails Democrats' Health Plans
Associated Press Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Friday accused his Democratic rivals of embracing health care plans that would amount to socialized medicine.

The former New York City mayor, responding to comments in the first Democratic primary debate Thursday night, claimed Democrats favor "mandatory" universal health care and the plans would only exacerbate the cost of care by putting the system in the hands of bureaucrats.

"They're moving toward socialized medicine so fast, it'll make your head spin," Giuliani said, adding that private solutions could help bring down the cost of care. "When we want to cover poor people, as we should, we give them vouchers."

Read the full article
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