Many conservatives think they’ve found a winner in tarring President Obama and his allies as “socialists.” Earnest attempts to explain why “it isn’t so” are futile, as is asking people what the heck they mean when they say raising taxes is “socialism.”
In a heroic effort to force a definition into the exchange, Princeton economist Alan Blinder reasons: “Socialism means public ownership and control of business, right? So which industries does the president propose to nationalize?”
None that anyone has noticed. Obama’s economic team won’t even nationalize the broken banks. But that doesn’t matter. The S-word can signify anything conservatives want it to.